Recent Central Mass Bird Sightings

Sightings are listed in reverse chronological order. The email address of birders submitting reports, as well as other Central Massachusetts birding info can be found via the Central Mass Bird Update homepage.

Bird News:



Bird Sightings:

7/15/18 -- QUABOG IBA, Brookfields
Today we spent a few hours birding the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields). Bird song has really diminished. Persistent singers like vireos are still in high song, but some warbler species like Ovenbirds are now mostly silent except at dawn. Highlights:
  • Great Blue Heron (4ad+4 young still in 2 nests and we watched as 3 young birds left another nest for the first time); Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (28); Wood Duck (2 ducklings unattended); Mallard (13ad+1f w/3 ducklings); Bald Eagle (1); American Kestrel (1m); Ring-necked Pheasant (1m); Wild Turkey (9); Virginia Rail (9); Killdeer (2); Ring-billed Gull (3); Barred Owl (1); Belted Kingfisher (1).
    • FLYCATCHERS: E Wood Peewee (8); Willow Flycatcher (4); E Phoebe (16); Great crested (3); E Kingbird (23: some young fledged).
    • VIREOS: Yellow-throated (9); Warbling (15); Red-eyed (61).
    Fish Crow (1); Carolina Wren (5); House Wren (21); Marsh Wren (14); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (3); Veery (23).
    • WARBLERS: Yellow (16); Pine (7); A Redstart (5); Ovenbird (2); C Yellowthroat (52).
    Scarlet Tanager (11); Field Sparrow (3); Swamp Sparrow (43); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (6); Indigo Bunting (5); Baltimore Oriole 94); A Goldfinch (33).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 7/10/18 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    A very quick tour around WACHUSETT RESERVOIR this morning had the following:
  • Common Loon (4+pair w/2 young); Double-crested Cormorant (14); Great Blue Heron (3); Canada Goose (38); Mallard (14); Hooded Merganser (1f w/2yg); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Spotted Sandpiper (2); Ring-billed Gull (18: mostly post-breeding adults).
  • ALSO: The aged Red-eared Slider was spotted again in gate 17. There was a good flight od American Coppers along the dike as well as a decent flight of certain dragonflies like Wandering Gliders and Calico Pennants.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 7/4/18 -- Hardwick
    We spent the morning birding around HARDWICK, visiting various spots including the Gate 43 fishing area/boat launch (fee). We quit by 11:30AM as the heat got to be too much. Highlights:
  • Common Loon (pr w/2chicks+1ad); Great Blue Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (5); Wood Duck (1m); Hooded Merganser (6yg, no sign of an adult female); Wild Turkey (3); Killdeer (6); Spotted Sandpiper (2); Ring-billed Gull (2); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2).
    • Flycatchers/Vireos: E Wood Peewee (6); Least Flycatcher (7); E Phoebe (15); Great Crested Flycatcher (3); E Kingbird (15); Yellow-throated Vireo (10); Blue-headed Vireo (2); Warbling Vireo (9); Red-eyed Vireo (99)
    Common Raven (1:being wailed on by 2 Red-winged Blackbirds); Tree Swallow (60+); Barn Swallow (23); Red-breasted Nuthatch (9); Winter Wren (6); E Bluebird (3); Veery (41); Wood Thrush (6).
    • WARBLERS: Yellow (21); Chestnut-sided (19); Black-throated Blue (7); Black-throated Green (9); Blackburnian (1); Pine (23); Black and White (6); A Redstart (7); Ovenbird (37); Louisiana Waterthrush (1); C Yellowthroat (51); Canada (2).
    Scarlet Tanager (15); E Towhee (11); Savannah Sparrow (10); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3); Indigo Bunting (21); Bobolink (10); E Meadowlark (3); Baltimore Oriole (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 7/1/18 -- Petersham
    We spent a hot and humid morning birding in PETERSHAM. We visited various Trustees of Reservations, Harvard Forest, Harvard Pond, a MAS property, various powerline breaks, and other locations. Highlights:
  • Common Loon (1 heard); American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (2+1ad w/3yg in nest); Green Heron (1); Canada Goose (1); Wood Duck (1f w/6yg+1f 2/2yg+1f w/3yg+1f w/4yg+7 juvenile birds+2 other adults); Hooded Merganser (2yg+1f w/2yg); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (5+1f w/6yg); Virginia Rail (1); Killdeer (1); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (6); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
    • FLYCATCHERS: E Wood Peewee (27); Least (14); E Phoebe (22); E Kingbird (4).
    • VIREO: Yellow-throated (8); Blue-headed (12); Warbling (3); Red-eyed (174).
    Common Raven (4); Red-breasted Nuthatch (6); Brown Creeper (3); Winter Wren (7); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (5); Veery (26); Hermit Thrush (23); Wood Thrush (3); Cedar Waxwing (4).
    • WARBLERS: Yellow (2); Chestnut-sided (33); Black-throated Blue (4); Yellow-rumped (2); Black-throated Green (20); Blackburnian (5); Pine (22); Prairie (7); Black and White (4); A Redstart (13); Worm-eating (1: pst); Ovenbird (97); Louisiana Waterthrush (3); C Yellowthroat (64); Canada (3).
    Scarlet Tanager (19); E Towhee (30); Field Sparrow (4); Swamp Sparrow (8); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (8); Indigo Bunting (12).
  • Non-bird highlights included: hundreds of teeny American Toads; (6) Northern Pearly Eyes on some scat; a Banded Pennant, a life-dragonfly for us.
  • ALSO: a brief stop at the Barre Transfer Station found (46) Turkey Vulture ; (1) Sharp-shinned Hawk; (1) Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/30/18 -- Brookfields
    We got an early start and surveyed some of the areas in the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields). We never even got to Elm Hill MAS! Bird activity is in high gear as parents are feeding young. Highlights:
  • Least Bittern (1 calling from cattails); Great Blue Heron (6ad+13yg in 5 still active nests); Green Heron (1); Mallard (12); Bald Eagle (2 imm still in the nest at north end of Wickabog); Virginia Rail (16); Sora (1); Barred Owl (just a single bloody wing in the middle of a road); Belted Kingfisher (2); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
    • FLYCATCHERS: E Wood Peewee (10); Willow (4); E Phoebe (9); Great Crested (3); E Kingbird (23).
    • VIREOS: Yellow-throated (11); Warbling (26); Red-eyed (36).
    Common Raven (1); N Rough-winged Swallow (2); Bank Swallow (4); House Wren (14); Marsh Wren (8); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2); Veery (16); Wood Thrush (6).
    • WARBLERS: Yellow (21); Chestnut-sided (2); Pine (9); Black and White (2); A Redstart (5); Ovenbird (16); C Yellowthroat (49).
    Scarlet Tanager (5); Swamp Sparrow (45); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2); Indigo Bunting (1); Bobolink (13); Orchard Oriole (1); Baltimore Oriole (5).
  • At a pond in WARREN: Great Blue Heron (3); Wood Duck (1f w/13yg+1f w/11yg).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/29/18 -- Winchendon-South Royalston
    Today we birded the OTTER STATE FOREST/BIRCH HILL DAM parcel that straddles the border between WINCHENDON and SOUTH ROYALSTON. List:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1ad); Great Blue Heron (2); Turkey Vulture (2); Canada Goose (29); Wood Duck (1m); Broad-winged Hawk (5); Virginia Rail (1); Mourning Dove (4); BELTED KINGFISHER (1 dead, found hanging over the river, having gotten tangled up in discarded fishing line); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2); Hairy Woodpecker (2).
    • FLYCATCHERS: E Wood Peewee (2); Least (4); E Phoebe (9); Great Crested Flycatcher (7); E Kingbird (8).
    • VIREOS: Blue-headed (21); Warbling (2); Red-eyed (83).
    Blue Jay (17); A Crow (3); Tree Swallow (4+ pair feeding 3 young in nesthole); N Rough-winged Swallow (1); Barn Swallow (2); Black-capped Chickadee (19); Tufted Titmouse (4); Red-breasted Nuthatch (8); White-breasted Nuthatch (3); Winter Wren (2); Veery (11); Hermit Thrush (18); Wood Thrush (3); A Robin (23); Gray Catbird (35); Cedar Waxwing (7).
    • WARBLERS: Nashville (2); Yellow (15); Chestnut-sided (18); Black-throated Blue (6); Yellow-rumped (13); Black-throated Green (20); Blackburnian (1); Pine (34); Black and White (4); Ovenbird (72); C Yellowthroat (65).
    Scarlet Tanager (2); E Towhee (21); Chipping Sparrow (23+ two nestling out of the nest and in the middle of a road-we moved them to the side); Song Sparrow (44); Swamp Sparrow (24); White-throated Sparrow (6); N Cardinal (2); Indigo Bunting (3); Red-winged Blackbird (56); Baltimore Oriole (2); Purple Finch (14); A Goldfinch (6).
  • Other vertebrate highlights included Banded Watersnake, Garter Snake; Gray Treefrog; White-tailed Deer. Odonate highlights included Black-shouldered Spinylegs and Dragonhunter; blooms included a nice show of Rose Pogonia (an orchid).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/29/18 -- Westboro
    There appear to be a pair of bald eagles flying around the pond on Otis street in westboro. (report from Sean Casler).

    6/21/18 -- Brookfields/Quabog ABA
    Today we birded the BROOKFIELDS/THE QUABOG IBA. Bird Song is starting to drop off. The most intense song is first thing in the morning. Persistent singers like vireos, are still in song for most of the day. There is a lot of activity as adults bring food to rapidly growing young. Most (not all) young herons look like they will be ready to leave the nest soon. Its a great time to be out in the field. The only caveat is the caterpillar destruction. It is intense in some areas and I am now finding myself standing under a rain of frass every once in a while.
  • Highlights: Common Loon (adult pair at Lake Quacumquasit/South Pond); Great Blue Heron (8adults+15 young in 6 nests); Green Heron (1); Black Vulture (1) Turkey Vulture (5); Canada Goose (23 adults/semi-adults+ pair w/3 goslings+pair w/4 goslings); Mallard (11+1f w/2 teeny ducklings); Osprey (1); Bald Eagle (2 juv in nest); Red-shouldered Hawk (2); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Wild Turkey (2); Virginia Rail (7); Sora (1); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1); Hairy Woodpecker (3); N Flicker (4).
    • Flycatchers: E Wood Peewee (8); Willow Flycatcher (3); E Phoebe (4); E Kingbird (13).
    • VIREOS: Yellow-throated (8); Warbling (19); Red-eyed (42).
    • WRENS: Carolina (2); House (6); Winter (1); Marsh (10).
    E Bluebird (6); Veery (2); Hermit Thrush (2); Brown Thrasher (1).
    • WARBLERS: Yellow (16); Chestnut-sided (2); Black-throated Green (1); Pine (14); A Redstart (7); Ovenbird (23); C Yellowthroat (27).
    Scarlet Tanager (6); Swamp Sparrow (32); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (11); Indigo Bunting (4); Bobolink (15); Orchard Oriole (2); Baltimore Oriole (14); Purple Finch (2); A Goldfinch (11).
  • While at Wells State Park we witnessed a dead tree with a 10+ Giant Ichneumon Wasps ovipositing, which was a wild sight.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/18/18 -- Oakham
    A ruffed grouse hen stood on a rock in my garden by the woods, clucking for her babies. Several buzzed towards her as she scuttled in the woods, clucking. (report from Kathy Van Schoick).

    6/16/18 -- Central Mass Rail Trail, Barre
    While pedaling on the Central Mass Rail Trail we saw a family of six ravens. The juveniles looked as large and well-feathered as the adults, but they were food begging. They made quite a racket. Saw one adult feeding a young one. This was near the Barre/Rutland line....the MWRA pump house was just across the Ware River. (report from Marion Larson and Scott Handler).

    6/11/18 -- Petersham
    Today we spent time in a few areas of PETERSHAM. Highlights included:
  • Great Blue Heron (5); Turkey Vulture (1); Wood Duck (1f w/9yg); Broad-winged Hawk (3); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Wild Turkey (1); Black-billed Cuckoo (3); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (4); Barred Owl (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (12: including a pair exchanging places at nest hole); Pileated Woodpecker (3).
    • FLYCATCHERS: E Wood Peewee (23); Alder (10); Least (24); E Phoebe (16: including 1ad with 4 nestlings); Great Crested (4); E Kingbird (9: 1 bird seen nest-building).
    • VIREOS: Yellow-throated (5); Blue-headed (19); Warbling (5); Red-eyed (130).
    Common Raven (3); Red-breasted Nuthatch (12); Brown Creeper (2); Winter Wren (4); E Bluebird (4); Veery (43: 1 bird watched carrying food to nest on ground); Hermit Thrush (22); Wood Thrush (6); Cedar Waxwing (10).
    • WARBLERS: Nashville (1); Yellow (14); Chestnut-sided (31); Magnolia (1); Black-throated Blue (5); Yellow-rumped (4); Black-throated Green (29); Blackburnian (3); Pine (37); Prairie (8); Black and White (17); A Redstart (21); Worm-eating (1); Ovenbird (65); Northern Waterthrush (2); Louisiana Waterthrush (3); C Yellowthroat (39).
    Scarlet Tanager (26); E Towhee (14); Field Sparrow (5); Swamp Sparrow (8); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (9); Indigo Bunting (11); Baltimore Oriole (11); Purple Finch (8).
  • Mammal highlights included White-tailed Deer; Short-tailed Weasel, and a Black Bear we watched for some time.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/9/18 -- New Braintree
    While driving down Utley Road (Howland's Farm) in New Braintree tonight (7:20PM), there were 2 Sandill Cranes (male and female) feeding on the south side of the road in last years corn field. We watched them for 20 minutes and they were still feeding when left. (report from Jeff Smith).

    5/28/18 -- WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA
    Today we spent the entire morning in areas of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. Initially we birded along the roads along the sw edge, but then other spots in the entire southern section. The weather was overcast with occasional showers. Most of the birds were migrant breeders, but we also had a nice selection of later season migrants. Highlights:
  • American Bittern (2); Great Blue Heron (11 and 5 active nests in 1 rookery); Black Vulture (2); Turkey Vulture (11: nb: these vultures were at the Barre Transfer Station); Canada Goose (1); Wood Duck (1m); Mallard (6); Hooded Merganser (1f); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Ruffed Grouse (1); Wild Turkey (5); Virginia Rail (6); Black-billed Cuckoo (4); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (2)
    • FLYCATCHERS: Olive-sided (1); E Wood Peewee (15); Yellow-bellied (1); Alder (8); Willow (7); Least (19); E Phoebe (2); Great Crested (5); E Kingbird (11: pair seen nest-building).
    • VIREOS: Yellow-throated (6); Blue-headed (7); Warbling (5); Red-eyed (91).
    Common Raven (2+1ad w/2 just-fledged young); Red-breasted Nuthatch (9); Brown Creeper (3); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); Veery (34); Hermit Thrush (3); Wood Thrush (5).
    • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (3); N Parula (1); Yellow (18); Chestnut-sided (43); Black-throated Blue (8); Yellow-rumped (9); Black-throated Green (18); Blackburnian (3); Pine (27); Prairie (4); Blackpoll (10); Black and White (12); A Redstart (10); Ovenbird (126); Northern Waterthrush (2); Mourning (1); C Yellowthroat (34); Canada (2).
    Scarlet Tanager (31); E Towhee (22); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (13); Indigo Bunting (11); Bobolink (31); Baltimore Oriole (17); Purple Finch (4).
  • Despite the overcast conditions we also had some spectacular displays of late spring wild flowers: Clintonia, Indian Cucumber, Columbine, Starflower, Bunchberry, Lady’s Slipper, and Canada Mayflower everywhere. No butterflies and only a handful of Chalk-fronted Skimmers.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/26/18 -- Wachusett Aqueduct, Clinton to Northborough
    Today we hiked much of the Wachusett Aqueduct. We began at the Clinton Courthouse and wandered fruitlessly in the Rauscher Farm Area trying to figure out where to find the aqueduct, but finally came out on Rte 62, walked down the berm along the railroad track at the 5 corners by Foss Dam and then finally found the Wachusett Aqueduct and walked to Northborough, ending on some Sudbury Valley Trustees Land (Cedar Hill Reservation). 8+ miles in total, given a couple of hiccups in wayfinding. We didn't count individual birds, but we did hear or see nearly 50 species. Birding was secondary on this walk. Highlight was a Black-billed Cuckoo calling in an area just north of Rte 290--there's been cut in the forest there. The other highlight bird experience were fledgling Carolina Wrens that flew right at us and landed literally next to our feet! The parents were none too happy. Total species list: Canada Goose, Mallard, Wild Turkey, Great Blue Heron, Red-tailed Hawk, Turkey Vulture, Spotted Sandpiper, Black-billed Cuckoo, Mourning Dove, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Wood Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Wren, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Veery, Robin, Catbird, Mockingbird, Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Towhee, Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, Goldfinch, House Sparrow. We also observed 3 deer, butterflies and a number of blooming wildflowers including several good patches of Birds-foot Violet, Lady Slippers and Wild Columbine. (report from Marion Larson and Scott Handler)

    5/23/18 -- Crystal Lake, Gardner
    I got an email from a Gardner resident, Norman Beauregard, with a nice photo of 2 White-winged Scoters (m&f) on Crystal Lake this morning. (report from Tom Pirro).

    5/23/18 -- Westborough
    For 2 days this week some staff walking at the MacCallum Wildlife Management Area (formerly the Westborough WMA) have heard what Drew Vitz, the state ornithologist, thinks may be a Brewster's Warbler. Calls were downloaded on a cell phone but when she sent it to me I was unable to open it. The calls on the phone also attracted 2 blue-winged warblers on the second day (yesterday). The bird has been heard on the WMA near the boundary that is town property near the town barn and police firing range. Access this area by parking at the FHQ, walk over near the Chestnut Orchard plantation that is east of the FHQ building and on to the woods road going NORTH along the tree line. You will come to a T where there is a metal gate, turn left on the unmarked trail (east) and somewhere along that path before diving into the woods is where the bird was heard and recorded. No one has seen the bird yet --Drew and I are hoping some inspired birders will read this and make an attempt to find it! Years ago a Golden winged warbler was recorded here, Blue-wings commonly seen and heard every year....
    (report from Marion Larson)

    5/23/18 -- Hope Cemetery, Worcester
    This morning we woke up to hear a SWAINSON'S THRUSH singing in the bush outside our window. So, hoping for a fall-out, we headed to HOPE CEMETERY for about an hour and half. Not many birds, but still some good sightings:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1: overhead); Great Blue Heron (1: overhead); Canada Goose (4: overhead); Mallard (1m); Mourning Dove (10); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1); Black-billed Cuckoo (3 minimal); Chimney Swift (8); Belted Kingfisher (1: nests in St. John's); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); Downy Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (2). E Wood Peewee (3: pair seen nest building); E Kingbird (1); Warbling Vireo (8); Red-eyed Vireo (3); Blue Jay (3); Black-capped Chickadee (2); Tufted Titmouse (3); House Wren (3); Swainson's Thrush (2); A Robin (38); Gray Catbird (14); N Mockingbird (7: pair seen carrying food to nest); Cedar Waxwing (flock of 29).
    • WARBLERS: Tennessee (2); N Parula (1); Yellow (7); Magnolia (1); Blackburnian (1); Blackpoll (12); Black and White (1f); A Redstart (3); C Yellowthroat (3).
    Chipping Sparrow (15); Song Sparrow (3); N Cardinal (2); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (4); C Grackle (9); Brown-headed Cowbird (5); Orchard Oriole (pair+1 1st yr m); Baltimore Oriole (9); House Finch (3); A Goldfinch (4).
  • Plus: Raccoon (1 large)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/20-21 -- Winchendon-South Royalston/Ware River Watershed IBA
    Here are some sightings from the last 2 days:
  • Sunday, May20 -- We started the day at the OTTER RIVER-BIRCH HILL DAM parcel (Winchendon-South Royalston). The weather was not great: overcast, dark, breezy. Highlights included: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (8+ pr w/4yg); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1: breeds); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (1); Killdeer (2); Spotted Sandpiper (4); Belted Kingfisher (1); Pileated Woodpecker (2). FLYCATCHERS: E Wood Peewee (2); Alder (5); Least (19); E Phoebe (8); Great Crested Flycatcher (1); E Kingbird (8).
    • VIREOS: Blue-headed (11); Warbling (9); Red-eyed (39)
    Red-breasted Nuthatch (30)
    • WRENS: Carolina (1); House (1); Winter (1).
    • THRUSHES: Veery (14); Swainson?s (1); Hermit (9); Wood (2).
    • WARBLERS (all breeders): Yellow (27); Chestnut-sided (32); Black-throated Blue (6); Yellow-rumped (8); Black-throated Green (21); Blackburnian (2); Pine (18); Prairie (3); Black and White (9); A Redstart (4); Ovenbird (88); Northern Waterthrush (5); C Yellowthroat (79); Canada (2).
    Scarlet Tanager (6); Swamp Sparrow (11); White-throated Sparrow (21: breeder); Dark-eyed Junco (1); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (4); Baltimore Oriole (11); Purple Finch (9).
  • Heading back home the weather cleared for a bit so we headed to the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA, just the se corner of it, to look for butterflies and odonates. Some of the birds seen during this short stay in the afternoon included: American Bittern (1); Turkey Vulture (1: on the ground deep in the woods); Canada Goose (6ad+10yg); Mallard (2); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Belted Kingfisher (1);
    • FLYCATCHERS: E Wood Peewee (1); Alder (1); Willow (12): Least (8); E Phoebe (3); Great Crested Flycatcher (5); E Kingbird (4).
    • VIREOS: Yellow-throated (7); Warbling (3); Red-eyed (23). Red-breasted Nuthatch (4); Winter Wren (1); Veery (6).
    • WARBLERS: Yellow (14); Chestnut-sided (13); Black-throated Blue (1); Black-throated Green (3); Pine (19); Prairie (3); A Redstart (7); Ovenbird (55); Northern Waterthrush (2); Mourning (1); C Yellowthroat (37); Canada (1).
    Scarlet Tanager (5); Swamp Sparrow (12); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (9); Bobolink (10); Baltimore Oriole (10).
  • Among the odonate highlights was seeing 100+ teneral white-faces (Dot-tailed and Hudsonian) leaving the water and flying up into the forest.

    MONDAY, MAY 21: We went back to the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA, this time birding completely different areas from the day before. Highlights: American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (14 birds and 9 active nests); Canada Goose (2); Wood Duck (1); Hooded Merganser (1f); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Great Horned Owl (1); Barred Owl (2ad+1 juvvie); Pileated Woodpecker (3).

    • FLYCATCHERS: Olive-sided (1); E Wood Peewee (2); Least (5); E Phoebe (4); Great Crested Flycatcher (9); E Kingbird (6).
    • VIREOS: Blue-headed (6); Warbling (3); Red-eyed (126).
    Common Raven (adult pair closely watching, and loudly vocalizing to, 2 just out of the nest young. These young birds could fly a bit, but mostly walked and bounced. 1 couldn't quite balance on a perch yet. Too much great behavior to write about here); Red-breasted Nuthatch (22); Brown Creeper (3); House Wren (4); Golden-crowned Kinglet (1); Veery (37); Hermit Thrush (3); Wood Thrush (9).
    • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (2); Yellow (7); Chestnut-sided (40); Magnolia (1: breeds); Cape May (1); Black-throated Blue (11); Yellow-rumped (8); Black-throated Green (13); Blackburnian (6); Pine (27); Prairie (5); Blackpoll (2); Black and White (17); A Redstart (19); Ovenbird (102); Northern Waterthrush (1); Louisiana Waterthrush (1); MOURNING (3: see photo: my personal single location count for the County); C Yellowthroat (42); Canada (2).
    Scarlet Tanager (28); E Towhee (26); Swamp Sparrow (22); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (4); Indigo Bunting (2); Bobolink (13); Baltimore Oriole (9); Purple Finch (6)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/19/18 -- Quabog IBA/Oxford
    This morning we birded a few areas of the QUABOG IBA. Just a few migrants, mostly migrant breeders: Highlights:
  • Great Blue Heron (21 adult birds and 15 occupied nests); Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (21adults+5yg); Mute Swan (1 still on nest); Mallard (5); Bald Eagle (1ad at nest); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Wild Turkey (1); Virginia Rail (6); Sora (1); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (5); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (4); Willow Flycatcher (8); Least Flycatcher (5); E Phoebe (9); Great Crested Flycatcher (3); E Kingbird (12); Yellow-throated Vireo (12); Blue-headed Vireo (1); Warbling Vireo (24); Red-eyed Vireo (69); Fish Crow (2). SWALLOWS: Tree (69); N Rough-winged (4); Bank (2); Barn (38). Brown Creeper (1);
    • WRENS: Carolina (2); House (11); Marsh (6).
    Veery (19); Wood Thrush (9). Gray Catbird (64); Brown Thrasher (1).
    • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (5); Yellow (36); Chestnut-sided (22); Yellow-rumped (1); Black-throated Green (3); Pine (7); Bay-breasted (1); Blackpoll (1); Black and White (3); A Redstart (26); Ovenbird (53); C Yellowthroat (61); Canada (1).
    Scarlet Tanager (12); E Towhee (3);Savannah Sparrow (2); Swamp Sparrow (21); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (17); Indigo Bunting (4); Bobolink (40); Baltimore Oriole (23).
  • ALSO: The PROTHONATORY WARBLER found in Oxford by Justin Lawson this AM was still there at 4PM. Directions: On Rt.12, Oxford look for the North Cemetery (west side). Drive in here, BUT take immediate right (Central Ave). This is a short, dead end road that ends at a marsh. Park. You can walk either left, through a yellow gate along a broad path that runs along the south edge of the marsh, OR: straight along a narrower path. The warbler is seen often along the path that runs straight along the eastern edge of the marsh (Rt. 12 will be on your right). Walk out until you get to a bit of a clearing overlooking the marsh. The warbler is often seen and heard (loudly singing) in dead trees from this spot. BUT the bird also ranged along both south and north edges of the marsh and even up into tree in the cemetery. Give it time. If it is there, you will hear it eventually. DO NOT TAPE! These southern warblers have (rarely) attempted to nest in the state. There are plenty of other birds in the area: herons, waterfowl, warblers.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/18/18 -- Dodge Park, Worcester
    In the late pm (~6 pm) I had an adult Black-billed Cuckoo here, feasting on catapillars. Curiously, when I got home I had a phone report from Dave Grant, who this morning had a Black-billed Cuckoo not far from there (as the "cuckoo flies") in the Lincoln Village area. (report from Rick Quimby).

    5/18/18 -- Oakham
    A Red headed woodpecker was seen at our birdfeeders last night and this morning. A first for me, stunning. (report from Kathy Van Schoick).

    5/17/18 -- Bolton flats, Bolton
    Highlights of the evening Forbush Bird Club trip to Bolton Flats from the Route 117 parking lot and the Pine Hill WMA. were:
  • American Bittern , Blue and Green-winged Teal and Willow Flycatcher north of the parking lot
  • American Woodcock, Whip-poor-will, Grasshopper and Vesper Sparrows at Pine Hill WMA.
  • Prior to the start of my trip there were 28 Least Sandpipers in the puddle south of Route 117.
    (report from Bart Kamp).

  • 5/17/18 -- Rutland
    There were Bobolinks in the upper two fields on Hillside Rd. Rutland, near farm (prior name, Alta Vista Bison Farm). (report from Anne Greene).

    5/17/18 -- Worcester cemeteries
    This morning we birded the cemeteries in the sw corner of the city: Hope, All Faiths, Notre Dame. We did not check St. Johns. The weather was overcast with a few light showers. Initially there didn't seem to be much migration happening, but by mid-morning we had some nice movements at Hope.
  • Hope: Great Blue Heron (1); Green Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (10ad+6yg); Wood Duck (7 males); Mallard (4); Killdeer (1); Ring-billed Gull (1: nb: during Birdathon we dipped on any gulls in all the County locations we birded); Mourning Dove (26); Black-billed Cuckoo (2); Common Nighthawk (2 migrating overhead); Chimney Swift (17); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); Downy Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (3). E Wood Peewee (1); Least Flycatcher (1 calling); E Kingbird (3); Warbling Vireo (22); Red-eyed Vireo (2); Blue Jay (8); A Crow (2 attacking the raven) ; C Raven (1); Tree Swallow (4); N Rough-winged Swallow (3); Barn Swallow (4); Black-capped Chickadee (7); Tufted Titmouse (6); White-breasted Nuthatch (3); Carolina Wren (2); Veery (1); Swainson?s Thrush (1); A Robin (70+); Gray Catbird (19); N Mockingbird (8).
    • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (1); Tennessee (3); N Parula (8); Yellow (12); Chestnut-sided (5); Magnolia (1); Cape May (2); Yellow-rumped (16); Bay-breasted (1); Blackpoll (6); A Redstart (2); C Yellowthroat (5); Wilson's (2)
    Chipping Sparrow (18); Song Sparrow (13); Swamp Sparrow (2); N Cardinal (2); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3); Bobolink (1m singing atop oak in Hope); Red-winged Blackbird (30+); C Grackle (35+); Brown-headed Cowbird (5); Orchard Oriole (4: 1 pair seen displaying and eventually mating+ another f+1 1st yr male); Baltimore Oriole (27); House Finch (4); A Goldfinch (5).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/11/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    In two quick strolls through the park yesterday and today there were these FOY sightings:
  • 5/10- 5pm x3 Common Yellowthroats
  • 5/11- 6pm x2 Killdeer
    (report from Bill Sowka).

  • 5/11/18 -- Worcester
    Late this afternoon a White-crowned Sparrow was "battling" with the English Sparrows for a place on the sunflower feeder's perch; he won. (report from Bart Kamp).

    5/9/18 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights this afternoon: Hooded Merganser 1 (female at Heron Pond); Wild Turkey 2; Great Blue Heron 1 (on nest at Heron Pond); Green Heron 1 (flushed at Heron Pond); Cooper's Hawk 1; Red-bellied Woodpecker 2; Hairy Woodpecker 2; Northern Flicker 1; Eastern Phoebe 1; Great Crested Flycatcher 1; Warbling Vireo 2; Northern Rough-winged Swallow 3 (at Heron Pond); House Wren 2; Gray Catbird 2; Common Yellowthroat 1; Yellow Warbler 3; Yellow-rumped Warbler 6; Field Sparrow 2; Song Sparrow 7; Eastern Towhee 2; Scarlet Tanager 1; Rose-breasted Grosbeak 5; Baltimore Oriole 7. (report from John Liller).

    5/8/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights from 5:30-6:30 pm were 3 Eastern Kingbirds, a beautiful male Yellow Warbler, a Baltimore Oriole, Northern Flicker, Mute Swan with 6 goslings, and the usual abundance of Red Winged Blackbirds and Warbling Vireos. (report from Bill Sowka).

    5/7/18 -- Millbury
    Prarie warbler is back! (report from Susan LaBree).

    5/7/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Between 8-9am, there were Multiple Warbling Vireos, Multiple Baltimore Orioles, x1 Orchard Oriole (First Summer male with black throat), Black and White Warbler, Norther Parula.
  • Last evening 5/6 6pm male Redstart
    (report from Bill Sowka).

  • 5/6/18 -- Wachusett Reservior
    Today there was a significant fallout of Common Loons on the Wachusett Reservior, with a minimum of 156 individuals. I first noted a few good size rafts from gate 40, then headed to gate 36 for a better vantage point. From gate 36 I counted 112, mainly in 3 rafts, with a scattering of individuals on the fridges. All these birds were east of "the narrows". Driving directly to causeway area on RTE 12 (gate 28) I counted another 44, all well west of the "narrows". All but a very few,3 or 4 birds, were in breeding plumage. I did not have the time to check South bay nor Scar Hill Bluffs. There were no grebes, scoters or Oldsquaw. Also, there was a Common Tern perched on a bouy seen from gate 40 and 36.
    (report from Tom Pirro).

    5/5/18 -- Oakham
    There was a Whippoorwill calling at 9 p.m., a very rare event here. (report from Kathy Van Schoick).

