December 2021

Vol. 49, No. 6

Hot Birds: December 2021

A Wood Stork was reported flying over Niles Pond in Gloucester on October 29. On November 4, Jeffrey Thomas came across one at Horn Pond in Woburn. The bird was in poor health, and the next day was captured and brought to New England Wildlife’s Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center, where it was still recuperating at press time. It was suggested that the Woburn bird was the one that had been seen in Gloucester a week earlier until a stork was photographed on the Annisquam River in Gloucester two days after the Woburn bird had been captured. Mary McMahon took the photo above.

Suzanne Sullivan picked out a Pacific Golden-Plover from a crowd of 60-plus Killdeer at Spencer Pierce Little Farm in Newburyport. The fifth documented record for Massachusetts, it drew a crowd for the few days that it remained in town. Suzanne took the photo above.

Alex Burdo discovered a Northern Wheatear in his backyard in Yarmouthport on September 21. It was a one-day wonder but several birders did arrive before the day was over to enjoy the bird. Another Wheatear was found a mere week later and only 10 miles of shoreline away, but was thought to be a separate individual based on differences in plumage between the two. Sue Finnegan took the photo above.

The big storm on October 28 caused a flabbergasting flight of seabirds past First Encounter Beach, including more than 10,000 eiders, 16,000 scoters, 640 Red Phalaropes, 630 Dovekies, 380 jaegers of all three species (but mostly Pomarine), and two Great Skua. More than a dozen birders, anticipating the weather conditions, were on hand to witness the incredible spectacle. Tim Spahr took the photo above.

Pineapple sage is a plant known for attracting vagrant hummingbirds in the late fall and winter. Matt Garvey planted some in his yard in Brookline, and this fall it paid off when a Rufous Hummingbird showed up on October 28. Sue Finnegan caught and banded the bird, and confirmed its identification. It continues to visit Matt’s feeder at the time of this writing. Erik Nielsen took the photo above.

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