April 2021

Vol. 49, No. 2

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for November-December

Neil Hayward


November–December 2015

November–December 2015
Rare geese included a Ross’s Goose on Plum Island on November 13, a Pink-footed Goose at Turners Falls on November 25, and three Barnacle Geese at Agawam on December 26. A Pacific Loon at Quabbin Reservoir on November 11 was the first inland record of the species for the state. A Swainson’s Hawk was photographed at Bear Creek in Saugus on December 20, the date of the Greater Boston Christmas Bird Count (CBC). A Purple Gallinule was photographed at the Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Hanson on November 8. A major fallout of Franklin’s Gulls occurred on the East Coast on November 13, a result of storms across the upper Midwest. At least 22 were seen in Massachusetts. Single Black-chinned Hummingbirds were reported from Harwich and Dorchester. There were two Ash-throated Flycatchers in Rockport and nine individual Western Kingbirds. The Bell’s Vireo continued at Fort Hill, Eastham, through December 12. Townsend’s Solitaires were reported from Hanson, North Truro, and Rockport. A Mountain Bluebird was found at Crane WMA in Falmouth, and a cooperative MacGillivray’s Warbler was in Lexington.

Best sighting: Common Ground Dove in Lexington, November 13. This was only the second state record after one was found on Monomoy Island on October 7, 1973.


November–December 2010

November–December 2010
A Pink-footed Goose, only the third for the state, spent over a month in Sudbury, while a Ross’s Goose spent the end of December on Nantucket. November 20 was a memorable date, producing two flocks of Tundra Swans—29 in Brimfield and 19 at Quabbin Reservoir—and a Gyrfalcon at Plum Island. An adult Purple Gallinule in distress was rescued from Hull on December 27. Nantucket set a new record for Lesser Black-backed Gulls with 327 on November 26. A White-winged Dove appeared at a Watertown feeder on December 4 and remained for the Greater Boston CBC. A Rufous Hummingbird was banded in Worcester and a Black-chinned Hummingbird visited a feeder on Nantucket. An adult Fork-tailed Flycatcher appeared on Nantucket on the last day of November. A Boreal Chickadee chose Squantum Point Park in Quincy for a six-day visit in early November. The many visiting birders also found a LeConte’s Sparrow and a Yellow-breasted Chat. Other passerine highlights included Sedge Wrens from Weymouth and Nantucket, a Townsend’s Solitaire in Gardner, a Yellow-throated Warbler in Chatham, three reports of Harris’s Sparrow, and a Black-headed Grosbeak photographed in Easthampton.

Best sighting: Northern Lapwing, Plum Island, December 2. The shorebird was observed flying in from the east, whereupon it briefly harassed a Rough-legged Hawk and then continued on its way headed south.

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