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:

9/1/14 -- Sterling Peat/Wachusett Reservoir/The Kettlebrook Reservoirs
  • We started Monday SEPTEMBER 1 at STERLING PEAT: Great Blue Heron (3); Green Heron (7); Wood Duck (5); Mallard (14); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); A Kestrel (1); Killdeer (2: another 17 at Sterling Airport); Greater Yellowlegs (2); Lesser Yellowlegs (1); Solitary Sandpiper (2); Spotted Sandpiper (3); Least Sandpiper (8+); Belted Kingfisher (1); ALSO: great display of NODDING LADIES TRESSES, the last blooming orchid of the season.
  • THEN: at WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (14); Double-crested Cormorant (35); Canada Goose (101); Common Merganser (5); Wild Turkey (1); E Wood Pewee (5);
  • KETTLEBROOK RESERVOIR #2, LEICESTER: Double-crested Cormorant (1); Killdeer (2); Spotted Sandpiper (2); Solitary Sandpiper (4); Least Sandpiper (10); Nearby: GIANT SWALLOWTAIL (1);
  • KETTLEBROOK RESERVOIR#3, PAXTON: Double-crested Cormorant (1); Great Blue Heron (2); Killdeer (1); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Least Sandpiper (1); Pine Warbler (1 singing);
  • The water level at Kettlebrook#4 has gone up since the dam repair and there were no shorebirds there.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 9/1/14 -- Mount Wachusett, Princeton
    Raptors observed today: Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 ; Broad-winged Hawk 9 ; Peregrine Falcon 1 ; Unknown Accipiter 1 .
  • Raptor Observations: Not many raptors moving. 15 to 20 non-migrating Turkey Vultures
    (report from Steve Olson).

  • 8/31/14 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    Today we birded the SE quadrant of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. The weather was dark, overcast and breezy: not great conditions to srach for landbirds. Despite that, we did come across a few mixed species flocks, though it is still tough to say whether these are species staging for migration or actually moving through.
  • Highlights included: Great Blue Heron (2); Wood Duck (8); Mallard (6); Osprey (1: not migrating, but hunting); Sharp-shinned Hawk (not migrating); American Kestrel (1: not migrating); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Spotted Sandpiper (4); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); E Wood Pewee (5: all still calling); E Phoebe (6); Red-eyed Vireo (5); Tree Swallow (13: moving and feeding along the river); Red-breasted Nuthatch (9); House Wren (5); Veery (1); Hermit Thrush (2); Gray Catbird (24);
      WARBLERS: Chestnut-sided (6); Magnolia (3); Black-throated Blue (7: 1 still singing away); Yellow-rumped (3); Black-throated Green (1); Blackburnian (1); Pine (7); Black and White (5); A Redstart (6); Ovenbird (1); C Yellowthroat (14)

    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/30/14 -- Wachusett Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton
    Highlights of the Forbush Bird Club trip included good close looks at a Red-shouldered Hawk and a Broad-winged Hawk in flight, the distant call and close looks of two Common Loons as they flew overhead, and a friendly Ruffed Grouse that had to be protected by the group from an approaching automobile along the road. Species total was 44.
  • Complete list: Mallard; Hooded Merganser; Ruffed Grouse; Common Loon; Double-Crested Cormorant; Green Heron; Turkey Vulture; Cooper's Hawk; Red-shouldered Hawk; Broad-winged Hawk; Red-tailed Hawk; Mourning Dove; Ruby-throated Hummingbird; Belted Kingfisher; Red-bellied Woodpecker; Downy Woodpecker; Hairy Woodpecker; Northern Flicker; Eastern Wood-pewee; Eastern Phoebe; Red-eyed Vireo; Blue Jay; American Crow; Barn Swallow; Black-capped Chickadee; White-breasted Nuthatch; Brown Creeper; House Wren; Wood Thrush; Gray Catbird; European Starling; Cedar Waxwing; Black-and-white Warbler; American Redstart; Common Yellowthroat; Scarlet Tanager; Eastern Towhee; Chipping Sparrow; Song Sparrow; Northern Cardinal; Rose-breasted Grosbeak; Brown-headed Cowbird; American Goldfinch; House Sparrow;
    (report from Joan Gallagher).

  • 8/29/14 -- Mount Wachusett, Princeton
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 6 ; Cooper's Hawk 1 ; Broad-winged Hawk 27 ; American Kestrel 2 ; Peregrine Falcon 1 . Raptor Observations: Around early PM, local Goshawk made an appearance. Non-raptor Observations: Raven - 1
    (report from Steve Olson).

    8/28/14 -- Grafton
    I had 11 nighthawks over Grafton High School this evening, all between 6:15 and 6:30, and all heading south. I also had 14 chimney swifts, 11 killdeer, 1 double-crested cormorant, 3 barn swallows, 5 red-winged blackbirds, 60 common grackles, 6 eastern bluebirds, and 15+ chipping sparrows. (report from John Liller).

    8/28/14 -- Mount Wachusett, Princeton
    Raptors observed today: Sharp-shinned Hawk 6 ; Broad-winged Hawk 3 ;
  • Raptor Observations: 12 Turkey Vultures ( non-migrating); Goshawk ( Local & not migrating)
  • Non-raptor Observations: Raven - 1 Variety of songbirds
  • Road to Summit was suppose to be closed all day. However, Summit work moved quickly and by late AM, watchers were able to get to the Summit.
    (report from Steve Olson).

  • 8/25/14 -- Mount Wachusett, Princeton
    Raptors observed today: Sharp-shinned Hawk 7 ; Red-shouldered Hawk 1 ; Broad-winged Hawk 17 .
  • Raptor Observations: Merlin - local, not migrating; Two Red-Tailed Hawks in dogfight Northwest of Summit. Juvenile Birds just playing; Lots of immature Turkey Vultures in Summit area
  • Non-raptor Observations: Ravens - 9; Juncos - 3; Eastern Towhees - 2
    (report from Steve Olson).

  • 8/23/14 -- High Ridge WMA, Westminster/Gardner
    Species seen/heard from a ~5 mile walk at High Ridge WMA (Westminster/Gardner) from 10AM to 2:30PM. Nothing terribly unusual but many nice mixed species flocks of passerines made for an enjoyable trek around High Ridge.
  • Wood Duck 5; Mallard 4; Green Heron 2; Turkey Vulture 1; Broad-winged Hawk 2; Mourning Dove 4; Chimney Swift 2; Ruby-throated Hummingbird 4; Red-bellied Woodpecker 3; Downy Woodpecker 7; Hairy Woodpecker 3; Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 3; Pileated Woodpecker 1; American Kestrel 1; Eastern Wood-Pewee 1; Least Flycatcher 1; Eastern Phoebe 32; Eastern Kingbird 7; Blue-headed Vireo 1; Warbling Vireo 2; Red-eyed Vireo 26; Blue Jay 6; American Crow 4; Common Raven 1; Black-capped Chickadee 47; Tufted Titmouse 17; Red-breasted Nuthatch 3; White-breasted Nuthatch 11; Brown Creeper 2; House Wren 8; Eastern Bluebird 3; Hermit Thrush 1; Wood Thrush 1; American Robin 6; Gray Catbird 14; European Starling 1; Cedar Waxwing 19; Black-and-white Warbler 9; Common Yellowthroat 16; American Redstart 11; Magnolia Warbler 2; Blackburnian Warbler 1; Yellow Warbler 1; Chestnut-sided Warbler 6; Pine Warbler 3; Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1; Black-throated Green Warbler 13; Canada Warbler 4; Wilson's Warbler 1 female; Chipping Sparrow 12; Song Sparrow 11; Swamp Sparrow 3; Scarlet Tanager 1; Northern Cardinal 3; Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1; Bobolink 12; House Finch 1; American Goldfinch 9
    (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 8/23/14 -- Rt. 56 airport overlook, Leicester
    From 5PM-6:45PM: COMMON NIGHTHAWK: 511: majority heading directly south along the eastern side of the hill. Most were flying high and directly. We left when a few single birds started to drift back north to feed. Other birds noted: Turkey Vulture (12); Green Heron (2); Osprey (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); A Kestrel (2); Merlin (1); Wild Turkey (2). (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    8/23/14 -- Sterling Peat/Wachusett Reservoir/Kettlebrooks
  • AT STERLING PEAT: Double-crested Cormorant (5 overhead); Great Blue Heron (3); Green Heron (8); Canada Goose (7); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (21); Hooded Merganser (1juv); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Killdeer (8); Solitary Sandpiper (5); Spotted Sandpiper (6); Least Sandpiper (17); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Barn Swallow (8); House Wren (2); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2); Baltimore Oriole (4);
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (8); Double-crested Cormorant (49); Green heron (1); Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (9); Common Merganser (5); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Spotted Sandpiper (1); Ring-billed Gull (43);
  • KETTLEBROOK RESERVOIR#3 (PAXTON); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (10); Wild Turkey (5); Killdeer (10); Solitary Sandpiper (6); Spotted Sandpiper (2); Least Sandpiper (12); Belted Kingfisher (1);
  • KETTLEBROOK RESERVOIR#2 (Leicester); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (19); Hooded Merganser (12juv); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); A Kestrel (1); Killdeer (2); Spotted Sandpiper (2); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Least Sandpiper (1); NB: the repairs to the dam at Kettlebrook Reservoir#4 are done and water levels are starting to rise once again.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/23/14 -- Mount Wachusett, Princeton
    Raptors observed today: Osprey 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 6 ; Broad-winged Hawk 4 ; American Kestrel 2 .
  • Raptor Observations: Merlin - Local and not migrating
  • Non-raptor Observations: Ravens - 6
    (report from Steve Olson).

  • 8/23/14 -- Worcester
    At 1:30 PM while I was driving northbound on Rte I-190 near the Ararat Street exit, an adult bald eagle flew overhead. (report from Marion Larson).

    8/22/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    Hoping for something that stopped over after last night's rain, I checked the Wachusett reservoir and had a Black tern at gate 40. Non-breeding plumage. Does not look like it's sticking around though. Eventually saw it fly high over the tree line. I'll be checking South Bay next. (report from Kevin Bourinot).

    8/21/14 -- Reservoir # 2, Paxton
    There was a great Egret in reservoir # 2 on the Paxton/Leicester town line. Also a very quick look along the shore line produced 1 solitary sandpiper and several Killdeer. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    8/20/14 -- Rt. 56 overlook, Lesicester/Paxton
    This evening from 5PM-6:30Pm we watched for nighthawks from the Rt. 56 airport overlook. We had (32) birds all migrating north/north northeast in two flocks. Near 6:30 1 bird flew FROM the north, headed south around the est side of the hill and then headed west.
  • Other birds seen while searching for nighthawks included: Green Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (2); Canada Goose (3); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); A Kestrel (2); Chimney Swift (7); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Tree Swallow (55); Barn Swallow (13); Bobolink (9)
  • Afterwards, at KETTLEBROOK RESERVOIR #3 (NB: observed from the road. Worcester Reservoirs are strictly off limits): Great Egret (1); Hooded Merganser (5juv); Solitary Sandpiper (5); Spotted sandpiper (2); Semipalmated Sandpiper (1); Least Sandpiper (3); Belted Kingfisher (1).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/20/14 -- Sterling Peat/Wachusett Reservoir
  • This morning at STERLING PEAT: Double-crested Cormorant (2); Great Egret (1); Snowy Egret (1); Green Heron (8); Canada Goose (3); Wood Duck (5); Mallard (14); Killdeer (9+); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Spotted Sandpiper (8); Least Sandpiper (11+); E Wood Pewee (1); E Phoebe (2); E Kingbird (1); Prairie Warbler (2); Bobolink (4 overhead); Baltimore Oriole (4);
  • Then at WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (11); Double-crested Cormorant (13); Great Blue Heron (2); Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (57); Common Merganser (5); Osprey (1); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (2); Spotted Sandpiper (6); Bonaparte's Gull (1); Ring-billed Gull (91); Herring Gull (1); Tree Swallow (18+); Barn Swallow (21); Cedar Waxwing (20+ aerial feeding along dike);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/20/14 -- Mount Wachusett, Princeton
    Raptors observed today: Bald Eagle 3 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 ; Broad-winged Hawk 4 ; American Kestrel 1 .
  • Raptor Observations: In AM, some migrant movement. Still mostly local birds in the area - merlin and juvenile red-tailed hawks.
  • Non-raptor Observations: Swallows, chimney swifts, & cedar waxwings - all feeding on berries, Junco
    (report from Steve Olson).

  • 8/19/14 -- Mount Wachusett, Princeton
    Raptors observed today: Bald Eagle 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 ; Cooper's Hawk 1 ; Broad-winged Hawk 5 ;
  • Raptor Observations: Bald Eagle - 1 mature
  • Non-raptor Observations: Raven - 1 Chimney Swifts - 8 Tree & Bank Swallows - 12 (Swallow migration beginning);
    (report from Steve Olson)

