Rare Bird Alert: October 21, 2016


Things are beginning to pick up in late fall, as rarity season begins to reach its peak. Noteworthy continuing birds in the ABA Area include the Northern Jacana (ABA Code 4) in south Texas and the Blue-footed Booby (4), found again this week in California.

The season’s 2nd Lesser Sand-Plover (3) in the Lower 48 was found this week in Marin, California, and showed well through the week. Also in California, a Rufous-backed Robin (3) was accommodating in Riverside.


The second Lesser Sand-Plover in Marin County, California, has been nearly as cooperative as the long-staying Arizona bird. Photo: Ron Storey (S32132554) via Macauley Library.

Two 1st records for the week, the most notable of which was the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird visiting a hummingbird feeder in Jeff Davis, Texas, that was helpfully outfitted with a live cam. This is not only the 1st for Texas but the 2nd for the ABA Area, and one altogether more expected than the individual that spent two days in Quebec just earlier this year.

Tennessee also enjoyed a state 1st this week, with a somewhat expected Brown Booby (3) in Humphries along the Tennessee River.

Down in Alabama, a Tropical Kingbird was found at Fort Morgan.

Florida had a great many good birds this week, beginning with a Bar-tailed Godwit at the same place one spent last winter in Pinelles. Most unusual was a Razorbill, photobombing a photo of pelicans in Broward, which also hostes a Black-throated Gray Warbler this week. And a short-staying Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher was seen in Miami-Dade.

Yet another inland Brown Booby (3) has staked out a site in the southeast, which one on Thurmond Lake on the South Carolina/Georgia border.

North Carolina had a Bar-tailed Godwit in Carteret.

A Gray Kingbird was a nice find in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Up in Maine, the season’s first Barnacle Geese (4) were photographed in Aroostook.

Newfoundland’s on and off Yellow-legged Gull (4) was on again at St. John’s.

Quebec had a Black-headed Grosbeak visiting a feeder in La Haute-Côte-Nord.

The bird observatory at Whitefish Point, Michigan, in Chippewa produced both Tropical Kingbird and Green-tailed Towhee this week, and a Say’s Phoebe was photographed in Mason.

Minnesota’s 6th Common Ground-Dove was seen in Hennepin this week.

Oklahoma had a very surprising Magnificent Frigatebird fly over Tulsa, where it was well-photographed by a number of observers in its short stay.

In South Dakota, a Costa’s Hummingbird was visiting a feeder in Rapid City.

A sharp Lesser Black-backed Gull was photographed at a park in Calgary, Alberta.

In British Columbia, a Red-throated Pipit (3) was found in Tofino.

Washington had a Dickcissel at a feeder in Clallam.

A number of Ashy Storm-Petrels were seen just offshore in Lincoln, Oregon, where they represented the 7th record. A Brown Booby was also seen.

And in Utah, a Glaucous-winged Gull was seen in Salt Lake.


Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org 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 <aba.org/nab>, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.


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