Massachusetts Bird Sightings — Friday, August 20, 2021
With the advent of a large hurricane scheduled to hit Massachusetts over the weekend, birders should be prepared to keep their eye on both coastal locations and large interior lakes and reservoirs for storm-driven seabirds that will almost inevitably get caught up in the hurricane or its eye.
Remember however that very high tides are predicted, and driving—especially near the coast—may be significantly limited for safety reasons.
Western MA: Interesting reports included a Ring-necked Duck at Barton’s Cove, a Little Blue Heron in Whately, a Snowy Egret at the Longmeadow Flats in Longmeadow, 4 Sandhill Cranes in Plainfield, an Alder Flycatcher and 2 Tennessee Warblers in Huntington, and reports from Hadley that included a Black-bellied Plover, a Mourning Warbler, 2 Worm-eating Warblers, a Blue Grosbeak, and an Orchard Oriole.
Central MA: There were reports of a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and a Dickcissel at the Westborough Wildlife Area, and a Louisiana Waterthrush in Hardwick.
Metro West: Reports included a White Ibis and 3 Orchard Orioles in Wayland at the Heard Conservation Area, a Little Blue Heron in Westford, and a Caspian Tern in Wakefield.
North Shore: Highlights included 5 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons and a Caspian Tern in Newburyport, and Plum Island hosted 2 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, 2 Least Bitterns, 2 Upland Sandpipers in flight over the Forward Pool, a Razorbill, a Black Guillemot, and a Caspian Tern at Emerson Rocks, a Dickcissel, and many thousands of Tree Swallows gathering for southward migration.
Boston: There were 3 Marbled Godwits observed in flight passing Georges Island in Boston Harbor, and a Baird’s Sandpiper was tallied at Wollaston Beach.
Metro South: Sightings featured 3 Blue-winged Teal, a Little Blue Heron, and 2 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons at Squantum, and a Black Vulture in Wrentham.
South East: There was a Great Cormorant at Acoaxet; an Orchard Oriole in Westport; a Long-billed Dowitcher, a Marbled Godwit, and a probable Little Stint at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. In North Dighton, a White Ibis was seen in flight over a private farm area. A Little Blue Heron was seen in Pembroke, 2 Least Bitterns were found at the West Meadows Wildlife Area in West Bridgewater, and a Hudsonian Godwit was spotted at Third Cliff in Scituate.
Cape Cod: Several highlights other than good numbers of shorebirds at outer coastal areas included 4 Hudsonian Godwits and an Arctic Tern at South Monomoy, an American Bittern in Provincetown, a Dickcissel in Wellfleet, 3 Blue Grosbeaks at the Crane Wildlife Area in Falmouth, and the continued presence of a summering Evening Grosbeak at a feeder in Harwich.
Islands: On Martha’s Vineyard there were reports of a Common Raven and an Eastern Meadowlark, and offshore at Penikese Island there was a Glossy Ibis. Nantucket sightings continue to be highlighted by offshore pelagic reports from NOAA surveys being conducted in the vicinity of the canyons along the continental shelf edge. Quite possibly warm surface water temperatures in the survey area right now are responsible for reports of numerous Audubon’s Shearwaters, Black-capped Petrels, Band-rumped and White-faced Storm-Petrels, a Brown Booby, at least 2 White-tailed Tropicbirds, and 2 South Polar Skuas.