February 2024

Vol. 52, No. 1

Bird Sightings: September-October 2023

Jason Forbes and Robert H. Stymeist


September is usually the transition from summer to autumn. But the month opened with a stretch of temperatures of 80 degrees or higher from September 2 to September 9, with a month high of 93 degrees on September 7. The month may have been more notable for its rainfall. September was the third consecutive month with above average rainfall. Boston recorded a total of 3.75 inches, with thirteen days seeing measurable rain. Birders lamented that rain occurred at some time on four of the five weekends in September. A series of severe thunderstorms on September 8–10 brought widespread damage across the state. Massive flooding was noted in Leominster and neighboring Fitchburg, and Lunenburg recorded nearly nine inches of rain. Hurricane Lee was downgraded to a tropical storm and passed about 250 miles east of Boston on September 15. However, it brought heavy rain and wind gusts over 50 mph on Cape Cod and the Islands. On the weekend of September 23, Tropical Storm Ophelia brought heavy rain to southeastern Massachusetts but had little impact elsewhere in the state.


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