The indisputable top bird of the season was the Gray Heron found on September 5. The first record in the lower 48 states, it was spotted and photographed by Skyler Kardell on Tuckernuck Island. The following day, Skyler and a group of fellow birders spent most of the day searching Tuckernuck unsuccessfully, until they boated to neighboring Muskeget Island that evening where they rediscovered it. Skyler took the photo above.
Max "Hummingbird" Baber photographed a Crested Caracara in Gloucester on August 12. Birders saw it from Halibut Point and nearby Locust Grove Cemetery the next day, then it disappeared. After almost three days without a sighting, Bobby Goetschkes rediscovered the caracara at Woodsom Farm in Amesbury, where it made birders happy for two more days. Sam Zhang took the photo above.
Tropical Storm Isaias rained Sooty Terns across the state from Race Point to Pittsfield. Reports came in from more than 10 locations. A couple of days later, the only tern left was on the Wachusett Reservoir. That last bird lingered for more than a week after the storm’s passage. Manuel Morales took the photo above.
Thomas O'Brien encountered an unfamiliar shorebird at Third Cliff in Scituate on August 2, so he photographed it and shared his photos on Facebook. It turned out to be a Curlew Sandpiper. It stayed there for a few days to the enjoyment of many other birders. Brian Vigorito took the photo above.