  • 8/18/14 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    This morning we birded a few of the dirt roads of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. Passerines were in widely separated mixed species flocks. This meant there was long stretches of forest with few birds and then you would stumble across a flock of birds moving across or along the road: classic fall migration forest birding in the interior of the state. The strategy was to listen for chickadee calls, and then spish and screech owl as there were often warblers moving with the chickadee flocks. Because of the tall trees and dense foliage, it was impossible to ID all the birds in any one flock.
  • Here is a complete list: Great Blue Heron (4); Turkey Vulture (9: at a putrid dead porcupine in the woods); Wood Duck (10); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1imm); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Mourning Dove (4); Barred Owl (1); Chimney Swift (1: flying over the forest); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (5); Belted Kingfisher (2); Downy Woodpecker (2); Hairy Woodpecker (4); E Wood Pewee (3); E Phoebe (31: small groups along roads and around small marshes); E Kingbird (12: 1 loose group moving along a Ware River marsh); Blue-headed Vireo (5); Red-eyed Vireo (32); Blue Jay (38); A Crow (3); Tree Swallow (4); Barn Swallow (19); Black-capped Chickadee (108); Tufted Titmouse (2); Red-breasted Nuthatch (12); White-breasted Nuthatch (15); Brown Creeper (3); House Wren (1); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); E Bluebird (1); Hermit Thrush (11); A Robin (4); Gray Catbird (23); Cedar Waxwing (17);
      WARBLERS: Chestnut-sided (3); Black-throated Blue (2f); Yellow-rumped (14); Black-throated Green (17); Blackburnian (2); Pine (33); BLACKPOLL (1); Black and White (13); A Redstart (2); Ovenbird (8); C Yellowthroat (19); Canada (1);
    Scarlet Tanager (1); E Towhee (14); Chipping Sparrow (4); Song Sparrow (7); Swamp Sparrow (9); N cardinal (6); Bobolink (1: overhead); Red-winged Blackbird (2); C Grackle (280: single flock feeding while moving through the middle of the forest counted as they crossed a trail); Baltimore Oriole (1); A Goldfinch (7);
  • Butterflies included Red-spotted Purple and White Admirals; Appalachian Brown and Red Admiral. Dragonflies included several species of darner and mammals included a Short-tailed Shrew. Pickerel Frogs were all around every scrubby open area.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/15/14 -- Otter River SP-Birch Hill Dam, Winchendon/Royalston
    Today we birded the area between Otter River State Park and Birch Hill Dam (Army Corps of Engineers) in Winchendon and Royalston. The area is mostly mixed forest with small rivers and several small marshy ponds crossed with a network of dirt roads. The weather was overcast, cool for this time of the year) and breezy: not great for birding. Bird song has practically vanished though a number of Hermit Thrush and a few vireos were still singing. Many warblers breed here, but it was tough finding any warblers today.
  • Birds recorded: Great Blue Heron (4); Wood Duck (13); Mallard (1f: this bird which was hanging out with a domestic duck along the Miller's River near the entrance road to Birch Hill Dam , now has an injured leg); Sharp-shinned Hawk (2 juv birds hanging out together); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ruffed Grouse (8 in a loose group: family group?); Wild Turkey (1 flock of 15 birds 8 of which were young birds); Rock Pigeon (4: flying over dam); Mourning Dove (6); Black-billed Cuckoo (1 very cooperative and vocal bird, photographed); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Belted Kingfisher (4); Downy Woodpecker (3); N Flicker (3); E Phoebe (9); E Kingbird (2); Blue-headed Vireo (4); Red-eyed Vireo (4); Blue Jay (20+ a single flock of 51 birds flying north low over the trees); A Crow (6); Tree Swallow (36); Barn Swallow (7); Black-capped Chickadee (62); Tufted Titmouse (6); Red-breasted Nuthatch (12); White-breasted Nuthatch (5); House Wren (6); Hermit Thrush (28: including 6 just fledged young birds with speckled tops of the head and still some downy tufts being attended by adult birds); A Robin (16); Gray Catbird (19); Cedar Waxwing (2);
      WARBLERS: Yellow-rumped (3: all young birds); Pine (8); Black and White (4: 3 young birds); Ovenbird (1); C Yellowthroat (14);
    E Towhee (10); Chipping Sparrow (4); Song Sparrow (23); Swamp Sparrow (8); Indigo Bunting (2); Bobolink (2 overhead); C Grackle (3); Baltimore Oriole (3); Purple Finch (1); A Goldfinch (8)
  • Best non-bird was a Cinereous Shrew.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/12/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    In the late afternoon there were 1 Snowy Egret, 3 Green Herons (1 ad, 2 imm), 1 Semipalmated Plover, 1 Greater YL, 2 Lesser YL, 1 Solitary Sandpiper, 6 Spotted Sandpipers, 5 Least Sandpipers, 2 Belted Kingfishers, and 3 Song Sparrows. (report from Rick Quimby).

    8/12/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    This morning there was an immature Snowy Egret at Sterling Peat. (report from Peter Morlock).

    8/6/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    Blithely unaware of the Glossy Ibis on Muddy Pond, Annie and I stumbled across them while checking the place out. It's a good group of birds with a couple in nice plumage. Here's the first of four photos of a couple of them. And here's some new and improved photos added 8/7/14. (report from Garry Kessler).

    8/6/14 -- Notre Dame cemetery, Worcester
    Seen from Notre Dame Cemetery before and after sunset this evening were 2 adult and 1 immature Black-crowned Night Herons. (report from Bart Kamp).

    8/5/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    Six Glossy Ibis just made a circling descent and landed here at 1:00 PM. On the Eastern side. (report from Ed Kittredge)

    8/3/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir/Sterling Peat/Pine Hill Road
  • At STERLING PEAT: Great Blue Heron (2); Green Heron (c 6); Glossy Ibis (1: bird found yesterday continues); Wood Duck (4); Mallard (8+1f w/5yg); Killdeer (13); Solitary Sandpiper (2); Spotted Sandpiper (1); Least Sandpiper (8); Belted Kingfisher (2); E Wood Pewee (1); E Kingbird (2); Yellow Warbler (3); Chestnut-sided Warbler (1); C Yellowthroat (2); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2); Indigo Bunting (1); Baltimore Oriole (1);
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (10+1 ad w/1yg); Double-crested Cormorant (12); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (19); Bald Eagle (1imm); Wild Turkey (pr w/8 very yg birds); Killdeer (1); Least Sandpiper (1); E Wood Pewee (5); E Kingbird (17); Tree Swallow (20+); N Rough-winged Swallow (1); Bank Swallow (2); Barn Swallow (15+); E Meadowlark (3);
  • PINE HILL ROAD (Lancaster, just west of Bolton Flats): KRISTOFF PROPERTY: A Kestrel (3); E Phoebe (3); Great Crested Flycatcher (1); House Wren (3); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); E Bluebird (4); Wood Thrush (1); Hermit Thrush (2); Chipping Sparrow (8); Field Sparrow (5: including 1ad still feeding 2 just fledged yg); Vesper Sparrow (1); Purple Finch (1);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 8/3/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    Bart's Glossy Ibis was still present on the eastern edge of Muddy Pond about 11:15 AM today. Other highlights: 7 Spotted Sandpiper, 1 Solitary Sandpiper, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 8 Least Sandpiper, 10 Killdeer, 1 Great Blue Heron, 8 Green Heron, 1 Great Egret. Could not locate Semipalmated Sandpiper or Semipalmated Plover. (report from Ed Kittredge)

    8/2/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    At about 2:30 this afternoon there was a Glossy Ibis at Sterling Peat. Also present were at least 7 Green Herons , 6 Semipalmated Plovers, 6+ Killdeer, 6+ Spotted Sandpipers, 2 Solitary Sandpipers, 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 10-15 Least Sandpipers and 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper. There could be more of the small sandpipers. The vegetation in some areas is taller than they are. (report from Bart Kamp).

    7/30/14 -- Ware River Watershed
    Today we birded a loop in the southern section of the Ware River Watershed IBA. Bird song has now been reduced to primarily the vireos, empids and pewees and Hermit Thrushes. A few snippets of warbler song were still heard here and there. Most of the passerines we saw were just fledged young, some still in loose "family" groups. Mixed species flocks showed up in several places, a sign that staging for fall migration is underway.
  • Complete list: Great Blue Heron (2); Canada Goose (7); Wood Duck (13); Broad-winged Hawk (7); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Spotted Sandpiper (1); Least Sandpiper (2); Mourning Dove (2); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Downy Woodpecker (7); Hairy Woodpecker (3); N Flicker (6); Pileated Woodpecker (2); E Wood Pewee (10); Alder Flycatcher (6); Willow Flycatcher (3); E Phoebe (17); Great Crested Flycatcher (2); E Kingbird (16); Yellow-throated Vireo (1); Red-eyed Vireo (65); Blue Jay (23); A Crow (9); Tree Swallow (14); Barn Swallow (5); Black-capped Chickadee (57); Tufted Titmouse (5); Red-breasted Nuthatch (7); White-breasted Nuthatch (33); House Wren (8); Veery (9); Hermit Thrush (39); A Robin (68); Gray Catbird (32); Cedar Waxwing (13);
      WARBLERS: Nashville (1); Yellow (4); Chestnut-sided (9); Magnolia (2); Yellow-rumped (1); Black-throated Green (8); Pine (9); Black and White (11); A Redstart (2); Ovenbird (4); C Yellowthroat (45); Canada (4);
    Scarlet Tanager (3); E Towhee (53); Chipping Sparrow (6); Song Sparrow (21); Swamp Sparrow (11); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (9); Indigo Bunting (6); Bobolink (9); Red-winged Blackbird (26); C Grackle (63); Baltimore Oriole (2); Purple Finch (6); A Goldfinch (8)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 7/26/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    Shorebirds seen at Sterling Peat this afternoon were 4 Least Sandpipers, 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper and 1 Solitary Sandpiper. Only a trickle of water connects the east side with the west side. The beavers if they are still there have not attempted to stop the flow. (report from Bart Kamp).

    7/23/14 -- Barre
    I went to Barre and stopped at the Ware River Old Coldbrook Rd rest area around 4:45pm. I then went a bit further north down Rt 122 and looked across the river at the only dead tall tree on that side of the river, near the control facility. There was a black bird at the top calling away. Its behavior struck me as a bit unusual so I stopped, parked my car, and walked across the street, crossing over a chain across the old dirt entrance for the water control facility. Me and a friend were standing in the open field there, when suddenly another large black bird came flying in from towards the Long Pond area, but this bird was bellowing out the infamous awk awk awk of the Common Raven. The second bird landed in the dead tree with the other. The first bird then jumped up and back in the tree further away from us, and started to play with twigs and branches like it was arrainging them on a nest....   It was fun watching these two birds and was an enjoyable surprise.   (report from Scott Ricker).

    7/21/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    Today we did a quick tour around WACHUSETT RESERVOIR including River Road, Scar Hill, and Gate 17 and had the following: Common Loon (7+1ad w1yg off Gate 17); Double-crested Cormorant (17); Canada Goose (19); Mallard (16 molting); Osprey (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (5); Killdeer (1); Hermit Thrush (4); Black-throated Blue Warbler (1 still singing where it has been all season); E Meadowlark (6: at least 2 young birds); Swallows are staging for migration. We saw mostly Tree and Barn, but were also able to note a few Bank and Rough-wings. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    7/20/14 -- Worcester
    On June 27th the bird house in my yard was empty. A few days later there was a House Wren nest in it. Today there were 5 eggs in the nest. I watched the female wren fly into the bird house while the male was scolding nearby. (report from Bart Kamp).

    7/19/14 -- Saint Johns Cemetery, Worcester
    There were 4 Great Blue Herons flying in a loose group kind of low over the cemetery near The Middle River. Also, there was a young Red-tailed Hawk screeching to be fed. Later, at Hope Cemetery, there was another young Red-tailed Hawk calling out and we did see a parent Hawk deliver a food item. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    7/18/14 -- Winchendon to Ryalston
    Today we birded the complex of dirt roads from OTTER RIVER SP and BIRCH HILL DAM, in Winchendon and Royalston. Bird song has certainly dropped off, but there is still SOME song. We saw many just fledged warblers, still being fed by adults.
  • Total list: Great Blue Heron (4); Turkey Vulture (2); Canada Goose (4); Mallard (1f with a domestic duck); Broad-winged Hawk (8); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Spotted Sandpiper (1); Mourning Dove (3); Barred Owl (1); Chimney Swift (4); Belted Kingfisher (6: including 2 young birds); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Downy Woodpecker (5); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Alder Flycatcher (4); E Phoebe (6); E Kingbird (13+ 2ad feeding 3 fledged young)
    • The young were all sitting high on a dead tree. At one point a Red-eyed Vireo flew up to one young bird and began to viciously attack it, even at one point, hanging upside down while it continually jabbed at the bird. Then an adult flew in and viciously attacked the vireo, driving it to the ground and out of sight.
    Blue-headed Vireo (9); Red-eyed Vireo (43); Blue Jay (17); A Crow (3); Tree Swallow (14); N Rough-winged Swallow (6); Barn Swallow (7); Black-capped Chickadee (61); Tufted Titmouse (10); Red-breasted Nuthatch (27: including a number of young birds); White-breasted Nuthatch (18); Brown Creeper (3); House Wren (1); Winter Wren (4); Golden-crowned Kinglet (3); Veery (1); Hermit Thrush (27); A Robin (34); Gray Catbird (19); Cedar Waxwing (20);
      WARBLERS: Nashville (2 singing); Yellow (1); Chestnut-sided (13); Black-throated Blue (2); Yellow-rumped (9); Black-throated Green (21: many still singing); Pine (25); Ovenbird (16); MOURNING (1m)
      • This bird continues where it has been since mid-May. We watched it for over 30 minutes, standing quietly and just observing. It sang a number of times, but chipped often, almost every 2-3 seconds. It foraged in the same small area we have seen it in all summer, mid-low in trees and low in bushes and even deep in ferns. Several times it actively chased Chestnut-sideds and Yellowthroats that came too close to a bush in the center of its territory. At 1 point it caught a large green caterpillar, went down into a bush where we had thought MAYBE it could have been nesting, and at that point we heard some young birds begging, BUT: most warblers are now out of the nest now, and in the immediate vicinity there were young Chestnut-sideds and Common Yellowthroats with parents and they had fledged. We saw NO young Mournings, just this vocal active male. I think most likely this was a territorial male that never found a mate. But you never know. Best continual views I have had of this species in the County.
      C Yellowthroat (49)
    Scarlet Tanager (4); E Towhee (11); Chipping Sparrow (24); Song Sparrow (31); Swamp Sparrow (15); White-throated Sparrow (31: including 10+ young birds with breasts streaked with short dark lines. This area may be THE spot for breeding White-throats in the County); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1); Indigo Bunting (6); Red-winged Blackbird (26); C Grackle (18); Brown-headed Cowbird (1); Baltimore Oriole (3 young birds); Purple Finch (3); A Goldfinch (23)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 7/14/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    This morning we did a quick survey of WACHUSETT RESERVOIR, hiking all the way through Gate 17; out to Scar Hill Bluffs; and the usual walks on the west side. We did not have time to hike out Greenhalge Point or any of the other long hikes, so our numbers are much more modest than the fine survey done by Forbush and reported by Kevin Bourinot. Here are some of our totals:
  • Common Loon (11 adults: we searched South Bay twice for the young bird that had been there only yesterday and did not see it, though we had obviously seen it on previous visits); Double-crested Cormorant (5); Great Blue Heron (2); Red-tailed Hawk (1); A Kestrel (1 at the box); Wild Turkey (4+3yg); Spotted Sandpiper (3); Ring-billed Gull (52); E Wood Peewee (3); E Kingbird (4); Red-eyed Vireo (10); Tree Swallow (40+: with 30+ perched on an island at Gate 17); N Rough-winged Swallow (15+: most off Gate 17); Cliff Swallow (1: perched); Barn Swallow (20+); Hermit Thrush (2); Wood Thrush (3); Black-throated Blue Warbler (1m); Pine Warbler (4); Ovenbird (4); C Yellowthroat (1); Scarlet Tanager (3); E Towhee (8); Savannah Sparrow (2); E Meadowlark (5+: we have been following these birds for some time and DCR is to be thanked for leaving a large area of meadow unmowed. Last week we had 4 fledged birds following and begging food from adults);
  • Plus: At Gate 17: 1 of the 2 large RED-EARED SLIDERS was basking on the booms; White-tailed Deer (1);; all over the reservoir: large numbers of Calico Pennants and among them: Prince Baskettails. We also had small numbers of Powdered Dancers.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 7/13/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    Late this afternoon at Sterling Peat there was a Least Sandpiper. About a 3 foot wide channel connects the east side to the west side. (report from Bart Kamp).

