August 2022

Vol. 50, No. 4

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for March-April


March–April 2017
March–April 2017

A Pink-footed Goose continued in the Ipswich area until March 8. A Ross’s Goose was found in Lexington on March 3 and stayed almost a week. Four Tundra Swans were present in Cheshire on March 24–25. A high count of four White-faced Ibises appeared in Ipswich on April 24. A Black-necked Stilt was found on April 12 in Edgartown. Two Mew Gulls—now split as Common Gulls—were found at Race Point on April 15. The pair of White-winged Doves continued in the Fenway, with the male heard singing on April 24. Continuing feeder birds included a Boreal Chickadee in Peru, a Painted Bunting in Orleans, and a Harris’s Sparrow in Dalton.

Best sighting: a Smith’s Longspur was present at Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Saugus from March 15–April 9. This was the fourth record for the state and quite possibly the same individual as the third record for the state, found the previous winter at the same location.


March–April 2012
March–April 2012

This winter represented one of the largest Snowy Owl incursions on record. Mild weather produced some exceptionally early migrants including a Chimney Swift on April 8 and a Blackburnian Warbler on April 10. An Allen’s Hummingbird appeared at a feeder in Dennis on March 24. Two days after being banded, the bird hit a window and died; the specimen is now housed in Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. The Townsend’s Warbler, which had been visiting Jim and Natalie Berry’s feeder in Ipswich since December 24, was last seen on March 27. Jim estimated that as many as 500 birders visited during its three-month stay.

Best sighting: a Black-throated Sparrow was photographed at a feeder in Brewster. The homeowners were unwilling to make the sighting public. This is the first accepted record for the state after an unconfirmed sight report in Amherst in April 1963.

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