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:

11/27/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir/Westboro/Shrewsbury
  • We started the morning at WACHUSETT RESERVOIR. Because of the snowstorm the night before, parking in some spots was a problem and hiking through the wet snow was not great, so we hit only a few overlooks. We had the following: Common Loon (9); Canada Goose (36); Mute Swan (4); Mallard (12); Common Goldeneye (11); Hooded Merganser (3); Common Merganser (6);
  • We then headed over to SuAsCo in Westboro: Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (79); Canada Goose (22); Mallard (9); A Black Duck (4);
  • At Chauncy Lake: Pied-billed Grebe (1); Mallard (119); A Black Duck (11); Ring-necked Duck (30); Greater Scaup (3); Hooded Merganser (29); Common Merganser (31); A Coot (3);
  • Bartlett Pond, Northborough: Mute Swan (7); Canada Goose (1); Mallard (6);
  • Finally, we checked various overlooks in the Flint Pond-Lake Quinsigamond area (Worcester-Shrewsbury); Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (4); Canada Goose (96); Mute Swan (11); Gadwall (1m); A Black Duck (64); Mallard (231); Green-winged Teal (1); Ring-necked Duck (17); Common Goldeneye (13); Barrow's Goldeneye (1f); Hooded Merganser (46);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/25/14 -- Northbridge
    A few stops in Northbridge this AM found the following: Mute Swan (11); Canada Goose (38); Mallard (32); A Black Duck (5); American Wigeon (1f); Ring-necked Duck 91); Hooded Merganser (11).
  • Later on Rt. 146 in Uxbridge: Black Vulture (3).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/23/14 -- Big Chauncy, Northboro
    This morning there was a lot of activity in the water. Pied-billed Grebes (2), American Coots 8, Common Mergansers 178, Hooded Mergansers 9, Wood Duck 2, Black Ducks 8, Ring-necked Ducks 3, Greater Scaup 1, Northern Pintail 1 male, and lots of mallards.
    (report from Peter Morlock).

    11/23/14 -- Salisbury Pond/Institute Park, Worcester
    This place was hopping with bird activity in the late morning. Highlights include at least 2 Gadwall, a Hermit Thrush and a Swamp Sparrow (report from Josh Gahagan).

    11/23/14 -- Lake Whalom, Lunenburg
    At Lake Whalom in Lunenburg this morning with a large flock of Canada Geese there were 3 White-fronted Geese and 1 immature Snow Goose. These are probably the same birds that were reported by Tom Pirro last Sunday. (report from Bart Kamp).

    11/22/14 -- Quabog IBA/South Quabbin
    We started off the day birding the ponds in the QUABOG IBA. Their condition was the following:
    Totals were: Canada Goose (309); Mute Swan (2); A Black Duck (11); Mallard (245); Lesser Scaup (2); Hooded Merganser (35); Common Merganser (473); Bald Eagle (1 sub adult at Wickabog); Red-tailed Hawk (1); American Coot (1: Quabog); Ring-billed Gull (131); Belted Kingfisher (1); Highlights of passerines included: E Bluebird (5); Hermit Thrush (1); American Robin (81); Gray Catbird (2: behind ball field); A Tree Sparrow 911); Dark-eyed Junco (158: flocks in many locations);
  • THEN: we headed to SOUTH QUABBIN/QUABBIN PARK. Highlights included: Common Loon (5); Horned Grebe (4); Canada Goose (162: migrating overhead, heading west or SW); A Black Duck (18); Bufflehead (1f); Common Merganser (3); Bald Eagle (1 subAd); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (4); Common Raven (1); Dark-eyed Junco (71); Snow Bunting (16: flock at Tower parking lot); Pine Siskin (2);
  • ALSO: White-tailed Deer (2);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/19/14 -- Lake Singletary, Millbury
    Today I had an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull on the lake with over 150 Ring-billed Gulls and about 10 Herring Gulls. The bird took off within 5 minutes of discovering it and flew off. Photos are posted on the Central Mass Birders facebook page --- A great tool to get instant word out to other local birders which has aided in lots of people getting really good birds in a timely fashion! (report from Justin Lawson).