    5/5/18 -- Hodges Village Dam, Oxford
    Highlights from a walk here from 11:30-1:30 were 1 Great Crested Flycatcher (seen and heard), 5 N. Rough-winged Swallows (close views perched and flying at top of dike), 1 House Wren, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 2 E. Bluebirds, 1 Gray Catbird, 1 Brown Thrasher (singing), 3 Warbling Vireo, 3 N. Parula, 6+ Yellow-rumped Warblers, 6+ Pine Warblers, 1 Palm Warbler, 1 Blackpoll Warbler (close views), 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak (m&f), 5+ E. Towhee, and 2 Baltimore Oriole. (report from Rick Quimby)

    5/5/18 -- SW Worcester cemeteries
    This morning we had only a few hours to bird, so we checked out the cemeteries in the sw corner of Worcester: HOPE, NOTRE DAME, ALL FAITHS (Leesville Pond), SAINT JOHNS. These can be great any time in May. Today was not a big day here, too windy, winds and weather not right for a fallout of migrants, but there were still some birds around.
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (1: fly-over); Green Heron (1); Canada Goose (7); Mute Swan (4: 2 on nests); Wood Duck (5); Mallard (2); Osprey (1: fly-over); Red-shouldered Hawk (1: fly-over); Killdeer (1); Mourning Dove (16); Chimney Swift (6); Belted Kingfisher (2: pair); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); Downy Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (7). E Phoebe (3); E Kingbird (4); Warbling Vireo (12); Blue Jay (5); A Crow (4); Tree Swallow (9); N Rough-winged Swallow (3); Barn Swallow (2); Black-capped Chickadee (5); Tufted Titmouse (11); White-breasted Nuthatch (3); House Wren (2); A Robin (74); Gray Catbird (14); N Mockingbird (1).
  • WARBLERS: Nashville (1: Sheila got a nice shot); N Parula (13); Yellow (12); Chestnut-sided (2); Black-throated Blue (1); Yellow-rumped (18); Prairie (1); Palm (1); Black and White (3); A Redstart (5); Worm-eating (1: originally seen/heard in Hope near the edge of St. Johns and the river. It was somewhat with a group of redstarts. They all moved over to St. Johns. We rushed over there but couldn?t refind any of the birds, which seemed to move along the river and out); C Yelowthroat (2);
  • E Towhee (1); Chipping Sparrow (27); Field Sparrow (also moved from Hope to St. Johns, where it could be heard singing); Song Sparrow (12); Swamp Sparrow (4); White-throated Sparrow (12); N Cardinal (11); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1); Red-winged Blackbird (37); C Grackle (20); Brown-headed Cowbird (15); Orchard Oriole (1m); Baltimore Oriole (26); House Finch (9); A Goldfinch (6).
  • PLUS: nice chorus of American Toads at Notre Dame.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/5/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Birds of note at 10am included Northern Parula x2; Yellow Warbler; Black and White Warbler x1; Pine Warbler x2; Multiple Baltimore Orioles; Warbling Vireo; Red Bellied Woodpecker; Red Tailed Hawk.
    (all seen in north end of pond, near or in the cherry blossoms except for yellow warbler which was mid pond in the low lying pondside bushes). Fun morning!
    (report from Bill Sowka).

    5/4/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at 1 pm today: 2 Warbling Vireos, 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Black-and-white Warblers, and 2 Baltimore Orioles (male & female). (report from Rick Quimby).

    5/4/18 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    We started out birding the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields) this morning well before dawn. Throughout the morning there were periodic showers. It soon became obvious, even in the dark, that there had been a decent outfall of certain species.
  • List: Common Loon (1); Double-crested Cormorant (3); American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (11, 9 active nests); Green Heron (2); Canada Goose (29); Mute Swan (pr, 1 on nest); Wood Duck (8); A Black Duck (1); Mallard (21); Ring-necked Duck (4: 2pr); Hooded Merganser (2f); RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (3; 1m+2f); Bald Eagle (2; 1ad+1imm); Red-tailed Hawk (2). Wild Turkey (20); Virginia Rail (5); Sora (1); Killdeer (1); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Spotted Sandpiper (2); American Woodcock (4); BONAPARTE'S GULL (4: 1adS); Ring-billed Gull (1); Mourning Dove (29); E Screech Owl (1); Great Horned Owl (1); Barred Owl (1); Whip-Poor-Will (5); Red-bellied Woodpecker (7); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Downy Woodpecker (7); Hairy Woodpecker (2); N Flicker (9); Pileated Woodpecker (2). WILLOW FLYCATCHER (1; by far my earliest date for this species in central MA); Least Flycatcher (14); E Phoebe (16); E Kingbird (8);
      VIREOS: Yellow-throated (5); Blue-headed (1); Warbling (23)
    Blue Jay (23); A Crow (13); C Raven (1); Tree Swallow (86); N Rough-winged Swallow (2); Bank Swallow (5); Barn Swallow (45+); Black-capped Chickadee (46); Tufted Titmouse (47); White-breasted Nuthatch (6); Carolina Wren (5); House Wren (21); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (8); E Bluebird (3); Veery (26); Hermit Thrush (3); Wood Thrush (31); A Robin (117); Gray Catbird (88); N Mockingbird (2); Brown Thrasher (1).
      WARBLERS: Blue-winged (7); N Parula (6); Yellow (39); Chestnut-sided (6); Black-throated Blue (1); Yellow-rumped (88); Black-throated Green (3); Pine (14); Prairie (1); Black and White (15); A Redstart (10); Ovenbird (58); Northern Waterthrush (1); Louisiana Waterthrush (2); C Yellowthroat (58); HOODED (1f)
    Scarlet Tanager (4).
      SPARROWS: E Towhee (9); Chipping (75); Savannah (2); Song (47); Swamp (49); White-throated (5)
    N Cardinal (49); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (8); Bobolink (8); Red-winged Blackbird (148); C Grackle (63); Brown-headed Cowbird (9); Baltimore Oriole (23); House Finch (18); A Goldfinch (19).
  • MAMMALS: included E Cottontail; River Otter; Muskrat; Beaver. Many E painted Turtles, (1) Spotted. Hundreds of Peepers and American Toads calling and (7) Gray Tree Frogs
  • The Only butterflies were a Cabbage White and (2) Spring Azures.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/4/18 -- Millbury
    Today the Baltimore Orioles and Yellow Warblers are back (report from Susan LaBree).

    5/3/18 -- Rutland
    Two male Ruby-throated hummingbirds at feeder this a.m. , 1 male Oriole also seen (feeding at hummingbird feeder). (report from Anne Greene)

    5/2/18 -- Sturbridge
    FOY Ruby-throated hummingbird (male) at our feeder in Sturbridge. (report from Naomi Lacasse).

    5/1/18 -- Barre
    Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at a feeder in Barre center at 5 pm today. (report from Steve Meredith).

    5/1/18 -- Ware River IBA
    Today we birded some of the southern half of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. List below:
  • American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (5-4 occupied nests in 1 rookery); Green Heron (1); Canada Goose (4); Wood Duck (18); Mallard (6: 1f on nest in marsh); Bufflehead (2); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Virginia Rail (6); Sora (1); Mourning Dove (3); Belted Kingfisher (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Downy Woodpecker (2); N Flicker (10); Pileated Woodpecker (2: we also had another fly right over Holden center en route). E Phoebe (10); Blue-headed Vireo (12); C Raven (1 very vocal bird hanging out near nest); Tree Swallow (24); Black-capped Chickadee (17); Tufted Titmouse (14); Red-breasted Nuthatch (4); White-breasted Nuthatch (3); Brown Creeper (6); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (5); E Bluebird (2); Hermit Thrush (6); A Robin (27).
    • WARBLERS: Yellow-rumped (39); Pine (56); Palm (1); Black and White (12); Ovenbird (1); Northern Waterthrush (1); Louisiana Waterthrush (1).
    • SPARROWS: E Towhee (36); Chipping (44); Song (19); Swamp (16); White-throated (1).
    N cardinal (2); Red-winged Blackbird (36); C Grackle (40+); Brown-headed Cowbird (6); Purple Finch (12); A Goldfinch (19).
  • Trilliums and Bloodroot just about ready to bloom.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/1/18 -- Wampanoag WS, Gardner
    Still almost no warblers except pine(2) and yellow-rumped(1), along with brown creeper(3), several blue jays and tree swallows (12 est.), eastern bluebird (pair), red-bellied woodpecker(1), broad-winged hawk(pair), hairy woodpecker(1), several chickadees. Most interesting and a first for us here- a beautiful RED-NECKED GREBE on Lake Wampanoag, very nearly in full breeding plumage. (report from Dick and Peg Knowlton).

    4/30/18 --Devens, South Post, Lancaster
    During the MassWildlife Outdoorswoman Turkey Hunt at Devens, I was stationed at one of the classrooms at the shooting ranges from 4:30AM - Noonish. Full moon turned into a nice pink-clouded sunrise, but then gray clouds took over and so did the rain. Temp at 4:30 was 36 degrees and only got up to 42 by noon; it was raw with some breeze from the west. Birds seen or heard at that area were the following: Woodcock (2), Whip-poor-will (2), Field Sparrow (FOY), Chipping Sparrows (15), Eastern Phoebe, Cowbird, Goldfinch, Great Blue Heron, Mockingbird, Turkeys (12), Eastern Bluebird (2), Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Chickadee, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Flicker, Wood Thrush, Canada Geese (2), Red-tailed Hawk (report from Marion Larson)

    4/29/18 -- High Ridge WMA, Westminster/Gardner
    On the Forbush Bird Club trip, highlights were: Great Blue Heron nesting colony with 15 occupied nests, nice views of Blue-headed Vireo, Brown Thrasher, and an early Boblink. Overall migration would seem to be slightly behind schedule, low wood warbler diversity and missing a few expected species for the date such as House Wren. Notable were Species seen and or heard by others, but not me were American Kestrel 1, and Eastern Towhee 1. trip total of 49 species.
  • Selected totals: Wood Duck 4; Hooded Merganser 3; Common Merganser (North American) 5; Common Loon 1 ...distant bird calling, likely in flight; Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 20 ..15 active nests; Broad-winged Hawk 1; Virginia Rail 1 calling kiddick...kiddick, later a few grunting calls; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 heard only; Hairy Woodpecker (Eastern) 4; Pileated Woodpecker 2; Blue-headed Vireo 3 nice looks; Northern Rough-winged Swallow 4; Tree Swallow 35; Barn Swallow (American) 3; Brown Creeper 1; Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1; Eastern Bluebird 5; Hermit Thrush 2; Brown Thrasher 1; Louisiana Waterthrush 1; Pine Warbler 16; Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 7; Field Sparrow 3; White-throated Sparrow 1; Song Sparrow 8; Swamp Sparrow 4; Bobolink 1.
    (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 4/29/18 -- Quabog IBA/Wachusett Reservoir
    We started the day birding the QUABOG IBA in rain. Despite the rain, there were many fishing boats out on Lake Quabog and South Pond. Partial list:
  • Common Loon (6: 5 on Quabog; 1 on Lashaway); American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (9 occupied nests); Canada Goose (26: 4 on nests); Mute Swan (1 on nest); Wood Duck (19); Mallard (5); Ring-necked Ducks (6); LONG-TAILED DUCK (3: 1m+2f on Lashaway); Bufflehead (1); Osprey (1); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Wild Turkey (26); Virginia Rail (6); Ring-billed Gull (2); Mourning Dove (20); Belted Kingfisher (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (4); Downy Woodpecker (3); N Flicker (8); Pileated Woodpecker (1). E Phoebe (6); Tree Swallow (105); N Rough-winged Swallow (8); Bank Swallow (2); Barn Swallow (31); Carolina Wren (1); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (11); E Bluebird (3); N Mockingbird (5); Brown Thrasher (2); Yellow-rumped Warbler (31); Pine Warbler (7); Field Sparrow (1); Swamp Sparrow (62).
  • Then we headed to WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (16); Horned Grebe (14: we first saw these and the Bonies early on from the dike; then from the dam and finally from Mile Hill Road); Double-crested Cormorant (6); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (9); Mallard (4); Bufflehead (3); Common merganser (7); Bald Eagle (1ad+1imm); Bonaparte's Gull (7 adW); Ring-billed Gull (41).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/25/18 -- Bolton Flats
    I visited the flooded Bolton Flats fields on the south side of Route 117 in Lancaster about 11:30 AM today hoping to find Bart Kamp's 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gull. I did immediately find an immature Lesser Black-backed Gull. I initially assumed it was the same bird that Bart saw, but, after he saw my images, Bart called me and said that he, in fact, had seen an entirely different bird than I did. His bird was a more "standard" 1st winter bird whereas the bird I observed is an older bird, perhaps a 2nd winter bird. The bird I observed had some complete dark gray plumage on its upperparts (as observed while it was standing on the ground) and did not have an entirely black bill. So, be on the lookout for two immature Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the Bolton Flats area. (report from Ed Kittredge)

    4/25/18 -- Bolton Flats
    Highlights of a trip to the Route 117 area of Bolton Flat WMA; North side: water too deep to drive into parking lot, only 2 ducks, Green-winged Teal, 2 Virginia Rails and 3 Greater Yellowlegs. South side:Water too deep drive in and too deep for knee boots. Drove in at the small pull-off just east of the bridge. Was able to walk out to the middle of the field without flushing any birds. There were 20-25 Wood Ducks, 8 Mallards and among the 40-50 Ring-billed Gulls the was a first winter Lesser Black-backed Gull. (report from Bart Kamp).

    4/24/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon: 1 Hooded Merganser (m), 1 Killdeer, 1 Spotted Sandpiper, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets (in same bush, displaying red crest), 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and 1 Pine Warbler. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/24/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights from the last 2 days were Mute Swan, Cormorant, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Northern Flicker, Palm Warbler. (report from Bill Sowka).

    4/23/18 -- Quabog IBA
    We spent this morning birding around the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields.
  • Great Blue Heron (24 birds and 23 active nests); Canada Goose (26-2 on nests); Mute Swan (2-1 on nest); Wood Duck (13); A Black Duck (3); Mallard (29); Green-winged Teal (12); Ring-necked Duck (24); Bufflehead (11); Common Merganser (36); Black Vulture (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Osprey (1); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); American Kestrel (1f); Wild Turkey (10); Virginia Rail (5); Killdeer (1); Ring-billed Gull (5); Herring Gull (1); Mourning Dove (11); Belted Kingfisher (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (7); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Downy Woodpecker (8); Hairy Woodpecker (3); N Flicker (17); Pileated Woodpecker (2). E Phoebe (13); Blue-headed Vireo (1); Blue Jay (23); A Crow (12); FISH CROW (1: hanging out in the vicinity of the Lake Quabog boat launch/lot: VERY vocal and active); C Raven (2).
  • SWALLOWS: Tree (29); N Rough-winged (2); Cliff (1).
  • Black-capped Chickadee (26/pair excavating nest hole); Tufted Titmouse (33); White-breasted Nuthatch (4); Brown Creeper (1); Carolina Wren (5); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (23); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); E Bluebird (2); A Robin (61); N Mockingbird (3); Brown Thrasher (1).
  • WARBLERS: Yellow-rumped (37); Pine (18); Palm (45); Louisiana Waterthrush (2 in Spencer).
  • SPARROWS: Chipping (53); Field (2); Song (68); Swamp (64); White-throated (27); Dark-eyed Junco (5).
  • N Cardinal (35); Red-winged Blackbird (125+); C Grackle (84); Brown-headed Cowbird (11); House Finch (28); A Goldfinch (16).
  • PLUS: our only butterfly was (1) Cabbage White. Among the many E Painted Turtles we also saw (1) Spotted Turtle and (2) Red-eared Sliders.
  • We stopped at one pond in WARREN and had: (6) Great Blue Heron; (36) Canada Geese; (2) Wood Duck; (4) Turkey Vulture; (2) Bald Eagles: 1 ad+1imm; (3) Hermit Thrush.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/20/18 -- Saint Johns Cemetery, Worcester
    There is an occupied Red-tailed Hawk nest near the top of a spruce tree on the left side of the cemetery before you cross The Middle River bridge. Also this morning we watched a male Northern Harrier rise up, catch a thermal and head off to the north. For the 2nd time this week we had a Raven fly over the cemetery. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    4/20/18 -- Petersham/north Connecticut River area
    Today we started with just a few stops in PETERSHAM: Canada Goose (14); Wood Duck (2); A Black Duck (2); Ring-necked Duck (7); Hooded Merganser (1m); Bufflehead (8); Common Merganser (7); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (3); Belted Kingfisher (1); E Phoebe (4); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1); Hermit Thrush (11); Tree Swallow (30); Pine Warbler (6); Rusty Blackbird (1).
  • ERVING: Turkey Vulture (8); Mallard (2); and a single large flock of 2 species: Ruby-crowned Kinglet (12) and Palm Warbler (10).
  • BARTON COVE: Common Loon (1); Double-crested Cormorant (2); Canada Goose (11); Bufflehead (1); Hooded Merganser (1m); Common Merganser (12).
  • CONTE CANAL: not much: Mallard (4); Bufflehead (6); Common Merganser (1); E Phoebe (2); Pine Warbler (5); Palm Warbler (13: working between the guard rail and the water offering nice photo possibilities).
  • TURNER'S FALLS ROD AND GUN CLUB: Common Loon (1); Mute Swan (10); Bufflehead (11); Common Merganser (16): at nearby airport: Turkey Vulture (1); American Kestrel (1).
  • MONTAGUE PLAINS: Common Raven (2); Pine Warbler (5); Field Sparrow (1); RED CROSSBILL (4).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/19/18 -- Uxbridge
    A Great Egret was seen about 1:45pm today at J. Whitin Pond from Hartford Avenue E, near the intersection with Rte 122 in Uxbridge. (report from Beth Milke)

    4/18/18 -- Quabog IBA
    Today we birded the QUABOG IBA. It was cool/cold and breezy.
  • Common Loon (2); Great Blue Heron (13 individuals, 7 active nests); Turkey Vulture (3); Canada Goose (26); Mute Swan (1 on a nest in a marsh, close to being flooded out); Wood Duck (20); A Black Duck (2); Mallard (9); "Black X Mallard" (1); Ring-necked Duck (24); Bufflehead (6); Common Merganser (43); Osprey (3); Cooper's Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); American Kestrel (2: 1m+1f); Wild Turkey (13); Killdeer (1); Ring-billed Gull (5); Mourning Dove (23); Belted Kingfisher (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Hairy Woodpecker (2).
  • Select list of passerines seen: Eastern Phoebe (10); FISH CROW (1); Tree Swallow (604: almost all over the southern end of Lake Quacumquasit);
  • WARBLERS: Yellow-rumped (1); Pine (4);Palm (19); Louisiana Waterthrush (1). Savannah Sparrow (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/17/18 -- Westboro/Northboro/Southboro
    This morning we birded a few ponds east of Worcester:
  • SUASCO, WESTBORO: Double-crested Cormorant (3); Mute Swan (8: 3 active nests); Canada Goose (7); Wood Duck (4); Mallard (3); Ring-necked Duck (27); Bufflehead (2); Osprey (pair at nest); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Tree Swallow (550+); Rudy-crowned Kinglet (7); Pine Warbler (2); Palm Warbler (9); Yellow-rumped Warbler (3).
  • CHAUNCY LAKE, WESTBORO: very little. NB: they are re-doing the entrance roads, so if you go here be prepared to drive following detour signs: Mute Swan (16: 1 on nest); Mallard (7); Turkey Vulture (1); Ring-billed Gull (7).
  • BARTLETT POND, NORTHBORO: Mute Swan (2: 1 n nest); Canada Goose (8: 1 on nest); Mallard (3); Ring-necked Duck (2); Tree Swallow (9). SUDBURY RESERVOIR, SOUTHBORO: NB: they are working on that soccer field and for now there is no access to the important trailhead there. Pied-billed Grebe (3); Double-crested Cormorant (34: 8 active nests); Great Blue Heron (8: 5 active nests); Mute Swan (8); Canada Goose (73); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (13); Ring-necked Duck (19); Bufflehead (4); Common Goldeneye (1); Common Merganser (8); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Killdeer (2); Tree Swallow (35); Fish Crow (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/16/18 -- Worcester
    There was an apparent "fallout" of 25-30 Chipping Sparrows in my backyard this morning. While as many as 10 were feeding on my platform feeder, another 15-20 were feeding on the ground under it. (report from Bart Kamp).

    4/16/18 -- Wachusett Reservoir/Quabog IBA/Spencer
    We spent some time this morning birding a few areas in the County. The weather was AWFUL: wind driven rain, sometimes downpours, slushy roads. We started in:
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: (a quick check): Common Loon (2); Great Blue Heron (1); Double-crested Cormorant (6); Canada Goose (2); Ring-necked Duck (6); Greater Scaup (7); Bufflehead (5); BONAPARTE'S GULL (2 adS); Ring-billed Gull (21); Herring Gull (8); Great Black-backed Gull (1ad). SWALLOWS: Tree (240+); Barn (11); N Rough-winged (1). Savannah Sparrow (1).
  • QUABOG IBA (we focused on the larger ponds); Canada Goose (1); Wood Duck (9); A Black Duck (2); Mallard (6); Ring-necked Duck (4); Common Merganser (68); Osprey (1); BONAPARTE'S GULL (5: 4 adS+1 1stS: north end of Wickabog); Ring-billed Gull (17); Tree Swallow (250+); Barn Swallow (2). NB: Because of the wind and rain a tree crashed bringing wires down with it right across Rt.9, which was closed and we had to detour through Spencer to get home.
  • SPENCER: Canada Goose (1); Wood Duck (8); Mallard (4); Ring-necked Duck (22). NB: Robins were at many locations, often forced to forage out on the roads because of the slush.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/13/18 -- Quabog IBA
    We birded the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields) this afternoon. Not the best time for bird song and it was overcast with some showers at time.
  • Common Loon (1); Great Blue Heron (12 birds and 8 active nests); Canada Goose (10: 1 on nest); Mute Swan (3: 1 on nest); Wood Duck (13); A Black Duck (2); Mallard (11); Green-winged Teal (7); Ring-necked Duck (44); Bufflehead (11); Common Merganser (83); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Killdeer (1); Lesser Yellowlegs (1); Ring-billed Gull (20); Herring Gull (1); Mourning Dove (6); E Screech Owl (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); Downy Woodpecker (2); Hairy Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (9). E Phoebe (22); Blue Jay (6); A Crow (24); Tree Swallow (only 2!); Barn Swallow (1); Black-capped Chickadee (9); Tufted Titmouse (34); White-breasted Nuthatch (7); Carolina Wren (2); E Bluebird (5); A Robin (51); Pine Warbler (2); E Towhee (1); Chipping Sparrow (10); Field Sparrow (1); Song Sparrow (34); Swamp Sparrow (4); White-throated Sparrow (3); Dark-eyed Junco (3); N Cardinal (12); Red-winged Blackbird (80+); C Grackle (100+); Brown-headed Cowbird (2); House Finch (28); A Goldfinch (26).
  • PLUS: Spring Peeper (1000+); Green Frog (1); Wood Frog (5+); E Painted Turtle (20+).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/12/18 -- Barre Falls Hawk Watch, Barre Falls Dam
    This year's first Broad-winged Hawk showed up right on time. Over the 18-year duration of the hawk watch, the average date for the first Broad-winged is April 12. The earliest record is April 5, 2002; the latest, April 17, 2016. Other raptors migrating today: Osprey (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Turkey Vulture (4). First-of-the-year non-raptors included Purple Finch (1 f) and Northern Flicker. The Barre Falls Common Ravens have been observed carrying food to their nest. (report from Donna Schilling)

    4/12/18 -- Princeton
    Highlights today: Louisiana Water Thrush, Eastern Phoebe, 2 Golden Crown Kinglets, Pileated Woodpecker. Also, along John Dee Road in Sterling - 1 Adult American Bald Eagle. (report from Susan LaBree).

    4/12/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon from 20 total species were 2 Mute Swan (building nest in marsh near concert bandstand, in clear view -- odd place), 1 Gadwall (m), 1 E phoebe, 1 Pine Warbler (saw well, and singing), 3 Song Sparrows, and 1 Brown-headed Cowbird (m). (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/11/18 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights this afternoon along the Troiano-Powerlines-Heron Pond Loop and Sprague Lane from Frog Pond to Wilson Swamp.
  • Wood Duck (7); American Black Duck (2); RUFFED GROUSE (1 - flushed from edge of powerlines near kiosk where service road enters woods. The last known record of this species at BMB was a single report in April 2012. Prior to that, the species seemed to disappear in 2006, with breeding last confirmed in 2004.); Wild Turkey (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); Hairy Woodpecker (1); Northern Flicker (4); Eastern Phoebe (5); Tree Swallow (10); Carolina Wren (1); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1 - singing); Palm Warbler (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler (1); Field Sparrow (1); Dark-eyed Junco (8); White-throated Sparrow (3); Song Sparrow (11); Red-winged Blackbird (29); Common Grackle (28).
    (report from John Liller).

  • 4/10/18 -- Quaboag Pond, East Brookfield
    Aside from the usual Mallard population, there are 1 pair male/female Ring necked ducks, and a male Bufflehead with 2 female Bufflehead hanging out this afternoon near the north shore of Quaboag Pond. The female Ring-necked, and the two female Bufflehead are diving together while the males stay close by but separate. (report from Sandra & Martin Bannish).

    4/8/18 -- Ware River IBA/Holden/Rutland/Wachusett Reservoir
    We started at the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA, birding a few spots as the gates are still closed: Great Blue Heron (4: 2 occupied nests); Canada Goose (6); Wood Duck (4); Mallard (5); A Black Duck (2); Ring-necked Duck (4); Hooded Merganser (6); Common Merganser (10); Turkey Vulture (10); Wild Turkey (5); N Flicker (2); E Phoebe (3); Golden-crowned Kinglet (6); E Towhee (1); Fox Sparrow (3 singing); Purple Finch (2).
  • MUSCHAPOAG ROAD, RUTLAND: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (42); Killdeer (1); American Kestrel (pair mating); A Robin (130+); Brown-headed Cowbird (7).
  • MAPLE SPRING POND, HOLDEN: Canada Goose (5); Mallard (2); Ring-necked Duck (57); Bufflehead (4); Hooded Merganser (4); E Phoebe (2).
  • QUINAPOXET RESERVOIR: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (5); Common Merganser (11).
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (19); Double-crested Cormorant (1); Canada Goose (7); Greater Scaup (3); Bufflehead (5); Common Goldeneye (2); Common Merganser (30); Barred Owl (1); Pileated Woodpecker (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/7/18 -- Mendon
    A male Merlin was perched in a tree in my yard today at 10 AM. It was watching birds at my feeder. (report from Bill Sartorelli).

    4/7/18 -- Douglas/Sutton/Indian Lake
    On the way back from Westport, we did some County birding today:
  • DOUGLAS: Common Loon (4); Great Blue Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Mallard (8); Bufflehead (4); Common Merganser (28).
  • SUTTON: Canada Goose (10); Wood Duck (5); Mallard (9); Ring-necked Duck (48); Bufflehead (7); Common Merganser (1).
  • WORCESTER: INDIAN LAKE: Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (16); Mallard (9); Northern Shoveler (pr); Lesser Scaup (4); Ring-necked Duck (10); Bufflehead (12); Hooded Merganser (pr); Common Merganser (9).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/6/18 -- Stump Pond, Sterling
    Today there were 1 Osprey perched on the nest, 3 Ring-necked ducks, 2 dozen+ Tree Swallows (FOY), 2 mallards and 5 Canada geese seen as the flakes began to fall mid-day. (report from Marion Larson)

    4/4/18 -- Quabog IBA
    During a wet and cool (and sometimes misty) tour of the QUABOG IBA this morning, we had : Common Loon (1); Great Blue Heron (11 with 6 occupied nests in 1 rookery); Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (19: 1 on a nest); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (8); A Black Duck (1); Ring-necked Duck (35); Greater Scaup (3); Lesser Scaup (2); Bufflehead (4); Hooded Merganser (1); Common Merganser (37); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Wild Turkey (6); Ring-billed Gull (flock of 14 in 1 farm field. Most seemed to have moved on to breeding areas); Belted Kingfisher (2); Downy Woodpecker (2); Hairy Woodpecker (3); N Flicker (4); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • Passerines included: Eastern Phoebe (11); Tree Swallow (30+); Carolina Wren (4); E Bluebird (7); Fox Sparrow (1); Song Sparrow (48); Swamp Sparrow (1 gathering nesting material in a small marsh where they do breed); White-throated Sparrow (8); Dark-eyed Junco (14).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/1/18 -- Worcester
    In my yard this afternoon there was a Pine Warbler feeding on my suet. (report from Bart Kamp).

    4/1/18 -- Lancaster/Harvard/Rutland
    This morning we birded LANCASTER and HARVARD:
  • LANCASTER: Canada Goose (328); Mallard (24); Green-winged Teal (23); Common Merganser (6); Red-tailed Hawk (3); A Kestrel (1f); Killdeer (9); Belted Kingfisher (1); E Phoebe (5),
  • HARVARD: Great Blue Heron (5 birds, 2 occupied nests); Mute Swan (3); Canada Goose (6); Mallard (4); Ring-necked Duck (7); Bufflehead (2); Turkey Vulture (7); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (8); E Phebe (4); Tree Swallow (10); Common Raven (2).
  • Later in the evening, along a route through sections of RUTLAND: Killdeer (12); American Woodcock (22); Great Horned Owl (1); Barred Owl (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/31/18 -- New Braintree/Quabog IBA
    We started the day birding around NEW BRAINTREE: Canada Goose (264); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (6); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (25); E Phoebe (2); Golden-crowned Kinglet (3); A Robin (250+); Fox Sparrow (1); Red-winged Blackbird (285+); C Grackle (24); Brown-headed Cowbird (43).
  • Then in the QUABOG IBA: Great Blue Heron (8 birds and 6 active nests in just 1 rookery); Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (37); Wood Duck (3); A Black Duck (5); Mallard (12); Green-winged Teal (3); Ring-necked Duck (53); Bufflehead (3); Common Goldeneye (3); Hooded Merganser (4); Common Merganser (44); Turkey Vulture (8); Bald Eagle (2imm); Red-tailed Hawk (1); (Ring-necked Pheasant (1m)) ; Killdeer (3); Ring-billed Gull (68); N Flicker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Phoebe (5); Tree Swallow (40+).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/28/18 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights from a walk along the Troiano-Heron Pond-Powerline loop and also from Sprague Lane to Wilson Swamp: Wood Duck (21 - 11 in Wilson Swamp and 10 in Heron Pond; numerous pairs); Great Blue Heron (2 - both on nest in Heron Pond); Red-tailed Hawk (1 - soaring over the wet meadow; same or 2nd bird seen over powerlines); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); Hairy Woodpecker (1); FISH CROW (1 - calling; with a group of American Crows); Carolina Wren (2); Golden-crowned Kinglet (1); Eastern Bluebird (1); American Robin (4); Song Sparrow (13); White-throated Sparrow (1); Dark-eyed Junco (6); Red-winged Blackbird (34 - all males); Common Grackle (37)
  • Also: 3 Garter Snakes together, 1 Mourning Cloak, and lots of fresh Beaver activity along the Troiano Brookside Trail. And when I reached the southern end of the wet meadow along Troiano, I heard something squeaking at me from the trunk of a tree. It was a Little Brown Bat.
  • Finally, when I got back to my house in Grafton, I heard 2 Barred Owls dueting.
    (report from John Liller).

