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October 2020

Vol. 48, No. 5

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for May-June

Neil Hayward

5 YEARS AGO

May–June 2015

At least two Pacific Loons were present in Provincetown with another at Manomet. A Brown Booby was spotted on consecutive days in mid-May by a whale watch boat out of Gloucester. Mississippi Kites were seen in Falmouth and Westboro as well as over their usual migration haunts. Provincetown hosted an adult Sabine’s Gull on May 5 and 9 and an immature on May 15. Single Gull-billed Terns were reported from Chilmark and Plum Island. A Chuck-will’s-widow returned to the Falmouth area for the third straight year, with another calling for several days in Plymouth. A Golden-winged Warbler was photographed at Martin Burns in Newbury on May 15.

Best sighting: two Crested Caracaras, Wellfleet Bay, May 8. This follows the April 5 sighting of a single bird from Chatham, which was accepted as the third record for the state.

10 YEARS AGO

May–June 2010

Single Purple Gallinules were reported from Lanesville and Eastham. Shorebird highlights included a Wilson’s Plover in Chatham on June 11, a Black-necked Stilt at Allens Pond for two weeks in mid-June, and a Red-necked Stint on South Beach at the end of June. A Gull-billed Tern was on Nantucket on June 10, and Sandwich Terns were reported from Plum Island and Nantucket. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were at Barre Falls and Yarmouth. A Cave Swallow on Nantucket on May 12 was the first spring record for the state, followed quickly by the second record in Hyannis on May 15. Crane WMA in Falmouth hosted two singing Clay-colored Sparrows, two Dickcissels, and four Blue Grosbeaks.

Best sighting: two Black Rails were calling on Plum Island on May 31 and were heard regularly through the third week of June. This is the longest visit by this species since a purported breeding record in 1884–1885 in Chatham.

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