American Birding Podcast



Rare Bird Alert: October 5, 2018

Noteworthy continuing rarities in the ABA Area include an update on the Sinaloa Wren (ABA Code 5) in  Arizona, both Nazca Booby (4) and Blue-footed Booby (4) being seen in California, with another Blue-footed Booby sitting tight in Utah for another week, where it represents a 1st for that state. The Black-tailed Gull (4) in British Columbia also continuing, as has the Golden-crowned Warbler (4) in Texas, at least through the beginning of the week.

Things are calming in western Alaska as birders are starting to leave the Bering Sea islands in advance of winter. In the past, however, those that have stuck it out have seen some pretty interesting things and this year is no exception. Birders on Gambell had a Willow Flycatcher this week, a very rare bird in the state and the 2nd record for the island, but that was overshadowed by the discovery of the ABA’s 2nd record of Sedge Warbler (5). The skulky Acrocephalus warbler was a nice capper on what has been a productive couple weeks.

Photo: Gary Rosenberg

There are a number of 1sts to report this week as October rolls along. In Pennsylvania, a Rock Wren in Montgomery is a state 1st.  This western species seems to be on a little bit of a run in the last few years, with relatively recent records from Maryland, New Jersey, and Ontario.

In British Columbia, a Common Ringed Plover at Campbell River is a 1st for the province, and the third BC 1st record in the last month or so.

Wyoming had its 1st record of Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) near Casper, only a few days after Colorado had its 1st record of this species, as reported last week.

And in Maine, a Gray Flycatcher was seen on Monhegan Island for a state 1st, the latest in what has been a very big year for Maine in terms of new species in the state.

Massachusetts had a very big week with a number of notable birds seen including a Lark Bunting and a  Townsend’s Solitaire in Barnstable, a Black-throated Gray Warbler in Bristol, and a Say’s Phoebe in Dukes.

In Rhode Island, a frigatebird sp, not identified to species but almost certainly a Magnificent, was seen on Block Island.

In Newfoundland, or Newfoundland waters at least, a young Gray Heron (5) landed on a ship near the Grand Banks many miles offshore. It was not seen on land, however.

In Quebec, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) was seen at Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, the second of the fall for this species in the province.

Good for Ontario was a Say’s Phoebe at Algonquin Provincial Park.

In Ohio, a California Gull was seen in Richland and a Kirtland’s Warbler in Franklin.

Tennessee had a young Purple Gallinule near the town of Kingsport

North Carolina’s 4th record of Townsend’s Warbler was seen in Carteret.

In South Carolina, a Kirtland’s Warbler, one of very few records for the state, was pulled out of a mist net on Kiawah Island in Charleston.

Florida had an apparent Elegant Tern in Pinellas.

In Missouri, Dunklin was the place for vagrant flycatchers, with the state’s 10th Vermilion Flycatcher joined by a Say’s Phoebe.

Texas’s 2nd record of White-crowned Pigeon was photographed on South Padre Island in Cameron.

Birding in Arizona had a distinctly southeastern flavor this week, with Prothonotary WarblerBrown Booby (3), and Roseate Spoonbill all seen in Maricopa.

Always noteworthy in the Lower 48, a Yellow-billed Loon was discovered in Summit, Colorado.

Excellent for California, an apparent Alder Flycatcher was seen in Santa Barbara.

And in Oregon, a Blue-footed Booby (4) was seen flying offshore from Tillamook.


Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT 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.