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December 2021

Vol. 49, No. 6

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for July-August

Neil Hayward

5 YEARS AGO

July–August 2016

A flock of 11 Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks was photographed in Sandwich on July 12. The Brookline Bird Club’s pelagic trip on August 20–21 produced a Black-capped Petrel, five Audubon’s Shearwaters, six White-faced Storm-Petrels, six Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, and six Long-tailed Jaegers. A day before the pelagic, a Red-billed Tropicbird was photographed south of Nantucket Island. An American Avocet spent nearly three weeks at Plum Island between July and August and a Franklin’s Gull was observed there on July 8. A Bridled Tern was photographed flying past Race Point on July 9.

Best nesting: the first breeding record of Merlin for Worcester County was confirmed in Barre. Blue Grosbeaks attempted to nest at Cumberland Farms.

10 YEARS AGO

July–August 2011

Tropical Storm Irene battered the state on August 28 and blew in a good number of rarities including single White-tailed Tropicbirds at Lake Onota in Pittsfield and Quabbin Reservoir, Sooty Terns in six coastal locations as well as inland at Onota and Quabbin, Band-rumped Storm-Petrels and Bridled Terns at three locations on the southern coast, and a Gull-billed Tern at Westport. A Brown Booby–the fifth for the state–spent a week at Corporation Beach in Dennis in mid-August. A Little Egret was photographed on Plum Island on July 10 and again on August 6. A Sedge Wren was found in Tyringham in July and August.

Best sighting: an Elegant Tern on Plum Island on July 23 was the second record for the state.

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