    7/13/14 -- Ware River Watershed
    This morning we birded along the western edge of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA, basically Gilbert and Granger Roads. Breeding season is rapidly winding down. We saw a number of just fledged birds and bird song is not as frequent or as much as it was just a week ago.
  • Complete list: Great Blue Heron (5)
      We hiked into the small hidden rookery and found 1 adult bird in the water and 4 "ready to fledge" young still in the nest, standing at attention. As we watched, the young all took off from the nest: 1 flew around and went back to the nest; 2 flew to tree in the marsh and another circled and left. It was a thrill to see these birds take their first flights from the nest.
    Broad-winged Hawk (1 just fledged); Ruffed Grouse (1); Wild Turkey (1 hanging out with a White-tailed Deer); Mourning Dove (4); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1); Belted Kingfisher (family group of 4 with at least 2 just fledged yg); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2+1 ad w/3 just fledged birds); Downy Woodpecker (4); Hairy Woodpecker (5); N Flicker (2); E Wood Pewee (5); Alder Flycatcher (5); E Kingbird (6); Blue-headed Vireo (1); Red-eyed Vireo (35); Blue Jay (18); Tree Swallow (4); Barn Swallow (20+: many fledged birds); Black-capped Chickadee (39); Tufted Titmouse (1); Red-breasted Nuthatch (6); White-breasted Nuthatch (10); Brown Creeper (3); Winter Wren (1 still singing away); E Bluebird (3); Veery (29); Hermit Thrush (16); Wood Thrush (2); A Robin (17); Gray Catbird (9); Cedar Waxwing (3);
      WARBLERS: Chestnut-sided (14); Black-throated Blue (6); Yellow-rumped (8); Black-throated Green (20); Pine (12); Black and White (1); Ovenbird (18+ group of 5 birds that included at least 3 just fledged yg); C Yellowthroat (21);
    Scarlet Tanager (9); E Towhee (5); Chipping Sparrow (9); Song Sparrow (3); Swamp Sparrow (4); N Cardinal (1); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1); Indigo Bunting (1); Red-winged Blackbird (14); C Grackle (7); A Goldfinch (3);
  • PLUS: butterflies included Eyed Brown, N Pearly-eye and Great Spangled Fitillary (7);; dragonflies included Fawn Darner; Unicorn Clubtail and Powdered Dancers on the Burnshirt. Rattlesnake Plantain, an orchid, is just starting to come up.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 7/13/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir: Forbush Bird Club Annual Breeding Bird Count
    This morning the Forbush Bird Club had an excellent trip around Wachusett Reservoir to monitor breeders. Complete list of 56 species recorded: Canada Goose (20); Mallard (5); Wild Turkey (23 - 6 fledglings with adult); Common Loon (16 - 11 adults, 2 non-breeding plumage, 3 fledglings; 2 in the North proper with adult pair and 1 in South Bay with 1 adult); Double-crested Cormorant (18); Great Blue Heron (1); Green Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Bald Eagle (3 - 2 adults, 1 young on nest); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Spotted Sandpiper (9); Ring-billed Gull (39); Mourning Dove (4); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Chimney Swift (3); Downy Woodpecker (5); Northern Flicker (3); American Kestrel (2 - 1 in nest box ); Eastern Wood-Pewee (4); Eastern Phoebe (3); Eastern Kingbird (11); Red-eyed Vireo (18); Blue Jay (32); American Crow (28); Tree Swallow (27); Bank Swallow (1); Barn Swallow (4); Black-capped Chickadee (24); Tufted Titmouse (8); Red-breasted Nuthatch (1); White-breasted Nuthatch (2); Veery (2); Wood Thrush (4); American Robin (8); Gray Catbird (9); European Starling (15); Cedar Waxwing (16); Ovenbird (5); Black-and-white Warbler (1); Common Yellowthroat (4); Pine Warbler (13); Eastern Towhee (3); Chipping Sparrow (21); Savannah Sparrow (1); Song Sparrow (17); Scarlet Tanager (5); Northern Cardinal (6); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2); Indigo Bunting (1); Red-winged Blackbird (14); Eastern Meadowlark (4); Common Grackle (16); Brown-headed Cowbird (5); American Goldfinch (8); House Sparrow (10).
    (report from Kevin Bourinot).

    7/9/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir, Clinton
    Out by the north dike of the Wachusett Reservoir is a Kestrel box. I caught one adult in a tree and a head popping out of the box. According to Mass Fisheries and Wildlife, they should be fledging later this week.
    (report from Emily Eaton).

    7/9/14 -- Dead Horse Hill, Leicester
    There was a Black Vulture flying over the hill this morning. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    6/29/14 -- Hasting Cove, Wachusett Reservoir
    I was fortunate to get some great pictures of the loons at Hasting Cove and their 2 chicks, 2 days after they hatched.
  • 2 adults and 2 chicks on 6-27-14
  • 1 adult with chick flapping wings on 6-29-14
    (report from Emily Eaton).

  • 6/29/14 -- Oakham, Rutland, Princeton
  • On 6/28, Nancy Demers and I birded the Oakham section of the Central MA Rail Trail from the powercut on Rte 122 to Muddy Pond. A number of birds were singing, even into mid-day, including Ovenbirds, Red-eyed Vireos, E. Towhees, Song Sparrows, Great crested Flycatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, Wood Thrush, Veery, Indigo Bunting. Warblers: Black-throated Green, Chestnut-sided, and Prairie. Three Great Blue Herons flew over one of the marshes. In Rutland, along Whitehall Road to the bog: Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, N. Flicker, A. Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, and Pine Warbler.
  • This morning (6/29), we hiked the Echo Lake Trail below Mt. Wachusett in Princeton. Wood Thrush and Veery sang off-and-on through the morning. Most of the species seen yesterday were seen again today, plus E. Wood Pewee, Chipping Sparrows, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Blackburnian Warbler.
  • Butterflies noted: White Admiral and Fritillary
    (report from Beth Milke)

  • 6/28/14 -- Otter River SP-Birch Hill Dam ACE, Winchendon-Royalston
    Today we birded the Otter River-Birch Hill Dam parcel in Winchendon and Royalston, and had the following:
  • Great Blue Heron (3); Mallard (1f); NORTHERN GOSHAWK (1ad: great views of a bird that flew across the road and down the river at eye level); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (5); Killdeer (3); Spotted Sandpiper (1+1ad w/2still fuzzy yg); Mourning Dove (9); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Chimney Swift (3); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (2); Belted Kingfisher (1); Hairy Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (5); Alder Flycatcher (4); Willow Flycatcher (3); Least Flycatcher (5); E Phoebe (4); E Kingbird (6); Yellow-throated Vireo (1); Blue-headed Vireo (7); Warbling Vireo (6); Red-eyed Vireo (41); Blue Jay (14); A Crow (5); C Raven (2); Tree Swallow (26); Black-capped Chickadee (28); Tufted Titmouse (1); Red-breasted Nuthatch (13); White-breasted Nuthatch (2); Brown Creeper (5); Winter Wren (1); E Bluebird (4); Veery (7); Hermit Thrush (34); Wood Thrush (1); A Robin (37); Gray Catbird (19); Cedar Waxwing (4);
      WARBLERS: Nashville (1); Yellow (7); Chestnut-sided (10); Black-throated Blue (3); Yellow-rumped (5); Black-throated Green (21); Blackburnian (1); Pine (35); Black and White (3); Ovenbird (69);
        MOURNING (1m: constantly singing, seen and watched for over 30 minutes. This bird was in the exact spot where we had seen and photographed 1 on 5/11 and where we had seen and heard a Mounting in 2013. This bird flew from tree to thick bushes within a well-defined territory along the river. It was difficult to see, especially so when it stopped singing. It was across an inlet of the river and not approachable. Sheila took some documenting shots. The bird would forage, carry food, sing, and then with food in its bill, disappear into one area of shrubbery and stop singing for several minutes and then re-emerge and frage again. We will go back and check it again)
      C Yellowthroat (61);
    Scarlet Tanager (1: very low); Eastern Towhee (19); Chipping Sparrow (24); Song Sparrow (19); Swamp Sparrow (10); White-throated Sparrow (16); Indigo Bunting (3); Red-winged Blackbird (27); C Grackle (11); Baltimore Oriole (2); Purple Finch (4); A Goldfinch (11)
  • There was also a spectacular show of odonates that included River Jewelwing (and many Ebony);; Powdered Damsels; a Rusty Snaketail; Unicorn Clubtail (many); and many other species.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/25/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir, Boylston
    Stopped by South Bay and caught looks at the common loons feeding their chick (photo 1 , photo 2). (report from Garry Kessler).

    6/24/14 -- Otter River SP, Winchendon/Baldwinville
    Birds from a walk this noon between 12:10 and 12:55, along Dennsion Street, near Otter River SP: Turkey Vulture 1; Spotted Sandpiper 1; Downy Woodpecker 1; Least Flycatcher 1; Eastern Kingbird 2; Blue-headed Vireo 2 (adult carrying food); Blue Jay 1; Common Raven 4 (likley a family group, 2 birds in heavy molt and 2 in "fresh" looking plumage); Black-capped Chickadee 4; Red-breasted Nuthatch 1; Golden-crowned Kinglet 1 (adult carrying food); Hermit Thrush 4; American Robin 2; Gray Catbird 1; Cedar Waxwing 1; Ovenbird 4; Common Yellowthroat 2; Pine Warbler 10; Song Sparrow 2; Swamp Sparrow 1; White-throated Sparrow 1; Scarlet Tanager 1; Common Grackle 1; Baltimore Oriole 1; American Goldfinch 1
    (report from Tom Pirro).

    6/18/14 -- Wampanoag WSS, Gardner
    It was a very quiet early a.m. walk along Raymond Rd. and Wampanoag WS, only 26 spacies total. B-w hawk,G-c flycatcher,E kingbird,R-e vireo(just 1),Blue jay, T swallow(4),Barn swallow,B-c chickadee, B creeper(3),H wren(3), thrush(4), A Robin(2),G catbird(2). S tanager(2),C sparrow, Song sparrow(3),W-t sparrow, N cardinal,R-w blackbird(9), A goldfinch(3)
    (report from Dick Knowlton).

    6/15/14 -- Pine Hill WMA, Lancaster
    During our afternoon program with Chris Buelow at Pine Hill we were treated to views of a pair of Vesper sparrows, one with food. Also in the evening/night during our nightjar census for Fisheries and Wildlife we counted at least a dozen Whip-poor-wills along the 2 mile road thru the WMA. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    6/15/14 -- Warren
    Today we spent the day birding in WARREN, first to check on nesting grassland birds, and then just to check on species we had turned up on the atlas. Birds seen included: Great Blue Heron (9 active nests with at least 22 feathered young); Green Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (15); Canada Goose (5+ pr w/7yg Osprey (pr at nest: too high to see how many young); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1ad); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (3); American Kestrel (1m hunting over fields where we had 1 during the atlas. We tried to follow it, but lost it in a copse of trees. Possibly nesting); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); E Wood Pewee (5); Alder Flycatcher (1); Least Flycatcher (2); E Phoebe (6+1ad w/just fledged yg); E Kingbird (4); Yellow-throated Vireo (2); Warbling Vireo (14); Red-eyed Vireo (49); Carolina Wren (1); House Wren (10); Winter Wren (1); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); E Bluebird (3 just fledged young sitting on branches waiting to be fed); Veery (36); Wood Thrush (6); Scarlet Tanager (9); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (7); Indigo Bunting (1); Bobolink (10+ pairs); Baltimore Oriole (10); Purple Finch (1)
  • Butterflies seen included Red-spotted Purple; Viceroy; Silver Spotted and Dun Skippers. Dragonflies seen included: Common White-tail; Dot-tailed White Face; Spangled Skimmer; Aurora Damsel; Fragile Forktail and many Ebony Jewelwings.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/11/14 -- New Braintree
    Today we checked on some breeding grasslands birds for an upcoming initiative from Mass Audubon. We then birded a few nearby locations including a section of a rail trail that crosses from New Braintree over to the Old Furnace village of Hardwick. Highlights included: Turkey Vulture (2); Mallard (1); Killdeer (1); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1); E Wood Pewee (6); Alder Flycatcher (3); Willow Flycatcher (8); Least Flycatcher (7); Warbling Vireo (13); Red-eyed Vireo (39); Bank Swallow (pair mating); Veery (6); Brown Thrasher (1); Scarlet Tanager (1); E Towhee (3); Savannah Sparrow (6); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (6); Indigo Bunting (6); Bobolink (27+ pairs); E Meadowlark (1);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    6/9/14 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    Today we birded the southeastern section of the Ware River Watershed IBA. The mosquitoes and other biting insects were BAD. We still had 2 birds that were migrants, but other than those, it was all migrant breeders.
  • Complete list: Great Blue Heron (3); Green Heron (1); Canada Goose (20+ pr w/2yg+ pr w/6yg); Wood Duck (1: undoubtedly many more in the area); Mallard (2); Hooded Merganser (3 just fledged yg); N Goshawk (1ad); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Ruffed Grouse (1ad w/at least 9 yg crossing one of the roads. We stopped the car and got out to make sure they all made it across and we were promptly scolded loudly by the adult. We got back in the car, drove on); Mournign Dove (5); Black-billed Cuckoo (4: including 3 chasing each other, and calling often, near the prison camp area. Sexual chase flight?); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); Hairy Woodpecker (3+1f attending yg in nest hole); N Flicker (4); Pileated Woodpecker (2); Olive-sided Flycatcher (1: Sheila got some nice shots); E Wood Peewee (15); Alder Flycatcher (7); Willow Flycatcher (3); Least Flycatcher (19); E Phoebe (3); Great Crested Flycatcher (2); E Kingbird (3); Yellow-throated Vireo (2); Warbling Vireo (4); Red-eyed Vireo (46); Blue Jay (13); Tree Swallow (6); Black-capped Chickadee (18); Tufted Titmouse (4); Red-breasted Nuthatch (12); Brown Creeper (3); House Wren (1); Winter Wren (1); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); Veery (24); Hermit Thrush (14); Wood Thrush (2); A Robin (27); Gray Catbird (21); Cedar Waxwing (10);
      WARBLERS: Blue-winged (4); Nashville (1); Yellow (14); Chestnut-sided (22); Magnolia (4); Black-throated Blue (3); Yellow-rumped (13); Black-throated Green (11); Blackburnian (2); Pine (21); Prairie (3); Black and White (6); A Redstart (3); Ovenbird (70); Mourning (1: migrant); C Yellowthroat (27); Canada (3);
    Scarlet Tanager (13); E Towhee (23); Chipping Sparrow (7); Song Sparrow (10); Swamp Sparrow (7); N Cardinal (6); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (8); Indigo Bunting (2m); Bobolink (7m); Red-winged Blackbird (70+); C Grackle (27); Baltimore Oriole (9); Purple Finch (4); A Goldfinch (7);
  • Plus: E Coyote (1);; my first Red-spotted Purples (butterfly) of the season.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 6/6/14 -- downtown Worcester
    A peregrine falcon was seen on the window ledge of our office on the 18th floor of the Worcester Telegram building at 12:25pm. We got good looks at it as it was preening, and it couldn't see us perhaps because of the window reflection. It was banded; the only piece of the band I could read was a 9 on top with an A below it. (the bird just happened to extend its leg so I could see a small part of the band). This window faces the People's United Bank building and the Common. (report from Jo-Ann Ferrie).

