February 2019

Vol. 47, No. 1

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for September-October

Neil Hayward

5 YEARS AGO

September–October 2013

An immature Brown Booby was spotted in Provincetown in September and then again a month later. Three American White Pelicans were seen flying over Dedham on October 28. A Swainson's Hawk was banded at the Carver landfill, the first record for six years. A Purple Gallinule was present in Peabody from September 16–22. The Cape and Islands hosted a Sabine's Gull in Chatham, September 14–18, a Rufous Hummingbird in Brewster, October 30, and a Black-throated Gray Warbler on Nantucket, October 14. Other songbird highlights included a Sedge Wren in Northampton on September 26 and a Western Tanager in Chatham on October 9.

Best sighting: a Calliope Hummingbird was discovered during the Nantucket Birding Festival on October 19. It stayed four days and represented the fifth record for the state.

10 YEARS AGO

September–October 2008

An American White Pelican was photographed at Swansea on September 19. Tropical Storm Hanna delivered a few rarities on September 7: two South Polar Skuas passed Andrew's Point in Rockport; First Encounter Beach, Eastham, logged a Long-tailed Jaeger and two Sabine's Gulls. An adult male Rufous Hummingbird visited a feeder in South Yarmouth, and a White-winged Dove was found on Nantucket. Single Say's Phoebes were reported from Provincetown and Plum Island. A Varied Thrush in Gloucester on October 26 was the earliest record for this species in the state. Dunback Meadows, Lexington, is famous for hosting the first MacGillivray's Warbler for the state back in November 1977. Twenty-one years later, another was found only a few yards away from the where the first had been seen. Other passerine rarities included a Western Tanager in Eastham, a Sedge Wren on Nantucket, and Yellow-throated Warblers at Marblehead Neck and Plum Island.

Best sighting: the first state Broad-billed Hummingbird, found in West Dennis on August 23, continued through the period.

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