An Ash-throated Flycatcher photographed in Orleans on December 20 was in an area closed to the public, so very few were able to see it. Rob Timberlake found a bird of the same species more cooperatively located in the Sagamore Recreation Area by the Cape Cod Canal, on January 10. With a Black-headed Gull also being seen there, Sagamore quickly became a very popular birding destination. The flycatcher was last reported January 25. Carol Molander took the photo above.
The state hosted one Tufted Duck for most of the winter, but jumped up to three before it was over. A brief sighting on the east side of Nantucket in early November presaged the long-staying bird’s reappearance in its usual haunts near the island’s western tip roughly a month later. In mid-February, a second duck turned up in Eastham, followed by a third in Plymouth in early March. All three were still being seen at press time. Trish Pastuszak took the photo above.
In a classic example of the Patagonia Picnic Table Effect, on January 11 Andy Sanford was chasing the previously reported Ash-throated Flycatcher in the Sagamore Recreation Area, when he spotted a Townsend’s Warbler. Another Townsend’s in southern New Hampshire coincidentally was last reported January 11, but that bird had a conspicuous black throat patch, which the MA individual lacks. Andy’s warbler was last seen on the same date that the flycatcher was last reported: January 25. Andy Sanford took the photo above.
Birders in the general vicinity of Boston enjoyed Eared Grebe twice this winter. The first turned up December 5 at Jamaica Pond, continuing there through the 26th. Sixteen days later and 22 miles northeast, Lydia Curtis spotted one from Marblehead Neck, which continued in that vicinity through at least March 10. Mary Ellen McMahon took the photo above.
Pacific Loons have become a near-regular sight off of Race Point, with multiple reports every month since last August. Three or more individuals were spotted during January. At least one was still present on March 7. The photograph above is by Benny Albro.
Cape Cod was hopping with Western Tanagers this winter. The first was noticed at a birdfeeder in Brewster on November 28, and continued to visit through January 17. On December 21, Nick Tepper photographed another Western Tanager less than six miles away in Orleans. On January 8 one was photographed at a feeder in Harwich Port, only seven-a-half miles away.If it was the same individual bird, it returned to Brewster, where it was reported just over three hours later. Finally, on January 26 another one was reported from a feeder in South Chatham, just about halfway between Brewster and Harwich Port, but the bird reported this time was described with the bright yellow body and orange face of an adult male; the Brewster bird had been entirely green just nine days earlier. Nick Tepper took the photo above.