    6/2/14 -- Grafton
    This morning, my wife and I had our 91st yard bird here in Grafton. We had a Hooded Warbler singing for about 10 minutes before moving on. Unfortunately, we were unable to get any kind of look at it, but its song was loud and vehement. (report from John Liller).

    6/1/14 -- Orange WMA/Warwick, MA
    Today we birded the Orange WMA area and then continued a short distance to the town of Warwick. In Warwick we concentrated on several pond and marsh locations looking for dragonflies. All species seen and heard looked to be breeders. These are the combined totals of some of the birds we saw:
  • DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (5 occupied nests: these had birds sitting in them looking like they were on young or eggs. We also watched birds still bringing material to nests that had birds in them); Great Blue Heron ( at least 7 occupied nests+ 7 other birds seen hunting through the day); Green Heron (2); Turkey Vulture (4); Canada Goose (24: no young seen); Wood Duck (11+1f w/10yg); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1ad carrying a large bird into the forest); Red-shouldered Hawk (3); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Ruffed Grouse (1); Wild Turkey (1); Yellow-billed Cuckoo (1 seen and watched calling); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (3 territorial males); Belted Kingfisher (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2); Pileated Woodpecker (3); E Wood Peewee (10); Alder Flycatcher (13); Least Flycatcher (10); Great Crested Flycatcher (10: 1 bird seen entering a nest hole in dead tree in a swamp); E Kingbird (9); Blue-headed Vireo (6); Warbling Vireo (1); Red-eyed Vireo (125); Red-breasted Nuthatch (11); Brown Creeper (3); Winter Wren (5); Golden-crowned Kinglet (2); E Bluebird (1 ); Veery (8); Hermit Thrush (11); Wood Thrush (3); Cedar Waxwing (4);
      WARBLERS: Nashville (2); Yellow (2); Chestnut-sided (1); Black-throated Blue (12); Yellow-rumped (5); Black-throated Green (16); Blackburnian (8); Pine (10); Black and White (5); A Redstart (4); Ovenbird (37); Northern Waterthrush (1); C Yellowthroat (28); Canada (2);
    Scarlet Tanager (10); Indigo Bunting (3); Purple Finch (1);
  • Butterflies included a major flight of Tiger Swallowtails and many Pine Elfins (21);. Dragonflies included small clouds of teneral Chalk-fronted Corporals along certain dirt roads and good numbers of other species like Stream Cruisers and my first adult bluets of the year. There was still a few tired-looking blooms of Painted Trillium
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/30/14 -- Gate 30, Wachusett Reservoir
    Spotted and photographed this Prairie Warbler at the Wachusett Reservoir, out by Wood Island, gate 30. (report from Emily Eaton)

    5/28/14 -- downtown Worcester
    Bill Davis (from the Mass fisheries & Wildlife) and others are looking for the Worcester Falcons. If there are 2 of them and if they nested, they are not on the People's Bank Building where they were last year and not on the Chestnut Place building where they were before that. If anyone sees them flying into their nest, please report it here, or directly to Bill Davis or myself at eceaton1@townisp.com. They would most likely be in the downtown Worcester area. If they did have chicks, they would be about 4 weeks old, so lots of food would be brought in.
    (report from Emily Eaton).

    Note added 5/30/14:A previous post relating to this has been removed, because the information proved to be erroneous. Information on the current nesting status of the downtown peregrines is still being sought.

    5/24/14 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    Today we had a MAS "Spring Migration" class trip to the Ware River Watershed IBA. We concentrated just in the southeastern quadrant of the IBA. Our totals for the day were: American Bittern (1 pumping); Great Blue Heron (4); Canada Goose (1); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (2m+1f w/8yg); Hooded Merganser (3f); Common Merganser (1f); Broad-winged Hawk (1); A Kestrel (1 migrant); Ruffed Grouse (3 drumming); Virginia Rail (1); Spotted Sandpiper (3); Mourning Dove (5); Barred Owl (1 calling in day); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); Downy Woodpecker (1); Hairy Woodpecker (5); N Flicker (5); E Wood Peewee (8); Alder Flycatcher (4); Least Flycatcher (22); E Phoebe (7: including bird w/nest); Great Crested Flycatcher (4); E Kingbird (11); Yellow-throated Vireo (3); Blue-headed Vireo (4); Warbling Vireo (3); Red-eyed Vireo (57); Blue Jay (11); A Crow (3); C Raven (2: we watched 1 bird eating a medium sized bird and then cache the remains in a pine); Tree Swallow (16); Barn Swallow (1); Black-capped Chickadee (18: including a bird bringing food to a nest); Tufted Titmouse (5); Red-breasted Nuthatch (8); E Bluebird (2); Veery (39); Hermit Thrush (8); Wood thrush (7); A Robin (14); Gray Catbird (16); Cedar Waxwing (4); Scarlet Tanager (10); E Towhee (26); Chipping Sparrow (19); Song Sparrow (19); Swamp Sparrow (13); N Cardinal (2); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (12: we watched a female with a male gathering nesting material); Indigo Bunting (4); Bobolink (21); Red-winged Blackbird (68); C Grackle (22); Brown-headed Cowbird (9); Baltimore Oriole (10); Purple Finch (3); A Goldfinch (16)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    5/23/14 -- Goat Hill Trail, Uxbridge
    The Kentucky Warbler was singing a few times a minute around 9am today in the same spot described by Justin Lawson (see May 21 post);. Also heard in and near this location: Veery, Scarlet Tanager, Gray Catbird, Yellow Warbler, Bullfrogs. Prairie Warbler and Indigo Bunting sang from the Northbridge Water Treatment Plant that abuts the park. Very buggy this morning. (report from Beth Milke);

    5/23/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    We spent 2 hours birding a few stops at Wachusett Reservoir. Be aware that road construction along Rt.110 is temporarily preventing access to some gates on that side. The weather deteriorated while we were there, ending in heavy mists and showers. Highlights: Common Loon (13: 1 on nest visible from Gate 17. They are nesting on the edge of one of the small islands NOT on the nearby platform that DCR put out); Double-crested Cormorant (16); Canada Goose (12); Mallard (5ad+1f w/11 ducklings); White-winged Scoter (2m); Greater Yellowlegs (1); Spotted Sandpiper (19); PURPLE MARTIN (1m+1f perched on the bare top of a small tree in Gate 17. They sat there awhile they first the male took off, circled a bit then flew over me and a few minutes later, the female took off.). Except for a Magnolia Warbler, the rest of the passerines seen/heard were breeders.
  • Along the partially submerged baffle in gate 17 were the usual number of Eastern Painted Turtles, a very large Snapping Turtle and the two large Red-eared Sliders (obvious released) that have been here for years. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/21/2014 -- Rice City Pond, Uxbridge
    A Kentucky Warbler was found by Connor Rosenblatt and posted to www.facebook.com/groups/centralmassbirders. A handful of us were able to find the bird and get documentation photos and audio recordings. Photos are posted on the group and on my Flickr. The bird was a hundred feet to the left after the boardwalk off of Goat Hill Lock trail. Also present was a Worm-eating Warbler which I first ran into earlier this week. Photos of that bird also present on Flickr and Facebook.
    (report from Justin Lawson).

    5/21/14 -- Bolton Flats/Oxbow NWR
    Today we began by birding Bolton Flats, starting at the main entrance on Rt177. There is considerably less water there than a week ago. There are still some nice pools, but views are now obscured by the rapidly growing vegetation. Shorebirds were tough to see, other than Greater Yellowlegs. Luckily an Osprey flew over at one point, and revealed many more Least Sandpipers than I first thought were present.
  • Highlights: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (42); Wood Duck (2m); A Black Duck (3); Mallard (62: most south of 117); Hooded Merganser (1f swimming around in the water on the trail to the left of the "T"); Osprey (1); Virginia Rail (2); Killdeer (4adults+4yg); Greater Yellowlegs (7); Spotted Sandpiper (7); Least Sandpiper (18); Black-billed Cuckoo (1); Willow Flycatcher (8); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (4); Tennessee Warbler (1 singing near the parking lot when we arrived, but soon moved along 117);.
  • We then did a short hike into Oxbow NWR in Harvard to look for Ringed Boghaunter (a dragonfly). We dipped (again) on that species, but other species of dragonflies were around. There were also some migrants about and we likely would have had more species if we had gotten there earlier or hiked around more. Highlights. Canada Goose (pr w/4yg); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Barred Owl (1 calling bird for most of the morning); Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Wood Peewee (3); Willow Flycatcher (2); E Phoebe (2); Great Crested Flycatcher (4); E Kingbird (4); Yellow-throated Vireo (4); Warbling Vireo (6); Red-eyed Vireo (6); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (3); Veery (9); Wood Thrush 92);
      WARBLERS: Blue-winged (1); Yellow (11); Black-throated Blue (1); Black-throated Green (1); Blackburnian (1); Pine (3); Black and White (3); Black and White (3); A Redstart (8); Ovenbird (3); Mourning (1); C Yellowthroat (9); Hooded (1m: seen very well); Canada (1);
    Scarlet Tanager (2); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (7); Baltimore Oriole (8);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/19/14 -- Otter River to Birch Hill Dam, Winchendon/Royalston
    Today we birded around the area that runs from Otter River State Park to Birch Hill Dam, a network of dirt roads with small ponds and lots of mixed forest. The weather was not that great: breezy to windy, often cloudy. Some species like Ovenbird and Black-throated Green Warbler are back in force, while other species were found only in low numbers (for this area). We had very little in the way of non-breeding migrants.
  • Great Blue Heron (3); Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (3 pairs plus another pair w/7yg); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (2); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Killdeer (3); Greater Yellowlegs (1: in pool at Birch Hill Dam); Solitary Sandpiper (11); Spotted Sandpiper (10); Least Sandpiper (5); Mourning Dove (1); Chimney Swift (30+: could have been a migrating group); Hairy Woodpecker (4); N Flicker (4); Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Wood Peewee (2); Alder Flycatcher (3); Least Flycatcher (5); E Phoebe (4); Great Crested Flycatcher (3); E Kingbird (11); Blue-headed Vireo (5); Warbling Vireo (2); Red-eyed Vireo (8); Blue Jay (17); C Raven (2); Tree Swallow (12); N Rough-winged Swallow (4); Black-capped Chickadee (43); Tufted Titmouse (2); Red-breasted Nuthatch (20); White-breasted Nuthatch (3); Brown Creeper (6); House Wren (1); Winter Wren (1); Golden-crowned Kinglet (2); Swainson?s Thrush (1 singing); Hermit Thrush (24); Wood Thrush (2); A Robin (9); Gray Catbird (12);
      WARBLERS: Nashville (3); Yellow (12); Chestnut-sided (33); Magnolia (2); Black-throated Blue (4); Yellow-rumped (21); Black-throated Green (24); Blackburnian (1); Pine (22); Prairie (2); Blackpoll (1); Black and White (3); Ovenbird (58); C Yellowthroat (53);
    Scarlet Tanager (3); E Towhee (7); Chipping Sparrow (14); Song Sparrow (16); Swamp Sparrow (16); White-throated Sparrow (13); N Cardinal (2); Red-winged Blackbird (31); C Grackle (12); Brown-headed Cowbird (3); Baltimore Oriole (6); Purple Finch (6); A Goldfinch (7);
  • Plus: a nice showing of PAINTED TRILLIUM; 3 species of elfin butterflies (Brown, Pine, Henry's); and close views of 2 HUGE Snapping Turtles mating.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/18/14 -- Wells State Park, Sturbridge
    During our MAS Migration Class, We hiked a circuit in Wells State Park: along the marsh, up along the phone lines and then through the park trails back to the cars. The following is our list from Wells SP:
  • Great Blue Heron (1 on nest: the rookery here is now reduced to 1 nesting bird); Mallard (1); Osprey (1 fly-over: likely to the nest along Rt. 20); Mourning Dove (1); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1 male on territory); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (3); Pileated Woodpecker (2); Least Flycatcher (2); Great Crested Flycatcher (2); E Kingbird (3); Yellow-throated Vireo (1); Warbling Vireo (2); Red-eyed Vireo (8); Blue Jay (2); Common Raven (1); Tree Swallow (3); Black-capped Chickadee (7); Tufted Titmouse (2); White-breasted Nuthatch (1); Brown Creeper (2); Carolina Wren (1); Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher (2); Veery (2); Wood Thrush (4); A Robin (16); Cedar Waxwing (3: we missed these on Birdathon!);
      WARBLERS: Blue-winged (2); Yellow (6); Chestnut-sided (2); Magnolia (5); Black-throated Blue (1); Yellow-rumped (1); Black-throated Green (1); Pine (5); Prairie (2); Blackpoll (1); Black and White (1); Ovenbird (22); C Yellowthroat (18); Wilson's (1m relentlessly chased by a male Indigo Bunting); Canada (2);
    Scarlet Tanager (3); E Towhee (8); Chipping Sparrow (6); Field Sparrow (2); Song Sparrow (5); Swamp Sparrow (5); N Cardinal (2); Indigo Bunting (1m); Red-winged Blackbird (24); C Grackle (3); Brown-headed Cowbird (4); Baltimore Oriole (9); American Goldfinch (1);
  • Plus: the usual crowd of E Painted Turtles in the small marsh. We also had a fine wildflower show that including many Starflower; Jack in the Pulpit and Nodding Trilliums.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/16 14 -- Lancaster
    At 11:00AM there was a Great Egret on the edge of the small pond East of Rte 62 in Lancaster between Redstone Hill Rd and Deershorn Rd (report from Scott Handler).

    5/15/14 -- Notre Dame Cemetary, Worcester
    A short 2 hours stop at the Notre Dame Cemetary off of Hope Ave had these 3 beauties: Magnolia Warbler (behind the main cemetary facility near the Black Stone Canal, Just before I was about to leave); Wilson Warbler (full adult with black cap); Canada Warbler with nice necklace. I had 40 other typical species. (report from Scott Ricker).

