Bird sightings

Recent bird sightings as reported to the Massachusetts Audubon Society:

Now that spring migration is nearly over, it is a good time to check local areas for interesting breeding species and to prepare for the vanguard of early returning shorebird species, particularly lesser yellowlegs, least sandpipers, and short-billed dowitchers. Also, remember that June is often when unusual species sometimes show up, especially rare shorebirds or failed breeders from distant localities.

Plum Island: Birding at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge has slowed down now that migration is largely over, but recent sightings of a Pacific loon at Emerson Rocks and a tricolored heron are certainly noteworthy.


Salisbury: A magnificent frigatebird was observed chasing gulls and terns off Salisbury Beach State Reservation early last week, and what was likely the same bird was also seen offshore at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

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Nantucket: Recent reports featured a merlin and two Chuck-will’s-widows.

Rockport: A visit to Thacher Island produced reports of 76 common eiders, including several broods of tiny ducklings, a great cormorant, a glossy ibis, 2 willow flycatchers, and an orchard oriole.

Middleborough: At the Cumberland Farms fields, a blue grosbeak and a dickcissel were both observed and heard singing last week.

Miscellaneous: Reports included a king eider that continues to be seen in the vicinity of Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester; single ruddy ducks at Jamaica Pond in Jamaica Plain and at Fiske Pond in Natick; two great cormorants at Gooseberry Neck in Westport; a little blue heron and a yellow-crowned night-heron in Squantum; another yellow-crowned night-heron in Essex; a tricolored heron at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in South Dartmouth; one or two clapper rails at Egypt Lane in Fairhaven; the continued presence of a sandhill crane at Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area in Hanson; a red-headed woodpecker in Lexington; and a hooded warbler at Turkey Hill in Cohasset.

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