The small flock of Brown Jays (ABA Code 4) in south Texas lead off the list of notable continuing rarities in the ABA Area this week. It has been some time since this species was reliable north of the Rio Grande and birders seem to be taking advantage of this exciting situation. Other continuing birds include at least one Bahama Mockingbird (4) in Florida and the ongoing Red-flanked Bluetail (4) in California.
2023 in Florida has been one exciting bird after another, and a accommodating Red-legged Honeycreeper (5) in Miami-Dade has been fun for both local and visiting birders. It’s unclear whether this is a new bird or one that had stuck around following last fall’s extraordinary incursion.
One of the more fascinating bird discussions in the ABA Area this week surrounded what appeared to be the ABA’s 1st record of Eurasian Spoonbill photographed near Duck Key in Monroe’s Florida Keys. This species should not be completely unexpected in the ABA Area as there are multiple records of this prone to wandering wader in the Caribbean. That said, discussion about this bird has turned to whether it might be a particularly pale Roseate Spoonbill and, as of the writing of this post, the identification remains inconclusive.
Idaho, however, boasts a more cut and dried 1st record this week, in a Tricolored Blackbird in Payette. This species, which is typically limited to California and parts of Washington and Oregon, has been observed very close to the Idaho border in the past and Idaho birders have expected it for some time.
Kansas’s 2nd record of Brambling (3) was photographed in Dickinson, with the photos only coming to light on eBird this week. This species has been more common than usual this past winter in the northwest, but this is still the farthest east record for the season.
Missouri’s 4th record of Lewis’s Woodpecker was well-photographed this week in Carter.
Notable for Tennessee was a Ruff (3) in Lake.
Connecticut’s 5th Western Meadowlark has been seen by many birders at Hammonasset.
And in New York, a “Sooty” Fox Sparrow, considered by some authorities to be a good candidate for a future split, was seen in Kings. There are fewer than 10 records of this western subspecies of Fox Sparrow for that state and only a handful more in the northeast.
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.