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:

1/28/15 -- Gardner
1 Common redpoll at our feeder this a.m. Had breakfast and hasn't been seen since. Plenty of Goldfinches and Pine siskins though. (report from Dick Knowlton).

1/27/15 -- Worcester
During the storm we had a juvenile Yellow -bellied Sapsucker at our suet feeder. It was showing some red on the crown, but we did not get a clear view of the throat to see if male or female. It has been heard occasionally since December but first time seen at the feeder. Also interesting to note size comparison between Downy and Hairy also sharing the feeder. (report from Lisa Hennin).

1/27/15 -- Sturbridge
It was a busy day at the feeders: Northern Cardinal (1m, 1f), Carolina Wren (2), White-Breasted Nuthatch (3), Downey Woodpecker (1f), Hairy Woodpecker (1m, 1f), Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (1m), Mourning Dove (2), Blue Jay (2), numerous Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, American Goldfinches, Dark-eyed Juncos. Surprise was the Cooper's Hawk who sat in the pine tree just above the feeders and eventually left without having had lunch. (report from Naomi Lacasse).

1/26/15 -- Rt. 2, Devens
Had a bald eagle (adult, full white head and tail, unmistakable) fly right in front of me on Rt. 2 (westbound, on the Nashua River crossing at exit 37 (Jackson Rd., Devens) at 4:25 PM today.  It was only about 12'-15' above the road, flying left to right, northwards.  Big bird!  Person in the left lane next to me slammed on their brakes, must have been startled! (report from David Daly).

1/25/15 -- Worcester
Today at about 2:30 pm I was leaving Worcester on 290 east, crossing the lake Quinsig and a bald eagle flew over headed north. (report from Beverly Chorbajian).

1/22/15 -- Millbury
I happened to be crossing Grafton St via Riverlin St going by Goretties Supermarket as it was getting dark, and viewed multiple ducks flying into the canal (Blackstone River) that runs through this area. It was too dark to ID any of them but there had to be fifty that came in during the few minutes I was there. (report from Scott Ricker).

1/22/15 -- Worcester
On the ground under my feeders this morning, there was a Hermit Thrush. It was less than 5 feet from my window. (report from Bart Kamp).

1/18/15 -- South Quabbin Reservoir
We spent the morning birding QUABBIN PARK/SOUTH QUABBIN. We left just in time: part of Rt. 9 (West Brookfield-Ware) was closed due to icing.
  • Birds recorded: Common Loon (4); Red-necked Grebe (2); Mallard (1m); A Black Duck (3); C Goldeneye (7); Hooded Merganser (2f); Common Merganser (1f);
      Bald eagle (2ad: we watched 1 eagle, perched about 15 off the ground in a tree, at the edge of some ice. Directly below were 4 River Otters, which were periscoping up and getting on the ice and looking in the eagle's direction. We watched as several times the eagle made a swoop down right at the otters, and the results were always the same: the otters dove into the water, the eagle flew back up into the tree and immediately the otters came back out again. We watched this go on for about 15 minutes. It honestly looked like the otters were taunting or playing with the eagle. Then an otter caught a big fish, dragged it up on the ice and the eagle immediately swooped down landing on the ice. BUT the otter dove back in, with the fish. The eagle began to walk around on the ice and the otters came out on the ice RIGHT NEXT TO IT, on either side. The eagle finally left and so did the otters. I have NO idea what was going on, but they were definitely interacting.
    Red-tailed Hawk (1); Landbirds were typical, but we did have a Pileated Woodpecker.
  • Then we birded along the Swift River and had: Wood Duck (3); Mallard (14); Hooded merganser (8); Common Merganser (2);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 1/17/15 -- Lake Chauncey, Westboro
    I observed a Northern Mockingbird here this morning. (report from Henry Squillante)

    1/14/15 -- Swift, Ware and Quabog Rivers
    Today we checked out 3 rivers in western Central MA to see if we could find any waterfowl. We started with the SWIFT RIVER, following it south from Quabbin Reservoir to the Three Rivers area of Palmer. The river was 90% ice covered, more so than last winter and we had the following: Mallard (30); Black Duck (5); Belted Kingfisher (1);
  • We then followed the WARE RIVER northeast from Three Rivers to the town of Ware. Like the Swift, the Ware River was mostly ice covered except in areas where there are rapids, which is not attractive to waterfowl. We found NO ducks.
  • Finally we checked a few spots on the QUABOG RIVER in the Brookfields. Here the river was 85% ice covered. We had: Mallard (4); A Black Duck (20); Hooded Merganser (7); Red-tailed Hawk (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 1/14/15 -- Gardner
    A flock of 20+ siskins is now regular at our feeders. Had a 2nd hand report of redpolls in Ashburnham but not able to confirm. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    1/13/15 -- Worcester
    This morning there were 3 Goldfinches, 1 Carolina Wren and 1 Pine Siskin on the same feeder at the same time. (report from Bart Kamp).