    11/16/14 -- Lake Whalom, Lunenburg
    Late this morning I was fortunate to find 3 Greater White-fronted Geese on Whalom Lake in Lunenburg -- they were associated with Canada geese. The birds were in flight when I left. Also present was a single Ruddy Duck. There is a nice waterfront drive where viewing nearly the whole lake from a single vantage point is possible.
  • On nearby Lake Shirley were : Canada Goose ~400 (including one with a white body); Snow Goose 1 imm.; Mallard 125; Am. Black Duck 8; Ruddy Duck 16; Hooded Merganser ~120; Common Merganser ~60; Ring-billed Gull ~25. This is a tough lake to bird with its many coves and the lake is surround by private properties. I have posted a few photos on my blog. (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 11/16/14 -- Quabog IBA/Spencer/Leicester
    Today we started with even better looks at the EARED GREBE at Lake Quabog and then decided to bird the four major ponds in the QUABOG IBA . Lake Quabog being one of them. Here are the totals: Horned Grebe (1); EARED GREBE (1: these two grebes were together, keeping in very close proximity and several times displaying to each other with bobbing necks); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (327); Mute Swan (5); Wood Duck (5); A Black Duck (19); Mallard (135); N Pintail (1f: n end of Lashaway); Green-winged Teal (1); Long-tailed Duck (1: Quabog); C Goldeneye (4); Hooded Merganser (101); Common Merganser (1322); Ruddy Duck (3); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Wild Turkey (4); A Coot (1: n end of Lashaway); Ring-billed Gull (210); Herring Gull (2); Great Black-backed Gull (1); Belted Kingfisher (3); Highlights of passerines seen: Horned Lark (4); Red-breasted Nuthatch (8); Carolina Wren (3); Winter Wren (1); E Bluebird (3); Dark-eyed Junco (90); Red-winged Blackbird (flock of 200+ overhead); We then birded a few more ponds on the way home:
  • SPENCER: STILES RESERVOIR: Great Blue Heron (2); Canada Goose (13); Mallard (42); Bufflehead (10); Hooded Merganser (88); Common Merganser (537); Belted Kingfisher (3);
  • LEICESTER: CEDAR MEADOW POND: Ring-necked Duck (13); Hooded merganser (18);
  • LEICESTER: BURNCOAT POND: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (241); Mallard (1); A Black Duck (7);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/15/14 -- Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary, Worcester
    Kim Kastler and I led a trip in Worcester for the Worcester Academy Bird Club today. (The club is made up of students and staff members at the school.) We checked out Leesville Pond, Notre Dame Cemetery, northern Lake Quinsigamond, Flint Pond, and the Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Highlights of the day included: Wood Duck (8 at Leesville ; Green-winged Teal (1 male at Leesville Pond); Hooded Merganser (40+ at Leesville Pond); Double-crested Cormorant (1 immature at Leesville Pond); American Coot (2 at Leesville Pond); WILSON SNIPE (3 at Broad Meadow Brook); Eastern Bluebird (2 at northern Lake Quinsig and 2 at Broad Meadow Brook).
    (report from John Liller).

  • 11/15/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    Raptors observed: Turkey Vulture 1 ; Bald Eagle 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 ; Red-shouldered Hawk 3 ; Red-tailed Hawk 9 .
    (report from Bart Kamp).

    11/13/14 -- Lake Quaboag, Brookfield
    This afternoon there 3 Red-necked and 2 Horned Grebes, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Bufflehead and 1 Ruddy Duck on the pond. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    11/13/14 -- Coes Pond, Worcester
  • At Coes Pond, there were 4 Snow Buntings feeding along the shore. Also, 11 Ruddy Ducks.
  • At Leesville Pond, highlights were 2 American Coots, and 2 DC Cormorants.
    (report from Brian Mulhearn)

  • 11/12/14 -- Worcester ponds
    Today 11/12 we took a few hours off to bird some ponds in the SW corner of the city. Highlights included:
  • COES POND: Pied-billed Grebe (2); Mute Swan (2); Mallard (13); Hooded Merganser (5); Ruddy Duck (11); OSPREY (1);
  • NOTRE DAME CEMETERY: Wood Duck (4); Mallard (30); Swamp Sparrow (4); Song Sparrow (4); White-throated Sparrow (13); Dark-eyed Junco (82);
  • LEESVILLE POND/ALL FAITHS CEMETERY: Pied-billed Grebe (1); Canada Goose (39); Wood Duck (28); Mallard (61); Hooded Merganser (23);
  • At several locations we had Eastern Painted Turtles and Cabbage White butterflies. With the prolonged cold coming in over night, This may be my last sightings of these species till next April.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/12/14 -- Quabbin Reservoir
    At 9:05 AM the Gray Jay [see previous reports] flew into the area north of the Quabbin gate 41 road. It perched on several of the low bushes occasionally dropping down to the ground. It was in view for about 5 minutes. It did not fly across the road to the pond and dead trees, where many people have seen it, while I was there.
  • After gate 41 I stopped at gate 43 shaft 12 road and the north end of Lake Wickaboag. There was a Greater Yellowlegs at both locations and a Pectoral Sandpiper at Lake Wickaboag.
    (report from Bart Kamp).

