February 2020

Vol. 48, No. 1

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for September-October

Neil Hayward


September–October 2014

The Brookline Bird Club's "Extreme Pelagic" trip (September 27–28) delivered a record-high 189 Audubon's Shearwaters, as well as one White-faced Storm-Petrel and two Band-rumped Storm-Petrels. A Leach's Storm-Petrel was found at Mystic Lakes in Medford on October 25. American White Pelicans were reported from Eastham on October 25 and Plum Island the following day. An immature Ruff lingered at Bear Creek Sanctuary in Saugus from October 26–29. LeConte's Sparrows were reported from Nahant and Danehy Park, Cambridge. A Rufous Hummingbird visited a feeder in Brewster for most of October. Sedge Wrens were in found at Plum Island and Lexington. A Black-throated Gray Warbler was photographed in Westport on September 23 and a Painted Bunting turned up in Brighton at the end of October.

Best sighting: White-tailed Tropicbird photographed at Hydrographer Canyon on September 4.


September–October 2009

The BBC pelagic (September 3–4) set new highs with 28 Audubon's Shearwaters and six White-faced Storm-Petrels. Also seen were eight Band-rumped Storm-Petrels and five Bridled Terns. The shorebird highlight was an American Avocet on October 11 at Plum Island. A female Allen's Hummingbird visiting a feeder in Scituate was the third record for the state. Vagrant flycatchers included a Fork-tailed Flycatcher in Wellfleet September 29–October 5, a Say's Phoebe at Chilmark in mid-September, and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at the Orange Airport for two days in October. A juvenile LeConte's Sparrow was seen by a large number of muddy birders at the Cumberland Farm fields in Halifax between October 20–29. Other good passerine rarities included an adult Summer Tanager at a feeder in North Falmouth, a Yellow-headed Blackbird on Nantucket, and a Sedge Wren at Bolton Flats.

Best sighting: Brown-chested Martin at the Cumberland Farm Fields in Middleboro, October 12–14, representing the second record for the state. The first record in Massachusetts—a bird on Monomoy Island on June 12, 1983—was also the first record for the United States and Canada.

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