    1/11/15 -- Gardner
    11 Pine siskins at our feeders this morning. Here for a few moments, then gone not to be seen again. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    1/10/15 -- SUASCO, Westboro
    Today on Arch St I saw the following "Half Hardy Birds" : Sharp-shinned Hawk; Belted Kingfisher; Swamp Sparrows 2; Eastern Phoebe. (report from Peter Morlock).

    1/9/15 -- Westboro
    Four snow geese flew by the MassWildlife Field Headquarters during the snow showers this morning. (report from Marion Larson).

    1/7/15 -- Leominster
    There was an adult Bald Eagle fishing Monoosnoc Brook behind the Sears Town Mall, Leominster. Flying in from direction of Lunenburg. (report from Susan LaBree).

    1/7/15 -- West Millbury
    As expected, when the first real cold weather arrives. On my tree-mounted suet cage, a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. (report from Alan Marble).

    1/6/15 -- Lake Whalom, Lunenburg
    Early this afternoon at Lake Whalom in Lunenburg there was a juvenile Glaucous Gull resting on the ice. (report from Bart Kamp).

    1/5/15 -- Eagle Lake, Holden
    At 3:30 pm there was an immature Bald Eagle moving about on the ice at Eagle Lake. (report from Denis Mahoney).

    1/5/15 -- Millbury
  • Woolshop Pond - 8 Gadwalls continue on Woolshop Pond. 8 have been here off and on since 12/26.
  • Millbury Bike Path - 1 female American Wigeon on the Blackstone River since 1/3
    (report from Justin Lawson).

  • 1/3/15 -- Westborough WMA, Westborough
    I heard, then saw, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in a tree at the boat ramp to Chauncy Lake (Big Chauncy) at 11:20 AM today. Nice look at a young bird with much brown plumage on breast and head. (report from Ed Kittredge).

    1/3/15 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Early this morning in the pond at Institute Park there was a Greater White-fronted Goose among the 200-300 Canada Geese. 30-40 of the Canada Geese took off and the Greater White-fronted Goose went with them. They were last seen heading southwestward in "V" formation. (report from Bart Kamp).

    1/3/15 -- Lake Quinsigamond-Flint Pond, Shrewsbury
    Today we birded several water bodies along the Blackstone River and ended with a count of waterfowl around the LAKE QUINSIGAMOND-FLINT POND complex and had the following: Mute Swan (16); Canada Goose (510); Mallard (325); A Black Duck (62); N Pintail (1f); Common Goldeneye (37); Hooded Merganser (173); Belted Kingfisher (1); Fish Crow (1). (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    1/2/15 -- May St., Worcester
    This evening the crow staging area in Worcester was at the Fairlawn Hospital on May Street . There you could hear the Fish Crows calling with the Common Crows. (report from Bart Kamp).

    1/2/15 -- Indian Lake, Worcester
    I saw a bald-headed eagle here at 7:45 a.m. It landed in a tree behind the Y then flew off across the lake towards Holden St. (report from Eve Rifkah).

    1/1/15 -- Sudbury Reservoir, Southboro
  • At sudbury Reservoir: highlights were 350+ Ring-necked Ducks, 5 Greater Scaup. 1 Lesser Scaup. and 2 REDHEADS.
  • Westborough WMMA: On Big Chauncey there were 4 AMERICAN COOTS and 1 ICELAND GULL
  • Yesterday (12/31/2015), in Millbury at Dorothy Brook (runs into Blackstone): 4 Northern Pintails.
    Photos of all birds on my flickr
    (report from Justin Lawson).

