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Rare Bird Alert: January 13, 2012

January continues apace, and the unseasonably warm weather experienced across much of North America this last week seems to have kept many birds in their proper places, as the wild run of first and second state records experienced last week does not seem to have continued even though many of the bird mentioned 7 days ago (Virginia's Brewer's Sparrow, New Jersey's Common Chaffinch, Texas's Nutting's Flycactcher and candidate Pacific Wren) seem to be sticking around at least in the last day or so. Exciting stuff is still around to be seen though, as evidenced by this week's short, but impressive, line-up of continental rarities.  

One first state record was picked up this week, and a long-expected one at that.  With the near annual occurrence of Slaty-backed Gull (ABA Code 4) in the Atlantic Provinces and New England of late, it wsa only a matter of time before Maine got its first, a subadult bird discovered at a landfill near Augusta earlier this week.  Congratulations, Mainers!

Continental rarities of note come from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where a Rose-throated Becard (3) was found in Starr County, and a Blue Bunting (4), the second in the valley this season, was kicked up in rural Hidalgo County at the Bentsen-Anzalduas CBC. 

One of only a few records for Oklahoma is an Acorn Woodpecker, found htis week in the Wichita Mountains, Commanche County.

A 'Common' Green-winged Teal in Maricopa County, Arizona, is only the 4th record of this subspecies in the state.

A Ruff (3) in Santa Clara County, California, has been present for just over a week.

The second of the fall in Oregon, a female Brambling (3) has been coming to a feeder in Woodburn, Marion County.

Just up the coast in southwest Canada is another Brambling (3), this time at Victoria, British Columbia.

A White-tailed Kite was discovered this week near Pahrump, Nevada, in Nye County.

Another easterly record of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch comes from near Kenton, Manitoba, this week.

Always notable away from Alaska and northern Canada, particularly towards the eastern half of the continent, is a Yellow-billed Loon, seen on a couple occasions this week in Alger County, Michigan. 

Missouri's 8th ever record of Vermilion Flycatcher was photographed in private property in Perry County

A Scott's Oriole has been visiting a feeder this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

An exceptionally southern record of Snow Bunting comes from Tybee Island, Chatham County, Georgia. 

North Carolina hosted a Black-headed Gull (3) at a limited access water treatment facility in Mecklenburg County, this week.  It's only the third record away from the coast.

In Maryland, the state's second record, and the first chaseable record, of Barnacle Goose (4) is currently in Kent County.

A Barnacle Goose (4) was also found this week in Eastport, Suffolk County.  Also on Long Island was an 'Audubon's' Yellow Rumped Warbler, and a Western Grebe was discovered in Tompkins County, farther west. 

An excellent record of Varied Thrush comes from Limoges, in eastern Ontario.

In Connecticut, the second state record of Common Murre was photographed from a ferry on Long Island Sound just across the New York border.  A Harris's Sparrow has also been visiting a feeder near Lebanon.

And in Massachusetts, a Tufted Duck (3) was discovered on a reservoir near Attleboro. 

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