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February 2020

Vol. 48, No. 1

Winter Birding in the Plymouth-Manomet Area (1975)

Wayne R. Petersen and Bruce A. Sorrie


For the Bay State birder who has neither the time nor the inclination to drive to Cape Cod for a day of winter birding, the Plymouth-Manomet area can provide a pleasant substitute. Lying along the southern coastal plain, this region enjoys much the same mild winter climate as the Outer Cape. Add to its location on a fine saltwater bay and harbor fresh ponds, which remain open for much of the winter, and low swampy woods with numerous berry-bearing thickets, and you have an ideal spot in which to find regular winter birds as well as semi-hardy winterers and tardy migrants.

Among seabird species, Red-throated Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Brant, Oldsquaw, and Surf Scoter are all dependable, while such fancies as Barrow's Goldeneye and King Eider are far more regular in this area than in most of the state's other coastal regions. During much of October and into early November impressive diurnal migrations of loons, cormorants, and sea ducks can be witnessed from Manomet Point.

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