Bird Observer: The Birding Journal for New England

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

October 2017

Vol. 45, No. 5

Hot Birds: October 2017


Mass Audubon volunteer Jeanette Bragger found not one, but two immature White Ibises at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary on July 28. They were admired by many visiting birders through at least August 17. Jeff Offerman took the photo above.


Blair Nikula spotted an adult Brown Booby feeding off Herring Cove Beach on July 14. Five days later, Esther Brady got a much closer look as presumably the same bird flew over the Dolphin VII during a whale-watching trip. A third sighting of the species, by Jeremiah Sullivan, took place from a deep-sea fishing boat out of Newburyport on August 12. Blair Nikula took the photo above of the bird diving.


A godwit showed up in the Nauset/Chatham vicinity in late June. It was originally seen at great distances and in poor lighting conditions, leading to much identification confusion and uncertainty. Blair Nikula and Peter Trimble finally obtained looks adequate to determine it to be a Bar-­tailed Godwit. Luke Seitz took the photo above.


Perhaps the rarest species to be found in the state this summer, a Little Stint on Morris Island at Monomoy, was discovered by Sue Finnegan and John Pratt on August 9. It continued to be found in the area through August 20, and quickly gathered a crowd including birders chasing from as far away as Florida. Sue Finnegan took the photo above.


Nate Dubrow encountered a first-­year Franklin’s Gull roosting among Ring­bills on Crane Beach. It hung around for a few hours before it was flushed by beachgoers, flew off, and was not seen again. Nate Dubrow took the photo above.


A Say’s Phoebe at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary stayed for only one day, but that was long enough for several birders to see and photograph it after Suzanne Sullivan (she took the photo above) first found the bird. This plus the two White Ibises a few weeks earlier made this a great birding summer for the Sanctuary.

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