October 9, 2020

Continuing rare birds in the ABA Area include Red-footed Booby (ABA Code 4) in California, and Eared Quetzal (4) and Northern Jacana (4) both in southeast Arizona.

We led off with New Mexico’s amazing Eared Quetzal last week and it’s back to the Land of Enchantment this week with an even more unexpected rarity. A European Golden-Plover in Colfax, in the northern part of the state, is not only a state 1st, but the first North American record west of Delaware. It’s hard to imagine how this bird ended up in New Mexico, but birders enjoyed the show.

And that wasn’t the only notable bird in New Mexico this week. The state has been on fire recently as in addition to the quetzal and the plover, birders have turned up a Nelson’s Sparrow in Guadalupe, which is only New Mexico’s 2nd, and a Common Redpoll at a feeder in Albuquerque, the state’s 5th.

North Carolina has had an exception 2020 as well, and a flashy Painted Redstart in Dare, is the 1st for the state and one of only a few for the southeast. And not to be outdone, a nearby Say’s Phoebe was one of fewer than 12 for North Carolina.

Ohio also gets a 1st this week, a Brewer’s Sparrow in Lorain to add to the small influx of this western species in the eastern half of the continent this fall.

Delaware’s 1st record of Bell’s Vireo, a species that is quite uncommon in the east in recent decades, was seen in Sussex. 

And Connecticut checks in with a state 1st Common Ringed Plover at Hammonassett Beach, one of several seen this fall in the east.

In Nova Scotia, a Townsend’s Warbler was seen near Halifax.

New Jersey’s 2nd record of Yellow-green Vireo came out of a mist net in Cape May.

Ontario had a Slaty-backed Gull (3) near Toronto but the big find was an apparent Plumbeous Vireo at Point Pelee.

In Alabama, a Virginia’s Warbler was reported at a feeder in Tuscaloosa. 

Oklahoma had an influx of mountain birds coming down into the lowlands, the highlight of which was a Black-capped Chickadee, and a potential Brown-crested Flycatcher in Cimmaron. 

Good for Arizona this week was a Ruff (3) in Cochise,Philadelphia Vireo in Pima,  and a Heerman’s Gull in Santa Cruz, 

California had a nice week with Common Ringed Plover in San Luis Obispo, Thick-billed Kingbird in Santa Clara, and a nice Northern Wheatear in San Clemente Island in Los Angeles. 

Noteworthy for Washington was an Upland Sandpiper near Ocean Shores.

British Columbia had a Black Phoebe at Brentwood Bay.

And in Alaska, birders are making due without access to the classic rarity hotspots with a very nice Yellow-browed Warbler (4) in Middleton Island, only the second away from the western Alaska islands. That first record also came from Middleton.



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.