The notable records were many and varied this week, as we head into the last week of October. Cold weather pushed into the lower 48 states with a vengeance, pushing the last of the neotropic migrants ahead of it and inducing movement in lots of temperate zone migrants. The guard was changing in a big way, and with so many birds on the move a few ended up in unexpected places and birders did good work finding them.
Top billing has to go to California, where it’s big news when the state with the largest individual list potentially adds a new one. A bean-goose, tentatively identified at this time as an ABA Code 3 Tundra Bean-Goose, was discovered among a large flock of Snow Geese at the Salton Sea in Imperial. The bird has not been refound as of the time of this writing, and the larger flock of geese with which it was associating has been missing as well. Incidentally, this is not California’s first bean-goose, even though it’s a potential state first. An individual in 2010, also from the Salton Sea, was not identified to species and was subsequently accepted to the state list as bean-goose sp.
Another state first came from the other side of the continent, as a MacGillivray’s Warbler netted and banded in Charleston, South Carolina, is that state’s first. Like the California bean-goose, however, it has disappeared since its initial discovery.
A Bar-tailed Godwit is a great bird outside of Alaska, so one in Pasco, Florida, is particularly notable. Also in Florida, a pair of “tanagers” in a Western Spindalis (3) in Monroe and a Western Tanager in Miami-Dade.
Georgia’s 3rd record of White-faced Ibis and a Say’s Phoebe were both recorded in Sumter.
The first of many records this week of extralimital Pacific Loons comes from Point Lookout, Maryland.
Both notable in New York, a White-faced Ibis and a Glossy Ibis were recorded together at Montezuma NWR in Seneca, and a Franklin’s Gull was seen in Suffolk.
Always a great bird outside of the far northeast corner of the continent, a Northern Wheatear has been seen by many of late in Washington, Rhode Island.
In Maine, a Pink-footed Goose (4) was discovered in Caribou, an Ash-throated Flycatcher turned up on Monhegan Island, and a Bell’s Vireo was netted and banded in Harpswell.
The Euro geese are certainly on the move, with both a Pink-footed Goose (4) and a Barnacle Goose (4) in Onslow, Nova Scotia, but most surprisingly from that province, a “Western” Warbling Vireo was netted in Bon Portage, only the second record of this likely split on the eastern half of the continent.
It’s geese again in Newfoundland, where the province’s 9th Pink-footed Goose (4) was recorded in Bonavista. The first Yellow-legged Gull of the year was recorded in Pleasantville.
Western vagrants in Quebec include a Swainson’s Hawk and a Western Meadowlark in Baie-Sainte-Catherine. A reported Rock Wren in Gaspésie is a potential provincial first, though no photos were taken.
Another Pacific Loon out of range was noted, this one in Scugog, Ontario.
In Illinois, a Mew/Common Gull was photographed in Cook.
In Michigan, notable birds include a Western Tanager in Marquette and an Arctic Tern, a good bird inland, at Port Huron.
Yet another Pacific Loon in the midwest was discovered near Saylorville, Iowa.
A nice bird in Oklahoma, a Lewis’s Woodpecker near Marlow was well-photographed.
South Dakota’s third Anna’s Hummingbird of the year, where previously there had been only a couple for the state, turned up at a feeder in Pickston.
Increasingly noted throughout North America, a Lesser Black-backed Gull is still a nice find in Bismarck, North Dakota.
One of only a very few records for Montana, a Long-tailed Jaeger was seen at Freezeout Lake, in Choteau, Montana.
Pacific Loon is the bird of the week, and yet another was found in Latah, Idaho.
Well out of range in Saskatchewan was a Great Egret near Rosthern.
We spend a lot of time thinking about vagrants from the west in Alaska, but they can come from the east too, as a Great Crested Flycatcher in Petersburg last week is that state’s 3rd.
In British Columbia, a Brown Thrasher near Tofino is a notable find and a Blue Jay was seen sporadically in Richmond.
A Bar-tailed Godwit is a Code 2 bird because it breeds in Alaska, but outside of the Last Frontier it’s an excellent bird, and there was one in Everett, Washington. UPDATE: There is reason to believe this bird may be a misidentified Marbled Godwit.
Notable on the west coast, a Blue Jay was visiting a feeder in Portland, Oregon.
In California, a Franklin’s Gull was well-photographed in Yolo.
Good in Nevada was a Thayer’s Gull discovered near Reno.
In Utah, a White-throated Sparrow turned up in Provo.
The now annual Nutting’s Flycatcher, remarkably a Code 5 bird, returned to La Paz, Arizona, for the third straight winter.
A bird looking and sounding a great deal like a Pacific Wren was discovered in Rattlesnake Springs, New Mexico.
Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org and I’ll 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 <aba.org/nab>, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.
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