Massachusetts Bird Sightings — Friday, December 31, 2021

December 31, 2021

As 2021 winds down a number of interesting birds continue to be seen throughout the state. Unfortunately, the very rare Steller’s Sea-Eagle seen on the lower Taunton River on a week ago has moved on and was last seen in the vicinity of Georgetown, Maine.

The various Christmas Bird Counts taking place for the last couple weeks have nonetheless turned up their own special sightings, and it will be fascinating to see what turns up in early 2022.

Western MA: Highlights included a Horned Grebe at Stockbridge Bowl, 8 Greater Scaup at Laurel Lake in Lee, a Red-breasted Merganser at Lake Onota in Pittsfield, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Williamstown, and 5 Red Crossbills in Windsor. Other notables included a Snow Goose and a Cackling Goose at Tri-Town Beach in Whately, a Northern Shrike at the Orange Airport, and 7 Evening Grosbeaks in Leyden. Hampshire County continued to host a Western Meadowlark at the Honey Pot in Hadley and a Cackling Goose at the campus pond on the UMass campus in Amherst, and at the Holyoke Dam an Iceland Gull was spotted.

Central MA: There was a Snow Goose in Westborough, 3 Sandhill Cranes along Center Bridge Road in Lancaster, 2 Iceland Gulls in Fitchburg, a Rough-legged Hawk at the Worcester Airport, and a Northern Goshawk at gate 8 at the Wachusett Reservoir in Boylston.

Metro West: Luminaries featured Greater White-fronted Geese at the Wetherbee Conservation Area in Acton, Nine Acre Corner in Concord, and the School Fields in Acton. Some of these may have represented the same individual. Two Cackling Geese were seen at Great Meadows Refuge in Concord, and at Farm Pond in Sherborn a Barrow’s Goldeneye was observed. A Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Glaucous Gull were identified at Silver Lake in Wilmington, and a European Goldfinch continues to frequent the Lexington Community Farm. At Wash Brook in Sudbury, a Rough-legged Hawk was sighted this week.

North Shore: There was an Eared Grebe at Little Private Beach in Marblehead, a Canvasback at Kenoza Lake in Haverhill, a late Least Bittern at Plum Island where a Sora and a Northern Shrike were also seen, and a Seaside Sparrow was discovered in the marsh adjacent to Newburyport Harbor.

Boston: A very late Wilson’s Warbler continued at McLaughlin Woods in Boston, 2 Redheads are still lingering at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, and 5 White-crowned Sparrows were tallied at Millennium Park in West Roxbury.

Metro South: A Rufous Hummingbird continues to visit a feeder at 34 Clearwater Road in Brookline, a Lesser Black-backed Gull was seen at Lake Massapoag in Sharon, and a Snowy Owl was present at Wollaston Beach.

South East: Highlights included King Eiders at Hull, Brant Rock in Marshfield, and Scituate Light in Scituate Harbor. A Black-crowned Night-Heron spotted in Plymouth Harbor, and a Northern Goshawk was photographed in flight at Duxbury Beach. A Eurasian Wigeon continued at The Sawmill area in Acushnet, a Barrow’s Goldeneye at West Island in Fairhaven, and elsewhere in Fairhaven there was a Snow Goose on Shaw Road, and one or more Snowy Owls at Sconticut Neck, Angelica Rock, and West Island. In New Bedford 2 Northern Shovelers were found, a House Wren was seen in Dartmouth, and wintering Baltimore Orioles were sighted in Acoaxet and North Attleborough.

Cape Cod: The Cape had a generous share of interesting sightings this week that included a Pacific Loon at Race Point in Provincetown where a very late Western Sandpiper continued to be observed, another Pacific Loon in Barnstable Harbor off Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary, a Blue-winged Teal at Mill Pond in Barnstable, a continuing Marbled Godwit at Forest Beach in Chatham, a very late Willet at West Dennis Beach, a continuing Bell’s Vireo at Fort Hill in Eastham, a Bohemian Waxwing at High Head in Truro, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Dennis, and a Yellow-breasted Chat at the East Sandwich Game Farm in Sandwich. Offshore at Stellwagen Bank, Christmas Bird Counters recorded 17 Dovekies, a remarkable 104 Common Murres, 9 Razorbills, and 4 Atlantic Puffins.

Islands: Martha’s Vineyard was graced by a lingering Osprey at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary and 6 tardy Tree Swallows in Chilmark, and a Snow Goose at Waller Farm. Nantucket had its share of unusual waterfowl that included 2 Tundra Swans and 2 Tufted Ducks at Hummock Pond, the continued presence of a Trumpeter Swan at Sesachacha Pond, a Common Gallinule at Miacomet Pond, 3 Great Egrets at the UMass Field Station marsh, and 4 lingering Semipalmated Plovers at Hummock Pond.

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