Bird Sightings

Bird sightings

Recent bird sightings on Cape Cod (as of Nov. 28) as reported to the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

Cave swallows made their strange, annual late fall invasion of the region. Small numbers were seen from spots in Provincetown, Truro, Chatham, Mashpee, and Falmouth. Late barn swallows were also noted from Mashpee and Provincetown.

Though the Eastham bird has not been seen recently, yet another rufous hummingbird has been visiting a feeder in Orleans in recent days. A storm-blown ruby-throated hummingbird, which is more rare than rufous this time of year despite being our only breeding hummingbird species, has been visiting a yard in Falmouth for some time.

Remarkably, a brown pelican and an American white pelican have been seen together from Fort Hill, Coast Guard Beach, and Nauset Spit in Eastham and Orleans. Other birds reported from Fort Hill included the continuing Le Conte’s sparrow, the three continuing Western kingbirds, a Western sandpiper, 2 Wilson’s snipe, an American woodcock, a clapper rail, 14 Eastern meadowlarks, 5 marsh wrens, 6 American pipits, 6 Nelson’s sparrows, 5 saltmarsh sparrows, and 3 seaside sparrows.


Some nice seabirds moved past Race Point Beach in Provincetown, including a Northern fulmar, 3 great shearwaters, 2 little gulls, 860 black-legged kittiwakes, a laughing gull, 10 pomarine jaegers, 270 dovekies, a common murre, and 760 razorbills.

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Both species of crossbills plus increasing numbers of common redpolls were widely reported. Some higher counts included 10 red crossbills, 110 white-winged crossbills and 65 common redpolls at Highland Light in Truro, 147 white-winged crossbills and 90 common redpolls at Fort Hill, and 13 red crossbills in Orleans.

Birds in Barnstable included a lesser black-backed gull, a black-headed gull, a snowy egret, 25 snow buntings, and 2 Ipswich savannah sparrows in Hyannis, a purple sandpiper and 25 ruddy turnstones at Dowse’s Beach in Osterville, and the usual Eurasian wigeon on Mill Pond in Marstons Mills.

A short-eared owl was seen on Nauset Beach near the Orleans/Chatham line, and other sightings around the Cape included an American oystercatcher at Forest Beach in Chatham, 2 common terns, a thick-billed murre, and 77 razorbills at Corporation Beach in Dennis, 2 semipalmated plovers and a clay-colored sparrow in Orleans, and both snowy and great egrets reported from Provincetown Harbor.

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