  • 3/28/18 -- Quabog IBA
    Observed today in the Quabog IBA were: Red-necked Grebe (1: Lake Quabog continuing bird); Great Blue Heron (19 individuals/14 occupied nests); Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (34); Wood Duck (4); Mallard (14); A Black Duck (3); Ring-necked Duck (36); Bufflehead (5); Hooded Merganser (9); Common Merganser (123); Bald Eagle (1ad); Ring-billed Gull (87). Passerine highlights included: E Phoebe (1); Brown Creeper (2 singing birds); Carolina Wren (3).
  • Plus: RIVER OTTER (1 road kill on Rt.9)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/25/18 -- Wachusett Reservoir IBA/ Northboro/Southboro
    We started birding the WACHUSETT RESERVOIR IBA, birding many of the adjacent ponds except for Sterling Peat: Common Loon (1 br); Mute Swan (5); Canada Goose (18); Wood Duck (23); Mallard (11); Lesser Scaup (1); Greater Scaup (17); Bufflehead (7); Common Goldeneye (52); Hooded Merganser (15); Common Merganser (42); Bald Eagle (1imm); Red-tailed Hawk (3).
  • BARTLETT POND, NORTHBORO: Mute Swan (2: 1 on nest); Canada Goose (9); Wood Duck (2); A Black Duck (2); Mallard (5); Ring-necked Duck (21); Bufflehead (1); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1).
  • LITTLE CHAUNCY POND, NORTHBORO: Great Blue Heron (2); Mute Swan (1: seen chasing geese off pond); Canada Goose (6); Wood Duck (1); Mallard (1); A Black Duck (1); Ring-necked Duck (100); Bufflehead (6); Hooded Merganser (2).
  • CHAUNCY LAKE, WESTBORO: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (15); Ring-necked Duck (6); Lesser Scaup (2); Common Goldeneye (9); Hooded Merganser (6); Common Merganser (17); Red-tailed Hawk (1).
  • SuAsCo, WESTBORO: Mute Swan (8); Mallard (2); Ring-necked Duck (22); Hooded Merganser (2).
  • VERNON HILL, WORCESTER: Red-tailed Hawk (1); Cedar Waxwing (30).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/24/18 -- Lake Quabog and the Brookfields
    On the Forbush Bird Club trip, 40 species were recorded, including highlights of Red-necked Grebe 1 (Quabog), Great Blue Heron 3, Turkey Vulture 4, Mute Swan 2, Wood Duck 9, Black Duck 1, Ring-necked Duck 69, Bufflehead 4, Common Goldeneye 8, Hooded Merganser 14, Common Merganser 146, Red-breasted Merganser 2 (Lake Lashaway), Bald Eagle 2 imm., Red-tailed Hawk 2, Hairy Woodpecker 1, Eastern Bluebird 1, Robin 6(only), Song Sparrow 3, White-throated Sparrow 1, Dark-eyed Junco 3, Red-winged Blackbird 15, Common Grackle 10.
  • Comments: Despite a very nice day for birding, land birds were very quiet and scarce. More like a mid-winter day of birding. No sign of any spring migrants such as Tree Swallow, Phoebe, etc.
    (report from Rodney Jenkins).

  • 3/23/18 -- Auburn to Brookfields
    We started off at EDDY POND, AUBURN: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (2); Mallard (5); Ring-necked Duck (55); Red-tailed Hawk (1). NB: we found a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER along South Street, an adult, but AND THIS IS IMPORTANT, there is NO, NADA, NYET, good place to park or pull over and there is traffic along this narrow road. We talked to a woman in a house near where we found it ans she said her husband had mentioned the bird for awhile, so it has been there. DO NOT TRY AND PULLOFF THIS ROAD, YOU WILL BE TRESSPASSING. The only thing I could recommend is that you could park at the boat launch at Eddy Pond (all the way down) and then walk a way back towards Rt. 20 but be aware, there are NO sidewalks.At one point it was on the ground!
  • THEN: ORLANDO'S FARM PONDS, CHARLTON: few birds: Canada Goose (76); Mallard (only 2!); Bufflehead (3m); Wild Turkey (55).
  • BEHIND ALSCO, STURBRIDGE: 10 occupied Great Blue Heron nests.
  • HAMILTON RESERVOIR, HOLLAND: Mallard (4); Bufflehead (4); Common Goldeneye (1m); Common Merganser (52).
  • LAKE GEORGE, WALES: Canada Goose (16); Ring-necked Duck (4); Hooded Merganser (3); Common Merganser (28); Red-shouldered Hawk (2).
  • SHERMAN POND, BRIMFIELD: Canada Goose (11); Mallard (2); Common Merganser (30).
  • WARREN: 1 small marsh: Canada Goose (8); Mallard (2); Hooded Merganser (2); Turkey Vulture (1).
  • QUABOG IBA: Red-necked Grebe (1br: Lake Quabog); Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (74); Mallard (6); A Black Duck (8); Ring-necked Duck (67); Bufflehead (1); Common Goldeneye (9); Hooded Merganser (11); Common Merganser (160); Bald Eagle (2: 1ad+1imm); Wild Turkey (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/21/18 -- Wachusett Reaervoir/SuAsCo
    This morning we did a circuit of WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (1 br pl); Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (6); Wood Duck (21: Spruce Pond); Mallard (6); A Black Duck (4); Greater Scaup (12); Bufflehead (pair); Common Goldeneye (5); Hooded Merganser (6); Common Merganser (59); Red-breasted Merganser (3m); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (11).
  • Then at SUASCO, WESTBORO: Mute Swan (14: 1 on nest); Canada Goose (20); Wood Duck (4); 0 A Black Duck (2); Ring-necked Duck (76); Hooded Merganser (4); Turkey Vulture (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/18 -- Worcester
    We heard and observed 2 peregrine falcons engaging in some serious courtship behavior on a building corner across from Mechanics Hall at around 3PM this afternoon. (report from Marion Larson and Scott Handler)

    3/17/18 -- Boylston
    Saw a pair of Wood Ducks on the body of water located at the junction of Rte 140 and Rte 70 (Spruce Pond) at around 12:30PM, and a turkey vulture tilting about near Rte 290 and Rte 140. (report from Marion Larson)

    3/17/18 -- South Quabbin/Quabog IBA
    This morning we started off birding the SOUTH QUABBIN area. It was cold and very windy at some of the stops. Surprisingly, there were few birds on the main body of water and very few passerines. Mallard (4); Common Merganser (10); Turkey Vulture (6); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (44). Song birds were just a handful of robins, juncos, Song Sparrows and (1) Tree Sparrow.
  • We then headed to the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields) and found lots of waterfowl, but most were on small rivers, streams and open swamps. Mute Swan (3); Canada Goose (260); Wood Duck (49); Mallard (76); A Black Duck (37); Ring-necked Duck (15); Bufflehead (5); Hooded Merganser (10); Common Merganser (106); Bald Eagle (1ad: this bird was on the ground at the edge of a cattail area worrying some small blackish thing. Blowing up photos we couldn't tell anything, it looked jet black and very odd, almost like a bat! Several times it walked into the cattails with whatever it was); Ring-billed Gull (136); Herring Gull (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/16/18 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    This morning while walking our dogs along John Dee Rd / Waushacum St. along the Thomas Basin area of the reservoir, first a roosting turkey flew off over the water, and then an adult bald eagle launched from a pine. I observed the adult bald eagle then flying and circling with what appeared to be to be a juvenile bald eagle. (report from Jeff Pingeton).

    3/15/18 -- Quabog IBA
    This morning we birded a few of the ponds (most still open) in the QUABOG IBA. Access in some areas was hampered by the snow.: Canada Goose (51); Wood Duck (6); Mallard (38); A Black Duck (25); Ring-necked Duck (16); Bufflehead (3: 2m); Hooded Merganser (8); Common Merganser (106); Bald Eagle (2ad); Ring-billed Gull (47); Cedar Waxwing (30); Fox Sparrow (1). PLUS: a cooperative BOBCAT seen from Rt.9
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    3/12/18 -- Auburn/Worcester
    We started this morning at EDDY POND, AUBURN: Mute Swan (2); Ring-necked Duck (67); Hooded Merganser (7); Ring-billed Gull (3); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • LEESVILLE POND, WORCESTER/AUBURN: Mute Swan (pair; 1 on nest); Canada Goose (8); Wood Duck (12); Mallard (15); A Black Duck (4); Hooded Merganser (6); Common Merganser (10).
  • NOTRE DAME CEMETERY, WORCESTER: Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (4); Mallard (2); A Tree Sparrow (4).
  • COES RESERVOIR: Great Blue Heron (1); Common Merganser (16); Ring-billed Gull (59); Herring Gull (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/8/18 -- Uxbridge
    Fox Sparrow scratching seeds left in the snow-free area under an evergreen in the backyard this afternoon. (report from Beth Milke).

    3/4/18 -- Oakham
    First woodcock of the season heard displaying in the fields and over the house. (report from Kathy Van Schoick).

    3/4/18 -- Lake Quinsigamond, Shrewsbury
    There was a Bald Eagle on the nest on Lake Quinsigamond. Also on Flint Pond, there were 8 Common Merganser and 2 Common Goldeneye. (report from John Shea).

    3/4/18 -- Quabog IBA/Barton Cove
    Today we started birding in the QUABOG IBA (in the BROOKFIELDS). The ponds are ice-free, but species numbers and variety are a bit low. Water levels are very high, as is the river. We had: Mute Swan (3); Canada Goose (12); Wood Duck (12); Mallard (28); A Black Duck (2); Lesser Scaup (2); Ring-necked Duck (9); Hooded Merganser (8); Common Merganser (133); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Bald Eagle (1imm).
  • WE then headed to BARTON COVE in Gill. We did NOT bird the Rod and Gun Club, only from Riverview Rd. : Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (265: including several large flock migrating high overhead and heading north); Mallard (12); A Black Duck (4); Greater Scaup (3); Ring-necked Duck (55); Redhead (1f: typically near the concentration of Ring-neckeds); Common Goldeneye (32); Hooded Merganser (15); Common Merganser (19); Turkey Vulture (1); Bald Eagle (2imm+1 ad on the nest); Peregrine Falcon (1). NB: there were lots of gulls, but we could only turn up the expected 3 common species.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/3/18 -- Oxford
    On Depot Rd, we had an adult Bald Eagle fly right over our house, with a mouse in its talons. It then landed in a nearby tree and proceeded to eat the mouse for over 10 min, as our family watched. Quite thrilling! (report from Karin Moquin)

    3/3/18 -- Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary, Worcester
    In mid afternoon I had an adult Bald Eagle flying low over the Tianno Brook trail (aka "the stretch"). Also, lots of signs of fresh beaver activity -- the high water level has gotten the beavers excited, and they have constructed a new dam (with no beaver spoiler cage), which has raised the water level on the upstream side. (report from Rick Quimby).

    3/3/18 -- Wachusett Reservoir/Bolton Flats/Westboro
    This morning we checked some ponds and lakes east of Worcester to see if the storm drove any interesting birds inland. The short answer is NO, at least at the places we checked. As a matter of fact, there were fewer birds than several days ago in a number of the ponds.
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (1); Canada Goose (2); Mallard (4); Ring-necked Duck (3); Greater Scaup (7); Bufflehead (4); Common Goldeneye (17); Common Merganser (60); Bald Eagle (1imm).
  • BOLTON FLATS: VERY flooded and tough to get looks deep in the WMA. Mute Swan (2: apparently the nest got flooded over); Canada Goose (700+); Mallard (150+); A Black Duck (40+); Turkey Vulture (1); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Killdeer (1); Ring-billed Gull (230+); Red-winged Blackbird (3000+); C Grackle (1500+): NB: stupendous flocks crossing Rt.117 and putting down on the area south of Rt.117.
  • CHAUNCY LAKE: Mute Swan (2); Mallard (2); Bufflehead (6); Hooded Merganser (5); Common Merganser (2); Red-tailed Hawk (2).
  • SUASCO: Mute Swan (13); Canada Goose (12); Mallard (5); A Black Duck (2); Ring-necked Duck (8).
  • HAMILTON STREET, WORCESTER: Fish Crow (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/2/18 -- Barre
    Today, bluebirds were exploring using nesting box in the North Common.
  • Also on 2/26, there was a large flock of redwing blackbirds (100-200) on Pleasant St.
    (report from Steve Meredith).

  • 3/1/18 -- River Bend Farm, Uxbridge
    We heard at least 8 American Woodcocks calling along the left side of the field and in the scrub at the far end beginning at 5:45pm this evening. We left at 6pm and heard one Woodcock in flight. (report from Beth & Paul Milke)

    3/1/18 -- Sterling
    This evening around 6PM we stopped near Davis Farmland on Redstone Hill Road to listen for woodcocks. One flew overhead and we heard at least 2 birds flying, but did not hear any "PEENTS". These were the FOY for us. A killdeer was flying and calling as were several flocks of Canada geese. (report from Marion Larson and Scott Handler)

    2/28/18 -- Westboro/Northboro/Southboro/Lancaster
    Today we birded areas east of the city.
  • SUASCO, WESTBORO: Mute Swan (19); Canada Goose (13); Wood Duck (5); A Black Duck (2); Ring-necked Duck (39); Hooded Merganser (8); Killdeer (1); Great Black-backed Gull (2ad).
  • CHAUNCY LAKE, WESTBORO: (NB: lots of construction along the roads north of pond):Mute Swan (2); Bufflehead (1m); Common Merganser (5); Ring-billed Gull (19).
  • LITTLE CHAUNCY POND,NORTHBORO: Canada Goose (11); Wood Duck (4); Ring-necked Duck (21); Bufflehead (1m); Bald Eagle (ad pr); Red-winged Blackbird (1200+); Common Grackle (400+).
  • BARTLETT POND, NORTHBORO: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (17); Mallard (4); Ring-necked Duck (2); N Flicker (1).
  • SUDBURY RESERVOIR, SOUTHBORO: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (74: many in pairs); Mallard (12); Ring-necked Duck (78); Bufflehead (8m); C Goldeneye (9); Hooded Merganser (2); Common Merganser (94); Turkey Vulture (2); Red-tailed Hawk (4).
  • BOLTON FLATS, LANCASTER. Nb: We ended up getting to know a homeowner on the edge of the marsh and from his property we got an amazing view of the deep marshes. He told us that once he looked out and saw an bird trip trespassing on his property and he was furious and kicked them out. DON?T TRESSPASS! All the waterfowl were seen from here. Great Blue Heron (3); Mute Swan (pr: 1 n nest); Canada Goose (2000+: amazing number in marshes along Still River); Wood Duck (9); Mallard (14); A Black Duck (8); Green-winged Teal (20+); Ring-necked Duck (30); Bufflehead (2m); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Ring-billed Gull (flock of 212, almost all adS); Herring Gull (1); Red-winged Blackbird (1400+); C Grackle (400+).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/27/18 -- Gardner
    A turkey vulture in the air over Gardner yesterday afternoon. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    2/27/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 1 GB Heron, 2 Mute Swans, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 4 Red-winged Blackbirds (all male, calling and on territory), and 2 Common Grackles. Although I have recorded Red-winged Blackbirds as early as Feb 23 (in 2012), typically I don't see them until the first two weeks in March. This is the earliest I have ever observed them at Institute Park calling and setting up territories along the front shore of the pond. A refreshing sound to hear!
  • Also notable: there were absolutely no ducks on the pond, not even a single Mallard. Quite unusual.
    (report from Rick Quimby).

  • 2/27/18 -- Millbury
    Eastern Phoebe is back today! (report from Susan LaBree).

    2/26/18 -- South Quabbin/the Brookfields/Holden/Paxton
    We started out today at SOUTH QUABBIN. Birding was slow but we did have: Turkey Vulture (1 there and another 28 roosting in Ware); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (26); Mallard (6); Common Merganser (56); Wild Turkey (42); Pileated Woodpecker (1); cute Porcupine (1).
  • Later at QUABOG IBA: Black Vulture (1); Mute Swan (3); Canada Goose (9); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (13); A Black Duck (16); Ring-necked Duck (6); Bufflehead (2m); Hooded Merganser (21); Common Merganser (43); Bald Eagle (3: 2ad+1imm); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Ring-necked Pheasant (1); Wild Turkey (40). Plus: a MINK.
  • Closer to Worcester, at Worcester County Memorial Park, PAXTON: Canada Goose (60); Greater White-fronted Goose (1).
  • EAGLE LAKE/MUDDY POND: Holden: Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (52); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (6); A Black Duck (9); Ring-necked Duck (2).
  • We checked other farm fields in Rutland and had nothing.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/23/18 -- Oxford
    A Red-shouldered Hawk flew over my yard in Oxford today, chased by a crow. (report from Robert Brady)

    2/22/18 -- Gardner
    Yesterday (2/21)) 3 common grackles at the feeders, and today approx. 70 red-wings in the yard. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    2/20/18 -- Sterling
    This morning I had a Northern Goshawk fly through our fairly dense wooded area in back of our property in Sterling. Was no more than 15 feet off the ground as it glided through. (report from Jeff Pingeton).

    2/20/18 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    This morning we did a circuit around WACHUSETT RESERVOIR. Though 85% of the surface is still ice-covered, there is a large open area just north of Scar Hill Bluffs. This area had all the interesting birds.
  • Canada Goose (241: Coachlace); Northern Pintail (flock of 38 sitting on edge of ice); Ring-necked Duck (26); Common Goldeneye (22); Common Merganser (8); RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (2 drakes, probably the same birds found by Bette Rob last week); Bald Eagle (5: 1 ad in nesting tree plus a loose group of 4 over the Clinton soccer fields. These were 2ad+1 subAd+1imm. They interacted a lot especially 1 of the adults and the immature, and there was lots of vocalizations); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Ring-billed Gull (45); Pileated Woodpecker (1). (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/20/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at 1 pm included 1 GB Heron, 4 Mute Swans (displaying), 2 Ring-necked Ducks, 3 Hooded Mergansers, 12 Common Mergansers, 1 Belted Kingfisher, and 1 Song Sparow (singing). (report from Rick Quimby).

    2/17/18 -- Quabbin area
    This morning we started at the SOUTH QUABBIN AREA. Not much happening: the reservoir is still mostly ice-covered. We did have (among other birds): Canada Goose (5); Mallard (7); Common Merganser (1); Bald Eagle (ad pr mating+1imm); Ring-billed Gull (56); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2).
  • PELHAM OVERLOOK (15 minutes): Bald Eagle (4: 2ad+2imm); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Common Raven (1).
  • NEW SALEM: Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Bald Eagle (ad pr); Red-Tailed Hawk (4);Red-winged Blackbird (7m at feeder).
  • NEW BRAINTREE: Canada Goose (26); Mallard (17); Red-tailed Hawks (3). NB: Many of the Red-tails were ding display flights.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/16/18 -- Quabog IBA
    This AM we birded the QUABOG IBA/Brookfields to check on the state of the ponds. The ponds are still 90%+ ice covered, though the ice is looking gray and many edges are watery. This didn't prevent ice fishermen from walking far out on Lake Quabog, which is starting to look a wee bit risky.
  • Highlights: Canada Goose (58); Mute Swan (2); Mallard (65); A Black Duck (23); "Mallard X Black" 2 drakes; Hooded Merganser (2: seemed low, but this species has already started to move into small ponds and waterways); Common Merganser (6); Red-tailed Hawk (4); Ruffed Grouse (1); Wild Turkey (58); Ring-billed Gull (32). Passerines were typical, but we did have 5 male Red-winged Blackbirds singing, The first wave!
  • One the way home on Park Avenue next to CVS: a cooperative perched MERLIN.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/16/18 -- Worcester
    About a dozen Cedar Waxwings were feeding in trees at the entrance of Central Branch YMCA on Main Street this morning. (report from Robert Brady)

    2/11/18 -- Gardner
    There were 7 bluebirds at our feeders on 2/9 ( unusual for this location). Also the Northern Pintail (drake) continues in South Gardner (East Broadway and Waterview). (report from Dick Knowlton).

    2/5/18 -- Coachlace Pond, Clinton
    The two snow geese continue ( photo). I've been unsuccessful in determining if there's a regular schedule to their visits between Davis Farm and Coachlace Pond. I've seen reports from both throughout the day. Today I watched them depart Davis Farm at 1:50 and sleep at Coachlace from 2 until after 3 when I left. (report from Garry Kessler).

    2/4/18 -- Quabog IBA/South Quabbin
    This morning we started birding the QUABOG IBA, checking the ponds and different river overlooks. All the ponds were still ice-covered, but there was some open water at river in-flows (ex: Quabog) and out-flows (ex. Wickabog). The Quabog River still had some ice on it. We had Mute Swan (2); Mallard (34); "Mallard X Black Duck" (1); A Black Duck (2); Hooded Merganser (25); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Ring-billed Gull (17); Herring Gull (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); Downy Woodpecker (4); Hairy Woodpecker (2). Passerines were few and far between, but we did have : Carolina Wren (2); A Robin (16); Common Raven (1); Brown Creeper (1); Cedar Waxwing (4); Dark-eyed Junco (54).
  • THEN we did the South Quabbin area and had: Mallard (5); Common Merganser (11); Bald Eagle (2ad+4imm); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (47); Herring Gull (2); Common Raven (3); Tree Sparrow (3); Dark-eyed Junco (51).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/3/18 -- Blackstone MA./Woonsocket RI
    This AM we went down to the BLACKSTONE MA/WOONSOCKET RI border to check on the winter vulture roost. This roost peaked several years back, with often double digit counts of Black Vultures and high double digit counts of Turkey Vultures. On cold winter mornings, both species of vulture were often first found roosting on houses on both sides of the state line, more often on the Rhode Island side. You have to drive down several of these streets to find the vultures cuddling up to the chimneys which were warm. Sometimes we found a flock of Black Vultures roosting overnight in the wooded lot on the slope of the Blackstone, MA high school. The vultures would often fly from the houses, to the series of factory building along the river (seen from Cold Spring Park, Woonsocket) and from here they would fly to the transfer station. Some folks would park in the Dunkin' Doughnuts (Blackstone, right next to the line) lot and wait for the Black Vultures to fly overhead. Several years back the transfer station in Woonsocket closed. This had been a big attraction not only to the vultures but to huge numbers of gulls, including "white-winged" species. This transfer station is right along the Blackstone River in Woonsocket, JUST over the line from MA on Canal Street. When this transfer station closed the number of vultures and gulls over wintering here dropped precipitously.
  • The transfer station has now re-opened. Today we found at least 26 TURKEY Vultures roosting on chimneys, all in Woonsocket. They then flew down to the factories, where they were difficult to spot. Here they were seen sunning and drinking water from rooftop puddles. While in the Dunkin' Doughnuts lot we had (3) BLACK Vultures fly overhead from the MA side and head to the factories. We had checked the woods near the high school and found nothing, so we have no idea where they were roosting.
  • At the transfer station we had no vultures (yet?) but did have 100+ Herring Gulls, 4 Great Black-backed Gulls and 1adW Lesser Black-backed Gull.
  • ALSO in the town of Blackstone MA: Canada Goose (11); Mallard (90+); A Black Duck (4); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Ring-billed Gull (17); Common Grackle (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/3/18 -- Worcester Airport
    I was trying to find a Snowy Owl around Mulberry St. but there was too much construction activity going on. I then tried the Airport parking lot, and was rewarded (photo). (report from Peter Morlock).

    2/1/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 1 GB Heron, 3 Hooded Mergansers, and 14 Common Mergansers. (report from Rick Quimby).

    1/29/18 -- Lancaster/Wachusett Reservoir
    Today we first checked out WACHUSETT RESERVOIR. It is still mostly ice covered and no birds on it other than a handful of gulls. The Quinapoxet River was mostly open, but the water had lots of sticks, branches and other flotsam. We had a Red Fox cross the ice as seen from Mile Hill Road. Nothing on Bart's Pond.
  • Later at DAVIS HILL FARM: Canada Goose (c.250+); Snow Goose (2); Red-tailed Hawk (4); Northern Shrike (1). NB: The geese were flying from the left most field to another field ,in back and mostly out of view. We talked to 2 workers there and they said the Snow Geese have been there every day.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 1/28/18 -- Worcester airport
    I just had a Snowy Owl at Worcester Airport, seen from Mulberry St. on the fence after the construction . (report from John Shea).

    1/27/18 -- Worcester airport
    Snowy Owl at Route 56, Leicester field on airport side sighted at 12:30 pm. Dave Grant joined me around 3 pm to see it as well. Looks like 2nd year bird. (report from Susan LaBree).

    1/27/18 -- South Quabbin
    A quick tour around the SOUTH QUABBIN are this AM had : Mallard (10); Hooded Merganser (3); Common Merganser (19); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Bald Eagle (adult pair mating + 8 immatures all lined up on the edge of the ice); Ring-billed Gull (52); Herring Gull (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1). Passerines were few, but we did have E Bluebird (6); and (1) Winter Wren.
  • In HARDWICK: Red-tailed Hawk (2); Wild Turkey (4); and American Robin (70+) feeding on sumac.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 1/25/18 -- Bart's Pond, Clinton
    Today there were 2 Snow Geese at Bart's pond today along with lots of Canada Geese and Mallards. (report from Peter Morlock).

    1/19/18 -- Charlton
    There were male and female blue birds at the feeders today, after brutally cold, wind, and snow. (report from Rick Howard).

    1/18/18 -- North Brookfield
    Today we had 3 Redwinged Blackbirds below our feeder, 2 males and 1 female. (report from Jeff Smith).

    1/16/18 -- Ashburnham
    Along rte 101, soaring over the river, there was a bald eagle. (report from Chris Eddy).

    1/13/18 -- Sterling / Leominster
    At around 10AM I saw 2 Snow Geese wandering in the corn fields with about 25 Canada geese at Davis Farm on Redstone Hill Road in Sterling. Later at around 1:30 or so, I cruised past St Cecilia's Church on Mechanic Street in Leominster and spied 1 Peregrine Falcon on one of the crosses of the church. (report from Marion Larson).

    1/10/18 -- Gardner
    I wandered up to Gardner (Waterview Dr.) to the very "cooperative" drake pintail there. This bird is "cooperative" because there is very little open water and someone(s) feeds the horde of mallards there.
  • photo 1
  • photo 2
  • photo 3
  • photo 4
    (report from Garry Kessler).

  • 1/10/18 -- Oxford
    This afternoon there was a Carolina Wren at my backyard suet feeder in Oxford. It evidently survived the intense cold after Christmas. (report from Robert Brady).

    1/10/18 -- Whitinsville
    Three common mergansers around noon at the spillway below Hartford Avenue (accessed from the Tow Path at River Bend Farm), along with a Mallard pair. Also, a couple of Fish Crows hanging out between McDonald's & Burger King along Rte 122 in Whitinsville about 1:30pm. (report from Beth Milke)

    1/10/18 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At noon there were 14 Mallards, 1 Common Merganser (f), and 1 Red-tailed Hawk (ad). (report from Rick Quimby).

    1/9/18 -- Clinton
    Today at Bart's Pond I saw 5 shovelers, 10 mallards, and one male hooded merganser. Also one otter. (report from Mike McNamara).

    1/7/18 -- Quabog IBA/South Quabbin
    On the way to bird South Quabbin, we stopped by the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields). We found open water in only 2 areas of the Quabog River and had: Mallard (20); Mallard X Black (1); A Black Duck (32); Hooded Merganser (3); Wild Turkey (27).
  • SOUTH QUABBIN: Most of the DCR park was closed (gates closed) because of icy road conditions. You can still drive into the Administration Building and check out the reservoir from that one vantage point. The surface of the reservoir is 90% ice covered, but there were a few large open areas of water. We also went to the State trout facility and had most of the birds there.: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (3); Mallard (21: most landing in the trout troughs); A Black Duck (1); Common Goldeneye (4); Common Merganser (42: a large dense flock way out on the reservoir flying around from one open area to another); Hooded Merganser (3); Bald Eagle (4: 2ad+2imm, all at the trout facility putting on quite a show); Ring-billed Gull (9).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 1/3/18 -- Thomas Basin, Wachusett Reservoir
    Late this afternoon on the ice at Wachusett Reservoir, Thomas Basin, south of Route 140 were 5 Bald Eagles. One was feeding on a deer carcass, while 4 were watching. (report from Bart Kamp).

    1/1/17 -- Wachusett Res/Lancaster/Harvard/Worcester Airport
    Exploring on January 1:
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: 90% ice covered, with a large open spot off causeway with nothing on it. Open water in river behind Wheetabix, but no ducks, which is odd. Fresh carcass had 2 Bald Eagles, 4 ravens and 3 coyotes, including a 3 legged one.
  • Quinapoxet River/Thomas Basin: Common/Hooded Mergs. BART'S POND; icing up, but had Canadas, Mallards, Blacks, and (1) drake Gadwall.
  • BOLTON FLATS/OXBOW NWR/UP TO DAVIS FARMLAND: 27 turkeys; 6 Red-tailed Hawks; 1 Red-shouldered; 1 Cooper's Hawk. Very little else.
  • WORCESTER AIRPORT: 5 Horned Larks; 10 Snow Buntings; biggest surprise was an adult GOLDEN EAGLE which flew over head, circled up and headed west.
  • Fox Sparrow continues at feeder.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/28/17 -- Leominster
    While driving south at 11:45 AM on Rte I - 190 near the Nashua River and the Rte 117 exit, I saw an adult bald eagle flying overhead. 2 miles down the road in Lancaster I saw 2 ravens fly across the road. (report from Marion Larson)

    12/27/17 -- Uxbridge
    Three Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblers were looking for food in a Juniper tree late yesterday afternoon in Uxbridge. (report from Beth Milke)

    12/26/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir/Lancaster/Worcester Airport
    Today we started at WACHUSETT RESERVOIR. Visibility was tough because of the wind and the heat leaving the water. We had: Common Loon (2); Mute Swan (5); Common Goldeneye (2); Hooded Merganser (29); Common Merganser (4); Bald Eagle (3imm at once on the carcass, or what?s left of it); C Raven (5).
  • DAVIS FARMLAND: No geese; but we did have: Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (23); Horned Lark (20+). Then we toured around the Bolton Flats-Oxbow NWR area and had little except: Cooper's hawk (1). No geese. There were people sledding at Dexter Drumlin.
  • STERLING PEAT: Mallard (4); Red-tailed Hawk (3).
  • WORCESTER AIRPORT: Horned Lark (1); Snow Bunting (26).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/24/17 -- Quabog IBA
    We did a pond check of the 4 major ponds in the QUABOG IBA this morning. Except for Quacumquasit/South Pond, which was completely open, the other 3 ponds were mostly ice-covered. Open areas included along the river and where the river entered the ponds.
  • QUABOG IBA birds recorded: Mute Swan (4: including 1 apparently stuck in the ice at Wickabog).; Mallard (37); Hooded Merganser (58); Bald Eagle (2ad: including one standing a few feet away from the swan stuck in the ice on Wickabog); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (4); Ruffed Grouse (1); Wild Turkey (8); A Robin (53: all in one field); A Tree Sparrow (12); Dark-eyed Junco (115).
  • We then checked farm fields in Rutland and had few birds other than (2) turkeys; (188) juncos and the usual squealing hordes of starlings.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/19/17 -- Rutland/Wachusett Reservoir
  • This morning we started at several farms in Rutland and on Muschapoaug Road we had: Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (76); Horned Lark (30).
  • A quick circumnavigation of WACHUSETT RESERVOIR had: Common Loon (12); Canada Goose (376); SNOW GOOSE (1); Mallard (9); Greater Scaup (16); White-winged Scoter (1); Hooded Merganser (66); Common Merganser (25); Belted Kingfisher (1); Snow Bunting (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/17/17 -- Sutton/Douglas/City of Worcester
    We went out for just a short time in the afternoon (12/17) and had the following:
  • SUTTON/WHITTIER FARM: At the manure piles on Douglas Road we had the American Pipit (1) that Mary Ess-Why discovered as well as a number of typical sparrows and a Sharpie. We also had a Mary.
  • WALLUM LAKE, DOUGLAS: Mallard (17); A Black Duck (2); Ring-necked Duck (1m) Bald Eagle (2ad: we got to share these with a bunch of residents).
  • CITY OF WORCESTER: NOTRE DAME CEMETERY: Mute Swan (5); Mallard (65); A Black Duck (17); AMERICAN WIGEON (1m found by John Liller yesterday); Hooded Merganser (10); Red-tailed Hawk (1).
  • CITY OF WORCESTER: FOLEY STADIUM/BEAVER BROOK: Canada Goose (46 overhead); Mallard (14); A Black Duck (1); Ring-billed Gull (10); American Crow (700+); Fish Crow (2+): NB: when we first arrived at 3:30PM, the crows were just starting to arrive. We grabbed a quick bite at The Boynton. We returned and the trees around the stadium as well as the snow IN the stadium were covered with crows. Some locals weren?t too happy with the situation and we watched a woman on the top floor continue to flap a large towel on her porch in an attempt to shoo the crows off.
  • CITY OF WORCESTER: HOME: Hermit Thrush (1); Fox Sparrow (1) as well the usual birds.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/14/17 -- Sturbridge CBC
    THE 2017 STURBRIDGE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT: 12/14/17
  • On Thursday December 14, 2017 the 22nd Sturbridge CBC was held. 39 birders in 21 teams spread out on a very cold day (16F-28F). Still water was mostly frozen and moving water was partly ice-covered. The morning was cold but at least it wasn't too windy. The winds did pick up in the afternoon.
  • Some stats: Hardcore owlers spent 13.75 hours owling, driving 107.1 miles. Owls tallied: E Screech (3), Great Horned(6), Barred (8), and Saw-whet (9). Daylight birding entailed 106.5 hours driving and 698.4 miles by car. Despite the frigid temps, birders put in 62.25 miles on foot covering 52.5 miles. Though 74 species were tallied that day, only 73 are actually counted. Pheasant, though on the lists as a species to enter, is really no longer considered a wild bird in Central and Western MA. All birds seen were "game release" survivors. 73 species is just a tad under the 75 species average for this count. Our highest counts occur when the ponds are still mostly open and there is little or no snow or ice on the ground.
  • High counts were tallied for the following species: MUTE SWAN (9); WILD TURKEY (184); COMMON RAVEN (17); TUFTED TITMOUSE (867); GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (166) and HERMIT THRUSH (7: tied for high count) The only low count was for BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (1169). (on this year's Worcester CBC, they also had high counts for swan and titmouse).
  • COUNT WEEK (cw) species were BUFFLEHEAD, RUDDY DUCK, GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER.
  • Most of the ponds were ice-covered, and what little open water there was FROZE while we were doing the count. Other waterfowl tallied included Canada Goose, Mallard, Black Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Goldeneye and Hooded and Common Mergansers.
  • I think the worst miss was RUFFED GROUSE. I know we searched in the WMA where we had them in the past and didn't see a bird or tracks.
  • GOOD FINDS: the best bird seen that day was the GRASSHOPPER SPARROW found by the Elm Hill team and fully photo-documented. This is the 2nd record of this species on the count, the first being seen on the 1999 count by the Quabog Team. This year's bird was in a very particular habitat: a snow covered field with only a few tufts of grasses sticking up. It would fly from tussock to tussock, disappearing deep into the bunches grass. Other " good birds" for the entire circle included: the only GREAT BLUE HERON, MERLIN (3rd record on count); COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. Of course, any number of birds are good for your sector if you have never had them there before. Personally, we had a great look at an adult male sapsucker which Sheila got some great photographs of. In addition there were SAPSUCKER (3), CATBIRD (1), HERMIT THRUSH (7), FIELD SPARROW (1).
  • MAMMALS SEEN: Porcupine, Beaver, Muskrat, Gray Squirrel (including black form), Red Squirrel, Eastern Cottontail, Mink, River Otter, (several teams), White tailed Deer, Eastern Coyote. NB: we ended our day watching a very large coyote hunting rodents in a field.
    (report from Mark Lynch, circle compiler).

