Recent bird sightings as reported to the Mass Audubon:
Last week, the highlights were headed by the continued presence of a Bell’s vireo at Fort Hill in Eastham and a remarkable number of lesser black-backed gulls tallied at Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. A minimum of 330 were counted at Nantucket and 22 were counted on Martha’s Vineyard. Lesser black-backed gulls are annually recorded in Massachusetts in varying numbers, but these numbers are notably impressive, especially considering there are no known breeding colonies of this species in North America. It is thought that most individuals in North America probably emanate from colonies in Greenland and Iceland. It will be interesting to try to monitor these numbers through fall and winter.
Berkshire County: Reports featured a great egret in Pittsfield, ospreys in Pittsfield and Richmond, a cackling goose in South Egremont, and a late indigo bunting in Williamstown.
Bristol County: Among reports was an American white pelican in the Acoaxet area. At Gooseberry Neck in Westport, there was a short-eared owl, two black-legged kittiwakes, a parasitic jaeger, a black-billed cuckoo, a Philadelphia vireo, and a clay-colored sparrow. In Taunton, a common gallinule was seen at Lake Sabbatia.
Cape Cod: Highlights featured a Pacific loon at Race Point in Provincetown, also a glaucous gull, two little gulls, and a black-headed gull. In Wellfleet, another little gull was seen along with two Caspian terns, and at Fort Hill in Eastham, a yellow-breasted chat was observed. Other reports included a Philadelphia vireo and a mourning warbler at Santuit Pond in Mashpee, a common redpoll at North Beach, and a cattle egret at South Monomoy Island.
Essex County: Among sightings were a Pacific loon at Marblehead, a King eider at Halibut Point in Rockport, and a snow bunting at Andrews Point in Rockport. In the King’s Beach area of Lynn, there was a Franklin’s gull and two little gulls, and in Beverly, four American oystercatchers were tallied. In Newburyport Harbor, a black-headed gull and a little gull were spotted, and at Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Rowley, a Northern shrike was observed.
Hampden County: The Longmeadow Flats were a hot spot where a greater white-fronted goose, a cackling goose, five Northern shovelers, and a lesser yellowlegs were seen.
Hampshire County: Some notable sightings were a Connecticut warbler in Northampton, a green heron, a Tennessee warbler and a dickcissel in Hadley, and a brant and a white-winged crossbill at the Quabbin headquarters in Belchertown.
Martha’s Vineyard: Highlights featured a Eurasian wigeon in Edgartown, and a stilt sandpiper and a Hudsonian godwit in Chilmark.
Middlesex County: Among reports were a stilt sandpiper and a solitary sandpiper at the Arlington Reservoir, a Connecticut warbler at Dunback Meadow in Lexington, and seven black scoters at Flint’s Pond in Concord and four at Lake Nagog in Littleton, where there was also a horned grebe. A red-headed woodpecker was found at Rocky Narrows in Sherborn, and a cackling goose frequented Great Meadows Refuge in Concord. A European goldfinch visited the gardens at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, however the provenance of this commonly kept cage bird is uncertain.
Nantucket: There was a common gallinule, two Northern shovelers, a Western kingbird, and a chestnut-sided warbler.
Norfolk County: Reports where highlighted by two yellow-crowned night-herons and four American oystercatchers at Squantum Point Park and two vesper sparrows at Passanageset Park in Quincy. A cackling goose was sighted at Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk.
Plymouth County: On the South Shore, 12 sandhill cranes were seen in flight in Halifax, and three continued to be present at Burrage Pond Wildlife Area in Hanson. At the North River Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield, a barn swallow and a Northern rough-winged swallow were sighted, and two soras were seen at the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield. At the Manomet Bird Observatory, observers spotted a yellow-billed cuckoo, a blue-gray gnatcatcher, and a white-eyed vireo. Lingering ospreys were noted in Pembroke and Marion.
Suffolk County: The luminaries were 16 American golden-plovers at Castle Island, a long-billed dowitcher and an American tree sparrow at Belle Isle in East Boston, and five Nelson’s sparrows at The Key in Revere. At Revere Beach, two little gulls were observed.
Worcester County: There were 14 black vultures were tallied in Blackstone, and a golden eaglewas seen at Wachusett Mountain. Four sandhill cranes were counted in New Braintree, three solitary sandpipers were seen in Northborough, and a Lapland longspur was found at the Uxbridge community gardens.
For more information about bird sightings or to report bird sightings, call Mass Audubon at 781-259-8805 or go to www.massaudubon.org.