Bird sightings

Razorbills have been seen in Provincetown, Chatham, Eastham, and Orleans.

Recent bird sightings on Cape Cod (as of Nov. 30) as reported to the Massachusetts Audubon Society. A gyrfalcon was seen harassing Northern gannets off Nauset Beach in Orleans this week. This largest and rarest of our falcons is seldom seen south of its Arctic haunts.

Rare and uncommon birds continue at Fort Hill in Eastham, including an ash-throated flycatcher, a painted bunting, a yellow-breasted chat, at least 4 American bitterns, a Wilson’s snipe, a Baltimore oriole, a common yellowthroat, an orange-crowned warbler, a fox sparrow, 7 Eastern meadowlarks, and 2 saltmarsh sparrows.

The brown booby continues in Provincetown Harbor, where a thick-billed murre, razorbills, and several harlequin ducks have also been regular. A late Cory’s shearwater was sighted.


A female king eider was seen below the Chatham Lighthouse in Chatham, and other birds around Chatham included 295 red-throated loons, 4 great shearwaters, a common tern, 2 dovekies, 475 razorbills, plus 143 red knots, 450 dunlin, 116 black-bellied plovers, and a ruddy turnstone at Tern Island.

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Seabirds at First Encounter Beach in Eastham this week included 18 Cory’s shearwaters, a pomarine jaeger, 19 dovekies, and 573 razorbills.

Seabirds off Nauset Beach in Orleans included over 100 red-throated loons, 4 red-necked grebes, 70 great shearwaters, 2 Manx shearwaters, 3,000 Northern gannets, 100 razorbills, plus 4 American bitterns and 17 great blue herons in the adjacent marshes.

A check of ponds and thickets around the Upper Cape produced 2 Eurasian wigeon in Marstons Mills, a redhead in Falmouth, 725 greater scaup in Falmouth, a Barrow’s goldeneye and 50 ruddy ducks at Ashumet Pond in Mashpee, 20 fish crows in Bourne, and a yellow-breasted chat in Falmouth.

A black-headed gull and a Forster’s tern were seen in Wellfleet Harbor, and other sightings around the Cape included a Northern shrike at High Head in Truro, a black-headed gull at Wiley Park in Eastham, a sooty shearwater off South Beach in Chatham and another off Nauset Beach in Orleans, a black-throated green warbler in Marstons Mills, a lesser black-backed gull at Kalmus Beach in Hyannis, and a harlequin duck and a black-headed gull at Keyes beach in Hyannis.

For more information about bird sightings or to report sightings, call the Massachusetts Audubon Society at 781-259-8805 or go to