It's a New Day

October 2018

Vol. 46, No. 5

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for May-June

Neil Hayward


May–June 2013

Plum Island hosted two exceptional shorebirds: a Common Ringed Plover, May 20–23, that was the third record for the state, and a Red-necked Stint a month later from June 27–28. A Franklin's Gull at Bolton Flats on May 29 was the first for five years, and one of only two inland records in the previous 20 years. A Chuck-will's-widow returned for the third year in a row to Pochet Island in Orleans. It would be the last record there until this spring, 2018. A Townsend's Warbler on Nantucket on May 5 was only the fourth spring record for the state.

Best sighting: A Lewis's Woodpecker photographed in Lunenburg on May 26 was the third record for the state.


May–June 2008

A Greater White-fronted Goose that lingered on Nantucket until the end of June was the first summer record for this species. Two male Ruffs in Rowley, May 3–8, attracted a lot of attention. Plum Island scored a Franklin's Gull on June 5, and a pair of displaying Gull-billed Terns in the first three weeks of June. A White-winged Dove was found at Tuckernuck Island on June 2, where a pair of Short-eared Owls raised four young. A Western Tanager in Amherst on May 18 was only the third for western Massachusetts. A Loggerhead Shrike was singing and nest building at Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, but failed to attract a mate. The last time this species bred in the state was 1971. A Prothonotary Warbler in Middlesex Fells was also observed nest building.

Best sighting: A flock of nine Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in Ipswich on June 6 was the first accepted record for the state. This sighting came just two days after the same flock was seen in Nova Scotia.

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