  • 1/1/15 -- New Year's Day in Worcester County IBAs
    Today we birded 5 IBAs in Worcester County, beginning well before dawn at the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. In about 45 minutes we tallied (1) Great Horned Owl; (1) Barred Owl and (2) N Saw-whet Owls and a spectacular night sky.
  • We then headed over to BOLTON FLATS WMA (part of an IBA), intending to owl there before dawn, but discovered hunters (in the dark) on site. So we owled around the area and managed (1) E Screech Owl and (3) Great Horned Owls. At dawn, we donned our hunters orange and headed in the main (Rt. 117) entrance, bumping into the two hunters on their way out. They were in total camo (including face) carrying rifles and a bag of "stuff". Raccoon hunting? Birders should realize that though the deer season is over, PLENTY of hunting continues through this month on Wildlife Management Areas. So if you venture into places like Bolton Flats on any day except Sunday, WEAR SOME ORANGE. Also seen at Bolton Flats was the following: Red-tailed Hawk (3); (1) Northern Shrike at dawn which flew off towards Rt.117 never to be seen by us again; (4) Eastern Bluebirds; (2) Swamp Sparrows and (3) Red-winged Blackbirds.
  • Then we headed to WACHUSETT RESERVOIR (part of an IBA), where there were some nice concentrations of waterfowl. We had: Common Loon (5); Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (598: a huge flock was on the playing fields of Clinton HS and we were studying them, when a jogger thought it would make a great picture to run into the flock, flush them and take a picture of them in flight); Mallard (80); A Black Duck (4); N Pintail (2m+1f: small pond adjacent to Coachlace Pond, Clinton); Wild Turkey (23); Greater Scaup/scaup sp (55); Lesser Scaup (at least 1); Ring-necked Duck (1); LONG-TAILED DUCK (1); Common Goldeneye (42); Hooded Merganser (64); Common Merganser (47); Ruddy Duck (2).
  • Then we drove over to SUDBURY RESERVOIR (an IBA), in Southboro, which has really started to ice over. We didn't do any of the longer walks in, but covered the entire periphery, so just around the edges we had: Mute Swan (5); Canada Goose (197); REDHEAD (2m); Greater Scaup/scaup sp (21); Lesser Scaup (1); Ring-necked Duck (353); Bufflehead (3); Common Goldeneye (18); Hooded Merganser (20); Ruddy Duck (2); My guess is that by tomorrow MOST of this reservoir will be ice-covered.
  • Then we did a series of small ponds in Northboro and Westboro, which were mostly ice-covered. But on each one we had MUTE SWANS: Bartlett (4 on ice); Little Chuancy (5 on ice); Chauncy (6); SuAsCo still had some open water and there were (57) swans there. For a long time birder in Worcester County, this Mute ubiquity is still amazing. Before the mid-1990s, swans were still noteworthy in Worcester County and tough to get on your year list. Now: they are all over eastern Worcester County, found in areas along the Blackstone River, in and around the city and small numbers are found in the Brookfields.
  • We ended the day with a visit to tiny INSTITUTE/SALISBURY POND (part of the BLACKSTONE NATIONAL CORRIDOR IBA), just 2 blocks from my house, across from WPI. Among the numerous geese, swans, Mallards and other stuff, we found a single GADWALL and a Belted Kingfisher.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 1/1/15 -- All Faiths cemetery, Worcester
    There was a strange Goose at All Faiths today -- it had the body of a Canada and the head of a Snow geese. We saw it on the Forbush Trip, and that was the best we could come up with. It was on the left side on the ice with about 100 Canada Geese. If anyone sees it I would like to hear what you think. (report from John Shea). [johnshea.1@verizon.net]

    1/1/15 -- Northbridge
    I had a Eastern Screech Owl on Castle Hill rd, responding to my screech owl call at 9:30a, and also had an adult Bald Eagle soaring along the Blackstone River headed north in Northbridge across from the Rockville Saloon. (report from Scott Ricker).

    12/31/14 -- Prescott St, Rutland
    At 2 pm there was a red-shouldered hawk. I was also surprised by a mockingbird in my yard. (report from Jane Fitzgerald).

