Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.

Friday, April 19, 2024

This week was characterized by the arrival of a variety of new migrants, most notably several Summer Tanagers, Blue Grosbeaks, and Prothonotary Warblers, 2 Swallow-tailed Kites, a Ross’s Goose, a Chuck-will’s-widow, a Painted Bunting, a Ruff, a Western Cattle Egret, a White-faced Ibis, a flock of 42 Bohemian Waxwings in Tewksbury, and a lingering Western Grebe and Say’s Phoebe.  This is an impressive tally of fancy birds for Massachusetts, but arguably the most amazing was a Black-capped Petrel in Cape Cod Bay spotted from a whale research vessel.  This species is everywhere quite rare, and in relatively inshore waters it is even more unusual.

Cape Cod was visited by several Summer Tanagers this week including individuals in Forestdale, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in South Wellfleet, Harwich, and Orleans.  Similarly, Prothonotary Warblers showed up in West Barnstable at the Pogoreic Sanctuary, Long Pasture Sanctuary in Cummaquid, and at Hemenway Landing in Eastham.  Other notable sightings included 2 Swallowtail Kites in the vicinity of Head of the Meadow Beach in North Truro, a Blue Grosbeak near Minister’s Pond in Eastham, a Tricolored Heron in Nauset Marsh in Eastham, an Eastern Whip-poor-will calling at Camp Edwards in Sandwich, 2 continuing Pacific Loons at Race Point in Provincetown, 4 Harlequin Ducks at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown, 7 Black Vultures over Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary, single White-eyed Vireos at Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary, the Provincetown Beech Forest, and Long Pasture Sanctuary in Cummaquid. A Grasshopper Sparrow at the Crane WMA in Falmouth was the first one recorded there this spring.

Bristol County luminaries featured a Ross’s Goose in fields along Horseneck Road in South Dartmouth, a Caspian Tern at Gooseberry Neck in Westport, a Tricolored Heron on East Beach Road in Westport, 2 Chimney Swifts, 15 Purple Martins, a Louisiana Waterthrush, and a Summer Tanager at the Caratunk Wildlife Refuge in Seekonk, 6 Clapper Rails at the Egypt Lane Ponds in Fairhaven, 30 American Pipits at the Borden Colony Conservation Land in Raynham, and 2 Northern Waterthrushes on Blossom Road in Westport.

Plymouth County hosted single Blue Grosbeaks on the Town Brook Trail in Plymouth and at Worlds End in Hingham, a Ruff and a Prothonotary Warbler at the Daniel Webster Sanctuary in Marshfield, a Painted Bunting near the Jones River Landing in Kingston, a Tricolored Heron standing on the rocks near the Plymouth Beach parking lot in Plymouth, a Summer Tanager at Manomet Bird Observatory, 2 Lapland Longspurs at Duxbury Beach, 75 Red Knots at Plymouth Beach, 3 Least Terns in Plymouth Harbor, and an amazing inshore sighting of a highly pelagic  Black-capped Petrel from a research vessel working in Cape Cod Bay.  A Common Murre was also observed from the same boat while it was working in Cape Cod Bay. Also, 2 Sandhill Cranes were noted off Rt. 53 in Pembroke, and two more tallied at Burrage Pond WMA in Hanson.

Norfolk County reports of interest were 3 Blue-winged Teal in the Squantum Marshes, 4 Piping Plovers at Wollaston Beach, single Louisiana Waterthrushes at Noanet Woods in Dover and the F. Gilbert Hills Stare Forest in Foxboro, and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Westwood.

Suffolk County continued to host a Western Grebe along with a late Snow Bunting at Winthrop Beach, and a Western Cattle Egret and a Blue Grosbeak at Millennium Park in West Roxbury.

Middlesex County was graced by the presence of a flock of 42 Bohemian Waxwings on Main Street in Tewksbury, 9 Glossy Ibises at Nine Acre Corner in Concord, a Northern Waterthrush in the Middlesex Fells in Medford, a Red-throated Loon and a Red-breasted Merganser at the Horn Pond Recreation Area in Woburn, a Warbling Vireo at the Smith Conservation Land in Littleton, and 10 Red Crossbills at the Desert Natural Area in Marlborough.

Essex County notables were a White-faced Ibis at the New England Bio Labs facility in Ipswich, a Prothonotary Warbler at the Daniel Boone Park and Highland Cemetery in Ipswich, a Blue Grosbeak on Linebrook Road in Ipswich, 2 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, Ruffed Grouse, a Blue-winged Warbler, and a Scarlet Tanager at Marblehead Neck Sanctuary in Marblehead.

Berkshire County highlights included a Sandhill Crane in New Marlborough, 9 Long-tailed Ducks at Lake Pontoosuc in Pittsfield and 11 at Stockbridge Bowl in Stockbridge, a Northern Goshawk at Bridges Pond in Williamstown, and 20 American Pipits at Ashley Falls.

Franklin County hosted small flocks of Red Crossbills including 24 at the Montague Sandplains WMA in Montague, 9 at gate 29 at Quabbin Reservoir in New Salem, and 8 at Satan’s Kingdom WMA in Northfield.

Hampshire County was graced by the continued presence of a Say’s Phoebe at the Quabbin Reservoir Visitor’s Center in Belchertown, 4 Common Goldeneyes at the Windsor Dam in Belchertown, 22 Glossy Ibises on Old Ferry Road in Northampton, an American Bittern on Moody Bridge Road in Hadley, 21 Red Crossbills at the Podick and Cole Conservation Area in Amherst, a Lapland Longspur in the Northampton East Meadows, and an American Coot at Great Pond in Hatfield.

Hampden County luminaries were 5 Upland Sandpipers at Westover Air Base in Ludlow, 9 Red-necked Grebes at the Congamond Lakes in Southwick, 15 Chimney Swifts at the Stebbins Wildlife Refuge in Longmeadow, and a Green Heron in Holyoke.

Worcester County was visited by a Black-headed Gull,  2 Glossy Ibises, a Solitary Sandpiper, and 20 Red Crossbills at the Bolton Flats WMA in Bolton, 2 Sandhill Cranes at the Winimusset Meadows WMA in New Braintree, 2 Black Vultures at Adams Farm in Athol, and an Orchard Oriole at Crane Swamp Conservation Area in Northboro.

Martha’s Vineyard hosted a Chuck-will’s-widow at the Mytoi Japanese Garden on Chappaquiddick Island, a Green Heron at the Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge, and 2 Harlequin Ducks at Lucy Vincent Beach.

Nantucket birders were pleased with a Wilson’s Plover at Smith Point, 2 Blue Grosbeaks, an Indigo Bunting, 2 Northern Shovelers, and a continuing Tufted Duck and a Dickcissel in the Madaket area, an Eastern Whip-poor-will at the Sesachacha Heathlands Sanctuary, and 2 Common Ravens at the Linda Loring Foundation on Eel Point Road.