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Friday, September 15, 2023

With the advent of an approaching hurricane accompanied by strong winds and heavy seas, birders are poised for the possibility of finding storm-blown seabirds and possibly other species both along the outer coast, and also on large interior ponds and lakes. The precise track of the storm will influence where the most likely places these species could show up. Also, such wind-displaced birds don’t always show up right after a storm, and sometimes aren’t located until several days after the storm has passed, so if you’re looking for storm-blown birds…be patient and be persistent. Good luck, but be careful out there!

Cape Cod highlights included some interesting pre-hurricane sightings at Race Point in Provincetown including a Magnificent Frigatebird, a good number of jaegers including many Parasitic Jaegers, 2 Pomarine Jaegers, and a single Long-tailed Jaeger, a Sabine’s Gull, and many Manx Shearwaters. Other notable reports were 2 Connecticut Warblers at Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary and another one at Wing Island in Brewster where 2 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers were also recorded. Two more Yellow-bellied Flycatchers were also seen at Sandy Neck in Barnstable along with 3 Western Sandpipers. Final highlights were a Royal Tern at Buck’s Creek in Chatham and a Painted Bunting at the Provincetown Airport.

Bristol County hosted 33 Black Terns, 2 Least Terns, a Hooded Warbler, a Connecticut Warbler, and a Yellow-breasted Chat at Gooseberry Neck in Westport, 4 Little Blue Herons and a Clay-colored Sparrow at Allens Pond Sanctuary in South Dartmouth, a Caspian Tern in Acoaxet, and a Sora at the Egypt Land Ponds in Fairhaven.

Plymouth County was visited by 2 Marbled Godwits and a Hudsonian Godwit at Plymouth Beach, a Baird’s Sandpiper at the Powder Point Bridge in Duxbury and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Duxbury Beach, a Clapper Rail at the Shifting Lots Preserve at Ellisville Harbor, a Little Blue Heron at Musquashicut Pond in North Scituate, and 3 Sandhill Cranes at Burrage Pond Wildlife Area in Hanson.

Norfolk County saw some notable sightings in the Squantum area of Quincy including a Little Blue Heron, a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, a Forster’s Tern, 2 Alder Flycatchers, and a Lincoln’s Sparrow at Squantum Point Park, a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at Nickerson Rock Park, an American Golden-Plover in flight over the Squantum Marsh, and Worm-eating Warbler at Moose Hill Farm in Sharon.

Suffolk County luminaries included a Hooded Warbler on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and another one at the Boston Nature Center in Mattapan, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at the Arnold Arboretum, a Red-shouldered Hawk, a Mourning Warbler, a Clay-colored Sparrow, and a Lark Sparrow at Millennium Park in West Roxbury, another Lark Sparrow at Forest Hills Cemetery, and a Glossy Ibis t the Belle Isle Cemetery in Winthrop.

Middlesex County birders found a Hooded Warbler in the Middlesex Fells near the Winford Way Entrance, an Ash-throated Flycatcher, an Eastern Kingbird, and a Connecticut Warbler at Sunny Meadow Farm in Chelmsford, another Connecticut Warbler at the Jenks/Guggins Brook Conservation Area in Acton, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Moulton’s Field in Hudson, a White-eyed Vireo at Nahanton Park in Newton, and a Least Bittern at the Great Meadows Refuge in Concord.

Essex County notables included a Little Gull in Newburyport Harbor, an early Common Goldeneye at the Salisbury Beach State Reservation, a Connecticut Warbler at Daniel Boone Park in Ipswich, a Black Vulture at the Cox Reservation in Essex, and the following species at Plum Island: a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, a Chuck-will’s-widow captured at the bird banding station on the island, a Clapper Rail, a Least Bittern, 7 Stilt Sandpipers, 3 Baird’s Sandpipers, a late Orchard Oriole, and a Yellow-headed Blackbird.

Berkshire County was visited by a Sanderling at Baldwin Hill in Egremont, a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at October Mountain State Forest in Washington, and a Connecticut Warbler at Taft Farm in Great Barrington.

Franklin County highlights were a Ring-necked Duck at the Turners Falls Power Canal in Montague, 4 Eastern Kingbirds in Whately at the former Pilgrim Airfield, and 2 Marsh Wrens on Great Meadow Road near the Northfield meadows.

Hampshire County reports of interest were a Mourning Warbler on Rt. 47 across from the intersection of Stockwell Road, 4 Sandhill Cranes on Old Springfield Road in Northampton and possibly the same 4 at Arcadia Sanctuary in Easthampton, a Baird’s Sandpiper, a Black-bellied Plover, and a Dickcissel at the Honey Pot in Hadley, 4 American Golden-Plovers and a Connecticut Warbler in the East Meadows in Northampton, an Upland Sandpiper at Great Pond in Hatfield, a Stilt Sandpiper at the Meadows Conservation Area near Arcadia Sanctuary in Northampton, and 2 Marsh Wrens at the Atkins Flats Conservation Area in Amherst.

Hampden County hosted a Little Blue Heron, a Northern Shoveler, and a Clay-colored Sparrow at the Longmeadow Flats in Longmeadow.

Worcester County luminaries were a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, 2 Alder Flycatchers, a Blue-winged Warbler, a Connecticut Warbler and a Dickcissel at the Westborough Wildlife Area in Westborough, a Red Phalarope at Bartlett Pond in Northborough, 16 Common Mergansers at gate 25 of the Wachusett Reservoir in West Boyleston, 2 Grasshopper Sparrows at gate 37 of the Wachsett Reservoir in Clinton, and 10 Red Crossbills in fishing area 3 at the Quabbin Reservoir in Petersham.

Martha’s Vineyard was visited by 19 Snow Geese at the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, a Marbled Godwit at Eel Pond in Edgartown, and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on Clay Pit Road at Aquinnah.

Nantucket birders located a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at The Creeks Preserve Park, a Marbled Godwit at Eel Point, 5 Northern Shovelers at Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, 2 Great Crested Flycatchers a Squam Swamp, a Least Flycatcher at Bartlett’s Farm, and a Blue Grosbeak at Lily Pond Park.