    5/14/14 -- Hassanamesit Conservation Area, Grafton
    Highlights: Scarlet Tanager (3); Turkey (1pr) Field Sparrow (2); Eastern Towhee (6);Grey Catbird (16); Baltimore Oriole(4); Red-tailed Hawk(1pr); House Wren (2); Eastern Wood Peewee (1;) Pileated Woodpecker (1); Bird of the day was when I pulled into the parking area and saw a bird the size of a chicken (and thought it was an escape),running like mad, downhill towards the pair of turkeys; I scrambled for my binoculars and it turned out to be a Ruffed Grouse!
    (report from Lisa Hennin).

    5/14/14 -- Gardner
    A cool damp early morning along Raymond Rd and Wampanoag WS in Gardner today. Highlights included 1 common loon (flyover), 1 Swainson's thrush, 1 Hermit thrush, 3 Eastern bluebird, 2 Eastern kingbirds,1 Great-crested flycatcher, 6 Gray catbirds, 4 Northern waterthrush, 7 Black-throated green warbler, 2 Yellow warbler, 5 American redstart, 5 Yellow-rumped warbler,2 magnolia warbler,1 Pine warbler, 12 ovenbirds,3 Common yellowthroat,1 Scarlet tanager, 1 Swamp sparrow, 2 White-throated sparrow, 1 Rose-breasted grosbeak, 2 Baltimore oriole, 2 Bobolink.
  • It appears the Kestrel pair has lost interest in the box at Wampanoag and moved on. Tree swallows have claimed it.
  • Highlight of the day: 2 new Gardner yard birds. A Wilson's warbler gleening the shrubs this a.m., and a pair (m & f) of Indigo buntings at the feeders.
    (report from Dick Knowlton).

  • 5/14/14 -- Wood Island, Wachusett Reservoir
    The Eagles on Wood Island, Wachusett Resevoir have at least one chick! (report from Emily Eaton)

    5/14/14 -- Hope Cemetery, Worcester
    There was a nice outfall of migrants this morning at Hope Cemetery in Worcester: Mallard (1 overhead); Killdeer (pair+3yg); Mourning Dove (5); Chimney Swift (11); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); Downy Woodpecker (1); Hairy Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (2); Least Flycatcher (1); E Kingbird (1); Warbling Vireo (3); Red-eyed Vireo (5); Blue Jay (7); A Crow (3); Tufted Titmouse (3); Wood Thrush (1); A Robin (40+); Gray Catbird (11); N Mockingbird (1); Chipping Sparrow (30+); Song Sparrow (5); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2); Red-winged Blackbird (1); C Grackle (8); Brown-headed Cowbird (6); Orchard Oriole (1); Baltimore Oriole (13); House Finch (7); A Goldfinch (4);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll)

    5/12/14 -- Worcester State University, Worcester
    As I was walking to my car after completing a final, I was shocked to find a family of Killdeer on campus on the backside of the administration building. There were two adults and at least 4 babies running around. The babies were seen amongst the parked cars in the parking lot. I was surprised because there is not much open habitat in this area, and it seems they have nested in the mulched area beside the small parking lot! (report from Josh Gahagan).

    5/12/14 -- Hope Cemetery, Worcester
    One, possibly two, Wilson's Warblers here this afternoon. I arrived at Wrought Iron Fence at 2:19 PM, and almost immediately spotted the Wilson's Warbler in brushy edge on other side of fence in St. John's Cemetery. What may have been the same bird or a second bird was found about 500 feet further up the fence along the river in brush. Heard the bird(s) singing. (report from Ed Kittredge)

    5/12/14 -- Ware River Watershed
    This morning (dawn till after noon) we did a spring migration survey of the southern sections of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA (between Rt. 62 and Rt. 122). We have a standard route we have been doing for years and keep a careful tally of all birds we see or hear. This morning we also hiked a stretch of the rail trail in the hopes of seeing some early dragonflies and had success! Species noted today are mostly species that also breed in this IBA, but in lower numbers. We had a handful of what we could be certain were "just migrants". The Ovenbird situation today was insane: no matter where you went, 2-4+ Ovenbirds were seen or heard. They were everywhere. Many were setting up nesting territories and defending those spots from other birds: lots of chasing and fighting. The black flies for the first several hours were DREADFUL.
  • Total list: American Bittern (1 pumping: breeds); Great Blue Heron (1: a few small rookeries in IBA); Green Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (11: 2 on nests); Wood Duck (10: all males, females likely in nest boxes); Mallard (7); Hooded Merganser (2m+1f); Broad-winged Hawk (3: likely breeders); Ruffed Grouse (3 drumming); Solitary Sandpiper (4); Spotted Sandpiper (2); Mourning Dove (9); Belted Kingfisher (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2); Downy Woodpecker (5); Hairy Woodpecker (3); N Flicker (7); Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Wood Peewee (3); Least Flycatcher (27); E Phoebe (5); Great Crested Flycatcher (4); E Kingbird (13); Yellow-throated Vireo (3); Blue-headed Vireo (3); Warbling Vireo (10); Red-eyed Vireo (38); Blue Jay (57: nb: we had a large flock of 30+ birds migrating high east and north. We also had a group of 4 birds all hopping very close together on a dirt road. We couldn't figure out what they were doing. Then one grabbed some pine needles and flew off. Nesting material we thought. Shortly after that, the other 3 all gathered pine needles and flew off in the same direction.); Common Raven (1: young fledged); Tree Swallow (31); Black-capped Chickadee (29); Tufted Titmouse (2); Red-breasted Nuthatch (15); White-breasted Nuthatch (5); Brown Creeper (6); House Wren (1); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); E Bluebird (1); Veery (8); Gray Cheeked Thrush (1: hunting along rail trail); Swainson's Thrush (2: 1 singing near dawn); Hermit Thrush (19); Wood Thrush (11); A Robin (38); Gray Catbird (32);
      WARBLERS: Blue-winged (2); Nashville (3); N Parula (8); Yellow (28); Chestnut-sided (55); Magnolia (11); Black-throated Blue (8); Yellow-rumped (67); Black-throated Green (35); Blackburnian (6); Pine (43); Prairie (6); Bay-breasted (1); Black and White (18); A Redstart (8); Ovenbird (138 (!);); Northern Waterthrush (2); C Yellowthroat (84: a lot of females seen); Canada (9: most likely all breeders);
    Scarlet Tanager (19); E Towhee (38); Chipping Sparrow (26); Savannah Sparrow (1); Song Sparrow (9); Swamp Sparrow (12); White-throated Sparrow (3); N Cardinal (3); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (27); Bobolink (16); Red-winged Blackbird (118); C Grackle (12); Brown-headed Cowbird (13); Baltimore Oriole (19); Purple Finch (6); A Goldfinch (7);
  • Plus: butterflies included a nice showing of Pine Elfins (23);; we had 3 species of dragonflies; watched beavers mating (not graceful);; many American toads mating; Banded Watersnake.
  • Also: yesterday 5/11 at Otter River State Forest in Winchendon, we had a MOURNING WARBLER in the exact small area of shrubs we had one last year but on 6/2. The bird was very vocal and very active, chasing yellowthroats and Chestnut-sideds. It seemed early for this species to us, by at least a week. Sheila got some shots of the bird.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/11/14 -- Holden/Rutland
    Eagle Lake to Alta Vista; Migrant activity was slow at 6 am when I started, with conditions being windy. Once the showers started bird song increased. Highlights include: Wood Thrush (7); Rose-breasted Grosbeak(2); Warbling Vireo (1);Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (4);Brown Creeper (1);Red-bellied Woodpecker(2);Pileated Woodpecker (1); Northern Flicker (2)Eastern Towhee (2); Hermit Thrush (3); Blue-headed Vireo(1);House Wren (2); Eastern Bluebird (1pr); Savannah Sparrow (10); Swamp Sparrow (2); Bobolink (2 pr); Baltimore Oriole (1) Blue Jay (6) Wood Duck (5m); Wild Turkey (calling) (report from Lisa Hennin).

    5/10/14 -- Oxbow NWR, Harvard
    Between the rain drops this morning we observed the following highlights while leading a small group: Wood Duck(2), Red-bellied woodpecker(1), Northern flicker(2), Eastern phoebe(1 nesting), Great crested flycatcher(2), Yello-throated vireo(2), Warbling vireo(3), Veery(2), Northern mockingbird(1), Blue-gray gnatcatcher(1), Tree swallow(1), Yellow warbler(2), Yellow-rumped warbler(1), Black-and-white warbler(2), American redstart(2), Song sparrow(1), Chipping sparrow(2), Rose-breasted grosbeak(2-a pair), Brown-headed cowbird(6), Bobolink(10). All seen in immediate vicinity of the Still River Entrance before rain chased us out. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    5/10/14 -- All Faiths Cemetery, Worcester
    While cleaning up family sites yesterday morning, counted 51 (conservatively) Chimney swifts which seemed to arrive all at once. Stayed overhead for about 30 minutes and disappeared just as quickly. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    5/9/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    This morning in periodic showers we had the following at Wachusett Reservoir: Common Loon (15: including a loose raft of 7 birds); Double-crested Cormorant (14); Canada Goose (20); Mallard (4); Greater Scaup (pair); WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (pair off Scar Hill Bluffs); Bufflehead (3f together); Common Merganser (9); N Harrier (1 migrating); Wild Turkey (2); Spotted Sandpiper (5).
  • Passerines were typical but there were over 250 swallows feeding low over the water, flocks seen at every stop we made. Most that we could ID (by far) were Trees, but we were also able to pick out: N Rough-winged (4+); Bank (5+); Cliff (1); Barn (20+).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/8/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights in late afternoon were 3 DC Cormorants, 1 Killdeer, 1 Chimney Swift, 1 E Kingbird, 3 Warbling Vireo, 1 Yellow Warbler, and 2 Baltimore Oriole. (report from Rick Quimby).

    5/8/14 -- Millbury bike path
    Today on my lunch time walk I had a male and female Orchard Oriole in the small trees just after you go under the bridge. Where she flew, he flew. I would say a mated pair. It would be nice if they take us residence there. (report from Susan LaBree)

    5/8/14 -- Worcester State University, Worcester
    I was able to get a few photos of what I believe is a male Coopers Hawk. I have watched this hawk and a larger Coopers Hawk all winter behind the baseball fields here. I believe they have a nest here.
    5/8/14 -- Holden/Princeton
    A nice selection of birds; forest was very quiet except for pockets of birds.
  • Mason Park, Holden: Solitary Sandpiper (2);; Common Yellowthroat(2); Eastern Phoebe(1);; Blue-headed Vireo (1); Northern Waterthrush (2); Ovenbird (14);, Song Sparrow (2); Yellow-rumped Warbler (1); Black-throated Green (3); Brown Creeper (4); Louisiana Waterthrush (2);,Pine Warbler (8); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Wood Duck (1m); Hooded Merganser (1m); Downy Woodpecker (1m); Chipping Sparrow (6);
  • Mason Rd Fields, Holden: Bobolink (2); Eastern Meadowlark (1); Common Yellowthroat (1); Barn Swallow (4);
  • Poutwater Pond, Holden/Princeton: Veery(1); Black-throated Blue (1m); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1);, Yellow-rumped Warbler (8); Wood Duck (3m); Mallards (3m); Ovenbird (2); Brown Creeper (1); Black-throated Green Warbler (1); Swamp Sparrow (1); Yellow-throated Vireo (1)
    (report from Lisa Hennin).

  • 5/7/14 -- All Faiths Cemetery, Worcester
    I got this photo of a Northern Parula, and a photo of a Least Flycatcher. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    5/7/14 -- Northbridge
    An adult bald eagle was spotted while driving along School Street, near Riverdale Dam in Northbridge. Often seen there in the winter, could they be nesting nearby?? (report from Scott Jordan).

    5/7/14 -- Bolton Flats/Oxbow NWR, Bolton/Harvard
    We visited Bolton Flats (main entrance only) and did a circuit hike at Oxbow NWR (Harvard). NB: Conditions at Bolton Flats are just about perfect for shorebirds.
  • BOLTON FLATS: American Bittern (1 pumping); Great Blue Heron (1); Great Egret (1); Canada Goose (39); Wood Duck 92); Mallard (35); Green-winged Teal (102); Virginia Rail (2); Killdeer (3); Greater Yellowlegs (63); Lesser Yellowlegs (31); Solitary Sandpiper (8); Spotted Sandpiper (1); Least Sandpiper (11); Wilson's Snipe (6); E Kingbird (1); Yellow-throated Vireo (1); Warbling Vireo (3); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (5); Yellow Warbler (14); N Waterthrush (2); Plus: Long-tailed Weasel (1);
  • OXBOW NWR: Turkey Vulture (1); Killdeer (1); Spotted Sandpiper (2); Great Crested Flycatcher (2); E Kingbird (1); Yellow-throated Vireo (5); Blue-headed Vireo (1); Warbling Vireo (2); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (6); Veery (3);
      WARBLERS: N Parula (4); Yellow (9); Chestnut-sided (1); Yellow-rumped (14); Pine (5); Black and White (2); A Redstart (4); Ovenbird (7); C Yellowthroat (9);
    Rose-breasted Grosbeak (6); Baltimore Oriole (1);
  • Plus: Blandings Turtle (1);; E Painted Turtle (100+);; Banded Watersnake 92);? E Garter Snake (3);. Pine Elfin (9);.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/6/2014 -- Gate 35, Wachusett Reservoir
    I spotted four Red-breasted Mergansers near the shoreline in at Gate 35 (where the old foundation is); at 3:45 PM today. One male and three females. I got a couple of digi-bin shots. They moved away and drifted further down the shoreline toward the islands. (report from Ed Kittredge)

    5/6/14 -- Hope and All Faiths Cemeteries, Worcester
    We first birded Hope Cemetery, where there were several good groups of migrants that featured a high number of Yellow-rumps and Parulas. Then we went to All Faiths/Leesville Pond where there were more Yellow-rumps and a sprinkling of other species. We bumped into Ed Kittridge who had been birding there awhile and had found a Least Flycatcher, which thankfully showed up again.
  • Totals (highlights) between both cemeteries: Common Loon (2 migrating high overhead); Double-crested Cormorant (1); Turkey Vulture (1); Wood Duck (4); Killdeer (1 on nest); Pectoral Sandpiper (1: while we were all standing in All Faiths, this bird fly by, not that high, as if it had come off of an area at the pond. I have no idea what as the water levels are high. very weird.); Chimney Swift (15+); N Flicker (5); Least Flycatcher (2); E Phoebe (1); E Kingbird (3); Warbling Vireo (7); House Wren (2); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); Gray Catbird (7);
      WARBLERS: Nashville (4); N Parula (17); Yellow (10); Chestnut-sided (2); Cape May (1); Yellow-rumped (100+: at All Faiths, small flocks were feeding on the ground in and among the stones); Black-throated Green (1); Pine (2); Prairie (1); Palm (2); Black and White (4); A Redstart (6); Ovenbird (1); Northern Waterthrush (1);
    E Towhee (1); Savannah Sparrow (1); White-throated Sparrow (22); Orchard Oriole (1m); Baltimore Oriole (7)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/6/14 -- Worcester
    Off Lincoln St. in my yard there was a Baltimore Oriole. (phone report from Dave Grant).

