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August 2020

Vol. 48, No. 4

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for July-August

Neil Hayward

5 YEARS AGO

July-August 2015

A Fea's Petrel seen on Stellwagen Bank on July 18 was the second for the state. A rare midsummer Swallow-tailed Kite lingered for three days on Nantucket at the start of July. A one-eyed Crested Caracara was photographed in the back yard of a Lancaster birder on August 5. After a hiatus of almost 20 years for the state, a Long-billed Curlew was spotted near the lighthouse on South Monomoy on July 28. Three days later, there were three! A Curlew Sandpiper was at Duxbury Beach on August 26, and a Reeve was on Plum Island on July 2. A two-legged Bridled Tern was reported from the western end of Nantucket on July 11, and then a one-legged bird was spotted by the same observer at Tuckernuck Island, less than a mile away and over a month later. Sandwich Terns were in Eastham and Chatham.

Best event: the BBC pelagic on August 22–23, which logged Black-capped Petrels on both days, triple-digit Audubon's Shearwaters, 37 White-faced Storm-Petrels, 23 Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, one Red-billed Tropicbird, four White-tailed Tropicbirds, and a Bridled Tern.

10 YEARS AGO

July-August 2010

A visit to Oceanographer and Hydrographer canyons in mid-August tallied three White-faced Storm-Petrels and six Band-rumped Storm-Petrels. A week later, a White-tailed Tropicbird was photographed at Welker Canyon. The only King Rail of the season came from a marsh in Wilmington. A Bar-tailed Godwit was reported from North Beach Island in Chatham on August 9 and then from nearby South Beach at the end of the month. A Red-necked Stint was at South Beach from June 27–July 4. Two different Sabine's Gulls were reported at sea in late August, and a Gull-billed Tern was at South Beach, Chatham on August 26. Two Monk Parakeets in East Boston became three in July–albeit another adult. Each was busy working on separate entrances to the giant nest atop a utility pole at Bremen Street Park. A male Golden-winged Warbler was at Dunback Meadow on August 27.

Best sighting: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Sandy Point, Plum Island, July 22–August 21. It was seen by many birders, despite its frustratingly elusive behavior during its monthlong tenure.

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