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Rare Bird Alert: October 4, 2019

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include Jack Snipe (4), Siberian Accentor (4), and Marsh Sandpiper (5) persisting in Alaska, and California continues to be Sulid central with both Red-footed Booby (4) and Blue-footed Booby (4) hanging around into this week.

It’s always pretty remarkable when a banding station turns up an exceptional record, just due to the relatively passive nature of banding, but the Rocky Point Bird Observatory made an amazing discovery when they pulled a British Columbia 1st record Brown Shrike out of their nets this week when banding on a military base near Victoria. Not only is this a 1st for the province, but it’s the 2nd record for Canada, following a record in Nova Scotia in 1997.

That wasn’t the only good bird seen in British Columbia this week. A Brown Booby was spotted from an offshore trip near Richmond, and two Ash-throated Flycatchers were discovered in Tofino.

We had three potential 1st records this week, starting in Iowa, where a potential state 1st Kirtland’s Warbler was reported in Clinton. 

Minnesota had its 1st record of Cassin’s Sparrow in Lake this week, a species known for its periodic irruptions north and east.

And as if to illustrate this phenomenon, New Hampshire also had a Cassin’s Sparrow this week, the state’s 1st in Rockingham. That bird was just one of a nice trio for that state, which also include the 3rd or 4th LeConte’s Sparrow in Hillsborough and the 2nd Gull-billed Tern also in Rockingham. 

Newfoundland had a Townsend’s Warbler in Blackhead this week, its second in as many weeks.

We continue to see Dorian vagrants slowly moving back southward and stopping off in every state and province along the way. In Maine, this phenomenon result in Black Skimmers and Royal Tern in York. 

In New Jersey, a Yellow Rail was spotted wandering around a city street in Bergen. 

Maryland had a Gray Kingbird this week in Harford. 

North Carolina’s 5th or so Townsend’s Warbler was seen this week in Dare. 

Florida had another Antillean Palm-Swift for the year in Monroe, this week. This is only the ABA’s 3rd record.

Good for Mississippi was a Sabine’s Gull in Waveland.

Texas had a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) in San Patricio this week.

Notable for Kansas was an Anna’s Hummingbird visiting a feeder in Ellsworth. 

Michigan’s 3rd record of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper was seen in Muskegon, at precisely the same location where the first two records came from.

A young Long-tailed Jaeger was seen this week in Yavapai, Arizona.

In Nevada, an Arctic Tern was seen in Clark. 

Alaska is a little slower this week than previous week, but there are still some great birds showing up, including a Hawfinch (4) and multiple Rustic Buntings (3) on St Paul Island.


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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