Bird Observer: The Birding Journal for New England

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

December 2015

Vol. 43, No. 6

Hot Birds: December 2015


Just a few weeks after the BBC's August overnight pelagic, the Helen H (the boat that carries the BBC’s pelagic trips) was on a fishing expedition over West Atlantis Canyon, about 90 miles south of Nantucket, when Captain Joe photographed what was later identified to be the first-ever Massachusetts record of Masked Booby! Photograph by Joe Huckemeyer on September 10.


On October 1 Justin Lawson was looking for American Pipits for his Worcester County photographic big year but encountered a Northern Wheatear instead! The bird hung around near Gate 36 of Wachusett Reservoir for a few days and was admired and photographed by many happy chasers. Tom Murray took the photograph above.


This Bell’s Vireo was caught and banded at the Manomet Bird Observatory on October 9. Another of its species was seen by Sean Williams on October 30 at Fort Hill in Eastham, and continued to be seen and heard around there through at least November 3. Lauren DiBiccari took the photo above.


Justin Lawson’s Worcester County photographic big year has led him to discover some fantastic birds this fall. He came across this Purple Gallinule at Little Chauncey Marsh in Northboro on October 21, less than three weeks after he found the Northern Wheatear! Another vagrant of this species was photographed at Burrage Pond WMA in Hanson and Halifax on November 8. He took the photo above.


A MacGillivray’s Warbler which turned up on November 5 in a community garden in Lexington, just north of Arlington Reservoir, stuck around the area through at least November 10. This warmed up Lexington birders for the Common Ground- Dove that was found there a few days later. Erik Nielsen took the photo above.


A Townsend’s Solitaire found by Ted Bradford on November 12 remained at Halibut Point through at least November 15. Tom Murray took the photo above. Another one was described from Burrage Pond WMA in Hanson and Halifax on November 15 but not photographed (as of this printing).


A Common Ground-Dove northward irruption in early November produced records in Oregon, Ontario, and Chicago, before the second state record for Massachusetts was found on November 13 in the Waltham Street Fields of Lexington by Guillermo Rodriguez Lazaro. Tom Murray took the photo above.

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