The original focus for #ABArare was — and still is — birds on the "rare side" of the ABA Checklist codes: Codes 4 and 5 plus some of the more "vagranty" Code 3 species. When I first talked about what to include with President Gordon, he suggested "anything an ABA big year birder might be interested in" as a guideline. Well, things have been a little slow in the past few weeks, so we're opening up a little and including first and second state records now, too.
And first up for the expanded #ABArare is Pennsylvania's first record* of Lesser Goldfinch. (*Pending acceptance, of course. I will try to include this statement in all posts like this, but if I forget, just remember it's always implied.) A male of the eastern black-backed form (photo here), it was first spotted by Dale Gearhart on a thistle feeder in his yard at 1:45 PM on April 9. Gearhart's yard is in Greencastle, Franklin County. Greencastle is located along I-81 about halfway between Chambersburg and Hagerstown, MD.
Despite many looking, it has not been seen today, April 10. It was last seen around 7 PM yesterday. Keep an eye on PA Birds for news. If it's refound, I will also update this entry.
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