Bird Observer - The New England Birding Journal

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

October 2018

Vol. 46, No. 5

Hot Birds: October 2018


Brown Booby is not as surprising a find in the state as it used to be, but this is ridiculous! No fewer than FIVE individuals were documented in the state in less than a month’s time, between Skye Haas’ pelagic sighting July 30 and Rick Heil’s Rockport flyby September 2. But undisputably the most remarkable of them all was the bird that Rene Wendell discovered on Onota Lake near Pittsfield, in Berkshire County! Manuel Morales took the photo above.


On July 26, Homeowners in Peru noticed an unusual hummingbird at their feeders and contacted the local birding community. Ed Neumeth was the first to arrive and confirm that the stranger was an adult male Rufous Hummingbird. Ed alerted other birders and several managed to arrive and see it that day. Unfortunately the bird was not seen again after that. John Manuel Morales took the photo above.


Pelagic birders have had very good luck finding South Polar Skuas off New England this summer. After a few were initially reported on July 28, the Brookline Bird Club’s annual overnight pelagic photographed several more on August 25. A pelagic off New Hampshire on September 4 encountered a couple as well. Sean Williams took the photo above.


Toward the end of a 14 hour day on Monomoy, Sean Williams and Maili Waters noticed a Little Stint sleeping among a group of roughly 600 other roosting shorebirds at South Beach. This is the seventh record for Massachusetts, of which four have been found in the same location. Fred Atwood reported the bird still present a few days later. Sean took the photo above.


Massachusetts has a disproportionately large share of the Common Ringed Plover records in the lower 48 states of the USA, and Monomoy has a disproportionately large share of the records for Massachusetts. A bird found by Sean Williams, Marshall Iliff, Sue Finnegan, and John Pratt on August 19 was the third for the island and fifth for the state. Sean and Marshall found a bird of this species again about two weeks later which differed in several aspects of its appearance but may or may not have been the same individual. Sean took the photo on the right.

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