    5/5/14 -- Quabbin Park, Quabbin Reservoir
    This morning we birded QUABBIN PARK and the south Quabbin area in Ware and Belchertown. I was not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised to find number of good pockets of migrants and a nice variety of species. The wind really picked up after mid-morning and bird activity dropped off. Birds seen included: Double-crested Cormorant (flock of 15 overhead); Great Blue heron (1); Turkey Vulture (3); Broad-winged Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (1); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Least Flycatcher (2); E Phoebe (3); Great Crested Flycatcher (3); E Kingbird (1); Yellow-throated Vireo (7); Blue-headed Vireo (5); Common Raven (2 ad+3 "ready to leave the nest" young. It was really entertaining to watch the young bird take turns going to the very edge of the nest and , facing back to cliff wall, start flapping wildly as if they were going "whoa! whoa!" then regaining their balance and the next would take its turn); Tree Swallow (37); N Rough-winged Swallow (4); Barn Swallow (5); House Wren (2); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (9); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (4); Veery (1); Hermit Thrush (4); Wood Thrush (2); E Towhee (29); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (8); Baltimore Oriole (3); Purple Finch (1)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    5/5/14 -- Douglas
    While walking in the conservation area on Mumford Road in Douglas this evening, I heard a pileated woodpecker calling, so I followed the sound and watched it for about 15 minutes as it flew from tree to tree. I also saw a male wood duck swimming with a pair of mallards in the small stream there, and I heard a hermit thrush and an ovenbird. A deer crashed through the woods near me, too. (report from Mary Sughrue-Yacino).

    5/4/14 -- Spencer/Sturbridge
    We had intended to bird Quabbin park, but en route in Spencer, close to home, we began to hear warbler song, so we birded a few areas in that town we were familiar with from the Breeding Bird Atlas. Then we went next door to Wells State Park and did a short hike and then birded some other close by spots. By mid-late morning, the wind had really kicked up making birding, particularly for migrant passerines, tough. Here is a list of some of the birds we saw:
  • Great Blue Heron (1 single at Wells, where this year the rookery has been abandoned. The rookery in Sturbridge off Rt.20 on the other hand had 25 occupied nests); Turkey Vulture (2); Canada Goose (43); Wood Duck (1); A Black Duck (pair); Mallard (13); Ring-necked Duck (pair); Red-shouldered Hawk (2); Broad-winged Hawk (2); Red-tailed Hawk (3); A Kestrel (1); Solitary Sandpiper (3); Chimney Swift (3); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); Pileated Woodpecker (2); Least Flycatcher (6); E Phoebe (16); E Kingbird (4); Yellow-throated Vireo (3); Blue-headed Vireo (2); Warbling Vireo (6); Common Raven (1ad w/ 2-3 almost fledged young in nest); Tree Swallow (88); N Rough-winged Swallow (4); Cliff Swallow (1); Barn Swallow (31); Brown Creeper (6); House Wren (5); Winter Wren (2 singing birds); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (7); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (7); Hermit Thrush (1); Wood Thrush (3);
      WARBLERS: N Parula (1); Yellow (22); Chestnut-sided (1); Yellow-rumped (31); Black-throated Green (10); Pine (33); Prairie (2); Palm (4); Black and White (4); Ovenbird (56); LOUSIANA WATERTHRUSH (12: personal high single day count in MA); C Yellowthroat (4)
    E Towhee (14); Field Sparrow (2); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (4); Bobolink (4: all in 1 field; we check several other fields where we know they breed and could not find any others); Baltimore Oriole (7); Purple Finch (1)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/3/14 -- Saint Johns Cemetery, Worcester
  • At Saint Johns Cemetery: Highlights were 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1 Eastern Phoebe, 2 Northern Rough Wing Swallows, 1 Brown Thrasher, 6 Brown headed Cowbirds, 1 Blue headed Vireo, 30+ Yellow rump Warblers, 2 Black throat Green Warblers, 1 Prairie Warbler, 6 Pine Warblers, 2 Yellow Warblers, and 2 Blue gray Gnatcatchers.
  • At Hope Cemetery: 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 20+ Yellow rump Warblers, 4 Pine Warblers, 2 Yellow Warblers 2 Killdeer, and this pair of Chipping Sparrows .
  • At All Faiths Cemetery: A nesting pair of Mute Swans, a nesting pair of Canadian Geese, 1 Red bellied Woodpecker, 1 Carolina Wren, 1 Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, 2 Warbling Vireos, 20+ Yellow rump Warblers, 1 Black and White Warbler, 2 Pine Warblers, 3 Palm Warblers, and 2 Field Sparrows.
    (report from Brian Mulhearn)

  • 5/3/14 -- Sullivan Brook, Warren
    Behind our house along Cutler Road, there was Mute Swan. This little area is full of bird activity. We have several Heron nests and have sighted Bald Eagles as well. A bird lovers spot. (report from Robin Todd).

    5/3/14 -- Oxbow NWR, Harvard
    This morning we birded OXBOW NWR in Harvard. I always get nostalgic when we go there. This was the site of the very first bird trip we ever led, a number of decades back. Folks were only there to see a Yellow-throated Vireo, and when we saw it early on in the hike, half the trip promptly left! On another early trip I grabbed a large Black Racer from a bush to show the trip, turned around (holding the snake) to see a good portion of the trip heading quickly back to their cars. Apparently Ophidiophobes abound. In the old days it was not uncommon to confront tanks or troop carriers from Devens zooming along the roads often not realizing they were off base. I have stories of trips having to dive off the road to avoid an oncoming tank treaded vehicle.
  • TODAY there were some decent movements of birds, particularly early in AM. They were moving mostly parallel to the Nashua. We tried to keep conservative numbers because birds were traveling around quite a bit and it was easy to tally many more of a species than were actually there. Our route took us along the main tank road north part of the way to Rt 2, then back to the trail that runs through the wooded swamp. There were a number of other birders in the area and everyone reported having good numbers and a decent variety of species.
  • Birds recorded: Turkey Vulture (3); Canada Goose (8); Wood Duck (4); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1 migrant zooming north on the trail); Red-bellied Woodpecker (4); Downy Woodpecker (3); Hairy Woodpecker (2); N Flicker (5); Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Phoebe (9); E Kingbird (3); Yellow-throated Vireo (at least 2: we heard birds at several locations but they were moving about); Blue-headed Vireo (2); Warbling Vireo (3); Blue Jay (9); Common Raven (2: very vocal birds hanging about the area. Fledged young?); Tree Swallow (9); Black-capped Chickadee (15); Tufted Titmouse (3); Red-breasted Nuthatch (2); White-breasted Nuthatch (3); Brown Creeper (1); Carolina Wren (1); House Wren (1); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (5); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (8); E Bluebird (3); Hermit Thrush (1); Wood Thrush (4); A Robin (16); Gray Catbird (6);
      WARBLERS: Yellow (9); Yellow-rumped (53); Black-throated Green (5); Pine (10); Palm (2); Black and White (4); A Redstart (1); Ovenbird (6); Northern Waterthrush (1); C Yellowthroat (2);
    E Towhee (2); Song Sparrow (6); Swamp Sparrow (10); White-throated Sparrow (6); N cardinal (3); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (6); Red-winged Blackbird (53); C Grackle (36); Brown-headed Cowbird (7); Baltimore Oriole (1); A Goldfinch (7);
  • Plus: Beaver (2); giving us the tail slapping greeting; and a nice area of Bloodroot.
  • LATER: We birded a bit around Bolton Flats, but didn't wade into the main road as the parking area is blocked by some deep water. We hiked into the Vesper Sparrow area off Pine Hill Road and were surprised to find it cleared in many areas where the sparrows had been found in years past. Does anyone know what is going on here? Part of this area at least is some kind of conservation parcel. Is this part of the management plan for Vespers? It certainly doesn't look like there will be any in here this year.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    Note added 5/12/14 from Chris Buelow:

      I just came across this post on the Central MA Bird Sightings page regarding Bolton Flats, and I wanted to drop a line and fill birders in on what's happening. This area is part of Bolton Flats WMA, owned and managed by DFW, and the clearing that was described is related to the habitat management plan for the site.

      In the past year the Heritage Program, with its cooperators, developed an Action Plan for the listed grassland birds in the state (UPSA, GRSP & VESP): http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/nhesp/species-and-conservation/grassland-bi rd-plan-final.pdf . One of the primary conclusions that resulted from this process was the confirmation that the vast majority of habitat acreage and percentage of population for these species in MA occurs on private lands with tenuous futures. Therefore, the primary recommendation from this plan was to identify the DFW-owned lands that had the greatest potential for supporting these species, and focus management on those lands toward these species to the maximum degree appropriate. The top three sites identified were Frances Crane WMA in Falmouth, Southwick WMA, and the Pine Hill section of Bolton Flats.

      We've since developed management plans for all three sites and have secured funding to execute these plans. Specifically for Bolton Flats, we're focused upon the spent sand pits of the Pine hill area. The general plan is to push the core areas of the sand pits toward sandplain grassland for the benefit grasshopper and vesper sparrows, and push the edges toward pitch pine-scrub oak community for shrubland birds and rare leps. As you mentioned, vespers (and occasionally grasshoppers) already occur here, so the idea is to enhance the existing features that suit these species and expand that habitat as much as possible. The mowing was step one, the idea being that pitch pine succession was reaching a point where it was about to change the structure and composition of the site, leaving it no longer able to support these species. There will soon be more mowing at the site, with all scrub oak and some emergent peripheral pitch pine retained. Once the site is prepared, a regime of prescribed fire will be introduced, with the ultimate vision for the site being a 100-acre core of little bluestem grassland with interstitial heathland and bare spots surrounded by pitch pine-scrub oak shrubland of various densities and heights. Picture Montague Plains with a large sandplain grassland at its center.

      For the short-term, I expect that the sparrows will continue to use the site: the patchy grasses and bare ground is still there for the vespers, and with many of the interior pitch pines removed, the areas of dense bluestem should actually be more attractive than they were last year.

      As for the other two sites, We've just added an additional 40-acres to the sandplain grassland at France Crane WMA through the clearing of adjacent land, bringing the total size of that grassland to over 200-acres. And yesterday was a big day at Southwick, with the site's first prescribed fire occurring. Hedgerow clearing will begin at Southwick this fall, resulting in over 300 contiguous acres of grassland between the MA and CT properties.

      Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns: I know that these sites are very important to many people (and to the species that they support), and that it is unsettling to see such work being done without explanation.

      Thanks - Chris

      Chris Buelow
      Restoration Ecologist
      Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program
      PLEASE NOTE NEW FIELD HEADQUARTERS ADDRESS (Phones and Emails have not changed.)
      100 Hartwell Street, Suite 230
      West Boylston MA 01583
      (508) 389-6350
      chris.buelow@state.ma.us
      

  • 5/2/14 -- South St., Auburn
    A western tanager was seen and photographed definitively at the suet feeder of Stephanie Stokes in Auburn, from 4/27-5/2. (report fide Mark Blazis).

    5/2/14 -- Ware River Watershed IBA
    We birded around the southern section of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. Migrants are slowly but surely trickling in, but there were no significant movements this morning. Birds noted included: Double-crested Cormorant (flock of 21 migrating overhead+1 at a small pond); American Bittern (1: breeds here); Great Blue Heron (3 occupied nests plus 2 singles seen in small marshes); Turkey Vulture (13); Canada Goose (5: 1 on a nest); Wood Duck (25); A Black Duck (5); Mallard (7); Ring-necked Duck (3); Hooded merganser (2 pairs+1 female entering a Wood Duck box); Osprey (2); Broad-winged Hawk (37); Ruffed Grouse (4); Solitary Sandpiper (1); Chimney Swift (1 migrating); Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1 migrating); Belted Kingfisher (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); N Flicker (8); Pileated Woodpecker (3); Least Flycatcher (1); E Phoebe (11); E Kingbird (2); Blue-headed Vireo (1); Blue Jay (37: 1 doing a great Broad-winged Hawk for the entire time we were at the hawkwatch site); Red-breasted Nuthatch (7); Brown Creeper (11); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (6); Hermit Thrush (11); E Towhee (27); Swamp Sparrow (17); Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3m); Purple Finch (2);
  • Plus: An amazing display of BLOODROOT, Purple Trillium strating to be in bloom. Butterflies were Cabbage White (1);; Spring Azure (10);; Mourning Cloak (4);. Wooly Bear (1);; Plus: Porcupine (2 next to each other in a tree);; many Peepers; Gray Tree Frog; Red-spotted Newts.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 5/2/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 4 DC Cormorants (ad), 1 Belted Kingfisher, 3 Warbling Vireos, and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/28/14 -- Bolton Flats, Bolton
    Late this afternoon in the corn field north of Route 117 at Bolton Flats, there was a SANDHILL CRANE. It was there for about 30 minutes before it left. (report from Bart Kamp).

