October 2021

Vol. 49, No. 5

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for January-February

Neil Hayward


January–February 2016

A Pink-footed Goose that was wintering in Connecticut made occasional visits to Agawam this period. A Western Grebe was discovered on Winthrop Beach on February 7. An injured Purple Gallinule, discovered at Hathaway Pond in Barnstable on January 11, was treated for anemia by a wildlife rehabilitator. A Barn Owl was found dead in Danvers. A Hammond’s Flycatcher discovered in Fairhaven on New Year’s Day was the third record for the state. Another third for the state was a Smith’s Longspur found on January 17 at Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Saugus. Ash-throated Flycatchers continued in Cambridge and Manomet, and a Mountain Bluebird was present throughout the period at the Crane Wildlife Management Area in Falmouth.

Best sighting: a first-winter Yellow-billed Loon discovered at Race Point in Provincetown on February 27. This was the first state record.


January–February 2011

A Ross’s Goose continued on Nantucket through February 17. A Mew Gull of the Asian kamtschatschensis or heinei subspecies was found at Lynn Beach at the end of February. The three Monk Parakeets continuing on Bremen Street, East Boston, were being fed suet and parrot food by local residents. This was a poor winter for Snowy Owls with no sightings during this period. A Varied Thrush was visiting a feeder in Centerville in February.

Best sighting: two Harris’s Sparrows, one on Duxbury Beach, from January 9–February 27, another in Falmouth, February 1–26.


January–February 2001

A Pacific Loon was discovered along the Rowley Shore section of Gloucester on January 18, while the Eared Grebe continued in nearby Gloucester Harbor. A likely Western Grebe was a one-day wonder at Salisbury on January 14. Two adult Greater White-fronted Geese spent most of February in Fairhaven. A Purple Gallinule was rescued on Martha’s Vineyard on January 1, and a Sandhill Crane was present in Fairhaven for the month of February. An impressive 520 Purple Sandpipers were counted in North Scituate on January 26. An adult European Mew Gull was present at Flax Pond, Lynn, in mid-February.

Best sighting: an invasion of White-winged Crossbills, including up to 140 birds in Savoy. Many were singing, and the first breeding record for the state was documented in Windsor.


January–February 1981

Iceland Gulls were very much in evidence at Nantucket and Eastern Point, Gloucester, with 111 and 140, respectively. Nantucket also hosted a Mew Gull on January 3. A Gyrfalcon was reported from outer Cape Cod in January. Up to 22 Long-eared Owls were roosting at Dunback Meadow. A Western Kingbird was found in Chatham on January 2, and a Sedge Wren continued on Nantucket from December through early January. Six Boreal Chickadees were present during the period, and a Hoary Redpoll was discovered in a flock of redpolls at Plum Island on the last day of February.

Best sighting: Fifteen records of Goshawk, including three immatures in one tree in Framingham.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Bird Observer logo

Our mission: to support and promote the observation, understanding, and conservation of the wild birds of New England.

Bird Observer supports the right of all people to enjoy birding and nature in a safe and welcoming environment free from discrimination and harassment, be it sexual, racial, or barriers for people with disabilities.
© Copyright 2024 by Bird Observer, Inc.