June 2019

Vol. 47, No. 3

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for January-February

Neil Hayward

5 YEARS AGO

January–February 2014

A Golden Eagle spent the second half of February at the south end of Quabbin Reservoir. Elsewhere, the story was of lingering birds: a Mew Gull on Nantucket stayed until January 1, the Harris’s Sparrow in Wenham lasted until January 11, and the long-staying Bullock’s Oriole first discovered visiting feeders in Chelmsford on November 15 was last seen on January 25. A Yellow-headed Blackbird was reliable throughout the period in the Cumberland Farm fields, and Western Tanagers were reported from Gloucester and Truro.

Best sighting: The Ross’s Goose found in Ipswich on Christmas Day 2013 stayed until New Year’s Day, making it onto many birders’ 2014 year lists.

10 YEARS AGO

January–February 2009

A Pink-footed Goose present at Sider’s Pond in Falmouth from January 12–15 was the second record for the state, coming 10 years after the first in Dennis. Pacific Loons were one-day wonders at Wellfleet and Race Point. An Eared Grebe in Falmouth continued until January 16. A Slaty-backed Gull present at Turners Falls for a week in February was the first inland record for the state. White-winged Crossbills seemed to be everywhere, including more than 150 birds on Plum Island. Feeder birds included a continuing Summer Tanager in Orleans, and a Yellow-headed Blackbird in Salisbury.

Best sighting: an adult Ivory Gull was found on January 17 at Eastern Point, the first record since 1985. Three days later, a second adult was found at Plymouth.

To view the rest of the article you'll need to subscribe. Bird Observer publishes original articles on birding locations, on avian populations and natural history, on regional rarities, field notes, field records, photographs, and art work.