Eastern Massachusetts Bird Sightings

At Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, especially at the southern end of the sanctuary off Provincetown, great numbers of shearwaters including Cory’s, Great, and Sooty shearwaters, plus a few Manx Shearwaters and good numbers of Wilson’s Storm-Petrels are regularly being sighted both from whale watching trips and from the beaches at Race Point and Herring Cove.  These great seabird concentrations, along with Humpback, Fin, and Minke whales are being sustained by huge schools of sand lance present in those waters right now. Read More

Offshore seabird numbers on Stellwagen Bank and beyond continued to dominate the birding scene this week. Huge numbers of shearwaters including Cory’s, Great, and Sooty shearwaters, plus a few Manx Shearwaters and good numbers of Wilson’s Storm-Petrels are currently abundantly populating the southern portions of Stellwagen Bank off Provincetown and the waters east of the Cape as far south as Truro.  These great concentrations are being attracted by huge schools of a small baitfish called sand lance.  On coastal beaches and mudflats, migrating shorebird numbers are quickly approaching what will likely be their peak for the year for Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, and Short-billed Dowitcher, while others like Semipalmated Plover, Willet, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and Stilt Sandpiper should also be expected in good numbers at appropriate concentration locations. Read More

Seabird numbers on Stellwagen Bank are outstanding at the moment, so birders wishing particularly to see Cory’s, Great, and Sooty shearwaters, and Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, as well as good numbers of Humback, Fin, and Minke whales are advised that this would be a fine time to enjoy a local whale watching trip, especially one bound for the southern end of Stellwagen Bank. On shore, shorebird numbers are building quickly now as more and more species join the southward-migrating flocks already on the beaches. Expect especially to see good numbers of Semipalmated Plovers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least and Semipalmated sandpipers, and Short-billed Dowitchers. Read More

Seabird numbers are beginning to build up offshore on Stellwagen Bank, at the same time that shorebirds continue to increase on the outer beaches. Among the seabird species to be watched for on whale watching trips right now are Cory’s, Great, Sooty, and Manx shearwaters, as well as Wilson’s Storm-Petrels and a few Northern Gannets. Expected shorebird migrants include Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Hudsonian Godwit, Least and Semipalmated sandpiper, and Short-billed Dowitcher. Read More