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October 2022

Vol. 50, No. 5

Bygone Birds: Historical Highlights for May-June

Neil Hayward

5 YEARS AGO

May–June 2017

An immature Magnificent Frigatebird was photographed on a Hyannis Whale Watch Cruise west of Stellwagen Bank on June 10. Possibly the same bird was reported from Scarborough, Maine, on June 12, and then again in Massachusetts off Salisbury Beach on June 13. A Brown Booby was found in Ludlow on June 4. An adult Brown Pelican was spotted up and down the North Shore in early May and then again at Plum Island on June 20. A Purple Gallinule spent two days at Miacomet Pond, Nantucket at the end of May. An adult male Ruff was at Allens Pond from May 11–16. A Bar-tailed Godwit of the Siberian/Alaskan subspecies baueri was at Chatham from June 17 until the end of the month. Up to four Franklin’s Gulls were present at Race Point. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were found at Plum Island and Sharon. The Harris’s Sparrow, which first appeared in Dalton on November 25, was last seen on May 11.

Best sighting: a Brown Booby was photographed on the guard rail of a bridge under construction in Ludlow in Hampden County. This was the first inland record of the species for Massachusetts.

10 YEARS AGO

May–June 2012

A White-winged Dove was photographed on Nantucket in early June. A Wilson’s Plover was found by a plover warden on Martha’s Vineyard on May 18. A Bar-tailed Godwit was photographed on Tuckernuck Island on June 7 and later spotted on South Beach in Chatham at the end of the month. An observer on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) survey vessel on George’s Bank reported six South Polar Skuas and a Red-billed Tropicbird on June 13. Brown Pelicans were reported from Chatham on May 17, Gloucester on June 5, and Boston Harbor from June 7–30.

Best sightings: one of the best seasons for Snowy Owls. Norman Smith banded a total of 42 Snowies at Logan Airport this winter, with the last bird released on Plum Island on May 29.

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