Bird Observer: The Birding Journal for New England

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

April 2016

Vol. 44, No. 2

Hot Birds: April 2016


On February 27, Steve Arena called attention to an unprecedented loon show off Race Point near Provincetown, including triple- digit numbers of Red-throateds, more than 50 Common, at least 3 Pacific (see below), and the state’s first-ever documented record of Yellow-billed Loon, which continued to be seen for over a week after Steve originally noticed it. An as-yet unconfirmed Arctic Loon was more recently reported from nearby Truro. James Smith took the photograph above.


After an initial fly-by sighting of one bird on February 13, Steve Arena and other observers have repeatedly seen at least 3 Pacific Loons off Race Point through early March. The species has been reported (but not photographed) from at least two other locations in the state since January 1, a sighting from Cape Ann and at least two reports from Martha’s Vineyard. Steve Arena took the photograph above.


A male Painted Bunting showed up at a Nantucket homeowner’s bird feeder in late January and continued visiting through at least mid-February. Ginger Andrews took the photograph above.


Not long after MARC reversed their acceptance of the state’s only record of Yellow-legged Gull, an even better candidate for the species was found February 1 in Turners Falls by James Smith! The many birders who chased this gull are waiting anxiously to hear MARC’s decision about it…. James took the photograph above.


A visitor to Bird Watcher’s Supply & Gift in Newburyport reported that a Western Tanager was visiting their bird feeder in Rowley. The homeowner did not allow the sighting to be publicized, but one lucky birder (Margo Goetschkes) was allowed to document the bird with the photo above.


The former landfill now known as Bear Creek Sanctuary, on the heels of providing Massachusetts’ 10th Swainson’s Hawk during the local CBC in December, came up even bigger in January with the state’s third-ever record of Smith’s Longspur! Soheil Zendeh first spotted it on January 17. Marshall Iliff took the photograph above. See the full story on page 84 of this issue.

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