Bird Observer: The Birding Journal for New England

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

June 2017

Vol. 45, No. 3

Hot Birds: June 2017


On February 22, David Pritchard filed an eBird report with photos of what he identified as a Barred Owl from a swamp in a remote area east of Williamsburg. But raptor-watcher Brian Rusnica looked at David’s photos several days later and realized that they actually showed a Great Gray Owl! Possibly the first one documented in the state since 1996, it unfortunately was never relocated after its identification. David took the picture above.


A wave of Summer Tanagers passed through at the end of April and beginning of May, with a male in Cummaquid occurring simultaneously with a female at Mount Auburn, then what appeared to be a different bird in the Boston Public Garden a few days later, while another was found out west in the Berkshires! Jeff Offerman took the photo above.


Alan Kneidel and Nathaniel Marchessault found a Mew Gull of the European subspecies, the “Common Gull”, at Race Point on April 15. Will Sweet arrived a couple of hours later and photographed what he thought to be the same bird, but after posting his to eBird, his bird turned out to be the Asian subspecies, “Kamchatka Gull” from the same beach on the same morning! The European bird may have been the same one photographed there by Blair Nikula in March. Will took the photo above.


Nate Dubrow photographed a Brown Pelican at Crane’s Beach on May 6; it was seen from Annisquam a few hours later, and presumably the same bird was spotted passing Point of Pines two days after that, and over Winthrop Beach, heading toward Boston Harbor, an additional three days later. Nate took the photo above.


At least two and possibly four or more White-faced Ibis spent the latter half of April into early May in a large flock of Glossy Ibis in Essex County. Reports came in from at least three locations in Ipswich plus one from Wenham Lake. Nathan Dubrow took the photo above.


A one-day wonder, a male Painted Bunting appeared at a feeder in Huntington. The homeowner welcomed birders but the bird was less accommodating, never seen again after the first day. Surprisingly, given Hampshire County’s very few prior records of this species (maybe only one?), this is the second record for the town of Huntington: another male spent roughly the last week of November and first week of December in 2006 here as well! Lois Richardson took the photo above.

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