  • 12/13/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    This afternoon we made a brief visit to WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (1); Common Goldeneye (16); Hooded Merganser (19); Bald Eagle (5: 1ad+4imm all seen together); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (30).
  • Later in Leicester: behind the Nazareth Home for Boys (Mulberry Street) on small plowed area out to small dam: Snow Bunting (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/13/17 -- Uxbridge
    There were 2 Fox Sparrows pecking the ground under seed feeders at twilight. (report from Beth Milke)

    12/10/17 -- Worcester Co. ponds
    This AM, post snow, we decided to check some local ponds and reservoirs for goose flocks.
  • HOLDEN/EAGLE LAKE: mostly ice-covered: Canada Goose (66)
  • MUSCHAPAUGE ROAD, RUTLAND: The reservoir was open, but all the geese were in the snow in the field nearby: Canada Goose (110); Cooper's Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (1); Horn Lark (1 fly-over).
  • QUINAPOXET RESERVOIR: Great Cormorant (1ad).
  • CLINTON: COACHLACE POND: Canada Goose (12); Greater Scaup (103); Lesser Scaup (2).
  • LANCASTER: DAVIS FARMLAND: Canada Goose (544).
  • HARVARD: BARE HILL POND: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (87); Mallard (37); A Black Duck (7); Gadwall (1m); Hooded Merganser (65); Common Merganser (27); Ring-billed Gull (6).
  • HARVARD: FARM POND: Canada Goose (57).
  • LANCASTER: small flock of 12 Canada Geese flying all around.
  • WEST WAUSHACUM: Canada Goose (1); Mallard (66); Ring-billed Gull (2); Belted Kingfisher (1).
  • NB: We also checked Dexter Drumlin fields (Lancaster) and had nothing; the Swift River from Rt.110 and also had nothing. We started to check Wachusett Reservoir but heat distortion and wind cut down on visibility. We did have a flock of (18) drake Common Goldeneyes in South Bay.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/9/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    A quick BS ("before snow") check of Wachusett Reservoir and Coachlace Pond this AM had the following before snow made visibility difficult (c.9:35AM): Common Loon (16); Mute Swan (6); Canada Goose (1); Greater Scaup (84); Lesser Scaup (4); White-winged Scoter (1m); Common Goldeneye (5); Hooded Merganser (5); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Belted Kingfisher (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    12/8/17 -- SuAsCo/Chauncy, Westboro
  • A Check of SuAsCo (Westboro) this afternoon had: Mute Swan (127); Canada Goose (58); Mallard (2); A Black Duck (2); Ring-billed Gull (7); Herring Gull (10); Great Black-backed Gull (1).
  • CHAUNCY LAKE/POND, WESTBORO: Common Loon (1); Canada Goose (138); Mallard (2); Common Merganser (1); Ring-billed Gull (40); Herring Gull (18); Great Black-backed Gull (6adW).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/3/17 -- Elm Park, Worcester
    Today at Elm Park, amongst all the Canada Geese, was an unusual duck that I had never seen before. It appears to be a Muscovy Duck, likely an escaped captive bird. It is funny watching him connect with the Canada geese, he follows them when they swim and when they come back onto the grass to look for food!!! (report from Ginny Julian).

    12/3/17 -- Winchendon-South Royalston
    We spent this morning birding the large forested parcel OTTER RIVER STATE FOREST-BIRCH HILL DAM (Winchendon-South Royalston). Birds were few and far between, as is to be expected when in forests at this time of the year. There were NO signs of winter finches what so ever, including Purple Finch.
  • Complete list: Mallard (4); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-necked Pheasant (1m: state game release); Barred Owl (1); Downy Woodpecker (2); Hairy Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (1). Blue Jay (37); A Crow (3); C Raven (1); Black-capped Chickadee (97); Tufted Titmouse (3); Red-breasted Nuthatch (25: typical count for this parcel: no sign of a major flight year); White-breasted Nuthatch (2); Winter Wren (5); Golden-crowned Kinglet (9: typical count for this location); E Bluebird (19); Hermit Thrush (1); A Robin (1); Dark-eyed Junco (53); A Goldfinch (54).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/2/17 -- Wales, Holland, Brookfields
    Birds this morning:
  • HAMILTON RESERVOIR, HOLLAND: skim ice starting to build up: Mallard (6); Hooded Merganser (146); Common Merganser (99); Ruddy Duck (77); Belted Kingfisher (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Raven (1); Carolina Wren (5).
  • LAKE GEORGE, WALES: Canada Goose (269); Mallard (18); Hooded Merganser (28); Belted Kingfisher (1).
  • QUABOG IBA, BROOKFIELDS: Mute Swan (6); Canada Goose (203); Mallard (79); Green-winged Teal (2); Greater Scaup (7); Hooded Merganser (240); Common Merganser (332); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (5); Belted Kingfisher (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/1/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary, Worcester
    I saw a Merlin at Broad Meadow Brook this morning. He was perched atop a dead tree along the Troiano Brook Trail. (report from Robert Brady).

    11/29/17 -- Quabog IBA
    A survey of the ponds in the QUABOG IBA this AM had the following: Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (276); Mallard (37); Greater Scaup (2); Bufflehead (4); Hooded Merganser (183); Red-breasted Merganser (1); Common Merganser (658); Ring-billed Gull (98); Herring Gull (5); Great Black-backed Gull (1adW); Belted Kingfisher (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    11/28/17 -- Town Farm Road, Sutton
    I saw 2 Ring-necked Pheasants (1 male, 1 female) in the corn stubble fields along Town Farm Road in Sutton this morning. The male was crowing and was answered by another male that I could not see. These birds were likely released by nearby Singletary Rod and Gun Club. (report from Robert Brady)

    11/26/17 -- South Quabbin/Rutland
  • QUABBIN PARK/SOUTH QUABBIN had the following this AM: Common Loon (1); A Black Duck (6); Long-tailed Duck (1); Hooded Merganser (1); Bald Eagle (6: 4imm+2ad); Red-tailed Hawk (1). Passerines were few but included Winter Wren (1); and a flock of (40) Brown-headed Cowbirds in Ware.
  • Later along MUSCHOPAUGE ROAD, Rutland: NO GEESE! But American Crow (100+); E Starling (3000+ including 1 leucistic); Horned Lark (70); Brown-headed Cowbird (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/24/17 -- Royalston
    We spent most of the morning in ROYALSTON to see if we could get a preview of what winter birding will be like. Short answer: there were NO winter finches what so ever, including Purple Finches. We had VERY few Red-breasted Nuthatches and Golden-crowned Kinglets, despite being in lots of perfect habitat. In fact there were few birds of any kind. This could be a tough winter for birding. Tully Lake was already mostly ice covered. High lights, such as they were: Wood Duck (pair); Mallard (2 pair); Barred Owl (1); Pileated Woodpecker (2); Common Raven (3).
  • Before we headed north to Royalston we stopped by EAGLE LAKE, HOLDEN. Here were 250+ Canada Geese; (22) A Black Duck; and a Red-tailed Hawk. In past years, Greater White-fronted Goose has shown up here, so this is a location that needs periodic checking.
  • There was nothing along Muchapauge Road (Rutland) no geese in the fields or on the reservoir.
  • At PINE HILL RESERVOIR: Common Loon (1); Canada Goose (12); Green-winged Teal (1); A Black Duck (2); Wild Turkey (14).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/23/17 -- Holland, Wales, Brimfield, Brookfields
    We started at HAMILTON RESERVOIR, HOLLAND: A Black Duck (2); Bufflehead (6); Common Goldeneye (4); Hooded Merganser (59); COMMON MERGANSER (1886: though several hundred Common Mergs are typical here in fall migration, this morning there was a mega flock that started splitting up just after we started counting, with hundreds flying south of the causeway and eventually out of the reservoir); Ruddy Duck (75); Ring-billed Gull (59: many seen kleptoparasitizing the mergs).
  • LAKE GEORGE, WALES: Canada Goose (91); Hooded Merganser (25).
  • SHERMAN POND, BRIMFIELD: Canada Goose (68); Mallard (52); A Black Duck (11); Wild Turkey (2).
  • QUABOG IBA: Great Blue Heron (2); Canada Goose (193); Mute Swan (2); Green-winged Teal (8); Mallard (28); A Black Duck (3); Greater Scaup (17); Bufflehead (1f); Hooded Merganser (90); Common Merganser (86); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (117); Herring Gull (3); Common Raven (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/21/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    For a few hours this morning we checked Wachusett Reservoir and Coachlace Pond. Tow DCR boats were out zooming around the reservoir and there was even an airplane circling over and over the reservoir. Small wonder there were only modest number of waterbirds: Common Loon (6); Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (6); Canada Goose (508) Mallard (10); A Black Duck (11); Green-winged Teal (4 at Thomas Basin); Greater Scaup (77); Lesser Scaup (6); Bufflehead (2); Common Goldeneye (7); Hooded Merganser (14); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (17).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    11/19/17 -- Quabog IBA/Rutland
    Today we started out at the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields) in rain and later, high winds). Waterbird numbers and variety had dropped since a few days ago. Many fewer teal, mergs, Black Ducks. No shorebirds:
  • QUABOG IBA (Brookfields): Pied-billed Grebe (1); Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (5); Canada Goose (131);
      BRANT (3: these were on a person's lawn on northern part of Quabog Street, shortly after the road turned south after crossing the bridge. We were driving south from Rt. 9, and as we were passing the houses, we noticed the 3 Brant. We were incredulous that they were just grazing on this lawn. We spoke to the home owner and found that they have been here about a week. First one showed up, then the other two and that they are not always here. Take shots from the car and DON'T FLUSH THE BIRDS. This homeowner loves them.);
    Green-winged Teal (4); Mallard (11); A Black Duck (2); Greater Scaup (11); Hooded Merganser (23); Common Merganser (68); Bald Eagle (2ad); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Merlin (1); Wild Turkey (34); Ring-billed Gull (104); Great Black-backed Gull (1adW); Belted Kingfisher (1); Red-winged Blackbird (30); Rusty Blackbird (4).
  • PINE HILL RESERVOIR, RUTLAND: Canada Goose (73); Greater White-fronted Goose (1).
  • MUSHOPAUGE RD, RUTLAND: No geese in the fields, but from what we could see in the reservoir: Canada Goose (80); Ring-billed Gull (60); A Crow (110).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/18/17 -- Westboro/Northboro/Wachusett Reservoir/Rutland/Holden
    Today we surveyed a number of ponds in Central MA.
  • SUASCO, WESTBORO: Mute Swan (133); Canada Goose (76); Mallard (2); A Black Duck (4).
  • CHAUNCY LAKE, WESTBORO: Still people out in boats fishing: Pied-billed Grebe (1); Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (2); Mallard (10).
  • BARTLETT POND, NORTHBORO: Canada Goose (65); Mallard (11); A Black Duck (1).
  • BARE HILL POND, HARVARD: Canada Goose (202); Mallard (64) "Mallard X Black" (1); Gadwall (1m); Hooded Merganser (64); Common Merganser (2).
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR (including Coachlace Pond): Common Loon (9); Pied-billed Grebe (1); Double-crested Cormorant (2); Mute Swan (7); Canada Goose (38); Mallard (9); Greater Scaup (160); Hooded Merganser (16); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (1).
  • MUSCHAPOAG RD, RUTLAND: Canada Goose (760); Snow Goose (1); Wild Turkey (24); A Crow (70).
  • EAGLE LAKE, HOLDEN: Canada Goose (368); A Black Duck (42); Mallard (19).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/18/17 -- Westboro
    Went to Lake Chauncey this afternoon. As I was pulling up to the parking area adjacent to the lake and about 500' away from the yellow steel gate to the hiking path, a Pied-billed Grebe adult winter plumage swam away from the shore, proceeded to swim further out towards open water and dove multiple times as it moved further away from shore. The only other water fowl I found was a M & F Hooded Mergansers. (report from Scott Ricker).

    11/15/17 -- Quabog IBA/Holland/Charlton/Spencer
    Today we birded a few ponds in Central Massachusetts:
  • QUABOG IBA: Mute Swan (9: 2imm+1 sub-ad); Canada Goose (7); Mallard (14); A Black Duck (1); Green-winged Teal (13); Ring-necked Duck (2); Greater Scaup (11); Bufflehead (1f); Common Goldeneye (3); Hooded Merganser (66); COMMON MERGANSER (494); Bald Eagle (3: 2ad+1 subAd); Greater Yellowlegs (1); Dunlin (1); Pectoral Sandpiper (1); White-rumped Sandpiper (5);
      NB: All the shorebirds were at the north end of Lake Wickabog. We first spotted the yellowlegs and I was happy to have a shorebird in the County in mid-November. The yellowlegs flushed as the 3 eagles began chasing each other. Then Sheila yelled: "flock of shorebirds coming in!" and a flock of 6 shorebirds flew in from the south and settled on the mud flats. It was obvious 1 was a basic plumaged Dunlin, and that the other 5 were "peeps" of Calidrid species. I studied them through the scope, while Sheila walked up the road to get shots. I first thought they were more Semis (black legs), but they were large, with long wings, and rusty scaps, and grayish breast and eventually we saw the white rumps. I walked up with the scope to where Sheila was and as we were studying the birds, a PECT flew in and settled with the rest!
    Ring-billed Gull (163); Herring Gull (2); Belted Kingfisher (3); American Pipit (4).
  • HAMILTON RESERVOIR, HOLLAND: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (10); Mallard (10+1 Mallard X Black); Bufflehead (13); Hooded Merganser (45); Common Merganser (99); Ruddy Duck (38); Ring-billed Gull (54); Belted Kingfisher 92); Hermit Thrush (1).
  • ORLANDO'S PONDS, CHARLTON: NB: all birds were in the upper pond. Canada Goose (143); Mallard (60); Hooded Merganser (9); Ruddy Duck (19); Red-tailed Hawk (1).
  • RAILROAD POND, CHARLTON: Great Blue Heron (1); Mallard (26).
  • STILES RESERVOIR, SPENCER: Common Loon (2); Great Blue Heron 91); Canada Goose (2); Mallard (7); Hooded Merganser (29); Common Merganser (2); Ruddy Duck (5); Ring-billed Gill (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/13/17 -- Sterling/Worcester
  • East Wauchacum Pond, Sterling: There were 48 Scaup, 36 Bufflehead, and 1 Common Goldeneye.
  • At Indian Lake in Worcester: Viewing from Morgan park, there were 75 Common Mergansers, 27 Hooded Mergansers, and 9 Northern Shovelers.
    (phone report from Dave Grant).

  • 11/13/17 -- Indian Lake, Worcester
    There were lots of Common and Hooded Mergansers here this morning, but the highlight of the day was 10 Northern Shovelers just off to the right of the parking lot. (report from Peter Morlock).

    11/11/17 -- Douglas/Sutton/Millbury/Worcester/Wachusett Reservoir
    We spent the morning checking out ponds and lakes in Worcester County:
  • DOUGLAS (a few ponds); Great Blue Heron (1); A Black Duck (4); Mallard (25); Ring-necked Duck (2); Bufflehead (1); C Goldeneye (16); Common Merganser (1); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1).
  • SUTTON (a few ponds): Ring-necked Duck (38); Hooded Merganser (9); Red-tailed Hawk (2).
  • SINGLETARY POND (Millbury-Sutton): Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (4); Mallard (56); Bufflehead (9); Common Goldeneye (2); Hooded Merganser (18); Common Merganser (3); Cooper's Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (260); Herring Gull (8).
  • INDIAN LAKE (Worcester): Canada Goose (13); Mallard (18); BLACK SCOTER (4f); Hooded Merganser (36); Common Merganser (284); Red-breasted Merganser (1); Ring-billed Gull (90); Herring Gull (3).
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Red-throated Loon (1: close in to the southern end of the dike); Common Loon (11); Double-crested Cormorant (1); Mute Swan (3); BRANT (1: on dike near stone marker: is this the same bird as was found last week?); Canada Goose (6); Greater Scaup (1)); Lesser Scaup (1); Bufflehead (1); Hooded Merganser (28); Ring-billed Gull (3); Tree Sparrow (2).
  • KETTLEBROOK#4 (Paxton): Great Blue Heron (1); Common Merganser (82); Ring-billed Gull (14).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/9/17 -- Quabog IBA
    Today we started by birding the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields. Double-crested Cormorant (1: caught and swallowed a huge bullhead); Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (4); Green-winged Teal (17); Gadwall (1m); Mallard (28); A Black Duck (10); Ring-necked Duck (4); Greater Scaup (10); Bufflehead (5); C Goldeneye (1m); Hooded Merganser (9); Common Merganser (104); Wild Turkey (6); DUNLIN (1); SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (1juv: nb; these two shorebirds stayed close together on the mud flat at the north end of Lake Wickabog.) Bonaparte's Gull (1adW); Ring-billed Gull (132); Belted Kingfisher (2).
  • Later at STILES RESERVOIR, SPENCER: Common Loon (1); Double-crested Cormorant (4); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (1); Bufflehead (5); Hooded Merganser (9); Common Merganser (2); Ruddy Duck (4); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (11).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/8/17 -- Barre Falls
    At the hawkwatch:
  • Weather: Mostly cloudy through late morning with rapid clearing after noon. Northeast wind, 5 MPH; temperatures 36-48F.
  • 10 SANDHILL CRANES approached from the north at 10:15 AM and circled low overhead for several minutes before gliding off to the Southwest. This is a site record for Barre Falls.
  • Other migrants: Turkey Vulture (10), Bald Eagle (3), Sharp-shinned Hawk (2), Cooper's Hawk (4), Red-shouldered Hawk (2), Red-tailed Hawk (35); American Crow (438, migrating).
    (report from Donna Schilling).

  • 11/8/17 -- Buffumville Reservoir, Charlton
    I saw an Osprey at Buffumville Reservoir in Charlton this morning. (report from Robert Brady).

    11/8/17 -- All Faiths Cemetery / Leesville Pond, Worcester
    I spent about a half hour between appointments this morning and had the following: 4 Double-crested Cormorant, 2 Great Blue Heron, 1 Great Egret, 1 Mute swan, 48 Canada geese, 6 Wood Duck, 2 Am. Widgeon, 2 Black Duck, 88 Mallards, 4 green-winged Teal, 3 Ring-necked Ducks, and 18 Hooded Mergansers. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    11/8/17 -- Sudbury Reservoir
    Today we did a fairly complete survey of the SUDBURY RESERVOIR, in Southboro, and had the following: Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (114); Wood Duck (1); American Wigeon (6); Eurasian Wigeon (1f: we spotted 1 unusually plumaged female wigeon, took notes, and just to make sure checked it against resources at home. We both have seen HUNDREDS of female Eurasian wigeon in Europe, but we still wanted to make sure: head: reddish tones; grayish tones on upperparts of body); Mallard (6); Ring-necked Duck (2789: several flocks north and south including 1 of the largest flocks I have ever seen in MA); Lesser Scaup (18); Bufflehead (28); Common Goldeneye (88); Barrows Goldeneye (1m: still at the south end best seen from the railroad tracks); Ruddy Duck (3); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Belted Kingfisher (2).
  • THEN at CHAUNCY LAKE: Pied-billed Grebe (1); Horned Grebe (4); Red-necked Grebe (2); Mallard (2); Bufflehead (5); Red-breasted Merganser (1f).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 10/7/17 -- Sterling
    There was a Long-tailed duck hanging around the Scaup at East Wachacum, and a Red-throated Loon among the Common Loons at Gate 36 Wachusett Reservoir. (report from Peter Morlock).

    11/6/17 -- Quabog IBA
    This morning we birded the QUABOG IBA in mist and showers. Nothing special, but still a nice variety: Mute Swan (2ad); Canada Goose (16); Wood Duck (6); Mallard (22); A Black Duck (11); Green-winged Teal (12); Ring-necked Duck (10); Greater Scaup (11); Common Goldeneye (1m); Common Merganser (103); Ring-billed Gull (125); Herring Gull (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1). Passerines were typical but did include: Ruby-crowned Kinglet (3); Cedar Waxwing (70).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    11/4/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir IBA
    This morning we birded the WACHUSETT RESERVOIR IBA including Sterling Peat, the Quag, the Waushacums, Coachlace, and a survey of the reservoir.
  • Birds recorded: Red-throated Loon (1); Common Loon (19); Double-crested Cormorant (17); Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (3imm); Canada Goose (19); Wood Duck (4); Mallard (5); A Black Duck (17:single flock); Green-winged Teal (1); Lesser Scaup (8); Greater Scaup (44); Black Scoter (8); Long-tailed Duck (46: single flock initially seen from the dam looking south and later from Mile Hill Road overlook; very active, they would split up and fly back and forth, sometimes out of sight, then rejoin and set down); Bufflehead (15); C Goldeneye (2m); Hooded Merganser (6); Red-breasted Merganser (1f); Common Merganser (47); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (4); Wild Turkey (26); Ring-billed Gull (8); Belted Kingfisher (3); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); N Flicker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1). Passerines included (2) Winter Wren and (2) C Raven.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/2/17 -- Sutton
    We were treated to a typically standoff-ish winter wren near the marshy area at the bottom of Purgatory Chasm this afternoon. (report from Garry Kessler).

    11/2/17 -- Rutland/Paxton
    We intended to start at Quinapoxet Reservoir (Holden), but when we got there, city workers were busy at and inside the fence. SO: we headed to:
  • MUSCHOPAUGE ROAD, RUTLAND: Canada Goose (353); Snow Goose (1imm); Greater White-fronted Goose (1); Wild Turkey (23). NB: When we arrived there were only c. 40 geese in the grassy field, but that included the Snow. As minutes passed, small flocks kept flying in from the reservoir until finally the Greater White Fronted arrived. The cool thing is that we could hear the White-fronted calling off and on for 15 minutes before it flew into the field.
  • PINE HILL ROAD, RUTLAND: Nothing on the water, but along the road: Pileated Woodpecker (2); Golden-crowned Kinglet (7); Hermit Thrush (1).
  • KETTLEBROOK RESERVOIR #4, PAXTON: Wood Duck (2); Green-winged Teal (2); Hooded Merganser (8); Common Merganser (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 10/30/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir/ Chauncy Lake/SuAsCo
    This morning we started at WACHUSETT RESERVOIR. Birding was at times tough in the wind and periodic hard rain. There we had Common Loon (5); Double-crested Cormorant (62); Mallard (7); Greater Scaup (26); Lesser Scaup (16); Black Scoter (7); Bald Eagle (1ad: flushed the scoters for a bit); Cooper's Hawk (1); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1: the Coop and the Sharpie were observed dog fighting); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Merlin (1); Wild Turkey (23); Killdeer (4: Clinton HS); Ring-billed Gull (102).
  • At CHAUNCY LAKE, WESTBORO: Canada Goose (80); Mallard (3); Ring-billed Gull (37); Herring Gull (1); and a whole collection of State Policemen.
  • SUASCO, WESTBORO: Pied-Billed Grebe (2); Double-crested Cormorant (2); Great Blue Heron (2); Mute Swan (86); Canada Goose (9); Wood Duck (7); Green-winged Teal (16); Mallard (23); Surf Scoter (1m).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 10/29/17 -- Quabog IBA/Leesville Pond
    This morning in periodic rain, we birded the main ponds of the QUABOG IBA. Nothing earth-shattering, but a nice variety of species. Amazingly we had NO Canada Geese.
  • Pied-billed Grebe (2); Great Blue Heron (3); Mute Swan (3); Wood Duck (5); American Wigeon (5: 3f+2m); A Black Duck (12); Mallard (42); Green-winged Teal (9); Ring-necked Duck (14); Greater Scaup (3); Ruddy Duck (3); Wild Turkey (23); A Coot (1); Greater Yellowlegs (1); Ring-billed Gull (57); Belted Kingfisher (2); Peregrine Falcon (1ad). Passerines included Ruby-and Golden-crowned Kinglets; Winter Wren, (4) Carolina Wren; 2 Common Ravens; a Palm Warbler; and c.75 Red-winged Blackbirds.
  • On the way home we stopped by Leesville Pond/All Faiths Cemetery (Worcester/Auburn) to look for the Great Egret reported earlier today and dipped, but we did have: Double-crested Cormorant (3); Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (98); Wood Duck (42); Mallard (86); A Black Duck (1); Hooded Merganser (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 10/28/17 -- Wachusett Meadows sanctuary, Princeton
    I took a late afternoon walk here today, with only a few birds of note: 1 RC Kinglet, 1 White-throated Sparrow, and 2 C Ravens. But as I was getting into my car to leave, just at dusk, a large group of blackbirds was flying over the Red Maple swamp (toward the left as viewed from the parking lot). I quickly grabbed the binos, and concluded based on manner of flight and shape that they were mostly Red-winged Blackbirds. It was hard to estimate the number, it was so large. Counting first by tens, and then by hundreds, one single group of these birds was well over a thousand (conservative estimate). There may well have been Starlings and Grackles mixed in also. Redwings are known to congregate in the fall at dusk in large communal roosts in swampy areas, and perhaps the MAS sanctuary contains such a roost. (report from Rick Quimby).

    10/25/17 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    This afternoon we took a quick tour of the major water bodies of the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields and had the following: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (42); Wood Duck (12); American Wigeon (2f+1m); Mallard (96); A Black Duck (30); Green-winged Teal (9); Ring-necked Duck (37); Ruddy Duck (9); Turkey Vulture (11); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Bald Eagle (2ad+1imm: nb: we watched an immature and an adult battle over who was going to try to take apart a poor Painted Turtle); American Coot (1); Greater Yellowlegs (1).
  • At KETTLEBROOK #4,PAXTON: Green-winged Teal (6); Hooded Merganser (3); Killdeer (2).
  • STYLES RESERVOIR, SPENCER: Double Crested Cormorant (11); Great Cormorant (1ad); Mallard (3); Bufflehead (2f); Ruddy Duck (10).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 10/24/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    This morning we did a quick check of the ponds in the WACHUSETT RESERVOIR IBA, including the reservoir proper, the Quag, the Waushacums, and Coachlace. We did NOT check Sterling Peat as we assumed hunters could be there. The increasing wind made viewing, especially from the dike of the reservoir, difficult. NB: South Bay still has construction going on along the highway.
  • Common loon (5); Double-crested Cormorant (72); Great Blue Heron (2); Mute Swan (4imm); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (60); Lesser Scaup (3); Greater Scaup (35); White-winged Scoter (1f); Bufflehead (2f); Bald Eagle (2ad); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (18); Killdeer (13); Belted Kingfisher (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • NB: we started at Quinapoxet Reservoir ((Princeton at Holden line), but a crew of city workers had parts of the fence down and were cutting vegetation.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 10/23/17 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    At the hawkwatch, two Barre Falls site records were set today!
    Fog dissipated by mid-morning to reveal variable clouds and sun with excellent visibility. Moderate SE wind, 5-10 MPH. Temperatures 58-70F.
  • 243 TURKEY VULTURES obliterated the previous daily record of 174 on October 20, 2004. From 10-11:00a EDT, 90+ Turkey Vultures streamed overhead in perfect formation. Shortly after noon EDT, 100+ Turkey Vultures kettled high in the Southeast, kindling Broad-wing envy.
  • Two BLACK VULTURES, soaring with the first group of Turkey Vultures, doubled all previous daily counts. Black Vulture is extremely rare at Barre Falls, with only 3 previous Fall records and just 2 in Spring. The last Fall sighting was November 2, 2010; the most recent Spring observation was April 28, 2014.
  • Northern Harriers, conspicuously absent this season, rallied nicely, with four individuals observed.
  • Totals: Black Vulture - 2; Turkey Vulture - 243; Osprey - 1; Northern Harrier - 4; Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4; Cooper's Hawk - 1; Red-tailed Hawk - 8; Unidentified Accipiter - 1; Unidentified Raptor - 1
    (report from Donna Schilling).

  • 10/22/17 -- Lake Quaboag and Vicinity, Brookfields
    On the Forbush Bird Club trip to Brookfield, with a side trip to Orlando's Farm in Charlton, we managed a few interesting finds among the 48 species total. Highlights were Pied-billed Grebe 3, Great Blue Heron 4, Canada Goose 300+, Mute Swan 2, Black Duck 6, Ring-necked Duck 2, Common Merganser 3, Ruddy Duck 26 (Orlando's), Bald Eagle 2 adults, Red-tailed hawk 1, Turkey 26, Killdeer 4, Belted Kingfisher 1, Red-bellied Woodpecker 2, Pileated Woodpecker 1, Phoebe 1, Carolina Wren 1, Eastern Bluebird 3, Hermit Thrush 3, BROWN THRASHER 1 (late), Yellow-rumped Warbler 1, Palm (yellow) Warbler 2, Common Yellowthroat 1, Chipping Sparrow 9, Savabnnah Sparrow 12, Song Sparrow 37, LINCOLN's Sparrow 1, Swamp Sparrow 20, White-throated Sparrow 18, Red-winged Blackbird 2, Grackle 12, Cowbird 2, House Finch 8. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    10/22/17 -- Bolton Flats WMA
    We birded BOLTON FLATS WMA this morning. We started off doing a little owling, then hiked in the "main entrance" for the LeConte's Sparrow; then birded more of that area; hiked in across the street (south) from the "main entrance", and then continued up Rt.110 for several stops; and hiked in Pine Hill property.
  • Highlights: Canada Goose (248: all over head); Wood Duck (16); Mallard (15); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Cooper's Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (3); Great Horned Owl (3); Belted Kingfisher (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); Downy Woodpecker (3); Hairy Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (5). Carolina Wren (2); Marsh Wren (1); Golden-crowned Kinglet (1); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (14); E Bluebird (13); Hermit Thrush (5); Gray Catbird (9); American Pipit (25).
  • WARBLERS: Black-throated Blue (1f); Yellow-rumped (76); Pine (1); Palm (26); Blackpoll (1).
  • SPARROWS: Chipping (13); Savannah (18);
      LE CONTE;S (1: seen at the gas pipeline marker along the trail in the "main entrance" off Rt.117. It first appeared at 6:55, perching up briefly in that bush to the left side of the pipeline cut. It had flown in from the south. It disappeared for a bit and I refound out, sitting atop a bush c.100 feet to the north and was able to get the other birders on it. It worked an area both to the north and south of the pipeline area, often perching atop small leafy bushes but also bare branches. Eventually it flew across the path into the field, and we left the growing crowd to refind it.
    Song (64); Lincoln's (2); Swamp (99); White-throated (95); White-crowned (8); Dark-eyed Junco (33).
  • Red-winged Blackbird (380); Rusty Blackbird (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 10/22/17 -- Uxbridge Community Gardens
    Not sure who first reported the Dickcissel(s) in Uxbridge but here's a couple photos ( photo 1), ( photo 2) of them. Also seen, but not well by me was an orange crowned warbler. Other birds include savannah sparrows and palm warblers. (report from Garry Kessler).