  • 11/11/14 -- Bigelow Street, North Brookfield
    Incredibility, I had a singing male Black-and-White Warbler at the sewer pumping station on Bigelow Street. Um, Bay-breasted in Petersham, B&W in NB. Interesting to say the least. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    11/10/14 -- Douglas
    I enjoyed watching at least 30 Common Grackles flip leaves around looking for insects in the backyard this morning. (report from Scott Ricker).

    11/10/14 -- Paxton, Leicester, Holden, Rutland
    Thanks to a tip from Bart Kamp, we headed out to the Moose Hill WMA in Paxton Monday morning. NB: it is hunting season, so if you go anywhere near a WMA, wear some hunter's orange. In several hours of poking around in the small fields we tallied (note -- numbers are our best approximations at trying to keep good counts as sparrows were everywhere): Red-tailed Hawk (1); Mourning Dove (140); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); N Flicker (2); E Bluebird (3); A Robin (44); Yellow-rumped Warbler (1); Tree Sparrow (9); Song Sparrow (32); Fox Sparrow (6); White-throated Sparrow (62); White-crown Sparrow (2: 1ad+1imm); Dark-eyed Junco (167); Red-winged Blackbird (84); House Finch (18); Purple Finch (1); Pine Siskin (5); A Goldfinch (18);

    We then started to check various reservoirs and ponds in Leicester, Paxton, Holden and Rutland (from roads only -- City reservoirs are strictly NO TRESSPASSING)

  • KETTLEBROOK RESERVOIR#2, LEICESTER: Canada Goose (11); NB: water is still low and it looks like maybe a shorebird could pop up here.
  • KETTLEBROOK RESERVOIR#3, PAXTON: Great Blue Heron (1); Common Merganser (123);
  • KENDELL RESERVOIR, HOLDEN: Common Goldeneye (2); Hooded merganser (2);
  • PINE HILL RESERVOIR, RUTLAND: Common Merganser (6); Red-tailed Hawk (1); E Bluebird (5); PALM WARBLER (1); Pine Siskin (15);
  • EAGLE LAKE, HOLDEN (people out in kayaks); Canada Goose (11); Mallard (6); A Black Duck (6); Hooded Merganser (2);
  • MAPLE SPRING POND, HOLDEN: Common Goldeneye (7); Pileated Woodpecker (1);
  • QUINNIPOXET RESERVOIR, HOLDEN: Bufflehead (1); Hooded Merganser (2);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/9/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir and vicinity
    This morning we led a MAS (Broad Meadow Brook sanctuary) trip to the WACHUSETT RESERVOIR IBA. We focused on the reservoir proper, but also birded a few of the nearby small ponds also in the IBA. We had a nice variety of waterfowl in decent numbers and it was a great trip.
  • Highlights included: Common Loon (26); Pied-billed Grebe (1); Horned Grebe (6); Red-necked Grebe (3); Double-crested Cormorant (5); Canada Goose (10); Wood Duck (12); A Black Duck (28); Mallard (92); Ring-necked Duck (2); Greater Scaup (89); Lesser Scaup (5); White-winged Scoter (1f); Black Scoter (21); Long-tailed Duck (2:m+f); Bufflehead (42); C Goldeneye (33); Common Merganser (3); Ruddy Duck (159); Bald Eagle (2ad together in a pine on the island where they nest); Red-tailed Hawk (2); A Coot (2); Belted Kingfisher (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Phoebe (1: getting late for this species in central MA); C Raven (2); E Bluebird (13); Hermit Thrush (4); Gray Catbird (1: getting late for this species too); Yellow-rumped Warbler (2); Pine Siskin (25+: good looks at perched and feeding birds);
  • Plus: River Otter (2).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/9/14 -- North Brookfield
    I had 1 male Evening Grosbeak at my feeder today at 1:00 PM. (report from Jeff Smith).

