June 2020

Vol. 48, No. 3

Hot Birds: June 2020

Marj Watson, after photographing a flock of Glossy Ibis in Newbury near Cherry Hill Reservoir, noticed that one of the birds had pinkish knees. She alerted Shilo McDonald, who was still birding in that area, and Shilo confirmed that the flock included a White-faced Ibis. Reports have continued through press time from the Ipswich-Rowley-Newburyport-Plum Island vicinity. A few birders later reported two White-faced present, and even a possible hybrid, in the midst of hordes of Glossy Ibis frequently exceeding 150 birds. Shilo McDonald took the photograph above.

Many Massachusetts records of Purple Gallinule are dull-colored immature birds in the fall, but the state hosted not one, not two, but *three* spectacularly full-plumaged birds this spring. All were kept initially under wraps out of concern for crowds gathering in violation of virus control recommendations, but word eventually leaked out. One of the birds was originally found on April 21 by Nancy Villone, at Dennis Pond (which is technically in Yarmouth and not Dennis). Another turned up in the Manomet vicinity; it came to light via a May 15 eBird post by Mark Faherty, who mentioned that it had been present for a while. The third was photographed and posted second-hand to the “Birding Nantucket” Facebook group on April 28. There have been no further updates from Nantucket, but the other two birds were still being reported at press time. Mark Faherty took the photo above.

Evan Dalton, staff member for Manomet Inc., was conducting a regular survey of their property when he encountered a MacGillivray’s Warbler. While the species occurs in Massachusetts fairly regularly in the fall, this was the first record ever in the spring, not just for Massachusetts but for the entire east coast north of Georgia. Sadly, with the property closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only Manomet staff were able to see it. Even they only saw it on the day of its initial discovery, it has not been reported since. Sean Williams took the photo above.

Gloucester resident Kris Nemeroff (her photograph above) noticed a striking and unfamiliar bird under her feeders on May 12. A couple of days later, she managed to photograph it, and posted her photos in a Facebook birding group to see if anyone there recognized it. Her bird turned out to be a Harris’s Sparrow, the first one documented in the state since 2017. It apparently stuck around just to have its picture taken, as she has not seen it again since.

Amherst homeowner Jane Mildred was pleasantly surprised to notice a young male Western Tanager visiting her bird feeders on April 18. She contacted a prominent local birder, who visited to confirm the bird’s identity and document the occurrence. A second bird of the species was found on Nantucket on March 7 and continued there through at least April 5. Scott Surner took the photo above.

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