A Tufted Duck, initially found by Tom Walker on Johnson’s Pond in Groveland in mid-November, wandered between there, Kenoza Lake in Haverhill, and Lake Cochichewick in North Andover, through at least early January. Some birders suggested that these might not all be the same bird, but to date no one has seen Tufteds on two of these lakes on the same day. Steve Mirick took the photo above of the Kenoza duck.
Mountain Bluebirds staged a bit of an irruption to the northeast at the end of the autumn, with this Massachusetts record joined by two birds in Ontario, one in Quebec, and another in New Brunswick, all within about a week and a half! The Falmouth bird, found by Greg Hirth on December 4, was still being seen January 9, over a month after it was first noticed. Erik Nielsen took the photo above.
Ash-throated Flycatchers practically infested our state this winter! One found in Rockport by Sean Williams led to confirmation of a second individual and even a third in the same vicinity. One also turned up in Manomet December 10 and continued through at least January 4. Another was found on Nantucket on November 27, and one more in Cambridge December 28 through January 3. Sean Williams took the photo above.
A group participating in the Greater Boston Christmas Bird Count hit the jackpot with a Swainson’s Hawk. The state has fewer than 10 records of the species and this was the first during the winter. The location where it was found is a wildlife sanctuary created on top of a capped landfill. Andrew Hrycyna took the photo above.
A hummingbird visiting Doug Meyer’s feeder in Harwich in late November was caught, banded, and photographed on December 1 by Sue Finnegan, and confirmed to be a hatch-year female Black-chinned, the 6th state record. Sean Williams took the photo above.
An Empidonax flycatcher, found on New Year’s Day in Fairhaven by Dan Zimberlin, was determined by photos, recordings, and detailed field notes to be a Hammond’s Flycatcher, second record ever for Massachusetts! Erik Nielsen took the photo above.