    12/29/14 -- Sudbury Reservoir, Southborough
    We spent this morning hiking and birding around the SUDBURY RESERVOIR in SOUTHBOROUGH and recorded the following: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (196); Mute Swan (5); Mallard (19); Redhead (2m); Ring-necked Duck (139); Greater Scaup (6); Lesser Scaup (20); Bufflehead (18); C Goldeneye (38); Hooded Merganser (16); Common Merganser (481); Ruddy Duck (1); Wild Turkey (2); Belted Kingfisher (2); Winter Wren (2); Yellow-rumped Warbler (1); Pine Siskin (4);
  • NB: I was watching a drake MALLARD furiously tussle with something underwater. Every once in a while I could glimpse an edge of a body , but it was kept well below the surface with the Mallard's bill. Did it have hold of the Mallard? Was it a huge fish? A number of minutes went by and finally a FEMALE MALLARD escaped the drake's hold, looking totally messed up. The male had been mating with the female WHILE SHE WAS HELD COMPLETELY UNDERWATER. I was surprised she wasn't drowned.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/26/14 -- Sudbury Reservoir, Southboro
    Today at the intersection of White Bagley Road and Route 9 there were 2 Male Redheads. (report from Peter Morlock).

    12/23/14 -- Big Chauncy,W estboro
    This morning there were 6 American Coots at the northern end of the pond. (report from Pete Morlock).

    12/22/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    A quick tour of WACHUSETT RESERVOIR this morning produced the following: Common Loon (6); Canada Goose (40); Mute Swan (2); Mallard (1); Ring-necked Duck (1m); Greater Scaup (77); White-winged Scoter (2: present since the Worcester CBC. Best seen from Gate 37); Common Goldeneye (66); Hooded Merganser (12); Common Merganser (4); Cooper's Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); Pine Siskin (1);
  • Still no sign of the 2 Redheads found by Kevin Bourinot at Coachlace Pond or at Bart's Pond in Clinton. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/21/14 -- Westminster
    On the Westminster x-mas count I found a few hundred gulls on Wyman's pond off Patricia Road. At 11 am there was a snow white Glaucous Gull mixed in with about 150 herring and 50+ Great Blacked Gulls, (only 1 Ring-billed) At 3:30 pm the flock was still there but no Glaucous. Instead there was "light coffee" colored Iceland Gull. Went back at 4:15 and there were 4! Iceland Gulls, all the same plumage. There was a small swath of open water to which they were actively bathing. It's very unusual to have open water on this pond and given the upcoming weather, I see no reason why these birds shouldn't continue. Heading north on rt. 140, Patricia Road is approximately a mile past the road leading to Mt. Wachusett ski area. The road sign is obscured by tree branches. If you reach Worcester Road on your left (goes to meetinghouse pond) you have gone too far. (report from Rodney Jenkins).

    12/18/14 -- Northbridge/Grafton
    I had two Common Raven flying north about 50 feet up, along Rt 122 at the Northbridge/Grafton line today. (report from  Scott Ricker).

    12/13/14 -- Bart's Pond, Clinton
    This morning I checked out Bart's Pond (aka The Pond that never freezes) and found some Mallards, Buffleheads and a Male Redhead. (report from Peter Morlock).

    12/8/14 -- Westminster
  • Yesterday (12/7) on Round Meadow Pond, at dusk, there was a first wnter Iceland Gull (likley the same that been in the area for a week now) with a few dozen Herring and a single Great Black-backed Gull. Also present were 9 Hooded mergansers and a Common Goldeneye. The pond 80-90% ice covered.
  • Today (12/8), a Great Black-backed Gull was still present, but was in the possession of and being consumed by an adult Bald Eagle.
    (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 12/7/14 -- Northboro/Westboro/Marlboro
    Today we had intended to bird Bolton Flats. When we got there we found the Rt. 117 parking lot entrance flooded as well as the path from the Rt. 110 entrance. You need wellies to get in and after this upcoming nor'easter, it is likely to be much worse. So, we decided to bird some ponds:
  • HARVARD: BARE HILL POND Canada Goose (13); Mallard (36); A Black Duck (17); Hooded Merganser (28); Driving around the pond, there were lots of sparrows including (1) Fox Sparrow as well as (6) siskins feeding on the road.
  • MARLBORO: FORT MEADOW RESERVOIR: Mute Swan (1); Mallard (18); Ring-necked Duck (4); Bufflehead (2f); Hooded Merganser (69); Common Merganser (7);
  • NORTHBORO: BARTLETT POND Mute Swan (2);
  • NORTHBORO: LITTLE CHAUNCY POND Mute Swan (4); Hooded Merganser (45); Common Merganser (14 overhead, likely from Chauncy Lake); ALSO: 3 River Otters.
  • WESTBORO: CHAUNCY LAKE: Fishermen were out on a boat and probably flushed some waterfowl Common Loon (1); Mute Swan (5); Mallard (7); Hooded Merganser (3); Common Merganser (42: being heavily kleptoparasitized by Ring-billed Gulls);
  • WESTBORO: SuAsCo Mute Swan (77); Canada Goose (50)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 12/7/14 -- Oakham
    One kingfisher was heard along the Five Mile River. (report from Kathy Van Schoick).

