October 22, 2021

Only a couple continuing rarities this week, in Florida, where the Thick-billed Vireo (ABA Code 4) was seen again, and in Nova Scotia, which hosts a Little Egret (4) for another week.

We start this week in Montana, which gets far too little love in this space, where a Brambling (3) in Great Falls is the first of the fall in the Lower 48 for this nomadic Asian finch and the 9th for the state. Brambling are annual in fair numbers in western Alaska, and one of the most common Asian vagrants there, but records away from Alaska are far rarer. Even so, the species can show up just about anywhere on the continent, with records from such scattered locales as North Carolina, Arkansas, and Nova Scotia.

One 1st for the week, in Vermont, a Bell’s Vireo photographed in Windsor. Somewhat surprising given the number of records in neighboring Massachusetts and New York.

Speaking of, it’s been an impressive week for vagrant flycatchers in New York, with both a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Chataqua and a Say’s Phoebe on Long Island showing well for birders.

Rhode Island’s 5th record of Franklin’s Gull was seen this week in Warwick.

Maine, along with Quebec and Nova Scotia, host the season’s first Pink-footed Geese (4).

Newfoundland has had an interesting run of birds lately with a Little Egret (4) in Killegrews, the province’s 4th record of Barnacle Goose taken by hunters this week, and a Corn Crake (5) found dead in an elementary school parking lot in St. John’s.

Nunavut’s 3rd record of Great Egret, a phenomenal bird for the Canadian Arctic, was seen at Rankin Inlet.

In Maryland, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) was seen in Anne Arundel. 

North Carolina has had two Say’s Phoebes in the state this week, one in Union and a second in Guilford.

Noteworthy birds for Iowa include a Broad-billed Hummingbird in Humboldt, one of several in the Midwest this year, and a Short-billed Gull in Johnson. 

One of the more extraordinary records of the week, and maybe the year, a Brown-headed Nuthatch in Finney, Kansas, is that state’s 2nd record, and the first in more than 20 years.

California boasts a pair of east Asian vagrants, a Tundra Bean-Goose (3) in Humboldt representing the state’s 2nd record, and a White Wagtail (3) on Southeast Farallon Island in San Francisco. 

And to British Columbia, which also had a White Wagtail (3) this week, also on an island, Haida Gwaii.

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.