April 2019

Vol. 47, No. 2

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for November-December

Neil Hayward

5 YEARS AGO

November–December 2013

During the last week of the year, the "goose fields" of Argilla Road, Ipswich, hosted not just a Ross's Goose and Cackling Goose but also a Red-headed Woodpecker. The winter of 2013–14 saw the largest invasion of Snowy Owls in eastern North America for over 50 years, with birds reported as far afield as Florida and Bermuda; Nantucket counted 33 Snowys compared to a previous high of four. A White-winged Dove was a one-day wonder at the JFK Library in Dorchester. Rare flycatchers included a Say's Phoebe in Fairhaven and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on Nantucket. Other passerine highlights included a male and female Western Tanager a mile apart in Rockport, a Bullock's Oriole in Chelmsford, Harris's Sparrows in Wenham and Northampton, and a MacGillivray's Warbler that was found on the Taunton-Middleboro Christmas Bird Count.

Best sighting: a female King Eider at Quabbin Reservoir on November 11 was a first for Hampshire County and only the third inland record for the state.

10 YEARS AGO

November–December 2008

A Barnacle Goose was at Charlton from December 3–13. "The" Eared Grebe that had been a mainstay at Gloucester each winter since 1995 failed to return. Rare gulls abounded with a Sabine's Gull at Andrew's Point on November 1, a Franklin's Gull at Plum Island on November 5, and a rare inland record of Little Gull at Turner's Falls on December 21. The continuing Broad-billed Hummingbird at East Dennis held on until December 13. Other highlights included a Boreal Chickadee in Windsor in November and a female Mountain Bluebird at Fort Hill, Eastham, from November 23–December 7.

Best sighting: an adult Black-tailed Gull at Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown, November 1–7 was the second record for the state and the first to be physically documented.

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