Friday, March 2, 2018
After the record-breaking mild weather two weeks ago, this week saw a return to more seasonal conditions. Nonetheless, signs of spring were still obvious by the increased presence of several waterfowl species, the return of Great Blue Herons to their nesting sites, the noisy displays of Red-shouldered Hawks, American Woodcocks buzzing at dusk at a number of locations, and obvious numbers of small groups of Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles.
A dedicated seabird survey of the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary on Tuesday was highlighted by 105 Dovekies, 31 Common Murres, 2 Thick-billed Murres, 107 Razorbills, 1 Atlantic Puffin, 48 Black-legged Kittiwakes, and 6 Iceland Gulls.
Reports from the Parker River Refuge on Plum Island included 75 Brant, 70 Gadwalls, 12 Northern Pintails, a King Eider, 150 Long-tailed Ducks, a Rough-legged Hawk, a Thick-billed Murre, 2 Snowy Owls, a Peregrine Falcon, and 18 Snow Buntings.
At Nahant there were 2 Thick-billed Murres, a Peregrine Falcon, and a Snowy Owl, and it Fort Heath in Winthrop there were 2 Snow Geese, a King Eider, a Thick-billed Murre, and a Black Guillemot.
At Great Meadows Refuge in Concord there was a report of 25 Wood Ducks, 5 Northern Pintails, 18 Ring-necked Ducks, 12 Common Goldeneyes, 7 Hooded Mergansers, and a mixed flock of 100 Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles.
Sightings in Needham included 2 Red-shouldered Hawks, a Common Raven, a singing Brown Creeper, 22 Cedar Waxwings, and a Fox Sparrow.
Noted in Cohasset were a King Eider, a Barrow’s Goldeneye, and a Thick-billed Murre.
Miscellaneous reports featured 4 Snow Geese and 6 Eastern Meadowlarks at Daniel Webster Sanctuary in Marshfield; another Snow Goose in Concord; single Greater White-fronted Geese at Worcester Common Park in Paxton, the Arlington Reservoir in Arlington, and at the School Street fields in Acton; a continuing Tufted Duck at Nantucket; a Barrow’s Goldeneye at Lake Massapoag in Sharon; and single early Tree Swallows from several localities.