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Rare Bird Alert: November 9, 2018

Noteworthy continuing birds in the ABA Area include a trio from our some of North America’s birding hotspots. A Golden-crowned Warbler (ABA Code 4) continues in south Texas, a Key West Quail-Dove (5) is seen on and off in southern Florida, and the long-staying Sinaloa Wren (5) was seen once more in southeastern Arizona.

The biggest news of the birding week was the mysterious discovery and subsequent rediscovery of a Spotted Redshank (4) in Washtenaw, Michigan. In the week that the bird was holding court at a marsh at a rural road intersection just west of Ann Arbor, hundreds and perhaps thousands of birders were able to see it. While Spotted Redshank is a very rare bird in the ABA Area, this was, oddly enough, Michigan’s 2nd record.

It was an amazing week in Michigan, as the state’s 12th record of Rock Wren, seen in Mason, was sort of overshadowed by the redshank. Even so, it made for a pretty impressive duo.

In Newfoundland, a Grey Heron (5), was seen in Renews this week. This is the province’s 5th record, the 11th for the ABA Area and the 2nd seen in Newfoundland this fall, though the previous bird was well offshore.  Also notable for the province, a Vesper Sparrow was seen at Cape Race.

Nova Scotia’s 4th record of Hammond’s Flycatcher was seen and well-photographed in Yarmouth. 

In St Pierre et Miquelon, a Western Kingbird was as nice find this week.

Ontario hosted a Black-throated Gray Warbler in Hamilton. 

It’s been an amazing fall for extralimital Gray Kingbirds, and the latest comes from Nantucket, Massachusetts, this week.

Good birds in New York include a Harris’s Sparrow and a Varied Thrush in New York, both notably in Central Park.

A Harris’s Sparrow was also found in Prince George’s, Maryland, this week.

In Florida, a Bananaquit (4) was seen in Miami-Dade, and a young Western Gull on the beach near Jacksonville.

Southern Texas is currently crawling with birders for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Festival, so it makes sense that good birds will be found, including multiple records of Roadside Hawk (4), a bird that has not been seen in the ABA Area in some time, and a Varied Thrush. Both records come from Hidalgo. 

In California, a Red-footed Booby (4) was seen from shore in Santa Cruz.

Washington had a Little Stint (4) this week in Clallam.

In British Columbia, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Kelowna is a good bird for the province.

And in Alaska, a Rustic Bunting is visiting a feeder in Sitka.


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.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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