    12/6/14 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    Today we did some pre Sturbridge CBC scouting in the QUABOG IBA, primarily around the four major Brookfields ponds. The weather was lousy with almost non-stop showers and rain. We had the following: Great Blue Heron (1: north end of Lashaway); Canada Goose (60); Mute Swan (4); Mallard (54); NORTHERN PINTAIL (27: all at Wickabog: good count for this late in the County); Hooded Merganser (195); Common Merganser (26); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-necked Pheasant (1m: obvious released bird); Ring-billed Gull (104); Herring Gull (13); Great Black Backed Gull (2adW); Belted Kingfisher (2). Landbirds were pretty typical, though there were good numbers of juncos and Tree Sparrows. We also had (1) Gray catbird behind the ballfield in the Elm Hill sector and a flock of Red-winged Blackbirds (40+) in the Quacumquasit WMA. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    12/5/14 -- Gardner/Templeton
  • Today near Elliot Hill in Templeton: Red-shouldered Hawk (2 Adults looked to be migrating); Northern Shrike (1 Adult)
  • In Gardner both 12/3 and 12/4: A first winter type Iceland "kumlien's" Gull was present on Crystal lake in just after noontime. Likely the same gull was present on Round Meadow Pond in Westminster on 11/30.
    (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 12/4/14 -- Gail drive, Holden
    At Gail drive/Chaffin pond today between 7am-4pm, birds included: Brown creeper,Red breasted nuthatch,Ruby crowned kinglet,Carolina wren,Cowbird,Hooded merganser,Ring necked duck,Mute swan,Red tailed hawk,Coopers hawk,Sharp shinned hawk. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    12/4/14 -- Worcester Airport
    There was a SNOWY OWL at the Worcester Airport this morning. Seen from Mulberry and Route 56. A friend that works at the airport also was tasked to keep the bird off the active runways. Bird was then at the back of the airport on an unused runway (D) near the 15-23 sign. (report from Justin Lawson).

    11/30/14 -- Ware River IBA to Wachusett Reservoir
  • We started the day with a drive through the southern sections of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA which includes Rutland State Park. Surprisingly all the roads were open and a few gated roads normally closed were also now open. This is because the shotgun deer season is starting and it is for hunter access. That said, the road conditions were poor: icy, snow covered in many areas, and many of the trees, particularly pines, were weighed down with icy caked snow, sometimes blocking the road. Chunks of icy snow almost continually fell down in the warming temps. The interior of the forest had almost NO birds and most sightings , including chickadees, were had in the open areas around the marshes near the prison camp. The complete list was as follows: Canada Goose (69); Wood Duck (2m); Mallard (33); A Black Duck (5);
      NB: all the waterfowl were seen in the upper parts of the marsh near the prison camp. A real surprise considering the overall snowy and icy conditions.
    Barred Owl (1); Winter Wren (1: in a small icy pond in the interior); Blue Jay (22: some moving through the forest, some flying high out of the forest); Common Raven (2); Black-capped Chickadee (11); White-breasted Nuthatch (2); American Robin (15: fly-overs); Purple Finch (3); Pine Siskin (16: flyovers); American Goldfinch (16: single flock feeding on catkins);
  • At QUINAPOXET RESERVOIR in Holden we found the water about 60% ice covered. So it was a surprise to watch a Common Loon fly in and land in the narrow strip of open water. Also there was Mallard (4); Common Goldeneye (1); and Hooded Merganser (4).
  • At COACHLACE POND in Clinton: Canada Goose (63: fly-overs); Greater Scaup/scaup sp.: (78); Lesser Scaup (1); Ring-necked Duck (2); Hooded Merganser (2); Ruddy Duck (68);
  • Finally, we had the following at WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (10); Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (16); Mallard (9); WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (1: South Bay); Common Goldeneye (60); Hooded Merganser (49); Common Merganser (1); Bald Eagle (1ad standing in the water just off its old breeding island); Belted Kingfisher (2); Horned Lark (1); Snow Bunting (1); Plus: We watched (painfully); as a deer swam across a huge part of the reservoir.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 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