    10/22/17 -- Pout Water Pond, Sterling
    One Blue Headed Vireo seen near Pout Water Pond today. (report from Scott Ricker).

    10/20/17 -- All Faiths and Notre Dame Cemeteries, Worcester
  • All Faiths cemetery: The Great Egret is still at Leesville Pond. Also, 3 DC Cormorants, 1 Great Blue Heron.
  • Notre Dame Cemetery: There was also a different Great Egret Hunting here at the rear of the cemetery, as well as a Belted King Fisher and 2 Red-tailed Hawks. I was walking along the rear of the cemetery along the river when I heard an Osprey call. The Osprey was dive bombing at a Juvenile Bald Eagle . The Osprey chased the Eagle very high into the sky and the Eagle flew away.
    (report from Brian Mulhearn).

  • 10/17/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Turkey Vulture 15 ; Osprey 3 ; Bald Eagle 1 ; Northern Harrier 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 12 ; Cooper's Hawk 1 ; Red-tailed Hawk 15 ; American Kestrel 10 ; Peregrine Falcon 3 .
    (report from Rod Chase).

    10/14/17 -- All Faiths Cemetery, Leesville Pond, Worcester
  • The Great Egret is still hanging around Leesville Pond.
  • Also a few days ago at Leesville Pond there were 3 DC cormorants, and we watched 3 Ospreys circling around catching a thermal and they went way up and away.
  • On 10/10/17 my friend and I found a small Coopers Hawk with its head bit off. This was at the rear of Notre Dame Cemetery where we found the dead hawk. I figure it was a migrant resting for the night, and a Great Horned Owl found it and bit its head off. I know GH Owls remove heads because years ago I found a nest in a pine tree, and headless pigeons piled up under the nest.
    (report from Brian Mulhearn).

  • 10/12/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Turkey Vulture 5 ; Osprey 3 ; Bald Eagle 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 8 ; Cooper's Hawk 5 ; Red-shouldered Hawk 1 ; American Kestrel 4 ; Merlin 1 .
    (report from Rod Chase).

    10/11/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights this morning along the Troiano Brookside Trail ("The Stretch"): Hairy Woodpecker (3); Northern Flicker (1); Carolina Wren (1); Hermit Thrush (1); Gray Catbird (2); Palm Warbler (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler (4); White-throated Sparrow (13); Song Sparrow (18); Swamp Sparrow (15); sparrow sp. (30 - probably more; they were zipping around the vegetation across the brook from me; most, if not all, of them were either Songs, White-throats, or Swamps). (report from John Liller).

    10/6/17 -- All Faiths Cemetery, Leesville Pond, Worcester
    There was a Great Egret flying around and hunting along the shore. I saw a Great Egret here 2 weeks ago. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    10/5/17 -- Sterling Peat
    The Little blue heron continues at Sterling Peat as of this a.m. This youngster has absolutely no fear of humans. It approached within 5 feet of us busily snatching up tiny silver minnows. Other sightings included 2 Great blues, Coopers Hawk, 6 Killdeer, many Yellow-rumps and Palm warblers and a (yes-just one) Solitary sandpiper. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    10/4/17 -- Quabog IBA
    We did a check of the ponds of the QUABOG IBA this morning and had the following:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron(8); Turkey Vulture (2); Canada Goose (270); Wood Duck (31); Green-winged Teal (7); Mallard (41); A Black Duck (3); Greater Scaup (3); Ring-necked Duck (6); Ruddy Duck (1); Bald Eagle (1); Sharp-shinned Hawk (2); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Ring-billed Gull (32); Belted Kingfisher (2); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • Passerines were pretty typical, but we did see (12) COMMON RAVENS, an unusually high count for this area.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 10/4/17 -- Milford Pond
    There was a Great Egret in Milford Pond late this morning, along with 3 Great Blue Herons. (report from Beth Milke)

    10/1/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Turkey Vulture 55 ; Osprey 7 ; Bald Eagle 11 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 16 ; Cooper's Hawk 4 ; Broad-winged Hawk 155 ; American Kestrel 12 ; Merlin 1 ; Peregrine Falcon 3 .
    (report from Rod Chase).

    10/1/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir IBA
    The Forbush Bird Club had an excellent trip through the Wachusett Reservoir IBA this morning. Stops included Thomas Basin, Sterling Peat, East and West Waushacum Lakes, and Reservoir Gates 36, 39, 17, and 25. Highlights:
  • 24 Wood Duck; 1 Bufflehead -- F continuing Gate 36; 9 Wild Turkey; 12 Common Loon; 2 Pied-billed Grebe; 2 Horned Grebe; 41 Double-crested Cormorant; 3 Great Blue Heron; 1 Little Blue Heron -- Continuing immature at Sterling Peat; 1 Osprey; 4 Red-tailed Hawk; 6 Killdeer; 1 Pectoral Sandpiper; 1 Solitary Sandpiper; 5 Belted Kingfisher; 5 Red-bellied Woodpecker; 2 Hairy Woodpecker; 3 Northern Flicker; 1 Pileated Woodpecker; 7 Eastern Phoebe; 1 Blue-headed Vireo; 3 Common Raven; 2 Red-breasted Nuthatch; 1 House Wren; 1 Carolina Wren; 3 Golden-crowned Kinglet; 6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet; 12 Eastern Bluebird; 12 Gray Catbird; 4 Cedar Waxwing; 3 Common Yellowthroat; 1 Northern Parula; 8 Palm Warbler; 1 Pine Warbler; 27 Yellow-rumped Warbler; 1 Black-throated Green Warbler; 16 Chipping Sparrow; 3 White-throated Sparrow; 1 Savannah Sparrow; 11 Song Sparrow; 3 Swamp Sparrow; 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak; 3 Red-winged Blackbird; 19 House Finch.
    (report from Kevin Bourinot).

  • 9/30/17 -- Quabog IBA
    This morning we did a brief check of the QUABOG IBA and had the following:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (3); Great Egret (1: still at Lake Quabog); Canada Goose (95); Wood Duck (29); Mallard (52); A Black Duck (4); Lesser Scaup (1m); Surf Scoter (1m); Common Merganser (1f); Turkey Vulture (1); Belted Kingfisher (3).
  • E Phoebe (6); Carolina Wren (3); House Wren (2); E Bluebird (4); Gray Catbird (19); C Yellowthroat (3).
  • SPARROWS: Savannah (16); Song (34); Lincoln's (1); Swamp (33); White-throated (7).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/29/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today and season totals:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Species            Day's Count    Month Total   Season Total
    ------------------ ----------- -------------- --------------
    Black Vulture                0              1              1
    Turkey Vulture               9             20             20
    Osprey                       7            115            118
    Bald Eagle                   1             88             91
    Northern Harrier             1             12             12
    Sharp-shinned Hawk          14            214            226
    Cooper's Hawk                0             78             82
    Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
    Red-shouldered Hawk          0              2              2
    Broad-winged Hawk            5          10162          10193
    Red-tailed Hawk              0              0              0
    Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
    Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
    American Kestrel             2             87             87
    Merlin                       0             16             16
    Peregrine Falcon             0             21             21
    Unknown Accipiter            2             24             24
    Unknown Buteo                0              3              4
    Unknown Falcon               0              5              5
    Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
    Unknown Raptor               3             57             57
    
    Total:                      44          10905          10959
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Raptor Observations: In these conditions we were hoping for bigger numbers of OS's, SS's, & AK's judging by what has been moving north- east of us. Also saw minor numbers (50+/-)of BW's thru Clarry Hill & Cadillac Mt. today. Hoping Sunday to partake of such a diet. Todays flights: went by on both sides, low and high, near and far, plus way too infrequently! Not as chilly as yesterday, the observers were also warmed with good conversations in the slow moments. Lots of 'catching up'!
    (report from Rod Chase).

    9/28/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Turkey Vulture 11 ; Osprey 4 ; Bald Eagle 4 ; Northern Harrier 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 14 ; Cooper's Hawk 6 ; Broad-winged Hawk 5 ; American Kestrel 6 ; Merlin 2 ; Peregrine Falcon 2 .
  • Raptor Observations: First signs of the TV's getting into gear (11) today, surpassed only by the SS's. Ten species passed today, some very close but vast majority so distant that 11 raptors were unidentified.
    (report from Rod Chase).

  • 9/28/17 -- Quinapoxet Reservoir /Wachusett Reservoir IBA
  • We started this morning at QUINAPOXET RESERVOIR and had the following: Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (4); Canada Goose (17); Mallard (73); Blue-winged Teal (3); Green-winged Teal (8); Osprey (1); Bald Eagle (2: 1ad+1imm); Killdeer (5); Solitary Sandpiper (1). When we arrived the immature Bald was perched on the (so-far) unused Osprey platform. It took off, flushing all the ducks (allowing good views). Then, suddenly, an Osprey swooped in only to be chased viciously by an adult Bald, which drove it out of the area.
  • WE then decided to bird the WACHUSETT RESERVOIR IBA, beginning with Sterling Peat. Here was another immature Bald, 2 immature Pied-billed Grebes. Just as we were leaving, Sheila noticed a white egret, not a Great, perched in a tree. It flew off and down before we got the scope on it. Eventually was able to get shots of the bird perched in a tree, on the ground and flying (it was very active). This plumage/age of Snowy or Little Blue can present some real ID challenges (see latest Sibley and other sources). Looking at photos, we decided it was an immature SNOWY, not a Little Blue, based on the color of the lores (yellow) and subtle proportions of the bill, neck and body. But this was not an easy call in the field and is one of those cases that analysis of the photos was helpful.
  • We then checked The WAUSHACUMS, THE QUAG, COACHLACE and the reservoir (basic check) and had the following (totals for the IBA): Common Loon (4); Pied-billed Grebe (2imm: photos); Double-crested Cormorant (31); Great Blue Heron (4); Snowy Egret (1); Canada Goose (131); Wood Duck (7); Mallard (21); BUFFLEHEAD (1f: Wachusett Reservoir); Bald Eagle (1imm); Killdeer (28: most at Clinton soccer field); Ring-billed Gull (15); Belted Kingfisher (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/26/17 -- South Royalston-Winchendon
    This morning we birded a bit of the BIRCH HILL DAM ACE-OTTER RIVER SP parcel between South Royalston and Winchendon. Birding was a bit slow, but we did come across a few mixed species flocks. This was our first taste of "sparrow migration" this fall. Some Pine Warblers and some Blue-headed Vireos were singing. Highlights:
  • Great Blue Heron (1); Wood Duck (43); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (3); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • E Phoebe (17); Blue-headed Vireo (14); Red-breasted Nuthatch (31); House Wren (2); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (9); Hermit Thrush (9); Gray Catbird (32).
  • WARBLERS: N Parula (2); Yellow-rumped (47); Black-throated Green (10); Pine (78); Palm (2); Blackpoll (26: including 1 bird that was in spring breeding plumage!); Black and White (1); Ovenbird (1); Connecticut (1f); C Yellowthroat (7).
  • SPARROWS: E Towhee (22); Chipping (11); Savannah (8); Song (20); Lincoln's (1); Swamp (31); White-throated (61).
  • Purple Finch (4).
  • Plus: a very good flight of BUCK MOTHS.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/25/17 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    This morning we birded the southern sections (some of) of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. First thing, we had a few modest pockets of birds, but then by mid morning, birding became a bit slow. The variety of warblers is indicative that we are in the last weeks of fall warbler migration. Highlights:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Wood Duck (33); Mallard (2); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Sora (1); Killdeer (1); Barred Owl (1 road kill); Belted Kingfisher (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (2).
  • E Phoebe (13); Blue-headed Vireo (6); Golden-crowned Kinglet (1); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (9); E Bluebird (3); Hermit Thrush (1); Gray Catbird (17).
  • WARBLERS: Black-throated Blue (1m); Yellow-rumped (34); Pine (67); Blackpoll (7); C Yellowthroat (1).
  • Scarlet Tanager (1); E Towhee (9); Swamp Sparrow (12); White-throated Sparrow (6).
  • PLUS: (2) Porcupines and (1) Brown Earth Snake.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/24/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 2 ; Bald Eagle 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 8 ; Cooper's Hawk 7 ; Red-shouldered Hawk 1 2 2 Broad-winged Hawk 31 ; American Kestrel 2 ; Merlin 1 .
  • Raptor Observations: BE distant 12:07. Flights were low early, higher as temps rose. Many small groups were diffuse and slow to decide which way they'd go. 11th hour saw the return of Paul Roberts 45 TV"s -- this time not to roost but rather to glide overhead armada-style from SE to NW. Quite a treat for the crowds and hawk watchers.
    (report from Rod Chase).

  • 9/23/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Turkey Vulture 1 ; Osprey 4 ; Bald Eagle 4 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 18 ; Cooper's Hawk 2 ; Broad-winged Hawk 35 ; American Kestrel 2 .
  • Raptor Observations: Despite ideal winds, a large Broad-winged Hawk flight was simply not in the pipeline today. A nice handful of Sharp-shinned Hawks (18) kept us mildly entertained for most of the watch. Many URs (unidentified raptors) today, seen as specks trekking down the ridges.
    (report from Brian Rusnica).

  • 9/23/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 4 ; Bald Eagle 2 ; Northern Harrier 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 21 ; Cooper's Hawk 7 ; Broad-winged Hawk 23 ; American Kestrel 5 ; Merlin 3 .
  • Raptor Observations: Flight low in am, higher in pm. Flight was very slow to start, picked up in the afternoon. Many eyes scouring for very few of the expected raptors.
    (report from Rod Chase).

  • 9/22/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 4 ; Bald Eagle 3 ; Northern Harrier 5 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 17 ; Cooper's Hawk 1 ; Broad-winged Hawk 305 ; American Kestrel 9 .
  • Raptor Observations: BW's moving early with "nickel and dimes"(in all directions)..for the first few hours and then it was spare change in the form of "pennies" here and there, for the rest of the day. A few non-migrant BE's, juv. RT and less than 10 TV's.
    (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 9/22/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 14 ; Bald Eagle 8 ; Northern Harrier 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 13 ; Cooper's Hawk 4 ; Broad-winged Hawk 27 ; American Kestrel 6 ; Merlin 2 ; Peregrine Falcon 3 .

    (report from Ted Mara and Rod Chase).

    9/21/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    A third check of Wachusett Reservoir this morning to see if any tropical storm-driven birds had put in revealed:
  • Common Loon (13); Double-crested Cormorant (50); Great Blue Heron (2); Canada Goose (33); Mallard (11); Wild Turkey (5); Peregrine Falcon (1imm).
  • NB: we checked the Clinton soccer fields for Killdeer and found none! Last night we had 33 there.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/21/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 5 ; Bald Eagle 10 ; Northern Harrier 4 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 25 ; Cooper's Hawk 6 ; Broad-winged Hawk 641 ; American Kestrel 27 ; Merlin 2 .
  • Raptor Observations: Fairly steady with non-Broad-wings, BW's came in pulses, just when it looked the day day would bust open it would die, then when seemly dead it would pickup again....and so forth. Mid day birds had decent lift later modest kettles were low and allowing nice looks. NNE winds made for a "fast flight". Not many "local" TV's today, a RT had a nice dual with a raven. 2 Non-mirant BE's
    (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 9/21/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 13 ; Bald Eagle 13 ; Northern Harrier 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 27 ; Cooper's Hawk 7 ; Broad-winged Hawk 344 ; American Kestrel 21 ; Merlin 2 ; Peregrine Falcon 2 ;
  • Raptor Observations: Raptors were blown in from the NE-NW all day. While most travelled to W & SW, perhaps 20% founda route to E of summit and then turned to WSW. While some birds rode wind up the side of the mountain, most caught distant updrafts and travelled as bino- or scope-birds. Fortunately, the hill was well-supplied with those tools today!
    (report from Rod Chase).

  • 9/18/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 2 Solitary Sandpipers, 1 Least Sandpiper, 1 Belted Kingfisher, and 1 N. Flicker. (report from Rick Quimby).

    9/17/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir (evening)
    Early this evening we did a circuit of WACHUSETT RESERVOIR. Totals:
  • Common Loon (18); Double-crested Cormorant (64); Canada Goose (54); Mallard (9); A Black Duck (3); Osprey (1); Ring-billed Gull (200+); BONAPARTE'S GULL (1imm).
  • Plus: bat species (1).
  • While standing on the dike at Gate 36 we were surprised to a see a regular motorcycle (not a dirt bike) drive up the trail in Gate 37 all the way to the top of the dike at which point the driver took in the sunset and then left.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/17/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 2 ; Bald Eagle 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 3 ; Cooper's Hawk 5 ; Broad-winged Hawk 67 ; American Kestrel 4 ; Merlin 2 ; Peregrine Falcon 2 .
  • Raptor Observations: Lots of 1 to 3 bird counts thru 1st half of day and a few slightly larger groups in afternoon until last hour. Few birds were close up. A fair mix of species today but BW's led the way and decent views of some falcons was a bonus.
  • Where is the next push of BW's? Noted that Putney Mtn. in Vermont has had 7000+ in last 4 days; Hawk Mtn. (PA.) may have benefited from this group (3500 in 2 days)? Hope BW's get pushed into eastern NE in the next few days!
    (report from Rod Chase)

  • 9/17/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 8 ; Bald Eagle 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 21 ; Cooper's Hawk 4 ; Broad-winged Hawk 170 ; American Kestrel 13 ; Merlin 4 .
  • Raptor Observations: Another day without significant Broad-winged Hawk movement, but nice looks at many smaller birds. Today's American Kestrel count (13) surpassed yesterday's season high. Largest group of Broad-wings was a 20-bird stream near 2pm EDT. A Merlin and a Kestrel buzzed the decoy owl, while several Sharpies exchanged slightly less-menacing glares at her.
    (report from Brian Rusnica).

  • 9/17/17 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    We spent the morning birding the southern section of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. Initially it was quite foggy and there was little bird activity, but by early in the morning we came across several impressive flocks of passerines.of certain species. Highlights:
  • Turkey Vulture (3); Canada Goose (4); Wood Duck (13); Mallard (5); Blue-winged Teal (2); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (5: nb: we spent no time hawkwatching from the Barre Falls site); A Kestrel (1m); Wild Turkey (27); Barred Owl (2); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); N Flicker (7); Pileated Woodpecker (4).
  • Eastern Phoebe (37); Blue-headed Vireo (7); Red-eyed Vireo (4); Winter Wren (1); RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (2: our "first of fall"); E Bluebird (2); Hermit Thrush (8); Gray Catbird (35).
  • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (1: still sang a few times); Tennessee (4); Nashville (1); N Parula (15); Chestnut-sided (2); Black-throated Blue (4); Yellow-rumped (5); Black-throated Green (21); Pine (43: some singing); Blackpoll (38); Black and White (6); A Redstart (6); Ovenbird (3); Connecticut (1); C Yellowthroat (19).
  • Scarlet Tanager (6); E Towhee (17); Chipping Sparrow (108); Swamp Sparrow (31); White-throated Sparrow (12).
  • Plus: a nice flight of Buck Moths.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/16/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 6 ; Bald Eagle 7 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 35 ; Cooper's Hawk 7 ; Broad-winged Hawk 222 ; American Kestrel 5 ; Merlin 4 ; Peregrine Falcon 1 .
  • Raptor Observations: No large push of Broad-winged Hawks developed, but we did have our best day of the season for several species: Sharp-shinned Hawk (35), Bald Eagle (7), Cooper's Hawk (7), and American Kestrel (5). Largest group was a stream of 25 Broad-wings at 4:30pm EDT. Happily we passed the 4,000 bird milestone for the season today. A massive group of local Turkey Vultures materialized early in the morning - somewhere in the vicinity of 75 birds in the distance off to the east. TVs were seen well throughout the day from the summit. Our first Peregrine Falcon of the season also flew over today, around 1pm. A local Merlin made 2 passes on Margaret the plastic owl in the afternoon.
    (report from Brian Rusnica).

  • 9/16/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 26 ; Cooper's Hawk 14 ; Broad-winged Hawk 56 ; American Kestrel 8 ; Merlin 1 ; Peregrine Falcon 6 .
  • Raptor Observations: Even with wind from NE the numbers fell off from 2 - 4pm in homogenized hot air. Birds in ones and twos all afternoon. Show of the day was Cooper's Hawk attacking a Peregrine who retaliated fiercely many times to earn the gold medal in diving and the respect of all for aerial ability!
    (report from Rod Chase)

  • 9/13/17 -- South Royalston-Winchendon
    Today we birded the BIRCH HILL DAM-OTTER RIVER SP parcel. Most migrant passerines were in discreet mixed species flocks that featured high numbers of Blackpolls and Pines. Often we found ourselves sifting through Blackpolls looking for anything that wasn't.Highlights:
  • Great Blue Heron (1); Wood Duck (24); Blue-winged Teal (1); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (1: nb: we kept our eyes sky-ward all morning and this was all we saw); Killdeer (12); Barred Owl (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (2); Belted Kingfisher (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (3); Pileated Woodpecker (2).
  • E Phoebe (51); Blue-headed Vireo (12); Red-eyed Vireo (13); Common Raven (5); Red-breasted Nuthatch (28: no sign of any major winter incursions); House Wren (2); E Bluebird (3); Hermit Thrush (3); Gray Catbird (28).
  • WARBLERS: Tennessee (1); N Parula (4); Magnolia (2); Cape May (1); Black-throated Blue (1 singing); Yellow-rumped (16); Black-throated Green (13); Blackburnian (2); Pine (82); Palm (4: our "first of fall"); Bay-breasted (1); BLACKPOLL (158); Black and White (3); A Redstart (3); Ovenbird (2); C Yellowthroat (22).
  • Scarlet Tanager (2); E Towhee (22); Lincoln's Sparrow (1: our "first of fall"); Swamp Sparrow (26); White-throated Sparrow (4); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1).
  • PLUS: E Garter Snake; lots of dragonflies including Zebra Clubtail.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/13/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 3 ; Bald Eagle 3 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 10 ; Cooper's Hawk 1 ; Broad-winged Hawk 466 ; American Kestrel 4 ; Merlin 3 .
  • Raptor Observations: A productive morning with several good-sized groups of Broad-winged Hawks forming kettles and getting lift early. The action tapered off until we had a great line of Broad-wings between 1 and 2pm EDT - streaming in low, directly over the east summit and kettling up over the true summit. An immature Bald Eagle mixed in to the kettle, providing a comical size comparison. After 2pm, the migrant count dropped off severely as the winds turned towards the SW, much like yesterday afternoon. Judd Nathan and I were treated to an extended dogfight between two evenly-matched Merlin around 2:30pm.
  • The decoy owl (new nickname: "Margaret") had a busy day, drawing visits from an American Kestrel, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and 2 Merlins. Both the sharpie and the kestrel left "afterburner" flight noises as they passed us.
    (report from Brian Rusnica).

  • 9/13/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 7 ; Bald Eagle 4 ; Northern Harrier 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 6 ; Broad-winged Hawk 301 ; American Kestrel 2 .
    (report from Ted Mara and Rod Chase)

    9/13/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 1 DCC Cormorant, 5 Mute Swan (2 ad, 3 imm), 1 Am Wigeon (f), 1 Solitary Sandpiper, 2 Least Sandpipers, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 N. flicker, and 1 Common Grackle (not usually seen in Sept in the park). (report from Rick Quimby).

    9/12/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 4 ; Bald Eagle 2 ; Northern Harrier 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 9 ; Cooper's Hawk 1 ; Broad-winged Hawk 1149 ; American Kestrel 3 .
  • Raptor Observations: An explosive 2 hours, from 11am-1pm EDT carried today's count. We had some of the best looks at Broad-winged Hawks thus far this season, with low altitude kettles and streams visible naked-eye from the summit. Groups of 100, 120, 75 and finally 250 wowed our visitors today. In general, the flight was lower and headed very much into the westerly winds. The afternoon numbers dropped off severely after 1:30pm EDT. A sharp-shinned hawk made a pass at the plastic owl in the afternoon.
    (report from Brian Rusnica).

  • 9/12/17 -- Muddy Pond/Sterling Peat, Sterling
    Highlights from this afternoon include at least 2 adult Cape May Warblers along with a first fall Connecticut Warbler, both of which were lifers for me. I have poor and distant photos of both to confirm. Nice assortment of other more common species around as well. (report from Josh Gahagan).

    9/12/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 11 ; Bald Eagle 9 ; Northern Harrier 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 11 ; Cooper's Hawk 2 ; Broad-winged Hawk 3008 ; American Kestrel 4 ; Peregrine Falcon 1 .
  • Raptor Observations: Nominally fine conditions at start with a slow 1st hour while the sun got some weak thermals working. By 9am BW's started moving and most rose up from their overnight lodgings. Numbers increased steadily thru noon hour and quickly tapered off to a trickle by 3pm when wind went SW.
    (report from Rod Chase)

  • 9/11/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 2 ; Bald Eagle 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 5 ; Cooper's Hawk 2 ; Broad-winged Hawk 290 ;
  • Raptor Observations: Despite favorable wind conditions early, a large flight was not visible from the Watatic hawkwatch today. A few streams of Broad-winged Hawks made their way south before noon, much lower in altitude than the previous 2 days' flight. Our largest group was just 25 birds at around 3:15pm EDT.
  • The newly-installed plastic decoy owl got its first visitor today. We watched a lanky buteo glide in below the horizon, right towards the East Summit, and were delighted as a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk came up over the tree line and passed the owl a menacing glance.
    (report from Brian Rusnica).

  • 9/11/17 -- Uxbridge
    A Great Egret was seen this morning at Rice City Pond on Hartford Avenue in Uxbridge. (report from Beth Milke)

    9/11/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 10 ; Bald Eagle 8 ; Northern Harrier 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 14 ; Cooper's Hawk 1 ; Red-shouldered Hawk 1 ; Broad-winged Hawk 4894 ; American Kestrel 3 .
  • Raptor Observations: Up until 2pm our hourly counts ranged from 45 to 451 (9am hour highest, 8am & 12pm lowest). Most kettles formed and quickly blew apart. Then at 3pm the skies filled with BW's in huge peels and groups of 250, 370,515, 650 with a steady supply of smaller groups high and low! 2700+ BW's in a 1/2 hr. stretch in middle of hour; 3148 birds for the hour and a most beautiful kettle near the end from ground to clouds in the west!! In the last hour: not one bird of any kind in the sky; there was a perched Eastern phoebe ...
    (report from Rod Chase)

  • 9/11/17 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    We birded the SE quadrant of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA this morning. There were good numbers of certain species and it was obvious there were some "new arrivals" and certain species that had been there just a week ago, were gone. Highlights:
  • Turkey Vulture (1); Wood Duck (30); Mallard (1); Bald Eagle (1ad hunting and diving down in the small wooded marsh along Prison Camp Rd. We wondered if it was trying to get a Wood Duck because there can't be many large fish in this marsh); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Cooper;s Hawk (1 noisy individual); Broad-winged Hawk (29: we spent a little time with the dedicated hawkwatchers at Barre Falls Dam: always a pleasure); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (3); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (2); E Phoebe (13).
  • VIREOS: Yellow-throated (1 still singing); Warbling (3); Red-eyed (27: dramatic reduction in numbers and most NOT singing).
  • Common Raven (2); Red-breasted Nuthatch (13); Brown Creeper (1 constantly singing); House Wren (4); E Bluebird (12); Gray Catbird (32); Cedar Waxwing (4).
  • WARBLERS: Tennessee (2); N Parula (5); Chestnut-sided (2); Magnolia (3); Cape May (2); Black-throated Blue (2: 1 leucistic male with an interesting pattern. SEE PHOTO); Yellow-rumped (6); Black-throated Green (18); PINE (132: SEVERAL LARGE FLOCKS, INCLUDING 1 OF 60+. We have seen this phenomena here and at Quabbin: post breeding flocks of Pines that seem to patrol an area and then they suddenly all leave at once. NB: Many were still occasionally singing); Prairie (1 that sang once);Blackpoll (34); A Redstart (5); Ovenbird (2); C Yellowthroat (19); Wilson's (1).
  • E Towhee (23); Chipping Sparrow (30); Swamp Sparrow (11); Bobolink (2).
  • PLUS: nice showing of Bottled/Closed Gentian and (1) Leonard's Skipper.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/10/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Black Vulture 1 ; Osprey 8 ; Bald Eagle 21 ; Northern Harrier 3 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 18 ; Cooper's Hawk 15 ; Broad-winged Hawk 516 ; American Kestrel 9 ; Merlin 1 .
  • Raptor Observations: Many high altitude flights and peels today -- up and into cloud bases. What did we miss above them? At midday many BW's were feasting on bugs waaay up there. Black Vulture, 3 NH's and passing ML all firsts of year. 21 BE's is Wachusett's 2nd highest day's count ever!
    (report from Rod Chase)

  • 9/10/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 7 ; Bald Eagle 4 ; Northern Harrier 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 16 ; Cooper's Hawk 3 ; Broad-winged Hawk 1395 ; American Kestrel 2 ; Merlin 1 .
  • Raptor Observations: Another spectacular "early" season day, with big hour after big hour in the afternoon. Largest group of the day was a massive kettle of 250 Broad-winged Hawks just after 1pm EDT. The second largest group of 180 Broad-wings came right as we were closing shop just before 5pm EDT. What a great opening weekend at Watatic!
    (report from Brian Rusnica and Tom Pirro).

  • 9/9/17 -- Ware River Watershed
    Surprised to see my first Lincoln's Sparrow of the fall near the bridge on Intervale road early this morning. It was foraging near the roadside in the goldenrod and flushed into the higher shrubs where I confirmed the ID with poor views. Also had a northern parula, 3 Tennessee's, and many blackpolls among 12 species of warblers seen throughout. To top off the morning, had a barred owl perched at eye level and no more than 5 feet from the road on my way out of the state park. (report from Josh Gahagan).

    9/9/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 6 ; Bald Eagle 8 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 6 ; Cooper's Hawk 7 ; Broad-winged Hawk 803 ; American Kestrel 6 ; Peregrine Falcon 2 ;
  • Raptor Observations: Note: Bulk of flight was between 11am and 1pm. First large kettles of BW's for this year were 196 at 11:50am and 310 from 12:20-12:30pm. Such a fine rush: many close and high overhead with kettles east, north and west.
    (report from Rod Chase)

  • 9/9/17 -- Mount Watatic, Ashburnham
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 4 ; Bald Eagle 4 ; Northern Harrier 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 11 ; Cooper's Hawk 4 ; Broad-winged Hawk 342 ; American Kestrel 2 ; Merlin 3 .
  • Raptor Observations: A surprisingly busy kickoff to Mt. Watatic's Fall 2017 Season. Birds were moving almost instantly, and streams of high Broad-winged Hawks kept the count growing through the afternoon. Delightful to register our first 3-digit day of the season.
    (report from Brian Rusnica and Tom Pirro).

