August 2021

Vol. 49, No. 4

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for March-April

Neil Hayward


March–April 2016

Three White-faced Ibises—a new high count for the state—were in Ipswich in April. Up to two Mew Gulls were present at Race Point in March. Four Yellow-throated Warblers were reported, with the earliest found on March 27. The Mountain Bluebird in Falmouth continued until March 22. Yellow-headed Blackbirds were reported from Cumberland Farms and West Harwich.

Best sighting: the first-for-Massachusetts Yellow-billed Loon continued at Race Point, Provincetown, from February 27 until April 2 and was accompanied by up to two Pacific Loons, allowing some observers to experience a “four loon day.”


March–April 2011

An Eared Grebe was found in Chatham on March 26. A White-faced Ibis that was discovered at Plum Island on April 22 ended its visit (and its life) in the talons of a Peregrine Falcon. A Mississippi Kite was spotted over Truro on April 23. A Mew Gull continued in Lynn until March 8. The three Monk Parakeets were adding nesting material to their East Boston home in April. A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was a one-day wonder on Plum Island on April 29. The Harris’s Sparrow continued on Duxbury Beach until April 28. Four Hoary Redpolls were identified among the many large redpoll flocks during this period.

Best sighting: five Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in Duxbury on April 29 represented the second state record.


March–April 2001

“The” Eared Grebe continued at Gloucester through most of March. A strong spring nor’easter produced a Leach’s Storm-Petrel past First Encounter Beach on March 7, the first March record for the state. A Tundra Swan spent two weeks in April in West Bridgewater. Nantucket hosted six Bohemian Waxwings, while Martha’s Vineyard had a Yellow-throated Warbler. Naushon Island had a Harris’s Sparrow at the end of March. A long-staying Bullock’s Oriole was present in South Dartmouth from March 1 to April 15, and Malden hosted a Painted Bunting from March 7 to 25.


March–April 1981

A Tundra Swan was present in Fitchburg, March 26–April 11. The north end of Plum Island hosted up to 120 Iceland Gulls. A basic-plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit was found at Point of Pines, Revere, on April 12. A Black-backed (Three-toed) Woodpecker was photographed in Baldwinville on March 11. A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, missing its left tail streamer, was at Dwyer Farm in Marshfield in the last week of April. A Boreal Chickadee was found on Plum Island on April 18–19. Continuing birds included the adult male Black-headed Grosbeak in Walpole, and the Hoary Redpoll at Plum Island. Manomet Bird Observatory had an “Oregon” Junco for the month of March.

Best sighting: a Western Meadowlark was singing in Squantum for three days at the end of April.

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