March 13, 2020

Noteworthy birds in the ABA Area not practicing social distancing from ABA Area birders this week (I’m so sorry), include the the Siberian Accentor (ABA Code 4) in Washington, the Garganey (4) in California, and continuing La Sagra’s Flycatcher (4) and Thick-billed Vireo (4) in Florida.

It was another relatively slow week around the ABA Area in terms of rare birds, but a Great Cormorant in Elbert, Georgia is a nice bird much farther south than one would typically expect this species.

The most noteworthy new bird of the week comes from Iowa, where a Smew (4) was reported in Allamakee, on the Mississippi River. This would not be the first time this Eurasian duck has turned up on the Upper Mississippi, though reports of this species are always subject to the provenance question. And further, so far we do not have any confirmation of the sighting beyond the initial report, so birders should consider applying whatever size grain of salt they feel appropriate. It’s certainly not impossible by any means.

In Massachusetts, a Swallow-tailed Kite turned up in East Bridgewater, perhaps the earliest record of this species this far north. They are scheduled to return to be returning to Florida around this time of year.

Missouri’s 2nd record of Mew Gull was photographed this week in Clay. 

In California, a pair of Emperor Geese in San Luis Obispo is a very nice find as these handsome waterfowl are quite unusual so far south.

And in Nova Scotia, an overshooting Yellow-throated Warbler was seen at a feeder in Chester.



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.