November 19, 2021
The only continuing bird of note this week, or at least the only one reported to eBird, was the long-staying Inca Tern (ABA Code 5) in Hawaii.
One of the more exciting birds of the year so far comes from New Mexico, a state with a long list of jaw-dropping rarities to boast of. A stunning Blue Mockingbird (5) at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in Eddy is easily among them, as this skulky southern vagrant has only been recorded before in the ABA Area from Arizona and Texas. Not only does this bird represent a 1st for the Land of Enchantment, but it has been uncharacteristically showy. All other records of this species on this side of the border have been furtive and difficult to see well.
For another 1st record in the ABA Area this week we turn to Rhode Island, where a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (3) in Galilee represents the first time this East Asian shorebird has been recorded in the smallest state in the US.
Bur for bang for the buck, it’s hard to beat Texas this week. Buoyed no doubt by scads of visiting birders, the state had a really nice run of rarities in the last week, highlighted by not one, but two(!) Social Flycatchers (5) in Cameron. Other birds of note include Red-footed Booby (4) at Port Aransas, Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) in Cameron, and both Golden-crowned Warbler (4) and Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4) in Hidalgo.
And up to British Columbia, where a pair of Oriental Turtle Doves (4) in Prince Rupert, and the third in the province this year.
Washington boasts a trio of notable birds with a Great-tailed Grackle in King, a Blackburnian Warbler in Skamania, and a pair of Thick-billed Murres seen offshore in Pierce.
Alberta’s 7th record of Pine Warbler was been visiting a feeder in Edmonton.
In Wisconsin, a Lewis’s Woodpecker in Milwaukee is the state’s 6th.
Michigan’s 7th Common Eider is a subadult male in Marquette.
In Laborador, a Clay-colored Sparrow in Goose Bay was a nice find.
Massachusetts had quite a few noteworthy birds this week including a Tropical Kingbird in Barnstable, two individual Wood Storks in Gloucester and Woburn, and a Western Meadowlark in Hadley.
And to Florida, where the state’s 2nd record of Slaty-backed Gull (3) was seen in Escambia and a Lapland Longspur was seen in Sarasota.
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.
I would say the mockingbird has definitely been furtive and difficult to see well.
There was never any evidence for a 2nd Social Flycatcher fyi