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Friday, December 22, 2023

A remarkable number of unseasonable Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers was reported this week, in addition to a Western Grebe, at least 4 Ash-throated Flycatchers, a Say’s Phoebe, 2-3 Western Tanagers, and one of the first Snowy Owl reports of the winter in Westport.

Cape Cod highlights this week included a Western Kingbird and a Lark Sparrow in the vicinity of the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitor’s Center in Eastham, a late Sooty Shearwater, a Great Shearwater, a Pacific Loon, and 2 Thick-billed Murres at Race Point in Provincetown, 30 Tree Swallows at Gull Pond in Wellfleet, single Lincoln’s Sparrows at Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary and another on Pilgrim Lane in Eastham, a Dickcissel at a feeder in Wellfleet, an American Oystercatcher and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in South Chatham, 3 lingering Willets at Forest Beach in Chatham, 5 Great Egrets at the Pogoreic Sanctuary in West Barnstable, and a late Wilson’s Warble on Paine’s Creek Road in Brewster.

Bristol County notables featured a Snowy Owl at Gooseberry Neck in Westport, 6 Northern Shovelers at Interchange Park in Fall River, 4 Baltimore Orioles near Richmond Pond in Acoaxet, a late Northern Parula on Brayton Point Road in Westport, a very late probable Least Flycatcher along with 3 Palm Warblers at the Slocum’s River Preserve in Dartmouth, a Common Yellowthroat at the Little Bay Conservation Area in Fairhaven, 3 Clapper Rails at the Egypt Lane Ponds in Fairhaven, and single Great Egrets at Egypt Lane and West Island Beach in Fairhaven, and another Great Egret at Allens Pond Sanctuary in South Dartmouth.

Plymouth County birders struck gold at Stodder’s Neck in Hingham with the discovery of a Western Tanager, a Lark Sparrow, and a late Baltimore Oriole, and a an Ash-throated Flycatcher continued to be seen along the Laurel Street powerline in Halifax.  A late Laughing Gull was still hanging around at Windmill Point in Hull.

Norfolk County was graced by a visit from a Bell’s Vireo at Webb Memorial Park in Weymouth, 5 Dovekies at Black Rock Beach in Cohasset, a Short-eared Owl and a Virginia Rail at Squantum Point Park in Squantum, 3 Great Egrets at the Sailer’s Home Pond in Quincy, a Northern Shoveler at Longfellow Pond in Wellesley Hills, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Massapoag in Sharon.

Suffolk County luminaries were a Western Grebe at Winthrop Beach, a Yellow-breasted Chat at Lewis Park in Winthrop, a Barrow’s Goldeneye and a Long-billed Dowitcher at Castle Island, a Pileated Woodpecker at Allendale Woods in West Roxbury, a Cape May Warbler at the Christopher Lee Playground, and a continuing Western Tanager in the vicinity of Lewis Wharf and Christoper Columbus Park.

Middlesex County hosted 2 Northern Shovelers, a Greater Yellowlegs, and a flock of 18 American Pipits at Nine Acre Corner in Concord, 2 Red-shouldered Hawks and an Orange-crowned Warbler at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, an Iceland Gull at Silver Lake in Wilmington, a large flock of 39 Rusty Blackbirds in Groton and 3 Fox Sparrows on Fitch’s Bridge Road in Groton, a Northern Shoveler at the Horn Pond Recreation Area, and a continuing Ash-throated Flycatcher at Danehy Park in Cambridge.

Essex County highlights were a continuing Ash-throated Flycatcher and a White-eyed Vireo at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, 1270 Dovekies, 61 Common Murres, and 2 Atlantic Puffins at Andrews Point in Rockport, 10 Laughing Gulls at West Beach in Beverly, 7 Virginia Rails at Sidney’s Pond in South Peabody, and 4 Eastern Meadowlarks at Bear Creek Sanctuary in Saugus.

Berkshire County was visited by a migrating Golden Eagle over Curtis Road in Monterey, a Rough-legged Hawk in Williamstown, and a Greater White-fronted Goose at a farm on Maple Avenue in Sheffield.  Several waterfowl of interest included 2 Northern Pintails at Cheshire Reservoir in Cheshire, 4 American Wigeon at Richmond Pond in Richmond, 2 Wood Ducks at the Gale Avenue swamp in Pittsfield, and a Red-breasted Merganser at Lake Onota in Pittsfield.  Lingering Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were noted at Christian Hill in Great Barrington, Bullard Woods in Stockbridge, and Mt. Williams Reservoir in North Adams.  An errant Fish Crow was recorded at the Allendale Shopping Center in Pittsfield.

Franklin County briefly hosted a Pine Grosbeak at a feeder in Deerfield, and single Red-breasted Mergansers were tallied at Barton Cove in Gill and Lake Mattawa in Orange.

Hampshire County continues to host a Say’s Phoebe near the Quabbin Reservoir Visitor’s Center in Belchertown, and a flock of 12 Red Crossbills was present in the vicinity of the Darrel Street Field in Granby.

Worcester County had a somewhat inexplicable number of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker reports from Southborough, the Hadwen Arboretum and the Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary in Worcester, Crane Swamp Conservation Area in Northborough, the Lunenburg Pollinator Habitat area, and Westboro the WMA in Westborough. Three migrating Golden Eagles were tallied at Wachusett Mountain Reservation in Princeton, and 4 Black Vultures were seen at Roosevelt Park in Blackstone.

Martha’s Vineyard sightings of special note were an Ash-throated Flycatcher in the vicinity of the Squibnocket Pond parking lot, a Western Tanager on Squibnocket Road in Chilmark, a Eurasian Wigeon at Crystall Lake in Oak Bluffs, 8 Blue-winged Teal at Upper Chilmark Pond, 4 Redhead at Chilmark Pond, 15 Tree Swallows at the Old Hunt Place dock in Chilmark, and 2 Bald Eagles at Philbin Beach in Aquinnah.

Nantucket hosted a somewhat elusive Eared Grebe at Hummock Pond in the vicinity of Osprey Way, 4 Northern Shovelers and a continuing Common Gallinule at Miacomet Park, a Dickcissel at a feeder on Madaket Road, and a Snowy Egret at Consue Springs.