    11/9/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir, Boylston/West Boylston
    At 4 pm from Scar Hill road bluffs in Boylston there were 12 Common Goldeneye (across the reservoir), and from Gate 22 in West Boylston there were 3 Common Loons (one calling). (report from Rick Quimby).

    11/8/14 -- Meadow Pond, Whitinsville
    I had 8 Buffle-head Ducks in Meadow pond behind the old mill in Whitinsville
    (report from Scott Ricker).

    11/8/14 -- Gate 41, Quabbin Reservoir
    The Gray Jay found by Mark Lynch and Sheila Carroll continues at Gate 41 as of 4:17 PM today. The bird teed up on a White Pine on the far (southerly) side of the small pond near the gate where it was first seen by Mark and Sheila on 11/4/14. I and three other birders had good looks at the bird through my scope. Bird was in view for about three or four minutes before diving down below the treeline. (report from Ed Kittredge).

    11/8/14 -- Big Chauncey Pond, Westboro
    Today there was a Pied-billed Grebe and a Red-necked Grebe. (report from Peter Morlock).

    11/8/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir, Boylston
    At Mile Hill road I spotted 2 Long-tailed ducks. (report from Peter Morlock).

    11/7/14 -- Gate 36, Wachusett Reservoir
    There is a continuing flock of about 40 Snow Buntings on the rocks near Gate 36. I first saw this flock on 11/4/14. Still there as of 10:45 AM this morning. (report from Ed Kittredge)

    11/6/14 -- Lake Quaboag, Brookfield
    Seen this morning were 2 Pied-billed and 4 Horned grebes, 2 Bufflehead and a Bonaparte's Gull. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    11/5/14 -- Mount Wachusett, Princeton
    Raptors observed : Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 ; American Kestrel 1 ;
  • Non-raptor Observations: 2 Ravens. 35 gulls over Fitchburg, MA. 9 Snow Buntings
    (report from Steve Olson).

  • 11/5/14 -- Sterling
  • Muddy Pond: 8 Hooded Merganser, 1 Kingfisher, 3 red-tailed hawks, 3 song sparrows, and 6 white-throated sparrows.
  • East Washacum: 12 Robins, 6 white-throated sparrows, 52 Ruddy Ducks, 8 Hooded Merganser, 18 Greater Scaup, 1 Kingfisher and 1 Osprey.
  • West Washacum: 15 Ring-necked ducks
    (report from Susan LaBree).

  • 11/5/14 -- Indian Lake, Worcester
    There were Common Mergansers (130) today. (report from Lisa Hennin).

