January 7, 2022
Would be ABA Big Year birders are undoubtedly starting the year off in Texas, where the ABA’s 1st Bat Falcon (ABA Code 5) is still being seen, along with goodies Social Flycatcher (4) and Golden-crowned Warbler (4). The Blue Mockingbird (5) in New Mexico is also still being seen, and the Steller’s Sea-Eagle (4) was discovered again last this week in the vicinity of its first Maine sighting. In Hawaii, the ABA’s 1st Inca Tern (5) is still hanging around and Northern Lapwings (4) are still present in both Maryland and New Jersey.
ABA Area birders have watched with some interest the expansion of the east Asian Slaty-backed Gull across the continent. The species was, until relatively recently, a rare west coast vagrant. Then the species started turning up around the Great Lakes, and now it is increasingly regular in the east as well. The last couple weeks saw a couple new locations added the range maps, as South Carolina sees its 1st record of Slaty-backed Gull (3) from a landfill in Horry.
A few days before that sightings, a Slaty-backed Gull (3) was found at a landfill in Saint John, New Brunswick, where it represented a 1st for that province.
Stating in the east, North Carolina’s 3rd record of White Wagtail on a CBC in New Brunswick is likely of the continental European alba subspecies.
Notable for Wisconsin, a Purple Sandpiper was photographed by many in McKinley.
In Minnesota, a young Ivory Gull was seen in Duluth.
And Washington had a pair of noteworthy birds, a Dickcissel in Clallam and a Hoary Redpoll in Seattle.
Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org and I will try to fix them as soon as possible. This post is meant to be an account of the most recently reported birds. Continuing birds not mentioned are likely included in previous editions listed here. Place names written in italics refer to counties/parishes.
Readers should note that none of these reports has yet been vetted by a records committee. All birders are urged to submit documentation of rare sightings to the appropriate state or provincial committees. For full analysis of these and other bird observations, subscribe to North American Birds, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.
So happy to have seen the Slaty-backed yesterday!