  • 9/9/17 -- SuAsCo, Westboro
    A quick stop here this afternoon had: Double-crested Cormorant (12); Mute Swan (151: an insane number); Canada Goose (31); Wood Duck (31); Mallard (18); Osprey (2)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    9/8/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights in a late afternoon walk included 2 DC Cormorants (1 ad, 1 imm), 2 GB Herons, 1 Green Heron (ad, near new center island with muddy flats); 5 Mute Swan (2 ad, 3 imm), 1 N. Shoveler (f, seen well in scope at close range), 1 Solitary Sandpiper, 3 Least Sandpipers, 1 Pectoral Sandpiper (flew in back of Green Heron while I was watching it in the scope, and landed giving good views), 1 Belted Kingfisher, and 1 Gray Catbird. (report from Rick Quimby)

    9/7/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights in a late afternoon walk included 3 DC Cormorants (imm), 1 GB Heron, 5 Mute Swan (2 ad, 3 imm), 2 N. Shovelers (f), 1 Solitary Sandpiper, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 E Phoebe, and 1 G. Catbird. (report from Rick Quimby)

    9/4/17 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    This morning we got a few hours in birding the southern section of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. Passerines were few and far between, with 2 good pockets of warblers. Highlights:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (2); Great Blue Heron (3); Turkey Vulture (4); Wood Duck (68); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Killdeer (8); Solitary Sandpiper (2); Least Sandpiper (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (3).
  • E Wood Peewee (7: all still calling); Least Flycatcher (2); E Phoebe (26); Yellow-throated Vireo (3); Warbling Vireo (2); Red-eyed Vireo (12); Barn Swallow (14); E Bluebird (8); Gray Catbird (11).
  • WARBLER: Tennessee (3); Nashville (1); N Parula (1); Chestnut-sided (2); Magnolia (2); Black-throated Blue (1); Black-throated Green (5); Pine (37); Prairie (6); A Redstart (1); C Yellowthroat (16).
  • Scarlet Tanager (3); E Towhee (7); Chipping Sparrow (56); Swamp Sparrow (16); Baltimore Oriole (3).
  • Plus: many meadowhawks; a number of Red Efts; and Closed Gentian.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/4/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 5 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 ; Broad-winged Hawk 3 . (report from Rod Chase)

    9/3/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir + Quabog IBA
    We started this AM doing a basic check of WACHUSETT RESERVOIR. No sign of the Common Terns Kevin Bourinot found last early evening. This is hardly surprising, as Kevin pointed out, DCR is setting off "ordinance" every evening to clear the gulls off the reservoir. We did find:
  • Common Loon (4); Red-necked Grebe (1); Double-crested Cormorant (54); Great Blue Heron (1); Mallard (2); A Kestrel (1); Wild Turkey (22); Killdeer (30: all on Clinton HS A-fields); Belted Kingfisher (1).
  • Because of the cool, rainy weather, swallows were hawking for insects low over the water: Tree (15+); N Rough-wing (2); Cliff (1); Barn (25+).
  • THEN we headed to the Brookfields to check the ponds of the QUABOG IBA.
  • Great Blue Heron (4); Green Heron (2); Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (38); Wood Duck (23); A Black Duck (1); Mallard (96); W Turkey (4); Belted Kingfisher (1).
  • There were even more swallows over the ponds here: Tree (570+); Bank (3); Cliff (2); Barn (250+). Also: a flock of 60+ waxwings, many were immatures,
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/2/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Bald Eagle 3 ; Broad-winged Hawk 3 ; Peregrine Falcon 1 ; (report from Rod Chase)

    8/28/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors migrating today: Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 ; Broad-winged Hawk 5 . (report from Rod Chase)

    8/26/17 -- Warren
    We spent this morning birding a few areas in WARREN. Warren IS in Worcester County, but is not often visited by birders. I learned a lot about this area because it is part of the Sturbridge CBC and I atlased many of the back roads for the Breeding Bird Atlas II. Surprisingly Warren has a lot of open space and forest, but not for long. It is disheartening to see how much land is posted for later development. The worst case is the miles of forest and field now posted as off limits by Rolling Hills signs along Gilbert Road. This is prime habitat for many birds, mammals, herps and inverts. Bobcat breed here. This is a huge land grab the likes of which I haven't seen in Worcester County in recent times. Highlights from today's outing below.
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (5); Green Heron (4); Canada Goose (4); Wood Duck (53); Mallard (12); Cooper's Hawk (2); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Virginia Rail (6);
  • RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (1juv. While counting Wood Ducks in the large marshy pond along Brooks Rd/New Reed Rd, I was startled to find a Red-Necked Phalarope sitting in the water! We watched it through a scope for about ten minutes, Sheila got a few distant and therefore poor record shots. (I'll post one later) Suddenly a kingfisher flew in, dove at the phalarope and flushed it. It flew up and out, heading east).
  • Belted Kingfisher (2); Hairy Woodpecker (3); N Flicker (7); Pileated Woodpecker (2).
  • E Wood Peewee (3); E Phoebe (8); E Kingbird (3); Yellow-throated Vireo (3); Philadelphia Vireo (1); Red-eyed Vireo (54); Common Raven (1); Tree Swallow (50); Barn Swallow (53); House Wren (2); Marsh Wren (5); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); E Bluebird (1); Veery (1); Gray Catbird (51); Cedar Waxwing (10).
  • WARBLERS: Chestnut-sided (2); Yellow-rumped (1); Black and White (5); A Redstart (6); C Yellowthroat (10); Canada (1).
  • Scarlet Tanager (2); Swamp Sparrow (4); Baltimore Oriole (5).
  • Plus: a rather dark BOBCAT along Gilbert Road.
  • On the way home we checked a few ponds in the Brookfields and had (2) Osprey; (3 Bald Eagles: 1 ad+1sub-ad+1imm. We watched an adult catch an introduced Northern Pike); Raven (2)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/26/17 -- Grafton
    My wife, Kim Kastler, and I stopped by Grafton High School briefly (5:30-6:00) today to check for nighthawks. I checked there yesterday and struck out completely. However, today was much better, as we had 4 different groups of nighthawks. Here is the nighthawk count and other highlights:
  • COMMON NIGHTHAWK (176-186: we had groups of 72 (heading west), 70-75 (heading southwest after feeding over Lake Ripple), 5-10 (also feeding over Lake Ripple before heading southwest), and 29 (heading north along the Quinsigamond River). It was one of the best days that I have had at that location, given the short amount of time that we were there.)
  • Other highlights: Turkey Vulture (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Chimney Swift (3); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); PEREGRINE FALCON (1 flew in low right over us. It cam from the west and ultimately headed north); Red-winged Blackbird (8); Common Grackle (70); blackbird species (about 60);
    (report from John Liller).

  • 8/25/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 1 GB Heron, 5 Mute Swan (3 im), 1 Osprey, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 E Phoebe, and 5 Cedar Waxwings. (report from Rick Quimby).

    8/25/17 -- Winchendon-South Royalston
    We spent the morning birding the OTTER RIVER STATE PARK-BIRCH HILL DAM ARMY CORPS parcel along the border of Winchendon and South Royalston. We had a few nice groups of warblers and migrants, but all the species, except one, were also species that breed here. Highlights:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (5); Wood Duck (45); Green-winged Teal (4); Broad-winged Hawk (8); Red-tailed Hawk (1); A Kestrel (1imm); Wild Turkey (17); Solitary Sandpiper (5); Spotted Sandpiper (1); Barred Owl (1); Chimney Swift (2); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (3): Belted Kingfisher (1); Pileated Woodpecker (2).
  • Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (1); E Phoebe (19); E Kingbird (3); Blue-headed Vireo (2); Red-eyed Vireo (26); Common Raven (2); N Rough-winged Swallow (2); Barn Swallow (13); Black-capped Chickadee (72); Red-breasted Nuthatch (31); House Wren (4); E Bluebird (8); Hermit Thrush (1); Cedar Waxwing (8).
  • WARBLERS: Chestnut-sided (7); Black-throated Blue (1); Yellow-rumped (11); Black-throated Green (14); Blackburnian (1); Pine (43); Black and White (13); C Yellowthroat (27).
  • Scarlet Tanager (1); E Towhee (43); White-throated Sparrow (11); Purple Finch (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/25/17 -- Wachusett Mountain, Princeton
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 ; Cooper's Hawk 2 ; Broad-winged Hawk 13 . (report from Rod Chase)

    8/19/17 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    This morning we birded the QUABOG IBA, mostly concentrating of the 4 lakes to check to see if any terns had put in (Caspian and Black Terns were reported yesterday in the Berkshire Lakes). Short answer: we dipped on those. All ponds were covered with fishermen in boats and boats were even out on the river. Hopefully somebody also checked Wachusett Reservoir. Birding was a bit slow, but highlight included:
  • Turkey Vulture (2); Canada Goose (66); Mallard (15); Cooper's Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (3); Wild Turkey (11); Virginia Rail (6); Ring-billed Gull (12); Ruby-throated Hummingbird 91); Belted Kingfisher (2); N Flicker (4); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • E Wood Peewee (7); E Phoebe (12); E Kingbird (23).
  • VIREOS: Yellow-throated (3); Blue-headed (1); Warbling (3); Red-eyed (16).
  • Common Raven (1); Tree Swallow (7); Barn Swallow (23); Carolina Wren (1); House Wren (2); Marsh Wren (2); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); E Bluebird (1); Veery (3); Gray Catbird (43); Cedar Waxwing (7).
  • WARBLERS: Chestnut-sided (4); Pine (2); Black and White (1); A Redstart (3); Northern Waterthrush (1); Common Yellowthroat (20).
  • E Towhee (6); Swamp Sparrow (9); Indigo Bunting (6); Bobolink (23); Baltimore Oriole (1); A Goldfinch (33).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/13/17 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    There was 1 Great Egret here today.
  • Also, on 8/5 on the North Dike of Wachusett Reservoir there were 5 Kestrels feeding: 1 male and I assume 1 female and 3 juveniles.
    (report from Bart Kamp).

  • 8/13/17 -- Ware River Watershed IBA, Barre/Oakham
    Today we birded the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA, concentrating mostly on the forested sections of the western edge of this IBA. Bird song continues to decrease with only some vireos, Hermit Thrushes, and peewees singing. Warblers were mostly seen in mixed species flocks often with chickadees and titmice. These birds were mostly immature birds of the year of breeding species. Still no sign of a big push of fall migrants. One large flock of over 60 birds moved quickly over head in the upperstory while we were in deep forest and most of that flock was unidentified. Numbers of phoebes are being seen along water courses. Highlights:
  • Great Blue Heron (1); Green Heron (1); Canada Goose (41); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (3); Wild Turkey (5); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); N Flicker (4); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • E Wood Peewee (11); E Phoebe (23); E Kingbird (11); Warbling Vireo (1); Red-eyed Vireo (27); Tree Swallow (3); Barn Swallow (20+); Red-breasted Nuthatch (11); Hermit Thrush (18).
  • WARBLERS: Chestnut-sided (2); Black-throated Blue (3); Yellow-rumped (1); Black-throated Green (5); Blackburnian (1); Pine (5); Black and White (14); A Redstart (2); C Yellowthroat (21).
  • Scarlet Tanager (1); E Towhee (13); Swamp Sparrow (12); Indigo Bunting (1 f feeding a just out of the nest young. This young bird had no tail and could not fly); A Goldfinch (13).
  • PLUS: A really nice display of the orchid DOWNY RATTLESNAKE PLAINTAIN. Other orchid species we looked for were past blooming. Cotton grass is peaking and dragonflies include good numbers of meadowhawks.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/12/17 -- downtown Worcester
    There was 1 Peregrine Falcon soaring overhead, then diving toward the former Bancroft Hotel.
    (report from Bart Kamp).

    8/11/17 -- Winchendon-South Royalston
    We spent this morning birding (and butterflying and odonate-ing) in the OTTER RIVER SP-BIRCH HILL DAM ACE parcel (Winchendon-South Royalston). We only had breeding species, and few of them. Many breeders seem to have already moved out. Highlights:
  • Great Blue Heron (8); Wood Duck (45); Cooper's Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (3); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (3); Killdeer (7); Black-billed Cuckoo (2); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (2); Barred Owl (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (4); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (4).
  • E Phoebe (20); E Kingbird (4); Blue-headed Vireo (10); Warbling Vireo (2); Red-eyed Vireo (23); Common Raven (family of 5: we watched and listened to these birds for 15+ minutes. An amazing vocal repertoire!); Tree Swallow (10+); Barn Swallow (20+); Red-breasted Nuthatch (49); House Wren (3); Hermit Thrush (32: many still singing); Cedar Waxwing (8).
  • WARBLERS: Yellow (2); Yellow-rumped (4); Black-throated Green (2); Pine (5); Black and White (5); A Redstart (4); C Yellowthroat (23); Canada (1).
  • Scarlet Tanager (1); E Towhee (7); Swamp Sparrow (9); White-throated Sparrow (25+: single flock of immature birds working through forest); Baltimore Oriole (3); Purple Finch (5).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/9/17 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    We spent a few hours this morning birding mostly along and off 1 road in the south/central section of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. As I have mentioned before, birdsong is down to a few vireos, some peewees, and few other odd birds. Many warblers were in 2 mixed species flocks composed mostly of newly fledged birds. Sheila got some nice shots that I will post on my Facebook page. Highlights:
  • Great Blue Heron (3); Wood Duck (9); Mallard (7); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Spotted Sandpiper (1); Least Sandpiper (2); Barred Owl (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); N Flicker (3); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • E Wood Peewee (6); E Phoebe (16); E Kingbird (9); Yellow-throated Vireo (2); Blue-headed Vireo (1); Warbling Vireo (2); Red-eyed Vireo (30); Tree Swallow (2); Barn Swallow (1); Red-breasted Nuthatch (16); Veery (3); Hermit Thrush (5).
  • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (4); Chestnut-sided (9); Yellow-rumped (2); Black-throated Green (4); Blackburnian (3); Pine (18); Black and White (4); A Redstart (3); Ovenbird (6); C Yellowthroat (18); Canada (2).
  • E Towhee (13); Field Sparrow (1); White-throated Sparrow (2imm: NB: this species does not breed here); Baltimore Oriole (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/4/17 -- Coes Pond, Worcester
    This evening along the shore about 20 feet from the parking lot of the bicycle shop on Coes Street; there was an adult Black-crowned Night Heron perched on a dead branch. (report from Bart Kamp).

    8/3/17 -- Rice City Pond, Uxbridge
    There were 11 white egrets in Rice City Pond on Hartford Ave., Uxbridge about 2:15pm today. I had no binocs, so maybe someone else will confirm all were Great Egrets. The most I have seen at this location in the past 25 years is 5 (3 Great, 2 Snowy). (report from Beth Milke)

    7/20/17 -- Clinton
    A small group of ravens has been seen for a few days, usually early in the morning, near the Congregational church in Clinton. (phone report from Drew Thornblad).

    6/30/17 -- Winchenden-South Royalston
    Today we birded the OTTER RIVER SP-BIRCH HILL DAM parcel in Winchenden and South Royalston. Highlights included:
  • Great Blue Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (2); Wood Duck (9ad+4 yg. Nb: the young were still flightless, but unaccompanied by adults); Northern Goshawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (5); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ruffed Grouse (1ad w/4 very young birds); Spotted Sandpiper (1); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1).
  • E Wood Peewee (3); Alder Flycatcher (2); Least Flycatcher (4); E Phoebe (9); E Kingbird (8); Blue-headed Vireo (12); Warbling Vireo (2); Red-eyed Vireo (89); Red-breasted Nuthatch (10); Brown Creeper (2); Winter Wren (1); Golden-crowned Kinglet (1); Veery (5); Hermit Thrush (19); Cedar Waxwing (19).
  • WARBLERS: Nashville (2); Yellow (10); Chestnut-sided (15); Black-throated Blue (5); Yellow-rumped (11); Black-throated Green (31); Pine (49); Prairie (2); Black and White (4); Ovenbird (63); Louisiana Waterthrush (1); C Yellowthroat (53).
  • Scarlet Tanager (3); E Towhee (7); Swamp Sparrow (25); White-throated Sparrow (11); Indigo Bunting (3); Purple Finch (4).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6//25/17 -- Elm Hill Sanctuary, Brookfield
    This morning we conducted another point count of bird species at ELM HILL MAS. This is part of a larger monitoring effort to census woodland birds on the sanctuary. Our count points are all in the northern sections of the sanctuary. Afterwards, we also birded southern sections of the sanctuary. Highlights included:
  • Turkey Vulture (3); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Black-billed Cuckoo (3); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (3) NB: the caterpillars are bad here; Red-bellied Woodpecker (4); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • E Wood Peewee (7): Willow Flycatcher (2); Least Flycatcher (1); E Phoebe (2); Great Crested Flycatcher (1); E Kingbird (2).
  • Yellow-throated Vireo (3); Warbling Vireo (6); Red-eyed Vireo (51); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2); Veery (40); Wood Thrush (13); Gray Catbird (26).
  • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (1); Yellow (4); Chestnut-sided (8); Pine (8); Black and White (2); A Redstart (15); Ovenbird (37); C Yellowthroat (28).
  • Scarlet Tanager (20); E Towhee (1); Swamp Sparrow (3); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (4); Indigo Bunting (9); Bobolink (15+); Baltimore Oriole (4).
  • NB: there was a good flight of certain species of dragonflies: Common Whitetail; Window Skimmer; Slaty Skimmer; Spangled Skimmer; Four-spotted Skimmer; Common Pondhawk.
  • After, we briefly checked for the Yellow-throated Warbler at Quabog WMA and AGAIN did not find it, nor did the two other birders who were already there.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/25/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir IBA
    Highlights of the Forbush Bird Club trip around the Wachusett Reservoir IBA this morning were the wood island Common Loon pair with an adult on the nest and Bald Eagle pair with 2 very large young on the nest. Great looks were had at 2 yellow-billed cuckoos, bufflehead (non-breeding at cemetery island), orchard oriole, and a huge movement of young American toads moving through the forest floor.
  • Selected sightings: 1 Bufflehead (Previously reported and photographed by Bette Robo); 7 Common Loon (6 adults, 1 immature. 1 adult on wood island nest raft. Other nest rafts seen were empty); 1 Cooper's Hawk; 4 Bald Eagle (2 adults, 2 young on wood island nest); 3 Yellow-billed Cuckoo; 1 Belted Kingfisher; 4 Red-bellied Woodpecker; 2 Hairy Woodpecker; 9 Eastern Wood-Pewee; 1 Great Crested Flycatcher; 7 Eastern Kingbird; 4 Warbling Vireo; 8 Tree Swallow; 5 Barn Swallow; 3 Veery; 6 Wood Thrush; 11 Cedar Waxwing; 16 Ovenbird; 3 Black-and-white Warbler; 4 Common Yellowthroat; 3 American Redstart; 1 Chestnut-sided Warbler; 14 Pine Warbler; 2 Prairie Warbler; 1 Savannah Sparrow; 11 Eastern Towhee; 5 Scarlet Tanager; 5 Rose-breasted Grosbeak; 1 Orchard Oriole; 12 Baltimore Oriole.
    (report from Kevin Bourinot).

  • 6/18/17 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    Today we birded the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. We did NOT do Prison Camp Road and marshes or Barre Falls Dam, but instead concentrated on the more northern and western sections. Highlights:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1imm); Great Blue Heron (3ad+13 young in 5 nests. Another rookery that did have 6 active nests earlier in the season was now empty); Broad-winged Hawk (3); Chimney Swift (2 low over the deep forest. During the Breeding Bird Atlas II, one of the most sought after nests were Chimney Swifts NOT nesting a human made structure, like a cave or hollow tree (where they nested before the arrivals of the Europeans). Whenever I see swifts far from human habitation during the breeding season, I always HOPE to see them nesting in a tree, but so far: no luck); Barred Owl (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • E Wood Peewee (8); Alder Flycatcher (3); E Phoebe (5); Great crested Flycatcher (3: including 1 bringing food to a nest hole in a stub in a wooded marsh); E Kingbird (4).
  • VIREOS: Blue-headed (4); Warbling (7); Red-eyed (69).
  • Common Raven (3); Red-breasted Nuthatch (8); Brown Creeper (6); Veery (29); Hermit Thrush (29); Wood Thrush (4).
  • WARBLERS Blue-winged (1); Yellow (1); Chestnut-sided (26); Magnolia (1); Black-throated Blue (15); Black-throated Green (14); Pine (31); Prairie (3); Black and White (10); A Redstart (6); Ovenbird (84); Louisiana Waterthrush (2); C Yellowthroat (31).
  • Scarlet Tanager (20); E Towhee (12); Swamp Sparrow (13); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1); Baltimore Oriole (4).
  • PLUS: Lots of dragonflies including our first ELFIN SKIMMERS of the season; Snapping and Eastern Painted Turtles laying Eggs.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/10/17 -- Elm Hill MAS, Brookfield
    We started the day conducting a series standard point counts of Elm Hill MAS as part of their survey efforts. Our count points were all in the wooded, northern sections, little visited by birders. We then stayed and birded a few other sections of the sanctuary. Highlights:
  • Black-billed Cuckoo (9); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (5) (major outbreak of Gypsy Moth caterpillars); E Screech Owl (1); Barred Owl (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • E Wood Peewee (6); Willow Flycatcher (3); Yellow-throated Vireo (6); Warbling Vireo (2); Red-eyed Vireo (34); Veery (23); Wood Thrush (15).
  • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (3); Yellow (12); Chestnut-sided (8); Black-throated Green (1); Pine (5); Black and White (5); A Redstart (24); Ovenbird (38); C Yellowthroat (18).
  • Scarlet Tanager (7); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (5): Indigo Bunting (9); Bobolink (6).
  • Non-bird highlights included an ARROW-HEAD SPIKETAIL, a very local uncommon dragonfly, and a "lifer" for us.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/4/17 -- Petersham
    Highlights from a morning spent birding just in PETERSHAM:
  • Great Blue Heron (1 on a nest); Killdeer (1); Black-billed Cuckoo (6: including 1 walking around on a dirt road scarfing up bugs); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (2) NB: the caterpillars are really doing damage in several areas and the frass is raining down.; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (11); Pileated Woodpecker (2).
  • E Wood Peewee (18); Alder Flycatcher (6); Least Flycatcher (17); Yellow-throated Vireo (5); Blue-headed Vireo (16); Warbling Vireo (6); Red-eyed Vireo (156); Veery (29); Hermit Thrush (29); Wood Thrush (2).
  • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (2); Yellow (8); Chestnut-sided (46); Magnolia (2); Black-throated Blue (11); Yellow-rumped (9); Black-throated Green (48); Blackburnian (3); Pine (13); Prairie (3); Blackpoll (6); Black and White (7); A Redstart (29); Ovenbird (103); Northern Waterthrush (2); Louisiana Waterthrush (3); C Yellowthroat (52); Canada (4).
  • Scarlet Tanager (14); E Towhee (16); Field Sparrow (2); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (6); Indigo Bunting (11); Bobolink (6); Baltimore Oriole (11); Purple Finch (2).
  • PLUS: Ebony Boghaunter, "life ode" for me.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/1/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights from a complete walk-through:
  • Wood Duck (2 males and 1 female); Great Blue Heron (2 - bird on nest at Heron Pond); Green Heron (1 calling); Broad-winged Hawk (1 calling); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Black-billed Cuckoo (1 calling near Wilson Swamp); Chimney Swift (9); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); Hairy Woodpecker (2); Pileated Woodpecker (1 calling from powerlines); Eastern Wood-Pewee (6); Eastern Phoebe (2 - pair by culvert; catching and carrying food to nest); Great Crested Flycatcher (3); Willow Flycatchers (3); Eastern Kingbird (5); Warbling Vireo (5); Red-eyed Vireo (4); Northern Rough-winged Swallow (2); Tree Swallow (22); House Wren (3); Carolina Wren (1); Veery (1); Cedar Waxwing (19 ? several collecting material); Ovenbird (2); Blue-winged Warbler (1); Black-and-white Warbler (1); Common Yellowthroat (11); American Redstart (3); Yellow Warbler (9); Blackpoll Warbler (1); Prairie Warbler (3); Eastern Towhee (6); Field Sparrow (4); Scarlet Tanager (3); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (4); Indigo Bunting (1); Baltimore Oriole (10).
    (report from John Liller).

  • 5/30/17 -- Lake Chauncy, Westborough
    Did a little birding on this somewhat gloomy (overcast) day and was treated to courtship feeding by a pair of yellow-billed cuckoos. The cuckoos have been around in the Westborough State Hospital property, aka Lake Chauncy, in Westborough for some time. The particular location is to walk through the gate to the second right-hand intersection. They frequent the area both to the right and straight ahead.
  • The behavior was interesting. I first heard what turned out to be the female call once behind me. I turned to be surprised to see it in a tree where it hadn't been moments before. It raised its tail in a provocative gesture and lowered it again. I later saw that the male flew by her to a tree on the other side at this point. She reversed her direction and faced the other way and again pumped her tail into the air. This time he came and landed on her back with a dragonfly which she took from him. He flew off and a few moments later so did she.
  • 1st of 4 cuckoo photos of the behavior
  • Also had nice looks at several American redstarts there.
    (report from Garry Kessler).

  • 5/23/17 -- Bolton Flats
    In the afternoon, highlights were:
  • Great Blue Heron (1); American Bittern (2); Canada Goose (12); Mute Swan (2); Mallard (15+); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Virginia Rail (6); Sora (1); Semipalmated Plover (15+); Killdeer (5); Greater Yellowlegs (1); Lesser Yellowlegs (1); Solitary Sandpiper (4); Spotted Sandpiper (21); Semipalmated Sandpiper (10+); Least Sandpiper (150+); White-rumped Sandpiper (3); Black-billed Cuckoo (2); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1).
  • Alder Flycatcher (1); Willow Flycatcher (8+); E Phoebe (1); Great Crested Flycatcher (1); E Kingbird (9); Yellow-throated Vireo (1); Warbling Vireo (14); Red-eyed Vireo (3); Blue Jay (1 stealing eggs from Warbling Vireo and Robin's nest); Marsh Wren (1 heard); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1)
  • Besides the ubiquitous Yellow and Common Yellowthroat warblers, we also had Magnolia (1) and A Redstart (1); Scarlet Tanager (1).
  • Among the frogs heard were several LEOPARD FROGS.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/23/17 -- Bolton Flats
    Shorebird highlights of an afternoon trip to Bolton Flats from the Route 117 parking lot were: 8 Semipalmated Plovers, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 White-rumped Sandpiper, 30-40 Least Sandpipers, 5 Dunlin, and 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper. (report from Bart Kamp).

    5/22/17 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    This morning in rain and (sometimes) wind, we did a very brief survey of the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields). Highlights:
  • Common Loon (1ad); Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (17: 9 occupied nests); Turkey Vulture (2); Canada Goose (8+pr w/3yg); Wood Duck (4); Mallard (5m); WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (3m at Quabog); Hooded Merganser (1f); Red-tailed Hawk (1): Wild Turkey
  • E Kingbird (9); Yellow-throated Vireo (4); Warbling Vireo (6); Red-eyed Vireo (10); Common Raven (1);
  • SWALLOWS: there were many hundreds of swallows hawking for insects over the 4 major ponds, most over Lashaway and Wickabog. Most were un-identified, but I did tally: Tree Swallow (90+); N Rough-winged Swallow (10+); Bank Swallow (25+); Barn Swallow (80+).
  • Wood Thrush (3); Brown Thrasher (2);
  • WARBLERS: Yellow (18); Chestnut-sided (1); Black-throated Green (1); A Redstart (3); Ovenbird (2); C Yellowthroat (14).
  • Bobolink (8); Baltimore Oriole (11).
  • Plus: River Otter (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/18/17 -- Bolton Flats
    Highlights of my Thursday evening Forbush Bird Club trip to Bolton Flats from Route 117 parking lot and Pine Hill WMA were:
  • Bolton Flats: American Bittern, Green Heron, KING RAIL, 6 species of shorebirds, Osprey picking up and carrying nesting material, Black-billed Cuckoo and Wilson's Warbler.
  • Pine Hill WMA: Woodcock, Whip-poor-will, Grasshopper Sparrow and Vesper Sparrow. (report from Bart Kamp).

  • 5/17/17 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    This morning we birded a loop around some of the sections of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. For most of the morning we had lots of migrant breeders, but no real sign of birds migrating through. UNTIL we got to the spruces. Here we saw/heard a number of Swainson's Thrushes, Olive-sided Flycatchers, Cape May and Bay-breasted Warblers and lots more. It was one of my better single spot migration days in Central Mass. Partial list:
  • American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (1: we did not check any of the rookeries this morning); Turkey Vulture (1); Mute Swan (pair, 1 on nest); Wood Duck (1); Hooded Merganser (1f seen flying into Wood Duck box); Broad-winged Hawk (4: 1 seen carrying nesting materials); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (3); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher (1: very vocal); E Wood Peewee (2); Least Flycatcher (9); E Phoebe (5); Great Crested Flycatcher (2); E Kingbird (3).
  • VIREOS: Yellow-throated (5); Blue-headed (8); Warbling (4); Red-eyed (44).
  • Common Raven (1); Red-breasted Nuthatch (16); Brown Creeper (4); Golden-crowned Kinglet (4: breeder); Gray-cheeked Thrush (1); Swainson's Thrush (minimally 6: very vocal, singing and calling. Some flew up into nearby oaks to feed); Hermit Thrush (5); Wood Thrush (8).
  • WARBLERS; Blue-winged (5); Nashville (1); Yellow (21); Chestnut-sided (33); Magnolia (9: nb: some stay to breed); Cape May (2); Black-throated Blue (7); Yellow-rumped (16); Black-throated Green (13); Blackburnian (4); Pine (22); Prairie (3); Bay-breasted (5); Black and White (4) A Redstart (10); Ovenbird (89); Northern Waterthrush (3); C Yellowthroat (34) Canada (2).
  • Scarlet Tanager (14); Swamp Sparrow (11); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (9); Bobolink (8); Baltimore Oriole (15); Purple Finch (1).
  • ALSO: Hudsonian Whiteface (4+); Brown Elfin (1); Fringed Polygala (many); Rhodora. WARNING: the Black Flies were brutal.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/17/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    I walked the Troiano/Heron Pond Loop. Although it was the afternoon and although it really got hot after a while, there were still a good number of migrants around.
  • Highlights: Canada Goose (6 - 2 adults w/ 4 young); Wood Duck (1 male); Great Blue Heron (1 - on nest); Sora (1 - heard once in location along Troiano Trail); Solitary Sandpiper (1 - Heron Pond); Black-billed Cuckoo (1 - calling); Chimney Swift (15 ? maybe more); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); Willow Flycatcher (2); Least Flycatcher (6 - maybe more; I also got my first record for this species at Worcester Academy earlier in the day); Eastern Phoebe (3); Great Crested Flycatcher (2); Eastern Kingbird (6); Warbling Vireo (6); Red-eyed Vireo (3); Northern Rough-winged Swallow (4 - including 2 recently fledged birds chasing an adult); Tree Swallow (8); House Wren (2); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); Eastern Bluebird (1 male); Wood Thrush (2); Cedar Waxwing (2); Ovenbird (1); Blue-winged Warbler (4); Black-and-white Warbler (1); Common Yellowthroat (14); American Redstart (2); Northern Parula (2); Yellow Warbler (5); Chestnut-sided Warbler (5); Yellow-rumped Warbler (5); Prairie Warbler (1); Black-throated Green Warbler (3); WILSON'S WARBLER (1 male); Field Sparrow (1); White-throated Sparrow (4); Song Sparrow (9); LINCOLN'S SPARROW (1 - passing through the woods along the service road; I submitted 2 photos on eBird); Eastern Towhee (2); Scarlet Tanager (2); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (9); Baltimore Oriole (9).
    (report from John Liller).

  • 5/15/17 -- Brookfields and Spencer
    A check of the major ponds (and a few other spots) in the QUABOG IBA this morning had the following:
  • Common Loon (4: 2 pairs of adults); Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (5); Green Heron (1); Canada Goose (15); Wood Duck (1); Mallard (8); WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (1m: Lake Quabog); Wild Turkey (4); Virginia Rail (7); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • There was a good show of swallows at the four ponds: Tree (c.310+); Bank (15+); N Rough-winged (2); Cliff (4+); Barn (110).
  • On the way home at STILES RESERVOIR, SPENCER: Double-crested Cormorant (12); Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (6+pair w/3yg); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (1); Killdeer (1); Spotted Sandpiper (2); Least Sandpiper (4); Semipalmated Sandpiper (1). There were c.200 swallows, most were Trees and Barns. Nb: The east side of the reservoir was inaccessible because of construction.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/15/17 -- Millbury
    An Orchard Oriole has been singing here in Millbury for a week. Looks like it may stay to nest. (report from Susan LaBree).