    11/5/14 -- Sudbury Reservoir, Southboro
    We spent the morning hiking around and birding the SUDBURY RESERVOIR in SOUTHBORO/MARLBORO (just the northern tip). This is one of the most irregularly shaped bodies of water I know in Worcester County: it's like a watery fractal and every inlet seems to have another inlet. So, in order to "cover" this reservoir it requires a lot of hiking.
  • We kept careful totals and had: Double-crested Cormorant (1); Canada Goose (102); Mute Swan (9); Wood Duck (4); A Black Duck (14); Mallard (6); Redhead (1f); RING-NECKED DUCK (1151: this reservoir is the Shangri-la for Ringies. Today every linlet seemed to host a large flock); Greater Scaup (11); Lesser Scaup (1); Bufflehead (21); Common Goldeneye (38); Barrow's Goldeneye (1m: of yearly occurance); Hooded Merganser (13); Ruddy Duck (80); Cooper's Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); American Coot (27). Passerines were fairly typical, but we did have Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Phoebe (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler (6).
  • Still some meadowhawk butterflies mating and ovipositing.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/4/14 -- Lake Quaboag, Brookfield
    This morning there was the following on the lake: Red-throated loon 1, Red-necked Grebe 2, Greater Scaup 8, Hooded merganser 12 and Ruddy Duck 4. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    11/4/14 -- Gate 41, Quabbin Reservoir
    This afternoon we had a GRAY JAY at GATE 41 QUABBIN in Petersham (Worcester County). This gate is on Rt. 32A. There is a dirt parking area for several cars. DO NOT BLOCK THE GATE. This is a short gate. The jay was seen around the area of the small marshy pond on the left as you walk in (5 minutes from gate) and along the road from there to the Pottapaug Pond overlook (an area of lots of hemlocks). We got several great looks at the bird over the course of 1.5 hours, but it would disappear in between. Several times it went down to water to drink. Sheila got some nice shots that we will post on the Western MA Birders facebook site. Here are totals from several stops around the reservoir today:
  • GATE 5 (BELCHERTOWN): Common Loon (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (43); A Black Duck (6); Black Scoter (4f); Bufflehead (1m); Common Merganser (3); Bald Eagle (1ad+1imm); Belted Kingfisher (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1); American Crow (234: large, loose flocks heading directly west flying very high right over the water); C Raven (1); Winter Wren (1); Golden-crowned Kinglet (4); Hermit Thrush (14: all over the road as we started in); Pine Siskin (7);
  • LOVER'S LEAP OVERLOOK (NEW SALEM): Canada Goose (11 flying); Bald Eagle (3imm+1 sub ad); N Goshawk (1imm); Golden Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (1); NB: this is NT the overlook accessed from behind the New Salem fire station, but the overlook just off Rt. 202 just north of the town center. We have doen hawkwatching from this spot often.
  • HARVARD POND (PETERSHAM): Canada Goose (4); Green-winged Teal (2); A Black Duck (17); Hooded Merganser (2); Plus: a great late flight of meadowhawks, and 1 darner, likely a Shadow.
  • GATE 41 (PETERSHAM): GRAY JAY (1); Swamp Sparrow (2); Dark-eyed Junco (22); Purple Finch (2); Pine Siskins (16);
  • Plus: more meadowhawks and a darner. River Otter (2); and 1 Jumping Mouse sp.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 11/3/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    Raptors observed: Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 ; Cooper's Hawk 3 ; Red-shouldered Hawk 2 ; Red-tailed Hawk 7 .
  • Raptor Observations: 1 sub-adult Bald Eagle not migrating.
  • Non-raptor Observations: 200 American Crows migrating, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler and 1 sulphur species butterfly.
    (report from Bart Kamp).

  • 11/3/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    In late afternoon there were 1 GB Heron, 30 Hooded Mergansers, 1 Common Goldeneye (f), and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. (report from Rick Quimby).

    11/3/14 -- Sutton
    I had a single Raven fly across Rt 146 near exit 7 in Sutton. (report from Scott Ricker).

    11/2/14 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    We spent a cold and very windy Sunday morning looking for waterbirds in the Brookfields (the QUABOG IBA). We had the following: Pied-billed Grebe (1); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (260); Mute Swan (4); A Black Duck (2); Mallard (84); Ring-necked Duck (11); Greater Scaup (1); Lesser Scaup (2); Black Scoter (1f in flock of Bufflehead); Bufflehead (156); C Goldeneye (2m); Hooded Merganser (41); Common Merganser (89); Sharp-shinned Hawk (2); Red-tailed Hawk (2). Passerines were tough to come by because of the wind, but we had: Eastern Phoebe (1); Common Raven (1); Hermit Thrush (1); Cedar Waxwing (26); Pine Siskin (17). (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    11/2/14 -- Chaffin pond, Holden
    From Gail drive,Chaffin pond Holden this morning 7-8:30: 2 pied-billed grebe,9 mute swans (7 juvenile with changing plumage), 1 kingfisher,6 white-crowned sparrow,3 white-throated sparrow,8 eastern bluebirds,12 junco. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    11/1/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir, Boylston
  • At Scarhill road this morning there was a female Black Scoter about 50 yards offshore. She did a little feeding but mostly just hung around providing great looks thru my scope. There were 10 or so Long-tailed Ducks much further out.
  • At Mile Hill road there was a big flock (50+) of scoters just in front of the island. I saw 1 male Surf Scoter, a White-winged Scoter and the rest were Black Scoters.
    (report from Peter Morlock).

  • 11/1/14 -- Douglas/Sutton
    Today we checked several ponds in the adjacent towns of DOUGLAS and SUTTON, in south Worcester County. The weather was damp and dank and gray. Common Loon (1 fly-over); Red-necked Grebe (3); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (18); Mute Swan (2); Wood Duck (81: including a huge flock of 78 that had put down on a river); A Black Duck (3); Mallard (131); Black Scoter (14: Wallum Lake); Bufflehead (2); Common Goldeneye (5). Passerines were typical, but we did have a large flock of (38) PINE SISKINS in Douglas. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    For previous sightings, see October 2014 Archives or Archive Index