    4/28/14 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields/Warren
    We birded the Brookfields (Quabog IBA) and a few areas of adjacent Warren. It was a slow day, with little migration obvious. Birds seen included: Common Loon (1); Great Blue Heron (11 occupied nests +6 additional birds); Turkey Vulture (8); Canada Goose (24); Mute Swan (2); Wood Duck (9); A Black Duck (possible pair); Mallard (39); Green-winged Teal (1f); Ring-necked Duck (11); Common Merganser (4); Osprey (1 on nest in microwave relay tower in Warren); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (4); Red-tailed Hawk (1); A Kestrel (1); Ring-necked Pheasant (1 ); Ruffed Grouse (1); Wild Turkey (3); Belted Kingfisher (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); E Phoebe (6); Tree Swallow (108); Barn Swallow (31); Brown Creeper (5); Carolina Wren (4); Winter Wren (1 singing in Warren); Blue Gray Gnatcatcher (5); Brown Thrasher (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler (4); Pine Warbler (25); Louisiana Waterthrush (1: plus another in Spencer); E Towhee (6); Swamp Sparrow (24); Purple Finch (2);
  • Plus: Spring Azure; Cabbage White; many E Painted Turtles; (1); Spotted Turtle and our first Marsh Marigold of the year.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/28/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    Raptors migrating today: Black Vulture 1 ; Turkey Vulture 1 ; Osprey 3 ; Bald Eagle 1 ; Northern Harrier 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 24 ; Cooper's Hawk 2 ; Broad-winged Hawk 119 ; American Kestrel 1 .
  • Raptor Observations: Our last spring Black Vulture was recorded 10 years ago.
  • Non-raptor Observations: First of year Chimney Swift.
    (report from Bart Kamp);

  • 4/27/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir/Bolton Flats
  • At WACHUSETT RESERVOIR this morning: Common Loon (21); Horned Grebe (9: br pl :we watched a pair display: rearing up, belly to belly); Red-necked Grebe (1br pl); Double-crested Cormorant (101: small flocks leaving all morning); Canada Goose (14); Gadwall (4m); A Black Duck (1); Mallard (14); Bufflehead (14); Common Merganser (6); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Wild Turkey (3); Bonaparte's Gull (flock of 11 in br pl. NB: when we returned from Bolton Flats, they were gone.); Barred Owl (1); Tree Swallow/ swallow species (150++); PURPLE MARTIN (1m: whizzed by among all the other swallows. Easy to pick out.); E Meadowlark (1);
  • When we got to the north end of the reservoir, we took a brief detour to BOLTON FLATS, birding areas both north and south of Rt. 117. There were a number of other birders there and I am sure their totals and species variety will be much higher than ours. NB: there were a number of waterfowl and shorebirds in wet areas south of Rt. 117. Pied-billed Grebe (1); Great Blue Heron (5); Great Egret (1); Canada Goose (202); Wood Duck (44); A Black Duck (4); Mallard (124); Osprey (1); Killdeer (12); Greater Yellowlegs (12); Lesser Yellowlegs (3); Pectoral Sandpiper (18); Wilson's Snipe (26); E Phoebe (4); Carolina Wren (9); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (5); Palm Warbler (3); Purple Finch (1m);
  • Back in the city of Worcester, we checked on the raven's nest and there was at least almost fledged young in it and an adult came in with food.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/26/14 -- Rutland
    We had a mute swan on the small farm pond on Sassawanna Road in Rutland today. Have not seen them there before. Will be interested to see if it stays. (report from Ted Purcell).

    4/26/14 -- Bolton Flats, Lancaster
    Today I observed a Great Egret out in the fields. (report from Peter Morlock).

    4/25/14 -- Fitchburg
    Today working in my yard, two Ospreys were soaring above my home at about 3 in the afternoon. At first I thought they were Hawks but then they lowered and they were black and white and definitely not seagulls or turkey vultures..... (report from Ron Loader).

    4/25/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    Raptors migrating today: Osprey 3 ; Bald Eagle 1 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 8 ; Broad-winged Hawk 57 ; Red-tailed Hawk 1 ; American Kestrel 1 .
  • Non-raptor Observations: 10 Common Ravens together, 1 Commnon Loon and 20-30 Double-crested Cormorants migrating
    (report from Bart Kamp)

  • 4/25/14 -- Douglas
    My husband and I checked out the great blue heron rookery in Douglas State Forest this afternoon. We saw three occupied nests. We also saw a pair of ring-necked ducks swimming nearby. (report from Mary Sughrue-Yacino).

    4/25/14 -- Broad Meadow Brook and Regatta Point, Worcester
  • Broad Meadow Brook (I used the entrance/trails off of Sprague Ln): 1 Wood Duck; 2 Red-tail Hawk making noise and in a tree in the adjacent neighborhood; 1 House Wren singing; Tree Swallows
  • Regatta Point, North Lake Ave: 1 Osprey flying over the DCR facility
    (report from Scott Ricker)

  • 4/25/14 -- North Quabbin Reservoir
    In a morning spent birding in the North Quabbin area, we had the following:
  • A hike in GATE 33, NEW SALEM: Turkey Vulture (2); Canada Goose (7); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (1); Ring-necked Duck (pair); Hooded Merganser (pair); Common Merganser (4); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Ruffed Grouse (2 drumming); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (4); Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Phoebe (1); Blue-headed Vireo (2); Common Raven (3); Tree Swallow (102); Barn Swallow (3); Red-breasted Nuthatch (3); Brown Creeper (5); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (9); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2); E Bluebird (1); Hermit Thrush (6); Yellow-rumped Warbler (8); Pine Warbler (13); E Towhee (3); Field Sparrow (3); Purple Finch (3);
  • At a pond elsewhere in New Salem: Ring-necked Duck (55); Bufflehead (1m);
  • In PETERSHAM we visited Harvard Pond, Tom Swamp, and North Common Meadows: Canada Goose (5); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (5); A Black Duck (1); Ring-necked Duck (24); Hooded Merganser (7f); Common Merganser (3f); Broad-winged Hawk (4: not migrating); E Phoebe (1); Tree Swallow (10); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1); Hermit Thrush (3); Yellow-rumped Warbler (16); Pine Warbler (12);
  • Plus: Mourning Cloaks (7);: Spring Azure (20+);; Pine Elfin (2);.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll)

  • 4/25/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 1 DC Cormorant, 1 E Phoebe, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and 1 Palm Warbler. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/23/14 -- Worcester cemeteries
    This morning we got in a little birding before the showers, visiting three of the cemeteries in the SW corner of the city of Worcester: Hope, Notre Dame, All Faiths/Leesville Pond. Among the many robins and Chipping Sparrows and other common birds we had the following: Green Heron (1); Canada Goose (5+ 2 on nests); Mute Swan (1+ 2 on nests); Wood Duck (5 males); Mallard (8); Killdeer (2+1 on nest); Chimney Swift (4); N Flicker (4); E Phoebe (1); Tree Swallow (6); N Rough-winged Swallow (4); Carolina Wren (2); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1); Hermit Thrush (1); N Mockingbird (6); Brown Thrasher (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler (14); Pine Warbler (3); Swamp Sparrow (2); White-throated Sparrow (10); Dark-eyed Junco (2);
  • Plus: 1 large Eastern Coyote, and on the way home we had 1 Wild Turkey fly across Salisbury Street near our house.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/22/14 -- Paxton
    House Wren singing in the yard this am. Yesterday Mary found a Mute Swan at the Ekblaw Sanctuary. Believe it or not, this is a first record for the Sanctuary and my first Mute swan ever in the Town of Paxton.
  • Also on 4/18 I had a Brown Thrasher in North Brookfield.
  • In Paxton, I still have (as of today) one Tree Sparrow hanging on at the feeder. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

  • 4/21/14 -- South Quabbin Reservoir/Monson
    We started the day at South Quabbin/Quabbin Park in Ware and Belchertown: slow day, but did manage to see (partial list): Common Loon (3); Great Blue Heron (4); Turkey Vulture (8); Canada Goose (10); Wood Duck (1); A Black Duck (1); Mallard (4); Hooded Merganser (2m); Common Merganser (1f); Bald Eagle (1 on nest); Cooper's Hawk (1); Broad-winged Hawk (3); Wild Turkey (2); Killdeer (3); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (12); Pileated Woodpecker (2); E Phoebe (12); Common Raven (2ad+ at least 2 young in nest); Tree Swallow (17); N Rough-winged Swallow (4); Brown Creeper (4); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (5); E Bluebird (4); Hermit Thrush (2); Yellow-rumped Warbler (3); Pine Warbler (19); Palm Warbler (1); E Towhee (3); Dark-eyed Junco (4); Purple Finch (1);
  • Then, a quick stop at the Ware River WMA in Ware: Common Merganser (2f); Brown Thrasher (1 signing); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1);
  • Then in Monson, below the tornado line: Great Blue Heron (1 on nest); Turkey Vulture (11); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); N Rough-winged Swallow (4); Red-breasted Nuthatch (1); Brown Creeper (2); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (3); Pine Warbler (22); Palm Warbler (2); E Towhee (6)
  • And in Spencer: Louisiana Waterthrush (2);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/20/14 -- Rail Trail entrance, West Boylston
    At the entrance to the bike trail in West Boylston off Thomas St. near old fire training station, there was a Palm Warbler today, and a Belted Kingfisher yesterday (4/19). (report from Donna Wysokenski).

    4/19/14 -- Eagle Lake, Holden
    This morning I ran into a wave of Yellow-rumped (14) and Palm (17) warblers at Eagle Lake. I saw 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets also. (report from Peter Morlock).

    4/18/14 -- Douglas State Forest
    This morning, my friend and I checked out the great blue heron rookery in Douglas State Forest. We saw one heron on a nest, but there are only two nests still intact since the winter. (report from Mary Sughrue-Yacino).

    4/18/14 -- Lake Chauncy, Northboro
    Took a walk at Lake Chauncey by the ball fields Friday evening. HIghlights were 6 Mute Swans, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, 11 Palm Warblers, 1 Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, 1 Eastern Towhee, 1 Northern Flicker, and Cedar Waxwings. (report from Steven Sulzer).

    4/17/14 -- Chaffin pond, Holden
    Between 3pm-5pm I observed tree swallows,palm warblers,yellow rumped warblers,black & white warbler,ruby crowned kinglets,blue-gray gnatcatcher,belted kingfisher. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    4/17/14 -- Hadwin Park/All Saints Cemetary/Notre Dame Cemetary, Worcester
    A friend Jaquie and I went birding and found the following highlights;
  • All Saints Cemetary: 1 Mute Swan; 2 Wood Duck; 1 2nd year Bald Eagle-(floated down and grabbed a fish out of the pond); 10-12 Palm Warblers
  • Hadwin Park; 25+ Palm Warbler; 15+ Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warbler; 3 Pine Warbler; 1 Red-tailed Hawk; 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk
      This bird put on a show. I first found the Sharpy high up in a tree eating a squirrel. The Sharpy started to fly around with the squirrel, from its feeding area, and flew to a specific area not 600'-800' up the hill, then would come back to the same tree and rip the squirrell apart a bit more. The Sharpy continued to fly through the pine and oak tree stand sometimes as low as 30" off of the ground. We eventually found what could be a nest for this bird as it was very near it for a bit. It was the first time I have ever seen a Sharpy behave like this and we watched this bird for at least 30 minutes.
    2 Wood Duck
  • Notre Dame Cemetary: Belted Kingfisher; 20+ Palm Warbler; 2 Flicker; 1 Carolina Wren; 1 Great blue Heron
    (report from Scott Ricker).

  • 4/16/14 -- Uxbridge Community Gardens
    I observed a single Upland Sandpiper today around mid morning. (report from Bill Sartorelli).

    4/16/14 -- Westboro, Northboro, Wachusett Reservoir, Sterling
    We spent the afternoon birding a few ponds, lakes and reservoirs in eastern Worcester County. The recent cold snap and windy conditions seemed to have cleared a lot of migrant waterfowl out, and birds were mostly found in smaller, more sheltered bodies. Swallows, overwhelmingly Tree, were at most locations. Despite the chilly temps, in sunny sheltered spots, numbers of Painted Turtles were seen basking.
  • SuAsCo, Westboro: Double-crested Cormorant (6); Turkey Vulture (1); Mute Swan (24: we watched a pair mating); Canada Goose (19); Mallard (2); A Black Duck (1); Ring-necked Duck (2m); Osprey (the pair was present, hanging around the nest platform and at one point chased an eagle out of the area); Bald Eagle (1imm); Belted Kingfisher (1); Tree Swallow (250++); N Rough-winged Swallow (2); Barn Swallow (1);
  • Chauncy Lake, Westboro: Mute Swan (12);
  • Little Chauncy, Northboro: Pied-billed Grebe (1); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (6); Ring-necked Duck (9); Bufflehead (1m); Tree Swallow (80+);
  • Bartlett Pond, Northboro: Mute Swan (3); Canada Goose (14); Mallard (5); Wood Duck (2); Yellow-rumped Warbler (15+); Pine Warbler (3); Palm Warbler (4);
  • Wachusett Reservoir: Common Loon (2); Double-crested Cormorant (4); Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (4); Mallard (2); Ring-necked Duck (2); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (1);
  • Sterling Peat: Great Blue Heron (1); Canada Goose (13); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Tree Swallow (50+);
  • The Quag: Tree Swallow (30+);
  • West Waushacum: Double-crested Cormorant (4); Bufflehead (2m); Tree Swallow (100+);
  • East Waushacum: Mallard (2); Lesser Scaup (12); Greater Scaup (2); Ring-necked Duck (1m); Bufflehead (8); Tree Swallow (50+); Pine Warbler (1); Palm Warbler (2);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/16/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At noon highlights were 4 Tree Swallows, 3 Rough-winged Swallows (swarming low over the water to dip into the water for insects -- not much flying in the chilly air), 1 Hairy Woodpecker, and 2 Savannah Sparrows. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/14/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    At the hawkwatch, there were 7 TV's, 5 SSHawk, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 2 RT Hawk, 1 Am Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 1 N Harrier, and 7 Broad-winged Hawks. (phone report from Dave Grant).

    4/14/14 -- Grafton/Upton
    A 2 hour circuit of local ponds yielded 30 species despite blustery conditions. Highlights included: Mallards (7; including a ABD x Mallard female?); Pine Warbler (8); Eastern Phoebe (4); Eastern Bluebird (4); Song Sparrow (6); Field Sparrow (1); White-throated Sparrow(1);, Canada Goose (14); Wood Duck (1); Mute Swan (2); American Black Duck (2).
  • At St. Phillip's Cemetery in Grafton; Gadwall (1m); and Green-Winged Teal (2m,1f); numbers of Tree Swallows.
    (report from Lisa Hennin)

  • 4/14/14 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    We spent today birding various stops in the Quabog IBA in the Brookfields with a few side stops in the adjacent town of Warren. Waterfowl are starting to move on, and numbers were lower than just a few days ago. But there was a nice sprinkling of passerine migrants. Partial list: Great Blue Heron (10 occupied nests plus 6 singles seen at different locations); Great Egret (2); Turkey Vulture (25); Canada Goose (34); Wood Duck (8: low); American Wigeon (2m); Mallard (28); Ring-necked Duck (3); Common Goldeneye (4f); Hooded Merganser (pair); Common merganser (6f); Osprey (2. We also checked one of the nests in Sturbridge that is located in a microwave relay tower, and the pair was there); Cooper's Hawk (1); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Belted Kingfisher (5); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); N Flicker (8); E Phoebe (20); Blue-headed Vireo (1); Tree Swallow (64); N Rough-winged Swallow (2); Carolina Wren (11); Winter Wren (1 singing); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (7); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (3); Yellow-rumped Warbler (6); Pine Warbler (38); Palm Warbler (11); Louisiana Waterthrush (2 singing); E Towhee (1); Chipping Sparrow (51: a few days back there were NONE, now: all over); Field Sparrow (6); Swamp Sparrow (28); Purple Finch (1m);
  • PLUS: 5 Spotted Turtles; Banded Water Snake; Ribbon Snake; and (7); Mourning Cloaks and (1); THE INFANT moth. Or as Popeye would say: "infink"
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/14/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At noon there were 2 Tree Swallows, 4 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and 1 Chipping Sparrow. (report from Rick Quimby);.

