Bird sightings from the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Vagrant and seasonally rare birds reported included the continuing two Northern lapwings on Nantucket, a Cape May warbler at a feeding station in North Andover, yellow-breasted chats in Burlington and the Fenway section of Boston, a blue grosbeak at a feeding station in Merrimac, and a mew gull and a black-headed gull at King’s Beach on the Lynn-Swampscott line.
As has been the case this winter, the big story has been the influx of irruptive or nomadic winter finches. Common redpolls, the rarer hoary redpolls, white-winged and red crossbills, and pine grosbeaks have been reported from many locations. In Wilmington, a flock of up to 30 pine grosbeaks has been frequenting ornamental crab apple trees on Jonspin Road and Upton Road in an industrial park.
Highlights of the Jan. 5 Truro Christmas Bird Count included a Baltimore oriole, a Lincoln’s sparrow, a lark sparrow, 29 red crossbills, 18 white-winged crossbills, 81 common redpolls, and, in Wellfleet, a rufous hummingbird.
On Plum Island, at least 1,500 red-breasted mergansers were reported in Newburyport Harbor. Reports from Salisbury included 20 wild turkeys, more than 30 purple sandpipers, six razorbills, 10 red-breasted nuthatches, 20 snow buntings, 15 red crossbills, and three white-winged crossbills. On Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, birds reported included a snow goose, a bald eagle, and a gray catbird. A Northern saw-whet owl was reported from Sandy Point State Reservation at the southern end of the island.
In Peabody, at Sidneys Pond, reports included a turkey vulture, a Northern harrier, at least four Virginia rails, and a marsh wren.
Reports from Duxbury Beach included four harlequin ducks, three black-bellied plovers, eight sanderling, 105 dunlin, three razorbills, four horned larks, 175 common redpolls, and two hoary redpolls.
On Cape Ann, birds reported included 95 harlequin ducks, a Barrow’s goldeneye, 49 greater scaup, 40 ruddy ducks, four lesser scaup, a black-legged kittiwake, an Iceland gull, 13 purple sandpipers, a dovekie, 41 razorbills, and eight black guillemots.
In Winthrop, on Deer Island, reports included a Barrow’s goldeneye in a group of 10 common goldeneye, three Iceland gulls, at least 25 common redpolls, at least 35 snow buntings, and four pine siskins. A snowy owl was visible at Logan International Airport, as viewed from the end of Somerset Avenue.
Miscellaneous reports this week have included a hoary redpoll in Marlborough, an immature red-headed woodpecker in the Fenway in Boston, a marsh wren and 22 common redpolls at the Concord unit of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, 20 common redpolls in Yarmouth, eight red crossbills in the Snug Harbor area of Duxbury, four pine grosbeaks in Marlborough, and both white-winged and red crossbills on the north end of Horseneck Beach State Reservation campground in Dartmouth.
Registration is now open for the 21st Massachusetts Audubon Birders Meeting which will be held at Bentley University in Waltham on March 16. You can find details of this year’s meeting at www.massaudubon.org/