Regional Rarity Roundup for December 9

Drew WeberRaritiesLeave a Comment

I thought I would start up something new, make a weekly post of good birds being seen in Pennsylvania and nearby states. For directions to these birds, check the appropriate listservs. Leave a comment regarding any additional rare birds that should be added. 

First we’ll start off with Pennsylvania

Cackling Goose

Small geese have started to show up, with a Ross’s Goose in Crawford County on December 4 and several Cackling Geese in Bedford County through at least the 8th. 

One of the most exciting birds seen in the state last week was a white/light gray morph Gyrfalcon that provided great looks at Waggoner’s Gap Hawk Watch (Perry County) on December 6th. As of November 20th, the Prairie Falcon has returned to its normal wintering area near the intersection of Mud Level Rd and Duncan Rd (Cumberland County). Bald and Golden Eagles continue to be seen at many hawk watches, with Bald Eagle numbers being exceptionally high this year. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is closing on a new record 400 Bald Eagles for the season. The previous record was 245. 

There have been some interesting birds around Presque Isle in Erie County recently including Red Phalarope, Little Gull and California Gull.

Anna's Hummingbird

Hummingbirds continue to show up/linger at feeders. The state’s first record of Anna’s Hummingbird was seen through at least December 4th. Last report was negative on the 8th despite at least on feeder remaining thawed. Several Rufous Hummingbirds have been reported in banded over the last week including one in Montgomery County, an immature male in Centre County and another immature in Adams County. Several late Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been reported as well, one each in Beaver and Chester Counties. 

Northern Shrikes have been reported around the state with one in Carbon County through at least December 7, and a continuing shrike in Erie County. 

There have been quite a few reports of late warblers in Pennsylvania. A Yellow-throated Warbler has been seen consistently in at Blue Marsh in Berks County from November 24- December 8. A Black-throated Blue Warbler was seen December 5 and 7 at Wissler Run Park along the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County. An Ovenbird was seen on December 4 in Erie County. On November 30, a Black-throated Green Warbler was in a yard in Centre County. More expected was a Palm Warbler at the LAWA Water Pollution Control Plant in Lancaster County. With the more expected Pine and Yellow-rumped Warblers, that makes 7 species of warblers seen in the state over the last week or so. 

A Summer Tanager has been frequent at a home in Crawford County  through at least December 4. 

There have been several reports of winter finches in previous weeks including Evening Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls. Hopefully these reports increase this winter. 

In surrounding state’s Connecticut is continuing its run of good birds with a Mountain Bluebird and a Black-throated Gray Warbler. New York is hosting some good birds including Hermit Warbler, Varied Thrush, and a King Eider. Maryland has an Ash-throated Flycatcher and many states are reporting Cave Swallows. 

Leave a comment below if there is anything that should be added or what rarities you are seeing!