March 10, 2023

Plenty of high-quality contiuing rare birds in the ABA Area this week, including the somewhat expected this time of year Bahama Mockingbird (ABA Code 4) and La Sagra’s Flycatcher (4) in Florida. The remarkable Red-flanked Bluetail (4) is still being seen in California, and one is hard-pressed to remember a more accomodating individual of this species on the continent. In Texas, both Blue Bunting (4) and Brown Jay (4) continue in Texas.

One of the more bizarre records of the year so far comes from North Carolina, where a Red-footed Booby (3), the state’s 2nd record, was seen more than 100 miles inland in Wake. The bird remained at a small county park for just over two hours before flying off, not to be refound. Also in North Carolina, interestingly on the exact same day as the booby, was the state’s 3rd record of Crested Caracara in Robeson. 

A pair of 1st records to report this week. In West Virginia, a Tufted Duck (3) was seen in Preston. This Old World diver is annual in the ABA Area, but quite uncommon outside of the far northeast. There is some discussion that this individual might be a hybrid with Ring-necked Duck due to the odd shape of the tuft, but the photos are, at this point, inconclusive.

Florida is having an exceptional 2023 so far, but hardly ayone would have expected a Little Bunting (4) in Pensacola, a state 1st and the first record of this species east of the Rocky Mountains. Little Bunting is semi-annual in the ABA Area, and almost all records come from western Alaska with additional sightings in Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona.

Over to California, where a Tundra Bean-Goose (3) is wowing birders in Los Angeles. This is another east Asian vagrant most commony encountered in the ABA Area in Alaska, but there have been a good number of records throughout the ABA Area in recent years.

Ohio’s 2nd record of Glaucous-winged Gull was found in Cuyahoga this week. The state’s 1st came only at the end of 2022.

Arkansas hosts another Limpkin, this timein Arkansas. 

And in Minnesota, a Band-tailed Pigeon was photographed in Winona in late February. The bird has not been refound.

Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT 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.