American Birding Podcast



Rare Bird Alert: October 18, 2019

Noteworthy continuing birds in the ABA Area this week include a Nazca Booby (ABA Code 5) in California – though it’s often difficult to tell whether these are continuing birds or simply new birds in the area – and the Antillean Palm-Swift (5) in Florida, which is still being seen more than two weeks after its discovery.

There wasn’t much in the way of continental rarities in the ABA Area this week, but we did have a couple 1st records of birds whose pattern of vagrancy is relatively light. The first 1st, a Hermit Warbler in Garrett, Maryland, is one of very few records of this species in the east thought perhaps more expected this year given the quite high numbers of Townsend’s this fall.

The 2nd 1st comes from New Jersey, where a Cassin’s Kingbird was seen passing by the hawkwatch in Cape May. This comes not more than a week after Illinois had its 1st record of this species.

Rhode Island had a female Tufted Duck (3) in South Kingston this week.

Massachusetts had an exceptional run of rarities in the last few days including a  LeConte’s Sparrow in Franklin, and both a Black-throated Gray Warbler and the state’s 2nd Yellow-green Vireo in Barnstable. 

Maine also had a LeConte’s Sparrow, in Lincoln

In Quebec, the season’s first Pink-footed Goose was seen in Bas-Saint-Laurent.

Newfoundland had yet another Townsend’s Warbler this week, its third of the fall, in Pouch Cove.

Notable for Ontario was a Varied Thrush in Long Point.

In North Dakota, a Black-throated Blue Warbler turned up in Fargo.

Montana’s 7th record of Pomarine Jaeger dropped onto a lake in Cascade. 

Alaska is still producing noteworthy birds, with an Olive-backed Pipit (3) seen on Gambell this week.

British Columbia also had a pipit, this time a Red-throated Pipit at Nanaimo.

Washington’s 8th record of LeConte’s Sparrow was seen in Walla Walla. 

In California, a Hudsonian Godwit and a Bar-tailed Godwit (3) are hanging out in the same location in San Mateo with a flock of Marbled Godwits providing a rare opportunity to get all three in photos at once. Also this week, a White Wagtail was seen on San Clemente Island.

Notable for Arizona was a Black Scoter in Yuma. 

In Utah, a Tropical Kingbird was a nice find in Washington. 

Texas had a Rufous-capped Warbler (3) in Kinney this week.

And in Louisiana, an American Flamingo turned up in Madison, which might be the same bird that was seen in Tennessee and Missouri earlier this fall, which in turn was the same individual that spent most of the summer at St. Mark’s NWR in west Florida.


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.