Because of rising COVID-19 cases in many states and provinces, the purpose of this report is to keep homebound birders caught up rare bird sightings across the ABA Area. We do not endorse the pursuit of rare birds beyond your local area. The ABA urges readers to respect state, provincial, and local restrictions on non-essential travel. The ABA’s Recording Standards and Ethics Committee has released guidelines on how birders should approach this ongoing pandemic and we urge birders, whether they are members of the ABA or not, to consider them when deciding whether to travel to see a rare bird. Stay safe and healthy, everyone.
Still some fun continuing birds in the ABA Area this week including last week’s Common Cuckoo (ABA Code 4) in Rhode Island, at least through the early part of the week. Arizona still hosts Eared Quetzals (4) and Northern Jacana (4), and the Red-legged Thrush (5) in south Florida
Close observation pays off in Virginia where an apparent Gray Heron was found this week in Northampton. This is a 1st state record and, to date, the farthest south record of this Old World version of the Great Blue Heron in the ABA Heron. In the wake of the initial report, photos were added to a nearby eBird checklist that suggest that the bird has been in the area since late October. While it’s certainly possible that this individual is the same bird that was seen in Massachusetts heading south earlier this fall, it’s equally likely that there is a movement occurring. Either way, birders on the east coast should be on the lookout.
That wasn’t the only exciting bird in Virginia this week, a Yellow-nosed Albatross (4) was seen from out a boat in Virginia waters.
The Evening Grosbeak movement is reaching Florida with two birds there this week, in Sanford and Tallahassee.
Maryland’s 3rd record of Mountain Bluebird was was found in Harford.
Good for Delaware was a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (3) in Smyrna.
New Jersey’s 4th Common Ground-Dove was seen at Forsyth NWR in Ocean.
Pennsylvania had three different Black-throated Gray Warblers in the state this week, with individuals in McKean, Fulton, and Lebanon.
In Ontario, a Tropical Kingbird was seen in Algoma.
And over on the border of Ontario and Quebec, near Ottawa, a bean-goose sp has been called both Tundra and Taiga over the last few days.
Massachusetts’s 4th record of Ancient Murrelet was seen off Cape Race in Barnstable.
New Brunswick had an Ash-throated Flycatcher at Grande-Digue.
Nova Scotia had a pair of nice birds this week in a Painted Bunting at Cow Bay and the province’s 6th Ash-throated Flycatcher in Shelburne.
Newfoundland had a Magnificent Frigatebird offshore near Port aux Basques.
In Wisconsin, a Lesser Goldfinch in Dane is one of very few records for the state.
In Minnesota, a King Eider was a nice find in Beltrami.
Texas had at least three Pacific-slope Flycatchers at a single site in Karnes.
Colorado’s 3rd Magnificent Frigatebird turned up in Arapahoe only a few days after the state’s 2nd last week. Also very good for the state was a Tufted Duck (3) in Park.
Wyoming’s 4th record of Yellow-billed Loon was found in Fremont.
In California, a Streak-backed Oriole (3) was a nice find in San Luis Obispo.
And in Washington, an Ash-throated Flycatcher was found in King.
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.