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February 2022

Vol.50, No. 1

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for September-October

Neil Hayward

September–October 2016

Rufous Hummingbirds were confirmed in Westborough and Andover in October. The Brookline Bird Club pelagic trip on September 24 produced three White-faced Storm-Petrels, three Audubon’s Shearwaters, and a South Polar Skua. A Yellow-nosed Albatross was seen at First Encounter Beach in Eastham on October 10 and again on October 14. A rare inland American White Pelican was photographed at The Oxbow in Northampton on September 15, and three days later at Longmeadow. A Yellow Rail was observed by many at Fort Hill in Eastham on October 29–31. Also present was a Bell’s Vireo. A Harris’s Sparrow was found at Westborough WMA at the end of October. A Northern Wheatear was a one-day wonder in Sandwich on September 13 and a Townsend’s Solitaire was photographed on Plum Island on October 18. A Black-throated Gray Warbler was in Aquinnah on October 8.

Best sighting: a Gray Kingbird—the second record for the state—was seen by many at Ocean Avenue Beach in Hyannis, October 23–November 2.

10 YEARS AGO

September–October 2011

A Pink-footed Goose at Turners Falls at the end of October was a first for western Massachusetts. Female Rufous Hummingbirds were visiting feeders in Wareham and Lunenberg. Both were banded and stayed throughout the period. The Nantucket Birding Festival scored a Magnificent Frigatebird, which was observed flying over the town dock. A Brown Booby spent the reporting period in Provincetown and a Brown Pelican continued on Cuttyhunk until September 6. A White Ibis was viewed by many in the Newbury area on September 4. Shorebird highlights in September included a Wilson’s Plover on South Beach, Chatham, and a Curlew Sandpiper on Plum Island. Gull-billed Terns were reported from Plum Island and Provincetown. Flycatchers included a pair of Ash-throated Flycatchers on Plum Island, three Western Kingbirds, and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on Nantucket. Townsend’s Solitaires were found on Nantucket and in Chatham. Two Northern Wheatears were reported from Hull and Nantucket. Other passerine vagrants included a MacGillivray’s Warbler in Squantum, a Lark Bunting in Gloucester, a Western Tanager in Dorchester, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds in Revere and East Boston.

Best sighting: a Yellow-green Vireo was banded on Plum Island on September 5. This was a first record for Massachusetts, and the first record of this species on the East Coast north of Florida.

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