Eastern Massachusetts Bird Sightings — Friday, April 30, 2021
With the month of May at our doorstep, many migrant birds are appearing statewide even though no major movements have yet been recorded. Northern Gannets are moving north along the outer coast, and Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrels can be seen when winds are favorable passing northward over coastal saltmarshes at Plum Island. Mixed flocks of swallows are routinely seen feeding on insects over ponds and lakes at this point in the season.
A variety of migrants are all expected to arrive this week, including Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Parula, Black-throated Green Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, and Baltimore Oriole.
Islands & Cape Cod: On Martha's Vineyard there was a well-documented sighting of an adult Golden-crowned Sparrow at the Katama Farm Institute in Edgartown. On Nantucket, another lingering Snowy Owl was observed. Selected highlights from Cape Cod were a Tricolored Heron at Bells Neck in Harwich, 2 Black-headed Gulls in Osterville, a Caspian Tern at High Head in Truro, 9 Least Terns in Mashpee, 2 lingering Lapland Longspurs in Chatham, and an Orchard Oriole in Woods Hole.
South of Boston: There were reports of 2 Caspian Terns at Acoaxet and 1 at Ellisville; a continuing Pink-footed Goose at Ocean View Farm in South Dartmouth; and an Eastern Wood-Pewee and Tricolored Heron at Gooseberry Neck in Westport. Norfolk County sightings featured 3 Little Blue Herons in Quincy, a Northern Saw-whet Owl and 2 Louisiana Waterthrushes in Foxborough, and a Vesper Sparrow in Sharon.
Greater Boston: There were reports of a White-eyed Vireo in the Middlesex Fells and 2 Black Vultures in Framingham. Another Black Vulture was spotted at Franklin Park, where a Cackling Goose was also noted. Other observations included a Caspian Tern at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and a Hooded Warbler at Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain.
North Shore: Essex County continued to host a Cave Swallow at Cherry Hill Reservoir in West Newbury, a White-faced Ibis at Appleton Farm and the New England Biolabs in Ipswich, and a lingering Snowy Owl at Plum Island.
Central & Western MA: Reports included 2 Horned Grebes in Pittsfield and 2 in Stockbridge; 2 fly-over Long-tailed Ducks in Deerfield; 27 Glossy Ibises in Longmeadow; 6 Upland Sandpipers at the Stony Brook Wetlands in Ludlow; a Sandhill Crane at gate 11 of the Quabbin Reservoir; and 45 Red Crossbills at the Montague Sandplains Wildlife Area.
This is also a good time to look for spring ephemeral wildflowers in appropriate mesic rich woods habitats. Handsome species to particularly watch for include Blue Cohosh, Spring Beauty, Bloodroot, Wood Anemone, Wake-robin, Yellow Trout Lily, and Trailing Arbutus.