    5/12/17 -- Winchendon-Royalston
    We spent this morning birding the OTTER RIVER SP-BIRCH HILL DAM ACE parcel on the border of Winchendon and Royalston. There were an Ok number of birds, but of only a few species and no sign of "migration". Species found in Worcester have yet to arrive here yet, like Eastern Kingbird. Red-eyed Vireos have apparently only just started to arrive. Most of the birds we tallied were possible breeders. Highlights:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1); American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (17); Mallard (6); Common Merganser (1f); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Ruffed Grouse (2); Killdeer (2); Spotted Sandpiper (7); Barred Owl (1); Belted Kingfisher (1);Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • Least Flycatcher (7); Eastern Phoebe (8); Blue-headed Vireo (13); Warbling Vireo (2); Red-eyed Vireo (6); Common Raven (2); N Rough-winged Swallow (6); Red-breasted Nuthatch (33); Brown Creeper (9); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1); E Bluebird (2); Veery (2); Hermit Thrush (11).
  • WARBLERS: Nashville (4); N Parula (1); Yellow (34); Chestnut-sided (19); Magnolia (1); Black-throated Blue (6); Yellow-rumped (21); Black-throated Green (41); Blackburnian (1); Pine (32); Prairie (3); Black and White (10); Ovenbird (110); Northern Waterthrush (1); C Yellowthroat (52); Canada (1).
  • Scarlet Tanager (1); E Towhee (19); Swamp Sparrow (21); White-throated Sparrow (23: nb: common breeder here); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3); Baltimore Oriole (2); Purple Finch (16).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/12/17 -- Gate 43, Quabbin Reservoir
    Today there were two Sandhill Cranes feeding in the shallow water. They "flushed" quickly and took off together in a loud and boisterous departure. (report from Jeff Smith).

    5/11/17 -- City of Worcester cemeteries
    Today when we woke up we found a White-crowned Sparrow (ad) at our feeder, so hoping for some kind of migrant fall-out, we headed to the 4 cemeteries in the SW corner of the city. NB: By 8AM the mowers were out in force at all the cemeteries (Mother's day is this weekend) and clouds and wind picked up a bit and birding slowed down a bit, but it was still good all morning. Highlights:
  • HOPE CEMETERY: A nice selection of species and decent numbers.
    • Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (2); Wood Duck (2); Chimney Swift (18); E Kingbird (4); Blue-headed Vireo (2); Warbling Vireo (3); Red-eyed Vireo (1); House Wren (4); Ruby-crowned Kinglet ; Cedar Waxwing (flock of 12 chowing down on apple blossoms).
    • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (1); Tennessee (3); Nashville (5); Northern Parula (11); Yellow (7); Magnolia (3); Cape May (1); Black-throated Blue (1); Yellow-rumped (61); Black-throated Green (1); Blackburnian (2); Prairie (1); Bay-breasted (1); Black and White (3); A Redstart (3); Worm-eating (1); Ovenbird (1); Wilson's (1).
    • Lincoln's Sparrow (1: feeding on a piece of lawn around the gravestones); White-crowned Sparrow (6ad: loose flock also feeding on the lawn initially, then they flew up and fed in oaks and sang); White-throated Sparrow (3); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3); Orchard Oriole (1AdM); Baltimore Oriole (3).
  • NOTRE DAME CEMETERY:
    • Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (2); Mute Swan (pr w/5yg); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (1); Osprey (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Belted Kingfisher (1);
    • Warbling Vireo (4); House Wren (2).
    • WARBLERS: Yellow (4); Yellow-rumped (6); Pine (2); A Redstart (1); C Yellowthroat (1).
    • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1); Baltimore Oriole (2).
  • ALL FAITHS/LEESVILLE POND:
    • Mute Swan (pr w/6yg); Canada Goose (2); Wood Duck (4m); Mallard (4m); Chimney Swift (6);
    • E Kingbird (1); Warbling Vireo (6); House Wren (1).
    • WARBLERS: N Parula (1); Yellow (3); Yellow-rumped (6).
  • ST. JOHN'S CEMETERY:
    • Red-tailed Hawk (1); Solitary Sandpiper (4); Warbling Vireo (7); Red-eyed Vireo (3); House Wren (1).
    • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (1); N Parula (6); Yellow (5); Chestnut-sided (1); Yellow-rumped (22); Black and White (3); A Redstart (2);
    • Baltimore Oriole (11: we watched 1 female nest building).
  • BANCROFT TOWER HILL: On the way home we stopped at this spot where we have birded many times in the past.
    • E Phoebe (1); Red-eyed Vireo (4); House Wren (1);
    • WARBLERS: Nashville (2); Tennessee (2); N Parula (9); Black-throated Blue (3); Yellow-rumped (20); Black-throated Green (3); Black and White (1); A Redstart (3); Ovenbird (1)
    • Scarlet Tanager (1); Indigo Bunting (1m).
    Whew!
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/11/17 -- Oxbox NWR, Harvard
    Highlights of a late morning-mid day walk:
  • 1 Black-billed Cuckoo, 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 1 Great Crested Flycatcher, 1 House Wren, 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (one pair), 1 Veery, 1 Hermit Thrush, 2 Warbling Vireo, 4 Yellow Warbler, 4 Am Redstart, 2 Ovenbirds, 1 N. Waterthrush, 3 C Yellowthroat, 3 Rose-breasted Grosbeak (m&f), 1 E Towhee, and 3 Baltimore Orioles.
    (report from Rick Quimby).

  • 5/10/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights today along the Troiano Trail/Heron Pond Loop: Canada Goose (7 - 2 adults with 5 young); Wood Duck (5 - including 2 pairs); Green Heron (1); SORA (1 - heard several times doing the weee-up call; located in the wet meadow, across the brook from Troiano trail); SOLITARY SANDPIPER (1 - Heron Pond); BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO (1 - calling constantly); Chimney Swift (4); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); PILEATED WOODPECKER (1, maybe 2; saw and photographed a bird in the ?Woodpecker Tree?, then heard one on the opposite end of Troiano 15 minutes later); Eastern Kingbird (2); Blue-headed Vireo (1); Warbling Vireo (3); Northern Rough-winged Swallow (4); Barn Swallow (8); House Wren (2); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2 - pair); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1); Wood Thrush (1); Blue-winged Warbler (1); Common Yellowthroat (4); American Redstart (1); Northern Parula (1); Yellow Warbler (3); Yellow-rumped Warbler (3); Black-throated Green Warbler (3); White-throated Sparrow (1); Song Sparrow (7); Eastern Towhee (4); Scarlet Tanager (1); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (6); Bobolink (2 - males singing high in tree); Baltimore Oriole (5).
    (report from John Liller).

    5/10/17 -- River Bend Farm, Uxbridge
    Highlights this evening: Baltimore Oriole (many), Common yellowthroat (2), Black billed cuckoo, yellow warbler (many), rose breasted grosbeak (many), swamp sparrow (2), savannah sparrow, (4), and woodcock (calls). (report from Bill Sartorelli).

    5/10/17 -- Dodge Park, Worcester
    Highlights from the past 3 days at this park in the NE part of Worcester:
  • Today: 1 RT Hummingbird, 1 Nashville Warbler (good habitat for this species -- may nest here), 5+ Yellow Warblers (I've already found a pair nesting here), 3 Yellow-rumped Warbler (including a pair that seemed to be gathering nesting material), 1 Common Yellowthroat, and 1 Baltimore Oriole (f).
  • 5/9/17: 1 E Phoebe, 1 House Wren, 5+ Gray Catbirds (these are ridiculously conspicuous...), 1 Blue-winged Warbler, 4+ Yellow Warblers (nest found), 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2 Common Yellowthroats, 2 Baltimore Orioles, and 1 Least Flycatcher (seen well, calling continuously).
  • 5/8/17: empid sp. (Traill's type -- saw well, although it was silent as I watched it for some time. I heard the sound of fitz-bew just before I saw it, but there are many catbirds around, and they do this call quite well.)
    (report from Rick Quimby).

  • 5/7/17 -- Ware River IBA
    We spent just a few hours this morning birding the southern section of the WARE RIVER IBA. The birding conditions weren't ideal: breezy, cool and mostly cloudy (first thing). Still there were some birds. Highlights:
  • American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (4 occupied nests); Canada Goose (9); MUTE SWAN (2. This pair has been here for a few weeks now and yesterday I watched a family feeding them, likely meaning that they are here to stay, at least till freeze-up); Mallard (3 drakes. Females on nests?); Wild Turkey (2); Virginia Rail (2); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2); Pileated Woodpecker (2)
  • E Phoebe (3); Great Crested Flycatcher (1); Yellow-throated Vireo (2); Blue-headed Vireo (1). NB: no Red-eyes yet at this location. Brown Creeper (5); House Wren (3); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); Veery (1); Hermit Thrush (3).
  • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (2); Nashville (2); Yellow (14); Chestnut-sided (5) Cape May (1); Black-throated Blue (2); Yellow-rumped (34); Black-throated Green (4); Pine (12); Prairie (2); Black and White (6); Ovenbird (91); Northern Waterthrush (2); C Yellowthroat (25).
  • Scarlet Tanager (4); E Towhee (29); Field Sparrow (1); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (7); Bobolink (8).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/4/17 -- Dodge Park, Worcester
    Highlights in mid-morning:
  • 1 Carolina Wren, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 Hermit Thrush, 2 Gray Catbirds, 1 Blue-winged Warbler, 1 Nashville Warbler, 1 N. Parula, 3+ Yellow Warblers, 1 Chestnut-sided Warbler, 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Palm Warbler, and 1 Common Yellowthroat.
  • While birding there, I ran into Bette Robo, who was scouting the area for an upcoming Forbush Bird Club trip this coming Sunday (see forbushbird.org)
    (report from Rick Quimby).

  • 5/4/17 -- St. Philips Cemetery, Grafton
    A few notable sightings on my lunchtime walk:
  • 2 Osprey circling & calling, 2 Little Green Heron, Great Blue Heron, Nesting Mute Swans, Nesting Canada Geese, King Birds, Tree Swallows, Eastern Blue Birds, 3 pair Baltimore Orioles, King Fisher, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped warbler, Palm warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Hairy Woodpecker, Song, Chipping & Swamp Sparrows.
    (report from Susan LaBree).

  • 5/3/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights this afternoon, starting with the Troiano/Heron Pond Loop and then the Frog Pond and Wilson Swamp trails.
  • Wood Duck (2 - pair); Wild Turkey (1); Great Blue Heron (2 - including one on nest); Green Heron (1); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Chimney Swift (31 - approximately 25 were at Heron Pond); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); Hairy Woodpecker (1); Northern Flicker (1); Eastern Kingbird (1); Northern Rough-winged Swallow (2); Tree Swallow (26 - including one at nest hole); House Wren (2); Carolina Wren (1); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); Eastern Bluebird (1); Gray Catbird (8); Black-and-white Warbler (1); Common Yellowthroat (2); Northern Parula (3); Yellow Warbler (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler (3); Field Sparrow (1); White-throated Sparrow (4); Song Sparrow (8); Swamp Sparrow (1); Eastern Towhee (3); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2); Baltimore Oriole (3).
    (report from John Liller).

  • 5/3/17 -- SW cemeteries, Worcester
    This morning we quickly birded the adjacent cemeteries in the SW corner of Worcester : Hope, Notre Dame, All Faiths/Leesville Pond. By 9 the mowers were out and birding became more difficult. Highlights:
  • Great Blue Heron (1); Green Heron (1); Canada Goose (9); Mute Swan (2: 1 on nest); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (1m); Osprey (1); Killdeer (5: 1 on nest); Chimney Swift (14); Belted Kingfisher (1).
  • Eastern Kingbird (7); Warbling Vireo (21); Red-eyed Vireo (1); House Wren (5).
  • WARBLERS: Nashville (1); N Parula (10); Yellow (16); Chestnut-sided (2); Magnolia (1); Yellow-rumped (35); Pine (1); Black and White (1); A Redstart (7); Northern Waterthrush (1); Common Yellowthroat (1).
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1); Orchard Oriole (1); Baltimore Oriole (6); Purple Finch (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/2/17 -- Millbury
    A Prairie Warbler is singing here today!! (report from Susan LaBree).

    5/1/17 -- Millbury
    Baltimore Orioles have returned. (report from Susan LaBree).

    5/1/17 -- Westborough
    There was a Sandhill Crane (photo) in the corn fields behind the Westborough State Hospital land. Also early migrants along the water's edge - palm, yellow-rump, redstart, black and white, yellow warbler, yellow-throated vireo, warbling vireo, ...
    (report from Garry Kessler).

    4/30/17 -- Uxbridge
    Today a Yellow-throated Vireo was seen singing on the Park side of the bridge below West Hill Dam in Uxbridge. (report from Beth Milke)

    4/30/17 -- Auburn
    At 10:00 AM on top of Pakachoag Hill, I heard the "croaks" of the ravens, and observed a kettle of 20 ravens spiraling high above my house. The direction the ravens headed was towards the Worcester Airport. (report from Deborah Norling).

    4/30/17 -- Northboro
    I just had my first ruby throated hummingbird of the season at my feeder. (report from Henry Squillante).

    4/30/17 -- Worcester
    My first two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds of the year appeared at my feeder at the same time this afternoon. (report from Bart Kamp).

    4/29/17 -- Leicester / Paxton
    Highlights from the Forbush Bird Club trip:
  • Mulberry Street - Chestnut Sided Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black & White Warbler, Blue-Winged Warbler, Common Yellow Throat, Eastern Meadow Lark, Eastern Blue Bird, Savannah Sparrow, Northern Flicker, Louisiana Water Thrush, Ovenbird, American Kestrel, Broad-Winged Hawk, Red-winged Blackbirds, Grackles, Turkey, DC Cormorant and Common Loon (fly bys).
  • Muir Meadow - Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Warbling Vireo, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black & White Warbler, Yellow warbler, Common Yellow Throat, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Field Sparrow, Ovenbird, Swamp Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbirds, C. Grackles, Great Blue Herons, Northern Flicker and Red Bellied Woodpecker.
    (report from Susan LaBree).

  • 4/29/17 -- Worcester/Holden line
    This morning, a Blue Headed Vireo was calling along with Yellow-bellied Sapsucker tapping in the background.
  • Yesterday (4/28) around 5 pm, yard birds included Broad-Winged Hawk and Barred Owl; I saw and heard the Broad Wing while the Barred Owl was calling.
    (report from Lisa Hennin).

  • 4/29/17 -- Quabog IBA
    We spent this morning birding around the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields (Worcester County). It was amazing to see and hear how many migrants put in during the last few days. Yesterday in Royalston we searched in vain for an Ovenbird and had only (1) House Wren and (2) catbirds. See those species numbers below. Highlights:
  • American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (15: 8 occupied nests); Turkey Vulture (4); Canada Goose (43); Mute Swan (3: now established in this part of the County); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (8: all drakes); Ring-necked Duck (pair); Cooper's Hawk (1); Red-shouldered Hawk (2); Broad-winged Hawk (3); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (14); Virginia Rail (4); Killdeer (5); Solitary Sandpiper (2).
  • Belted Kingfisher (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (5); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • E Phoebe (9); E Kingbird (2); Blue-headed Vireo (2); Warbling Vireo (14); House Wren (17); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (6); E Bluebird (4); Wood Thrush (2); Gray Catbird (32); Brown Thrasher (2).
  • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (2); Yellow (17); Chestnut-sided (3); Yellow-rumped (51); Black-throated Green (4); Pine (27); Palm (6); Black and White (11); A Redstart (4); Ovenbird (18); Louisiana Waterthrush (1); C Yellowthroat (5).
  • Scarlet Tanager (2); E Towhee (7); Field Sparrow (4); Savannah Sparrow (2); Swamp Sparrow (36); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3); Baltimore Oriole (4); Purple Finch (2).
  • PLUS: an amazing show of calling American Toads.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/28/17 -- Royalston
    This morning we birded a few areas in ROYALSTON (extreme NW corner of Worcester County. Highlights included:
  • Turkey Vulture (3); Canada Goose (10); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (1); Cooper's Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (8); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Wild Turkey (1); Killdeer (4); Spotted Sandpiper (3).
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (16); Pileated Woodpecker (4).
  • Least Flycatcher (4); E Phoebe (19); Blue-headed Vireo (17); Common Raven (2); Tree Swallow (39); N Rough-winged Swallow (3); Red-breasted Nuthatch (7); Brown Creeper (1); House Wren (1); Winter Wren (1); Hermit Thrush (7); Gray Catbird (2).
  • WARBLERS: Blue-winged (1); Yellow (2); Yellow-rumped (48); Black-throated Green (8); Pine (26); Black and White (4); Northern Waterthrush (4).
  • Eastern Towhee (11); Savannah Sparrow (20: most of which were on one section of lawn at Birch Hill Dam next to one of the building. This indicates a possible "fall-out") Swamp Sparrow (43); White-throated Sparrow (17: breeds here); Purple Finch (16).
  • On the way back to Worcester we stopped by a small cemetery in PETERSHAM to look for dragonflies and butterflies. WE dipped on those, but did have: Double-crested Cormorant (high-flying flock of 5 heading directly east); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Cooper's Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (6); COMMON NIGHTHAWK (2 migrating NE); Blue-headed Vireo (1); Lousiana Waterthrush (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/28/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights this afternoon walking the Troiano/Heron Pond Loop and then went to the Frog Pond Trail and along Wilson Swamp. Unfortunately, I went during the heat of the day, so activity was down.
  • Great Blue Heron (2 at Heron Pond); BROAD-WINGED HAWK (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (4); Hairy Woodpecker (2 - pair doing courtship dance); Northern Flicker (1); PILEATED WOODPECKER (1 - I finally recorded this species on the Sanctuary; I did not see it, though I tried to track it down after hearing it twice along the Frog Pond Trail); Eastern Phoebe (3); Tree Swallow (14); Carolina Wren (1); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2); Yellow-rumped Warbler (2); Eastern Towhee (1); Field Sparrow (1); Song Sparrow (13); Swamp Sparrow (1); Brown-headed Cowbird (2); BALTIMORE ORIOLE (1).
    (report from John Liller).

  • 4/28/17 -- Bolton Flats
    This afternoon in the puddle at the Center Bridge Road section of Bolton Flats there were 6 Least Sandpipers and 1 Solitary Sandpiper. (report from Bart Kamp).

    4/28/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights in early afternoon included 1 Gray Catbird (FOY) and 6 Yellow-rumped Warblers. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/27/17 -- Ware River IBA
    This morning we birded the southern portion of the WARE RIVER IBA: Highlights:
  • American Bittern (1); Great Blue Heron (14: 10 occupied nests); Canada Goose (20); Mute Swan (2); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (9); Hooded Merganser (1f+3m); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ruffed Grouse (1); Wild Turkey (1: despite a number of hunters around); Virginia Rail (3); Barred Owl (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (4).
  • E Phoebe (5); Blue-headed Vireo (18); Common Raven (2); Brown Creeper (6); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (6); Hermit Thrush (20.
  • WARBLERS: Black-throated Blue (1m); Yellow-rumped (54); Pine (46); Black and White (2).
  • E Towhee (30); Swamp Sparrow (31); Purple Finch (31: mostly female)
  • PLUS: great display of Bloodroot ad Partridgeberry.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/24/17 -- Brookfield
    At Lake Quaboag there was 1 D.C. Cormorant, 3 Greater Scaup, 2 Ring-necked Ducks and1 Bufflehead. Also there were 2 Fish Crows in the parking lot at the boat ramp. Walking up the railroad tracks at Brookfield Station there were 2 Virginia Rails, 12 Swamp Sparrows and little else. At home in Paxton we had an early Rose-breasted Grosbeak and yesterday a House Wren arrived. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    4/24/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon included 1 DC Cormorant, 1 GB Heron, 2 Mute Swan (1 on nest), 1 Warbling Vireo (silent), 3 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 Savannah Sparrows, and 2 Song Sparrows. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/22/17 -- South Quabbin Reservoir
    This morning we birded the South Quabbin area. The weather was cloudy, cool, dank, at times raw. But that didn't stop the many fishermen out on their boats. It must have been cold out on the water.
  • Common Loon (4); Great Blue Heron (9: 8 flying north as a group); Canada Goose (3); Wood Duck (2); Green-winged Teal (4); Hooded Merganser (1f); Bald Eagle (3ad+1imm); Merlin (1); Wild Turkey (11); Mourning Dove (9).
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker (4); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (8); Hairy Woodpecker (3); N Flicker (6); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • E Phoebe (5); Blue-headed Vireo (3); Blue Jay (10); A Crow (9); C Raven (2); Tree Swallow (40+); Black-capped Chickadee (14); Tufted Titmouse (13); White-breasted Nuthatch (9); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); Hermit Thrush (3); A Robin (75+).
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (2); Pine Warbler (18); Louisiana Waterthrush (3).
  • E Towhee (24); Chipping Sparrow (74); Song Sparrow (2); N Cardinal (4); Red-winged Blackbird (29); C Grackle (18); Brown-headed Cowbird (21); Purple Finch (2); House Finch (5); A Goldfinch (4).
  • PLUS: White-tailed Deer (4); Porcupine (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/21/17 -- Uxbridge
    There was a male Purple Finch singing in a maple tree this morning. (report from Beth Milke)

    4/20/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at 4 pm were 1 DC Cormorant, 1 Mute Swan (neck thickened and somewhat yellowish, held straight up), 1 Killdeer, 5 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 Pine Warbler, and 3 Palm Warblers.
  • Yesterday (4/19) there were also 3 Tree Swallows, 5 N Rough-winged Swallows, and 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
    (report from Rick Quimby).

  • 4/20/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    At Wachusett Reservoir this AM:
  • Red-throated Loon (1); Common Loon (13) (nb: the nesting platforms are out, but the water levels are very high still); Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (2); Canada Goose (13); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (8); Greater Scaup (3); Lesser Scaup (1); Common Merganser (1f+pair); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (1); A Kestrel (1); Wild Turkey (2); Killdeer (2); Ring-billed Gull (only 2); Belted Kingfisher (1).
  • Passerines were generally unremarkable, but we did see: Tree Swallow (36); n Rough-winged Swallow (7); Barn Swallow (1); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (2); American Pipit (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler (19); Pine Warbler (17); Palm Warbler (4); E Towhee (6); Field Sparrow (1); Savannah Sparrow (1).
  • The only non-bird of note was one of the old Red-eared Sliders off Gate 17.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/19/17 -- North Brookfield
    I had the 1st whip-poor-will of the season at 8:10PM tonight along the Five Mile River in North Brookfield.
  • The Five Mile River Corridor is in North Brookfield MA and has been a great spot to hear whip-poor-wills in Central MA for many years. Most of the land is posted along the river but you can still hear them in the gravel pits from the road. For the past 4 years I've been keeping track of the first Whip-poor-wills call in April and this year it was the 18th which is 3 days earlier than what I've found as the norm of April 21.
    (report from Jeff Smith).

  • 4/19/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights this afternoon, walking the Troiano/Heron Pond Loop and then the Frog Pond Trail and along Wilson Swamp:
  • Wood Duck (2 males and 1 female together at Heron Pond); Great Blue Heron (4 - it looks as though there may be two nests on the same tree at Heron Pond, as one bird brought nesting material to a partially built nest adjacent to the previous nest); Red-bellied Woodpecker (4); Hairy Woodpecker (2); Northern Flicker (4); NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (at least 10 at Heron Pond); Tree Swallow (6 - all at Heron Pond); Carolina Wren (1); BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (2); RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (2); Eastern Bluebird (1); PALM WARBLER (1); EASTERN TOWHEE (1); Field Sparrow (1); Song Sparrow (6)
    (report from John Liller).

  • 4/18/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At noon highlights were 1 DC Cormorant, 2 Tree Swallows, 6 N. Rough-winged Swallows, 1 RC Kinglet, 10+ Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 Pine Warbler, and 3+ Palm Warblers. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/18/17 -- Quabog IBA
    This morning we birded around the QUABOG IBA and nearby areas of SPENCER and had the following:
  • Pied-billed Grebe (1); Horned Grebe (1); Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (8 birds/6 occupied nests).
  • Canada Goose (62: 1 on nest); Mute Swan (1); Wood Duck (10); A Black Duck (2); Mallard (15); Ring-necked Duck (16); Greater Scaup (2); Bufflehead (3); Common Goldeneye (1); Common Merganser (1f).
  • Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (3); Ring-billed Gull (1); Mourning Dove (5); Belted Kingfisher (6); Downy Woodpecker (2); N Flicker (4).
  • E Phoebe (15); Blue-headed Vireo (2); Blue Jay (42); A Crow (14); Tree Swallow (99); Barn Swallow (1); Black-capped Chickadee (40); Tufted Titmouse (31); White-breasted Nuthatch (5); Brown Creeper (2); Winter Wren (1); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (12); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 91); E Bluebird (1); A Robin (117); N Mockingbird (2); Brown Thrasher (3).
  • WARBLERS: Yellow-rumped (26); Pine (26); Palm (10); Louisiana Waterthrush (3).
  • SPARROWS: E Towhee (2); Chipping (76); Savannah (13); Song (39); Swamp (22).
  • N Cardinal (28); Red-winged Blackbird (130+); C Grackle (45+); Brown-headed Cowbird (4); Purple Finch (2); House Finch (16); A Goldfinch (11).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/15/17 -- Worcester Cemeteries
    Highlights were Osprey, 7 Palm Warbler, 5 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 3 Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher, White-throated sparrows and 4 Wood ducks.
  • Also on 4/13 in Millbury, Field sparrow and Eastern Towhee have returned.
    (report from Susan LaBree).

  • 4/15/17 -- Wachusett Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton
    Highlights in a mid afternoon walk to Brown Hill: Turkey Vulture (8, several seemed to be migrants); Cooper's Hawk (1); American Kestrel (2, m/f, hunting successfully in meadow just north of sanctuary building); N. Flicker (2 -- hiding in bush while Cooper's Hawk was around); E Phoebe (2); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1); Blue-headed Vireo (1 seen and heard singing). (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/15/17 -- Bolton Flats, Bolton
    Among the birds seen today at BOLTON FLATS during a quick visit were:
  • Double-crested Cormorant (1); GLOSSY IBIS (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Mute Swan (3, including 1 on nest); Canada Goose (47); Wood Duck (7); American Wigeon (2); Gadwall (1m); Mallard (31); A Black Duck (2); Green-winged Teal (45+)Killdeer (19); Wilson's Snipe (8) (NB: 2 yellowlegs had just been seen, but we missed them). Among the 150+ gulls there was an ICELAND GULL.
  • Passerines included Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Swamp Sparrows are back.
  • NB: The Rt. 117 entrance still has a water hazard to get into the parking lot, but it is navigable by high carriage vehicles. WALKING in the main trail, you will need wellies to cross the stream. PLEASE DO NOT FLUSH THE BIRDS! Hang back and scope them from the edge of the woods. Be sure to check other impoundments, like along Rt.110 and along Neck Road (where we had the wigeon and Gadwall).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/15/17 -- Gardner
    This morning, an Osprey was circling Wampanoag WS, and plenty of Tree swallows, but no warblers here yet.
  • Yesterday (4/14), 27 Common mergansers (21f and 6m) made for a colorful parade on Crystal Lake.
    (report from Dick Knowlton).

  • 4/14/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At noon there was an Osprey circling over the pond, as well as 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Pine Warbler, and 2 Palm Warblers. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/13/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights of a noontime walk that yielded several FOY birds:
  • 1 DC Cormorant (adult, breeding plumage), 2 Mute Swan, 2 N. Flicker, 3 Tree Swallow, 1 N. Rough-winged Swallow, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Pine Warbler (singing), 2 Palm Warblers, 3 Chipping Sparrows (silent), and 1 Song Sparrow.
    (report from Rick Quimby).

  • 4/12/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    Highlights this afternoon, while walking the Troiano/Heron Pond Loop, the Frog Pond Trail, and along Wilson Swamp:
  • Wood Duck (4 males in Wilson Swamp); Great Blue Heron (3 - 2 on branches near old nest, 1 in Wilson Swamp); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Belted Kingfisher (1 - Wilson Swamp); Hairy Woodpecker (5 - including a pair doing an emphatic courtship dance); Eastern Phoebe (2 - bringing material into the culvert at south end of Troiano); Tree Swallow (4 - all at Heron Pond); Carolina Wren (3); Field Sparrow (1); Song Sparrow (13); White-throated Sparrow (1); Dark-eyed Junco (8)
    (report from John Liller).

  • 4/12/17 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    This morning we birded in and around the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. All of the gates to the dirt roads are still closed, so we had to bird the periphery.
  • Great Blue Heron (7 (5 occupied nests); Turkey Vulture (19); Canada Goose (6); Wood Duck (4); Ring-necked Duck (6); Hooded Merganser (pair); Wild Turkey (3)' Mourning Dove (3).
  • Belted Kingfisher (3); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2); Downy Woodpecker (5); N Flicker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1).
  • Eastern Phoebe (22); Blue Jay (16); A Crow (9); C raven (1 attending nest); Tree Swallow (35+); Black-capped Chickadee (17); Tufted Titmouse (11); Red-breasted Nuthatch (2); White-breasted Nuthatch (2); Brown Creeper (7); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (4); Eastern Bluebird (2); A Robin (87); N Mockingbird (1); Pine Warbler (36); Chipping Sparrow (58); Song Sparrow (23); Swamp Sparrow 92); N cardinal (14); Red-winged Blackbird (50); C Grackle (55); Brown-headed Cowbird (6); Purple Finch (4); A Goldfinch (19).
  • One the way home we hit QUINAPOXET RESERVOIR and had: Canada Goose (2); Gadwall (3: 2m+1f); Lesser Scaup (3); Bufflehead (4); Common Merganser (18); Belted Kingfisher (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Palm Warbler (1); Pine Warbler (7).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/10/17 -- Quabog IBA
    Today despite still being under the influence of this flu "thang" I took some (over the counter) meds and birded the morning in the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields. We also hit a few spots in adjacent WARREN. Highlights included:
  • Great Blue Heron (15 w/9 occupied nests); Canada Goose (29); Wood Duck (15); Mallard (14); A Black Duck (pair); Ring-necked Duck (31); Hooded Merganser (5); Common Merganser (67).
  • Turkey Vulture (32); Black Vulture (3); Osprey (2); Red-shouldered Hawk (2); Red-tailed Hawk (4); A Kestrel (1).
  • Wild Turkey (11); Ring-billed Gul (only 3).
  • Belted Kingfisher (4); Red-bellied Woodpecker (7); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2); N Flicker (7); Pileated Woodpecker (2).
  • E Phoebe (67); Tree Swallow (80); Brown Creeper (2 singing); Carolina Wren (3); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (3); E Bluebird (9); Pine Warbler (16: including 1f on the ground gathering nesting materials while being closely watched by male); Chipping Sparrow (7); Vesper Sparrow (1).
  • PLUS: MOURNING Cloak (7); E Garter Snake (2); Spotted Turtle 93); E Painted Turtle (100+); Spring Peeper (even more).
    NB: Don't get this flu!. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/5/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
  • Highlights walking the Troiano/Heron Pond Loop and then the Frog Pond Trail and Wilson Swamp: Wood Duck (7 - includes pair on Heron Pond); American Black Duck (3); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); Hairy Woodpecker (5); Eastern Phoebe (3 - including one seen by wooden bridge over brook where Phoebes have nested before); Eastern Bluebird (3 - male and two females at Heron Pond); American Robin (19 - many singing loudly); Field Sparrow (1 - powerlines near Heron Pond); Song Sparrow (22); White-throated Sparrow (2); Dark-eyed Junco (6); Red-winged Blackbird (31); Common Grackle (65); Brown-headed Cowbird (1 male)
  • The Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers were very noisy at the southern end of the wetlands along the Troiano Trail.
    (report from John Liller).

