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Monarch caterpillar

Friday, January 5, 2024

Because of the Christmas Bird Counts taking place for the past couple weeks, quite a number of interesting birds were found and reported this week. A sample of these included Eared Grebe, Greater White-fronted Goose, Tufted Duck, Common Gull, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Vermillion Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, Yellow-throated Warbler, Western Tanager, Painted Bunting, and MacGillivray’s Warbler.

Cape Cod highlights were plentiful this week and included a continuing Western Kingbird, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Lark Sparrow in the vicinity of the Cape Cod Seashore Visitor’s Center in Eastham, a probable Rufous Hummingbird at Town Cove in Orleans, a second Western Kingbird on Race Point Road in Provincetown, 4 Pacific Loons together at Race Point in Provincetown, a Blue-headed Vireo and a Western Tanager near Highland Light in North Truro, a Northern Waterthrush at High Head in Truro, 76 Tree Swallows along Black Pond Road in Wellfleet, an American Oystercatcher at Great Island in Wellfleet, a House Wren and an Orange-crowned Warbler at Fort Hill in Eastham, and single Dickcissels at feeders in Wellfleet and Hyannis Port, where there was also a late Semipalmated Plover.

Bristol County hosted a MacGillivray’s Warbler on the powerline behind the Town Fair Tire store on Rt. 44 in Raynham, a Great Egret at West Island Beach in Fairhaven, 4 Northern Shovelers at Interchange Park in Fall River, and 6 more shovelers at Buttonwood Park in New Bedford. A Cackling Goose was also sighted at Buttonwood Park, and a Barrow’s Goldeneye was seen in New Bedford Harbor from Gifford Street in New Bedford.

Plymouth County luminaries were an amazing Vermillion Flycatcher photographed at Burrage Pond WMA in Hanson, a continuing Ash-throated Flycatcher on the powerline off Laurel Street in Halifax, a Greater White-fronted Goose at Monponsett Pond in Halifax, a Snow Goose on Bay Club Drive in Mattapoisett, a Clay-colored Sparrow on Cedar Pond Road in Lakeville and a Lincoln’s Sparrow on Crooked Lane in Lakeville, and a Black-headed Gull in Marshfield Hills.

Norfolk County sightings of note included a continuing Bell’s Vireo and an Orange-crowned Warbler at Webb Memorial Park in Weymouth, 3 Great Egrets at the Sailor’s Home Pond in Quincy, a flock of 42 Rusty Blackbirds at McCarthy Park in Medfield, a Northern Shoveler at Longfellow Pond in Wellesley Hills, a Baltimore Oriole on Sutton Road in Needham, and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Hall’s Pond in Brookline.

Suffolk County was graced by the presence of a Barrow’s Goldeneye at Castle Island in Boston Harbor along with an unidentified small sandpiper (either a Semipalmated or a Western Sandpiper), 2 Pine Warblers, 2 Palm Warblers, and an Orange-crowned Warbler at Constitution Wharf on the Boston waterfront, a Lincoln’s Sparrow in Post Office Square, a Nashville Warbler at Millennium Park in West Roxbury, and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at the Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild Park. At Forest Hills Cemetery sightings were made of an Orange-crowned Warbler and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and at Belle Isle Cemetery in Winthrop 3 Semipalmated Plovers were spotted. At the Rumney Marsh Sanctury in Revere, a Yellow-breasted Chat was identified.

Middlesex County sightings of note this week included a Snow Goose and a flock of 42 Northern Pintails at Hager Pond in Marlborough, another large flock of 24 Northern Pintails at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Acton, single Clay-colored Sparrows at Weston Station Pond in Weston and Harrington Park in Concord, 3 Redheads off Edgewater Drive in Wakefield, 6 Virginia Rails along the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail in Sudbury, 30 American Pipits near 296 Marlboro Road in in Sudbury, a White-crowned Sparrow at Nahanton Park in Newton, 18 Rusty Blackbirds at a private address in Groton, a Killdeer and a Wilson’s Snipe at Nine Acre Corner in Concord, and 5 Fox Sparrows at the Butternut Farm Golf Club in Stow.

Essex County highlights featured a group of 4 Cackling Geese at the Artichoke Reservoir in West Newbury, a continuing Lark Sparrow at the Salisbury Beach Reservation Campground in Salisbury, a still present Ash-throated Flycatcher and a White-eyed Vireo at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, a Snowy Egret at the Essex Marina in Essex, an American Bittern and a Pomarine Jager at Plum Island, a Yellow-breasted Chat in the Eastern Point area of Gloucester, and a Yellow-throated Warbler at a private address in West Newbury.

Berkshire County notables were a Greater White-fronted Goose at Mill Pond in Sheffield, 4 Redheads and 2 Gadwalls at Lake Pontoosuc in Pittsfield, 5 American Wigeon at Richmond Pond in Richmond, 9 Green-winged Teal and a Northern Pintail at Lake Onota in Pittsfield, and 5 Ring-necked Ducks at Laurel Lake in Lee. A Cackling Goose was seen near North Undermountain Road in New Marlborough, and elsewhere in New Marlborough a Lincon’s Sparrow was found on North Road.

Franklin County sightings were headed by the discovery of a road-killed Western Flycatcher in Gill, a Northern Shrike in a field off Old South Road in Orange, an Iceland Gull at the Turner’s Falls Power Canal in Montague, 10 Red Crossbills at the Montague Sandplains WMA in Montague, and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Deerfield.

Hampshire County continued to host a Say’s Phoebe near the Quabbin Reservoir Visitor’s Center in Belchertown, as well as and Iceland Gull seen from the Windsor Dam. A Cackling Goose continued to be seen at the UMass campus pond in Amherst, and other county sightings included a Gadwall at Lower Mill Pond in Easthampton, and a Lapland Longspur and a Clay-colored Sparrow in the East Meadows in Northampton.

Hampden County featured interesting waterfowl this week with a Gadwall, 5 Green-winged Teal, 2 American Wigeon, and 7 Ring-necked Ducks at the Longmeadow Flats in Longmeadow, and 7 Lesser Scaup and a Ruddy Duck on the Congamond Lakes in Southwick.

Worcester County observers were startled to 400 Common Grackles on the way to a winter roost in Harvard, with other sightings of interest including 5 Sandhill Cranes in the North Brookfield area, a Black-crowned Night-Heron at Riley Pond in Whitinsville, 200 Greater Scaup at South Meadow Pond in Clinton, a Red-necked Grebe and a Horned Grebe at gate 43 at Quabbin Reservoir in Hardwick, 30 Red Crossbills at the Birch Hill W. M. A. in Winchendon and 15 more at the Lake Wampanoag Sanctuary in Gardner, an single Yellow-breasted Sapsuckers in Westboro, Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary in Worcester, Northborough, Milbury, New Braintree, Gardner, Bolton, and Hardwick.

Martha’s Vineyard luminaries included a Eurasian Wigeon at Crystal Lake in Oak Bluffs, a Short-eared Owl feeding over fields along Lobsterville Road in Aquinnah, a Lesser Yellowlegs near the Black Point parking area, at least one, and possibly more than one, Black-throated Blue Warbler seen on Indian Hill Road in West Tisbury, 2 Common Ravens at Gay Head, 10 American Pipits at the Katama Farm, and a Clay-colored Sparrow in Oak Bluffs.

Nantucket found a number of interesting birds on their recent Christmas Bird Count that included an Eared Grebe, a Tufted Duck, a Common Gull of the Kamchatka race, a Western Tanager, a Painted Bunting, a Willet, a Dickcissel, and a Lark Sparrow at Low Beach.