  • 4/5/17 -- Lancaster/Wachusett Reservoir/Indian Lake
    This morning we hit a few spots in eastern Worcester County:
  • BOLTON FLATS: This place is very flooded and the main Rt.117 parking lots only accessible with high carriage vehicles and then the flats need willies. After Thursday's rain, it will be even more flooded. But we birded the periphery areas both north and south of Rt.117 and had the following:
      Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (95); Wood Duck (24); Green-winged Teal (57); Mallard (123); A Black Duck (16); Hooded Merganser (3); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Killdeer (2); E Phoebe (1); Tree Swallow (30+); Red-winged Blackbird (1500+); C Grackle (160+)
  • LANCASTER: DEXTER DRUMLIN AREA: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (408); Mallard (4); Black Duck (17); Green-winged Teal (8); Ring-billed Gull (550+); Herring Gull (58); Tree Swallow (80+); Red-winged Blackbird (400+); C Grackle (200+). NB: we got some of our best views from the Rt.70 side near the Thayer conservatory, parking in the canoe launch lot and crossing street.
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR (quick loop): Common Loon (11); Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (13); Mallard (4); Bufflehead (4); Common Goldeneye (10); Common Merganser (12); Bald eagle (1ad); Tree Swallow (110+).
  • INDIAN LAKE, WORCESTER: Canada Goose (9); Mallard (5); Hooded Merganser (2); Common Merganser (43)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/3/17 -- Barre Falls / Bolton Flats
    Highlights
  • Barre Falls Dam Hawk Watch: Tree Swallow 8; Cowbirds 5; Meadowlark 1; Killdeere 1; Redtail Hawk 7; Coopers Hawk 1; Redshoulder Hawk 1
  • Bolton Flats: Mallard Duck 52; Black Duck 12; Ring-necked Duck 8; Green Winged Teal 49; Am. Widgen 16; Northern Shoveler 11; Wood Duck 2; Blue Winged Teal 1; Pintail 3; Phoebe 3; Song Sparrow 11; Killdeere 16;
    (report from Dave Grant).

  • 4/3/17 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    Today we birded the QUABOG IBA and had the following totals:
  • Great Blue Heron (10: 3 occupied nests so far); Canada Goose (47); Mute Swan (1); Wood Duck (19); A Black Duck (10); Mallard (48); Green-winged Teal (36); Ring-necked Duck (78); Greater Scaup (7); Lesser Scaup (4); Bufflehead (4); Common Goldeneye (1); Hooded Merganser (13); Common Merganser (311); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1 that flew off.barely.with a robin); Red-shouldered Hawk (2); Red-tailed Hawk (3: 1 carrying sticks to a nest); Wild Turkey (1); Killdeer (1); Ring-billed Gull (55); Mourning Dove (17); Belted Kingfisher (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (4); Downy Woodpecker (7); hairy Woodpecker (1); N. Flicker (1); E Phoebe (23); Blue Jay (8); A Crow (18); Fish crow (1); Tree Swallow (141: most over the marshes NOT ponds); Black-capped Chickadee (40); Tufted Titmouse (29); White-breasted Nuthatch (6);Eastern Bluebird (19); A Robin (1013); N Mockingbird (2); PINE WARBLER (2 males singing); Fox Sparrow (1); Song Sparrow (87); Dark-eyed Junco (55); N cardinal (32); Red-winged Blackbird (148); C Grackle (108); Brown-headed Cowbird (4); House Finch (15); A Goldfinch (6).
  • PLUS: Spring Peepers calling.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/3/17 -- Uxbridge
    A Pine Warbler was heard singing and seen near the bridge at the field below West Hill Dam in Uxbridge today. Also, A Fox Sparrow has been seen off and on in my Uxbridge yard since March 5, lurking in evergreens or below the seed feeders. (report from Beth Milke)

    4/1/17 -- Chaffin Pond, Holden
    There were Tree swallows in large flocks all over chaffin pond this icy morning. (report from Scott Matthews).

    3/31/17 -- Stump Pond, Jefferson
    Observed at Stump Pond today were Tree Swallow (13), Great Blue Heron (1), and Common Mergansers (9). (report from Anne Greene)

    3/30/17 -- Millbury
    First Eastern Phoebe of the season today. (report from Susan LaBree).

    3/29/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights today at noon were 2 Mute Swan, 6 Hooded Mergs, 30 Common Mergs, and 1 Brown Bat skiming over the surface of the pond near the apartments on the west side. (report from Rick Quimby)

    3/29/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    I recorded the following highlights this afternoon at the Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester. I began by walking the Troiano/Heron Pond Loop and then went to the Frog Pond Trail and along Wilson Swamp.
  • Highlights: Wood Duck (9 - includes pair on Heron Pond and pair on Wilson Swamp); American Black Duck (7); Hooded Merganser (pair on Heron Pond); Killdeer (2 - flying over; first of the year); Hairy Woodpecker (1); Northern Flicker (1); Eastern Phoebe (1 - near Heron Pond; first of the year); Carolina Wren (1); Golden-crowned Kinglet (2); Eastern Bluebird (4 - 2 pairs at Heron Pond); Song Sparrow (5); White-throated Sparrow (2); Dark-eyed Junco (12); Red-winged Blackbird (33 - all males); Common Grackle (37); Brown-headed Cowbird (1 male).
    (report from John Liller).

  • 3/28/17 -- Athol / Royalston
    This morning, feeding in a field along the road from Athol to Royalston, there was a flock of 20 Snow Geese. I think it's the largest flock of Snow Geese that I've seen on the ground in the County. (report from Bart Kamp).

    3/26/17 -- Douglas to Westboro
    Highlights from a morning birding some ponds in Worcester County:
  • DOUGLAS: Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (2); Mallard (5); Lesser Scaup (2); Ring-necked Duck (238); Bufflehead (3); Common Goldeneye (23); Hooded Merganser (4); Common Merganser (110); Bald Eagle (2imm);Red-tailed Hawk (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Eastern Phoebe (1); Brown-headed Cowbird (30).
  • NORTHBRIDGE: Mute Swan (9: 1 on nest); Mallard (7); Hooded Merganser (5); Common Merganser (6);
  • MENDON: Canada Goose (53); Mallard (1); Common Merganser (5).
  • SUASCO, WESTBORO: Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (84); Canada Goose (13); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (1); Ring-necked Duck (10); Hooded Merganser (4); Bald Eagle (1ad); TREE SWALLOW (200+).
  • CHAUNCY LAKE, WESTBORO: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (4); Ring-necked Duck (6); Bufflehead (2); Hooded Merganser (61); Common Merganser (157). No sign of the Canvasback.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/26/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    My wife, Kim Kastler, and I recorded the following highlights at Broad Meadow Brook this morning. We did the loop that includes the Troiano Brookside Trail, the powerlines, and Green Heron Pond.
  • Wood Duck (1 - male flushed from brook); Turkey Vulture (3); Cooper's Hawk (1 - perched for several minutes; calling constantly); Common Raven (10 - flying over in one group; this is a new Sanctuary species for me, although there have been several reports by others); Song Sparrow (9); Dark-eyed Junco (4); Red-winged Blackbird (21); Common Grackle (10). (report from John Liller).

  • 3/25/17 -- Brookfields/ Charlton
    On the Forbush Bird Club trip through the Brookfields and Orlando's in Charlton, highlights of the 42 Species recorded were:
  • Turkey Vulture 1, Wood Duck 37, Black Duck 33, Green-winged Teal 4, Ring-necked Duck 55, Bufflehead 5, Hooded merganser 28, Common Merganser 45, Northern Harrier 1 male, Bald Eagle 1 imm, Red-tailed hawk 2, Killdeer 2, Common Snipe 1, Belted Kingfisher 2, Red-bellied Woodpecker 2, Horned Lark 60, Tree Swallow 4, Carolina Wren 1, Bluebird 3, Robin 125, Song Sparrow 12, Junco 1, Red-winged Blackbird 40, Grackle 25, Brown-headed Cowbird 2, House Finch 2.
  • On the way home I had 3 Wild Turkey and 5 Rusty Blackbirds on Slab City Road in North Brookfield.
    (report from Rodney Jenkins)

  • 3/25/17 -- South Quabbin/Quabog IBA
  • At SOUTH QUABBIN area we had the following: Common Loon (1); Great Blue Heron (1); A Black Duck (4); Greater Scaup (3); Ring-necked Duck (4); Common Goldeneye (1m); Hooded Merganser (19); Common Merganser (8); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Bald Eagle (2: 1ad+1imm); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Killdeer (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Pileated Woodpecker (2); Common Raven (1).
      PLUS: River Otter (1); White-tailed Deer (8)
  • At QUABOG IBA (Brookfields): Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (6); Wood Duck (27); Mallard (49); A Black Duck (15); Green-winged Teal (7); Ring-necked Duck (14: Bufflehead (3); Hooded Merganser (20); Common Merganser (153); Bald Eagle (3ad); Killdeer (3); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Carolina Wren (1); TREE SWALLOW (4); E Bluebird (6); Fox Sparrow (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/23/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir IBA
    A quick survey this morning of the WACHUSETT RESERVOIR IBA found a decent number of migrant waterfowl. Ice covered the bays of the main reservoir, part of East Waushacum and Coachlace, most of Sterling Peat and all of the Quag
  • Common Loon (1); Canada Goose (68); Mallard (4); Greater Scaup (18); Ring-necked Duck (141); Bufflehead (5); Common Goldeneye (11); Hooded Merganser (22); Common Merganser (32); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (87); Herring Gull (50); Iceland Gull (1); Great Black-backed Gull (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/23/17 -- Uxbridge
    I've been seeing a Fox Sparrow lurking in evergreens or under the seed feeders--when blackbirds and jays aren't around--from time to time the past couple of weeks. I suspected there was a second one. This morning, three Fox Sparrows are scratching for seed under the feeders. (report from Beth Milke)

    3/20/17 -- Quabog IBA / South Quabbin Reservoir
    This morning we birded the QUABOG IBA in in the Brookfields, concentrating on the river and ponds/lakes. Lake Wickabog, Lake Lashaway, and Lake Quabog were all mostly ice-covered (again), but Lake Quacumquasit was ice free and had lots of waterfowl. The river also had lots of waterfowl.
  • Quabog birds: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (99); Wood Duck (27); Green-winged Teal (2); Mallard (49); A Black Duck (13); Ring-necked Duck (85); Bufflehead (3); Hooded Merganser (195); Common Merganser (176); Turkey Vulture (1); Bald Eagle (6: 3ad+1 sub-ad+2immature); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (22); Ring-billed Gull (137).
      Passerines included: Eastern Bluebird (4: including pair looking for nest hole); Carolina Wren (1); Fox Sparrow (4).
  • Earlier at SOUTH QUABBIN, we had: Common Loon (1); Turkey Vulture (6); Mallard (2); Bufflehead (1m); Hooded Merganser (2); Common Merganser (78); Bald Eagle (3: pr ad/1 on nest+another adult); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (24: some very actively kleptoparasitizing fish from the Common Mergansers).
      Passerines included: Pileated Woodpecker (1); Common Raven (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/19/17 -- Chauncy Lake, Westboro
    The drake CANVASBACK continues at Chauncy Lake, Westboro in the open water adjacent to the northern shore (where the soccer fields are). The birds are wary and too close an approach could flush them. The Canvasback was with c.25 Ring-necked Ducks and c. 50 Hooded Mergansers and a single drake Bufflehead as well as a few swans and geese. The Hoodies are in hormone overdrive, and it was very interesting watching them display and emit these croaking/snoring sounds.
  • Do be careful of the dirt roads: what was once slush has now re-frozen, so the roads are icy and have not been plowed, and unless you have a high carriage vehicle it could get a bit dicey. After we spotted the bird and Sheila got some nice but distant shots (we were very careful not to flush any birds, so we kept our distance), we then went to Lyman Street along the southern shore, where there is a sandy pull-off next to the chain-link fence. Here, with a scope and some careful searching, I was able to definitely see the Canvasback.
  • RE: Canvasback in the County. I have a number of records since the 1970s of Canvasback in Worcester County, most often from Wachusett Reservoir or Sudbury Reservoir in Southboro. Other locations in the County where I have seen Canvasbacks include Lake Quinsigamond, Flint Pond, Lake Wickabog and even in tiny Bart's Pond. Other nearby locations I have seen Canvasback in the past include Fort Meadow Pond in Marlboro (several used to show up every fall, though not recently) and Barton Cove, Gill on the Connecticut River. My maximum count in the County has been (8) at Wachusett Reservoir on 3-25-79, and another (8) on Sudbury Reservoir on 10-30-05. There were (4) on the Lake Quinsigamond/Flint Pond area last year and I saw them on 1-27-16. Probably the best place to hope to see Canvasbacks are in the Acoaxet (Westport) ponds on Buzzard's Bay, and I have had double and even triple digit counts there (201) on 2-15-99.
  • BTW: nearby Bartlett Pond in Northboro had Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (52); Mallard (3); Ring-necked Duck (14).
    (report from Mark Lynch).
  • 3/16/17 -- Oakham
    A Song Sparrow was heard on Mill St in Worcester, and another one was seen under my feeder in Oakham. (report from Kathy Van Schoick).

    3/12/17 -- Milford
    An American Woodcock has been in my backyard the past two days. Here is a short clip showing the Woodcock probing through the snow. (report from Marybeth Gallant).

    3/12/17 -- Southboro/Northboro/Westboro
    This morning we birded some of the ponds and reservoirs in Southboro, Northboro and Westboro in cold temps and biting winds. Despite increasing ice, migrant waterfowl continue to build up.
  • SUDBURY RESERVOIR/SOUTHBORO: Mute Swan (7); Canada Goose (167); ROSS' GOOSE (1 w/Canadas on Fay School soccer fields); Mallard (22); Common Goldeneye (9); Ring-necked Duck (64); Hooded Merganser (4); Common Merganser (46); Fish Crow (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler (1).
  • BARTLETT POND, NORTHBORO: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (72); Mallard (28).
  • CHAUNCY LAKE, WESTBORO: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (190); Mallard (18); A Black Duck (8); Green-winged Teal (7); Ring-necked Duck (222); Hooded Merganser (51); Common Merganser (27).
  • SuAsCo, WESTBORO: Mute Swan (89); Canada Goose (11); Wood Duck (6); Mallard (9); A Black Duck (10); Bufflehead (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/11/17 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    This morning we did a survey of the open bodies of water in the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields);. The low temps and windy conditions made the "feels like" temps well below zero. The larger bodies still had open water, but ice was forming around all the edges and after tonight, my guess is that most of the water will once again be ice covered. Heat escaping from the open water meant that looking long distances over the water was distorted, so there may have been even more waterfowl.
  • Birds recorded: Canada Goose (125); Mallard (166); A Black Duck (2); N Pintail (pair); Ring-necked Duck (140); Bufflehead (7); Hooded Merganser (128); Common Merganser (201); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (67); Herring Gull (1). PASSERINES were few and generally typical, but we did have a flock of 120+ HORNED LARKS.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/10/17 -- Oakham
    A woodcock was heard peenting this evening. Previous sightings this year were two on 3/1 (one immediately behind the first in display flight), and one on 3/8. (report from Kathy Van Schoick).

    3/9/17 -- Hubbardston
    Spotted a Ruffed Grouse strolling across Rte 62 in Hubbardston today. Not far from Old Colony Road. (report from Marion Larson).

    3/5/17 -- Uxbridge
    Fox sparrow eating black oil seeds beneath feeder in Uxbridge early this morning. (report from Beth Milke).

    3/3/17 -- Wells State Park, Sturbridge
    I saw a flock of about 50 Ring-necked Ducks on Walker Pond at Wells State Park, Sturbridge, this morning. On one of the smaller ponds there were 5 Mallards, a Black Duck, and 4 Wood Ducks. (report from Robert Brady).

    3/2/17 -- Stuart Pond, Sterling
    Male and female common mergansers; 2 male and 1 female hooded merganser; 8 Canada geese
  • Also, several sightings over North Leominster (Abbott Ave on 3/5, Route 2 at exit 31 on 2/24) of a bald eagle. (report from Sharon Concannon).

  • 3/1/17 -- Saint John's Cemetery, Worcester
    The highlight was 4 Killdeer on the large lawn at the back of the cemetery. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    3/1/17 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    Went out this afternoon in the wind and showers to take a look at the ponds in the QUABOG IBA (Brookfields). Highlights: Canada Goose (18); Mallard (41); A Black Duck (10); Ring-necked Duck (38); Lesser Scaup (11); Hooded Merganser (9); Common Merganser (183); Turkey Vulture (2); Bald Eagle (5: 3imm+1 subAd+1ad: great show of eagles flying about in the high wind. There were 3 at Lake Quabog alone, two seen trying to catch a swimming muskrat!); Ring-billed Gull (127); Herring Gull (2); Great Horned Owl (1); Hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds and grackles in flocks.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    2/26/17 -- Grafton
    We have a group of over over 300-400 birds in our yard, primarily Common Grackles, but also containing Red-winged Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Many of them have been feeding under our feeders. (report from John Liller).

    2/24/17 -- Phillipston/Athol
    While traveling west on Rte 2 near the Phillpston/Athol line around 3:30, we spotted our first Turkey Vulture of the year wheeling in the air above us. (report from Marion Larson and Scott Handler)

    2/24/17 -- Whitins Pond, Whitinsville
    I went to Whitinsville after getting directions to Whitins Pond. Found the Ross's Goose with about 25 C. Geese. Up on Arcade Pond there were 13 Ringneck Ducks. Thanks to the birder who found the Ross's and thanks to Justin Lawson for better directions. (report from Scott Ricker).

    2/23/17 -- Westborough
    Two dozen Red-winged Blackbirds flew by the MassWildlife Field Headquarters in Westborough at sunset. (report from Marion Larson)

    2/23/17 -- Arcade Pond, Whitinsville
    About 11:45 AM today, I observed an adult, white-morph, ROSS'S GOOSE in a patch of open water in the southeast corner of Arcade Pond in Whitinsville. Smaller than the Canada Geese it was with. Pure white except for black primary tips. Short neck, small, steeply sloped, triangular bill. No evidence of black "grin patch" or any Snow Goose hybrid traits. Very close views right off of Main Street and very good pictures. A number of other birders have gotten on the bird and confirmed the ID. (report from Ed Kittredge) 

    2/23/17 -- Gardner
    Just had approximately 50 Cedar waxwings come thru our yard. Largest flock we've seen in quite some time. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    2/23/17 -- Worcester
    Today in the backyard there was my 1st Fox Sparrow of the year feeding on the ground. There was a Common Grackle at my feeder. (report from Peter Morlock).

    2/22/17 -- Gardner
    There were 2 Common grackles at our feeders yesterday, and several more passing overhead in downtown Gardner this a.m. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    2/22/17 -- Barre
    There were 10 Cedar Waxwings in a yard in Barre....feeding on juniper berries on the ground...have not seen any all winter.....many many Robins also. Also 14 gold finches around afeeder in Barre, with a single Common Redpoll with the group. (report from Steve Meredith).

    2/22/17 -- Millbury
    Red Winged BlackBirds are back in Millbury. 27 around the feeder this morning. There has also been a Northern Mocking Bird here all winter. (report from Susan LaBree).

    2/21/17 -- North Grafton
    A COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (m) was heard and seen singing, high on a perch at waters edge of Hayes pond at 12:30 pm.
  • Details: made ID first by song 'witchetty witchetty witchetty witch' over and over. Bird was low at waters edge, on east street side of pond. I flushed it to a high perch. Bird looked brownish side-on, but black mask clearly seen. Size of a robust warbler, have seen many around here in summer, but never in winter.
    (report from Maureen Montague).

  • 2/19/17 -- Blackstone
    I stopped in a parking lot along the canal around 2:00 PM when I saw 50+ Crows calling in some trees. There were numerous Fish Crows among the American Crows. As I went back to the car I saw a flock of 6 Black Vultures flying overhead -- this was the most I've seen here. (report from Peter Morlock).

    2/19/17 -- Quabog River, Brookfields
    Today just along the Quabog River from Warren to the Brookfields: Mute Swan (5); Canada Goose (71); Mallard (35); A Black Duck (3); Hooded Merganser (64); Turkey Vulture (12: including 1 apparent leucistic that looked all pale gray); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Ring-billed Gull (33); Belted Kingfisher (3). Passerines were typical, but we did have a flock of c.50+ robins flying down to the river to drink in Warren. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    2/19/17 -- South Quabbin Reservoir
    A quick visit to SOUTH QUABBIN today had the following (highlights): Common Loon (2); Hooded Merganser (1); Common Merganser (32); Bald Eagle (adult pair at nest+another adult+a sub-adult); Belted Kingfisher (1); Pileated Woodpecker (3). (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    2/18/17 -- Town Farm Road, Sutton
    I saw a flock of about 40 Horned Larks in the agricultural fields along Town Farm Road in Sutton this morning. (report from Robert Brady).

    2/15/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at 2 pm (among 14 species recorded) were 2 Mute Swan (sitting on ice), 10 Hooded Mergansers, 5 Common Mergansers, and 1 Red-tailed Hawk (ad, perched) . (report from Rick Quimby).

    2/12/17 -- Quabog IBA / Worcester
    This morning we set off to get a few hours of birding before the storm started.
  • At the Rt.56 airport overlook fields (Leicester) we had a NORTHERN SHRIKE perched in a small bush right along the road. As we passed it, it flew off low right in front of our car and narrowly avoided getting hit. Also present: a Common Raven.
  • In the QUABOG IBA we concentrated on the river overlooks as the ponds were frozen. Highlights: Canada Goose (27); Mallard (17); A Black Duck (4); Hooded Merganser (22); Bald Eagle (1ad); Barred Owl (1); Belted Kingfisher (1)
  • On the way back to Worcester, we searched around the airport for the shrike, but could not turn it up.
  • At the far end of COES POND in Worcester, in a small pool of open water: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (12); Mute Swan (1)
  • NOTRE DAME CEMETERY: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (129); Mallard (2); A Black Duck (6); RING-NECKED DUCK (1m: photo'd); Hooded Merganser (3); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Fish Crow (1)
    It will be interesting to see if those heron can survive today's storm.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/6/17 -- MassWildlife Field Headquarters, Westborough
    Immature bald eagle flew by the back of the FHQ building at around 3:30 today--heading west from the east. 2 Red-tailed hawks were seen periodically throughout the day, often perched on the tree line near the Safety Zone signs. (report from Marion Larson)

    2/2/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at 4 pm were 4 Mute Swans, 200+ Canada Geese, 26 Hooded Mergansers, and 5 Common Mergansers. (report from Rick Quimby).

    1/30/17 -- North Dike, Wachusett Reservoir
    My wife and I walked the North Dike just before noon today. We saw a half dozen gulls (the ones we could see clearly were Herring Gulls), three American Crows, and two Common Loons. The loons called back and forth briefly, an unexpected winter pleasure. The highlight was a flock of 25 Snow Buntings flying up and down the dike. (report from David Ammerman).

    1/29/17 -- Whalom Pond, Lunenburg
    A quick stop around 2pm yielded hundreds of gulls roosting on the ice, which included at least 3 first cycle Iceland gulls among them. I was short on time and many of the birds were huddled together with their heads tucked in, so could have missed some other interesting gulls. Certainly worth the look if you are in the area! (report from Josh Gahagan).

    1/29/17 -- All Faiths Cemetery, Worcester
    This afternoon Annie and I stopped by All Faiths Cemetery to look for water fowl. Not much happening. Shallow water was icy. For ducks, besides the mallards we only saw hooded mergansers. We watched the hoodies for a bit but they typically kept their distance. As we watched, some mallards decided to fly a bit farther up the lake. I looked around and saw that a young (2nd yr.) eagle (photo) had come in and was the cause of their disturbance. Interestingly, the hoodies seemingly paid no mind, given that they dive to avoid aerial assault. (report from Anne and Garry Kessler)

    1/27/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    Midday today, I started at Bart's Pond and Coachlace Pond, with no waterfowl visible. Also, nothing seen off Scar Hill Road Beach. South Bay was more rewarding, with nine Common Goldeneye, three of which were females, and four Common Mergansers. An immature Bald Eagle was braving the wind and soaring over the reservoir. Over on the Thomas Basin, there were five more Common Mergansers. (report from David Ammerman).

    1/26/17 -- Leicester
    I observed a Red-shouldered Hawk in a tree by the road on Rt. 56 just North of the intersection of Stafford Street at 12:30 PM today. (report from Steven Sulzer)

    1/26/17 -- Quabbin Park/Quabog IBA
    We headed out to bird Quabbin Park this morning, but by the time we arrived, it was raining and checking weather maps, it looked like it was going to rain for awhile. Still, we persisted , but the only birds we had were from in front of the Administration building: a pair of adult Bald Eagles at the traditional nest, repairing it, and (11) Common Mergansers being kleptoparasitized by Ring-billed Gulls.
  • On the way home, we decided to hit some ponds and the river in the QUABOG IBA again. By now the rain had (surprisingly) stopped for the most part, and we had: (highlights) Canada Goose (22); Mallard (23); A Black Duck (3); Hooded Merganser (13); Common Merganser (3); Bald Eagle (2imm sitting on the gray ice at Lake Quabog); Red-tailed Hawk (6); Belted Kingfisher (1)
  • Passerines were typical EXCEPT the flock of 150+ Horned Larks with at least 5 Snow Buntings we had flying about on the Brookfield/Quabog "flats" right on Rt.9. Before we could thoroughly scan these for longspurs, they flew further out into the fields. NB: This is a tough place to check: it is definitely signed NO TRESSPASSING, so you need to stay on Rt.9, and there are several roiling hills in the field that are almost impossible to see over.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 1/25/17 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    This morning we checked out the ponds and river of the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields. Driving out there from Worcester, it was interesting to note that as we gained elevation in Leicester, it became obvious that they had a ice storm as the tops of the trees were all encased in ice. The ponds in the Brookfields have opened up a lot since just a few days ago and even small bodies had some open water. But the number and variety of ducks remains pretty much the same. Most of the waterfowl were on the river.
  • Highlights: Canada Goose (47); Mallard (70); A Black Duck (8); Hooded Merganser (71); Bald Eagle (1imm); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Ring-billed Gull (42); Herring Gull (2); Great Black-backed Gull (2adW).
  • Passerines were typical, but we did have (1) Pileated Woodpecker, (16) Eastern Bluebirds and (1) Hermit Thrush.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 1/22/17 -- Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
    We walked the Troiano Brookside Trail and also checked out the Wilson Swamp. All waterfowl were recorded at the latter).
  • Highlights: American Black Duck (11 - maybe more); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); Hairy Woodpecker (1); Carolina Wren (2); Golden-crowned Kinglet (5 - in one group); American Robin (3); American Tree Sparrow (16); Song Sparrow (3); White-throated Sparrow (4); Dark-eyed Junco (2).
  • Also, 2 muskrat swimming (one in each location)
    (report from John Liller).

  • 1/22/17 -- Bolton Flats/Wachusett Reservoir
    We spent most of the morning covering the BOLTON FLATS area, including Pine Hill (which had very few birds);.
  • Highlights: Canada Goose (87: all flying out just after dawn); A Black Duck (4); Mallard (2); N Harrier (2); Red-tailed Hawk (7);
      Rough-legged Hawk (1 lt: was originally seen perched from along the Rt.117 main entrance road. After 15+ minutes, the bird flew west, over the Nashua River. We thought that maybe it would end up at the Pine Hill property, and zipped over there, but did not relocate the bird. At one point we had a harrier harassing the perched hawk)
    Red-bellied Woodpecker (8); Downy Woodpecker (5); Hairy Woodpecker (2); N Flicker (5); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Northern Shrike (1); Blue Jay (86); Common Raven (1); Eastern Bluebird (15); Hermit Thrush (1); A Robin (only 3); N Mockingbird (4); Cedar Waxwing (7);
      SPARROWS: Tree (1); Song (9); Swamp (1); Dark-eyed Junco (41)
    Red-winged Blackbird (flock of 400+: photos); C Grackle ( flock of 300+ photos); Brown Headed Cowbird (20+); American Goldfinch (17);
  • AT DEXTER DRUMLIN TOR, Lancaster: Canada Goose (550+); Ring-billed Gull (20);
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: nb: we stooped twice en route to Bolton Flats and saw the Red-breasted Merganser then, but later in the early afternoon, could not refind it); Common Loon (12); Canada Goose (1); Mute Swan (4); Mallard (6); Bufflehead (6); Common Goldeneye (63); Hooded Merganser (18); Red-breasted Merganser (1f); Common Merganser (11); Cooper's Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (46); Herring Gull (1); Belted Kingfisher (2);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 1/16/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    Highlights this afternoon:
  • From NW shore of reservoir: 1 C. Loon, 4 Common Mergansers, 5 Hooded Mergansers, 20 Snow Buntings
  • Bart's Pond: 2 Gadwall (m&f), 1 Common Goldeneye (f), 1 Brown Creeper.
    (report from Rick Quimby).

  • 1/13/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at 3:30 this afternoon: 1 GB Heron, 2 Mute Swans, ~150 Canada Geese, 24 Hooded Mergansers, 28 Common Mergansers, and 1 Belted Kingfisher. (report from Rick Quimby).

    1/12/17 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    We did a quick low impact survey of WACHUSETT RESERVOIR this AM. Bays, including South Bay are still iced over, though it is now water over ice. The Quinapoxet River is mostly iced-over as is Thomas Basin. But much of the rest of the reservoir is open.
    Common Loon (2); Mute Swan (7); Canada Goose (1); Mallard (36); Gadwall (1m: "Bart's Pond"); Greater Scaup (12); Common Goldeneye (43); Hooded Merganser (22); Common Merganser (15); Bald Eagle (3: 1imm+2ad); Red-tailed Hawk (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    1/11/17 -- Dark Brook, Auburn
    I was thrilled this morning at 10:15 to see a bird with a large wingspan fly up from Dark Brook running through my backyard in Auburn MA. When it flew over my house and circled it, I could clearly see the white head and tail feathers and the yellow beak of a bald eagle. What a thrill. I think he flew down from the reservoir following the brook. (report from Loretta Watts).

    1/11/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 2 Mute Swan, 1 hybrid Mallard/Black duck, 1 Common Goldeneye (1st yr male), 24 Hooded Mergansers, 18 Common Mergansers, and 1 Belted Kingfisher. (report from Rick Quimby).

    1/7/17 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Walking through Institute Park this morning I saw Canada Geese, Common Mergansers, Mallards, Hooded Mergansers, and a Great Blue Heron. (report from Robert Brady).

    1/1/17 -- Worcester
    On the annual New Year's Day trip of the Forbush Bird Club, highlights of the 21 species recorded were: Mute Swan 5; Black Duck 10 Common Goldeneye 61; Hooded Merganser 28; Great Blue Heron 2; Bald Eagle 1; Red tail Hawk 2; Kingfisher 3; Red bellied Woodpecker 1; Raven 1; Red breasted Nuthatch 1. The Peregrine falcon was not observed, but was known to be present in downtown Worcester. (report from John Shea, fide Deb Berard).

    1/1/17 -- Worcester and vicinity
    We started hours before dawn west of Worcester in some forested parcels doing some owling and managed: Great Horned (4); Barred (2); N Saw-whet (3). We spent the rest of the day at locations to the east of Worcester: Highlights:
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (2); Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (1); Mallard (70+); Greater Scaup (39); Lesser Scaup (2); Common Goldeneye (59); Hooded Merganser (5); Common Merganser (8); Bald Eagle (3: 1ad+1subad+1imm: NB: there is a carcass (deer?) on the point with the lifeguard chair at South Bay; Red-tailed Hawk (2); Belted Kingfisher (1); Northern Shrike (1); We got a SCREECH OWL in Northboro at a location I bird for the Worcester CBC.
  • CHAUNCY LAKE, WESTBORO: We went here twice. Once early in the morning when we got great views, and Sheila got some record shots, of a 2ndW Glaucous Gull. Late in the afternoon we returned hearing there was a SNOW GOOSE found there. When we returned we noticed that there was now a huge flock of hundreds of Canadas that were NOT there in the AM (there were c.60 there this AM and some of them flew out), and most of the gulls had now gone and the ice they had been resting on had shrunk considerably.Take away: birds move in and out of here frequently at this time of the year. Mute Swan (20); Canada Goose (813); Snow Goose (1imm); Mallard 92); Ring-necked Duck (6); Bufflehead (1f); Hooded Merganser (17); Common Merganser (2); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); American Coot (2)
      GULLS (in AM): Ring-billed (70++); Herring (40++); Great Black-backed (35++ most adW); Glaucous (1).
  • SUDBURY RESERVOIR, SOUTHBORO: mostly ice covered: Canada Goose (74); Common Goldeneye (6m).
  • SuAsCo: mostly ice-covered: Mute Swan (55); Canada Goose (11); Red-tailed Hawk (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • For previous sightings, see 2016 Archives or Archive Index