    4/13/14 -- Bolton Flats WMA, Bolton
    Tonight at 7pm there was a Greater White-fronted Goose mixed in with the Canada Geese. (report from Jess Johnson).

    4/13/14 -- Thomas Basin area, Wachusett Reservoir
    I saw 6 pairs of ring-necked ducks here, and took the following photo. (report from Emily Eaton).

    4/13/14 -- Bolton Flats/Wachusett Reservoir
  • This Morning we birded parts of BOLTON FLATS. Since I just found out this morning that mice have been nesting in my rubber boots (note to self: never leave boots out in garage over winter) I did not bring them, so I did not try to hike inside. BUT we scoped and walked where we could both below and above Rt. 117. When the rain got to be too much, we hit a few areas in adjacent Harvard. Below are some highlights with the two locations combined: Double-crested Cormorant (5); Great Blue heron (5 active nests); Canada Goose (29); Mute Swan (7: nb: it amazing to have watched how this species has spread throughout the County. In the early 1990s, they were still a "good bird" in the County. Now?); Wood Duck (54); Gadwall (pr); A Black Duck (6); Mallard (99); Green-winged Teal (16); Ring-necked Duck (28); Hooded Merganser (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Killdeer (7); Greater Yellowlegs (6); Pectoral Sandpiper (3); E Phoebe (10); Common Raven (1 flew over calling at Bolton Flats and another was calling in Harvard.); Tree Swallow (62+: having a tough time in the rain); House Wren (1); Pine Warbler (7); E Towhee (1); Chipping Sparrow (18); Swamp Sparrow (19: singing);
  • THEN we birded WACHUSETT RESERVOIR. It was the second day of the fishing season and the number of fishermen lining the shore was AMAZING. Luckily they don't allow boats. Common Loon (19); Double-crested Cormorant (13); Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (19); Mallard (7); Ring-necked Duck (7); WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (1m); Bufflehead (8); Common Merganser (9); Tree Swallow (220+: most took off after the rain let up); N Rough-winged Swallow (1: possible breeder); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (4); Pine Warbler (6); E Meadowlark (3)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/13/14 -- Holden
    On chaffin pond today from 8 am-noon we had northern harrier, sharp shinned hawk, and belted kingfisher. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    4/13/14 -- Rutland
    Have never had a mockingbird at my feeder, but his weekend we had a pair and they are nest building in the yard. A first for us here. (report from Ted Purcell).

    4/13/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    I saw 1 pair of each of the following: Mallards, Canada Geese, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes & Common Mergansers. Also 1 Common Loon! (report from Emily Eaton).

    4/13/14 -- Uxbridge
    No Chipping Sparrow at three birding stops earlier this morning. But then sit down at computer, and what flies into bare maple tree out the window -- a chipper! (report from Beth Milke)

    4/12/14 -- New Braintree
    At Winimussett Meadows this morning I had 58 Black Ducks (high), 42 Mallards, 68 Green -winged Teal, 2 Blue-winged teal, 2 Am. Widgeon, 4 Pintail, 1 Gadwall (f.), 6 Killdeer , and 1 imm. Bald Eagle which flushed the whole group -- quite a sight actually. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    4/12/14 -- Holden/Sterling
    Highlights of a loop including:
  • Trout Brook Reservation(Holden): Louisiana Waterthrush(1); Purple Finch(1); Pine Warbler(5); Eastern Phoebe (1);. Also a vernal pool with a chorus of Wood Frogs
  • Sterling Peat: Greater Yellowlegs (1);, Bufflehead( 2 pairs); Tree Swallows (4); Belted Kingfisher (1); Canada Goose (8); Turkey Vulture (1);. Also Painted Turtles (15);
  • West Washacum (Sterling): DC Cormorant (5); Common Golden-eye (2);
  • East Washacum: Field Sparrow(1); Along the powerlines. Ring-necked Duck(12); Scaup sp.(3); Common Golden-eye (2); Mallard (2);
  • River Road (West Boylston): While checking a flock of Ring-necked Ducks(10); had a Brown Creeper singing in the spruce grove.
    (report from Lisa Hennin).

  • 4/12/14 -- Petersham
    We spent Saturday morning birding several stops in the town of PETERSHAM. Highlights included: Turkey Vulture (6); Canada Goose (21); Wood Duck (9); A Black Duck (4); Mallard (6); Green-winged Teal (11); Ring-necked Duck (39); Bufflehead (9); Common Goldeneye (12); Hooded Merganser (14); Common Merganser (25); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (3); A Kestrel (2); Wild Turkey (31); Greater Yellowlegs (2); Lesser Yellowlegs (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (4); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (14); Pileated Woodpecker (3); E Phoebe (48); Common Raven (1); Tree Swallow (27); Winter Wren (1 singing); Golden-crowned Kinglet (6); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1); E Bluebird (4); Hermit Thrush (5); Yellow-rumped Warbler (1); Pine Warbler (37); Chipping Sparrow (4); Fiweld Sparrow (3); Dark-eyed Junco (130); Purple Finch (3);
  • Plus: Mourning Cloak (8);; Spring Peepers; Wood Frogs and Red-spotted Newts in many locations. NB: A short walk under some power lines produced a healthy number of BLACK-LEGGED TICKS (15+);. Take all pre-cautions NOW. Spring is the most dangerous time for contracting Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/12/14 -- Saint Johns Cemetery, Worcester
    There was a soaring adult Bald Eagle, a fly-by Northern Harrier, 5 Red-tailed Hawks, and many Common Flickers, Pine Warblers, and Chipping Sparrows. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    4/10/14 -- South Quabbin /New Braintree
  • This morning we birded the South Quabbin area and had the following: Pied-billed Grebe (1); Turkey Vulture (4); Canada Goose (10); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (2); Ring-necked Duck (7); Greater Scaup (1); Bufflehead (14); Hooded Merganser (9); Bald Eagle (1 on nest); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (3); E Phoebe (11); Tree Swallow (2); N Rough-winged Swallow (3); C Raven (pair at nest+1); E Bluebird (3); Pine Warbler (8);
  • Later at a field in NEW BRAINTREE: Green-winged Teal (68); Hooded Merganser (1); Killdeer (1); Wilson's Snipe (29); Pectoral Sandpiper (1);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/9/14 -- Little Asnebumskit Hill, Paxton
    At The Heron Rookery, there were 16 nests; 14 were active. I could not see the other 2 nests well enough to know what was going on with them. Also, a Belted Kingfisher chasing another Kingfisher, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Pileated Woodpecker and a Pine Warbler. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    4/9/14 -- Hager Pond, Marlborough
    Thanks to some great advice from Alan Marble to be alert for a number of good birds, I was able to find (3) male Northern Shovlelers very close to Rte 20 at 11:15 am. Thanks to all Forbush Bird Club members and experienced birders who advise and post. Diane and I appreciate it very much. (report from Bob Abbott).

    4/9/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    Following up on Peter Morlock's post this afternoon, around 5:15pm we found the M & F Blue-Winged Teal and (2) American Wigeon. (report from Bob and Diane Abbott).

    4/9/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    In a short visit to WACHUSETT RESERVOIR this morning we had the following: Common Loon (3); Canada Goose (27); Wood Duck (6); Mallard (6); Ring-necked Duck (43); Bufflehead (11); C Goldeneye (5); Hooded Merganser (pr); Common Merganser (33); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); E Phoebe (11); Fish Crow (1); Carolina Wren (3); Pine Warbler (3); At nearby SOUTH MEADOW POND (Clinton); Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (2); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (4); Lesser Scaup (3); Ring-necked Duck (39); Red-breasted Merganser (1); Common Merganser (38); E Phoebe (2); Tree Swallow (2)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    4/9/14 -- Bolton Flats, Bolton
    Tonight around 6pm I had my FOY American Bittern here. Highlights for ducks were continuing American Wigeon (1), Gadwall (2), and Northern Pintail (5). Other Highlights were Pied-billed Grebe (1), Pectoral Sandpipers (6), Wilson's Snipe (10), American Pipit (1 calling), and a male Rusty Blackbird singing. (report from Jessica Johnson).

    4/8/14 -- Sterling Peat, Sterling
    This morning there were 4 American Wigeon and a M & F Blue-Winged Teal here. There was also an Eastern Meadowlark in the field to the right. (report from Peter Morlock).

    4/7/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    Raptors migrating today: Turkey Vulture 21 ; Osprey 9 ; Bald Eagle 1 ; Northern Harrier 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 ; Cooper's Hawk 1 ; American Kestrel 2 ; Merlin 1 .
  • Raptor Observations: Adult Bald Eagle
  • Non-raptor Observations: 2 migrating Great Blue Herons.
    (report from Bart Kamp)

  • 4/7/14 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    This morning we made a few stops in the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields and had the following: Common Loon (6 ad breeding); Horned Grebe (breeding pl); Great Blue Heron (4); Turkey Vulture (2); Canada Goose (52); Wood Duck (4); A Black Duck (2); Mallard (13); Ring-necked Duck (52); Lesser Scaup (7); Bufflehead (29); C Goldeneye (2); Hooded Merganser (3); Common merganser (142); Ruddy Duck (3); Bald Eagle (1imm); Cooper's Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Killdeer (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (5); N Flicker (5); E Phoebe (14); Tree Swallow (64); Brown Creeper (2 singing); Carolina Wren (10); Pine Warbler (1); Fox Sparrow (2);
  • Plus: Beaver, Muskrat and River Otter.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/7/14 -- Notre Dame cemetery, Worcester
    I am at Notre Dame and I believe there is a snow goose with some canadian geese! I would love for someone else to confirm. They were in the back corner and heading down stream towards Hope Cemetary. (report from Debbie Gleason).

    4/6/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir, Boylston
    At 4:30 pm, in a quick walk from Gate 33 down to the reservoir, there were 2 Barred Owls calling in a song duel, and 1 E. Phoebe. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/6/14 -- Westboro/Southboro/Northboro
  • This morning at the SuAsCo in Westboro we had: Red-necked Grebe (1 breeding plumage); Double-crested Cormorant (3); Great Blue Heron (3); Canada Goose (43); Mute Swan (28); Wood Duck (12); Mallard (8); Ring-necked Duck (34); Greater Scaup (2); Bufflehead (9); Common Goldeneye (2); Hooded merganser (20); Osprey (pair); E Phoebe (3); Tree Swallow (60+); Barn Swallow (1); Yellow-rumped Warbler (1); Fox Sparrow (2); NB: by mid-morning there were a number of fishing boats out on the water, driving the birds around and away.
  • At the Sudbury Reservoir, Southboro: Surprisingly few ducks. We hiked in along the eastern side and made a number of stops. Common Loon (1 breeding pl); Double-crested Cormorant (6 around the rookery); Great Blue Heron (29 around the rookery. Turkey Vulture (1); Mute Swan (1); Canada Goose (95); Wood Duck (pair); Ring-necked Duck (8); Greater Scaup (2); Bufflehead (13); Common Goldeneye (11); Hooded Merganser (pair); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); E Phoebe (5);
  • Bartlett Pond, Northboro: Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (35); Wood Duck (4); A Wigeon (pair); Mallard (4); Green-winged Teal (6); A Black Duck (6); Ring-necked Duck (35);
  • Chauncy Lake, Westboro (boats out on the water): Mute Swan (3); Common Merganser (1); Ring-billed Gull (14); Herring Gull (1); Great Black-backed Gull (1);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/5/14 -- Bartlett Pond, Sterling
    There were 10 ring necked ducks, 1 great blue heron, 1 hooded merganser, lots of red wing blackbirds, and a Red-tailed Hawk. (report from Marion Larson).

    4/5/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir, Boylston
    The eagles are on their nest on Wood Island on Wachusett Reservoir. (report from Emily Eaton)

    4/4/14 -- Chaffin pond, Holden
    Birding from Gail drive and chaffin pond in Holden today between 7am-5pm we observed 2 mute swans building a nest, 1 great blue heron, 16 hooded mergansers, 6 common goldeneye, 2 black ducks, 1 belted kingfisher, 2 phoebe, 3 eastern bluebirds, 20+ tree swallows, 1 American kestrel. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    4/4/14 -- Lake Webster
    Paul and I birded a few spots around the South Pond of Lake Webster. Several years ago, we used to bird the woody areas near the beach once or twice a year but figured it was time to branch out a bit. Common Mergansers were numerous; we also found Hooded Mergansers, Bufflehead, A. Black Ducks, Mallards, 3 C. Loons (one called), a Great Blue Heron, and 2 Bald Eagles. (report from Beth Milke)

    4/3/14 -- Grafton/Northbridge/Uxbridge
  • Uxbridge
    • Pout Pond: Common Merganser pair, a few Mallards, and an E. Bluebird.
    • West Hill Dam: N. Rough-winged Swallow (one only!).
    • At River Bend Farm, where field is squishy & muddy in low spots: E. Phoebe singing emphatically; in the evening watched the A. Woodcock display 7:15-8pm.
    • JWhitin Pond: Great Blue Heron
  • Northbridge - West Hill Park: entered from the Dam (high water on Park road) - E. Phoebe and Field Sparrow singing; E. Bluebird on the field; Red-winged Blackbirds surprisingly few on the marsh.
  • Grafton - Fisherville Pond: N. Mockingbird, Yellow-shafted Flicker, Song Sparrow and a few A. Robins plus the usual pigeons and doves. Ice is gone from the pond. The walk down has gotten difficult with erosion and multiflora rose branches in spots. As an alternative, the perimeters of the playing field behind the gray Riverview Apts. offer good views of the water. There were 14 Common and a pair of Hooded Mergansers, along with 2 Double-crested Cormorants.
    (report from Beth Milke)

  • 4/3/14 -- Rutland/Holden
    Went to Jordan Farm in Rutland to get the Greater White-fronted Goose. It was not there, but we did have a Greater White-fronted Goose at Eagle Lake in Holden at 6:00PM. I'm guessing it's the same bird. (report from Bob Abbott).

    4/3/14 -- Holden
    At 9am on chaffin pond I observed a female wood duck and a female hooded merganser in nest boxes. Also several (at least 12) tree swallows. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    4/3/14 -- Rutland/Holden
  • The Greater White-fronted Goose found yesterday was still present this morning among 82 Canada Geese in the fields along MUSCHOPAUGE ROAD, RUTLAND. These fields are the ones south of the big yellow house. Originally the birds were on the west, but soon flew over the road to join other geese. The White-fronted was very vocal. Also present in the cornstubble field were 4 snipe and 3 Pectoral Sandpipers. When along this road, pull as completely off as possible; People speed down this road.
  • Somewhat nearby in HOLDEN, Lisa Hennin found a female BARROW'S GOLDENYE at CHAFFIN POND. Look behind the Holden Ballfield off Rt. 122A across from Jed's Hardware. It was with 61 Ring-necked Ducks, 17 Common Goldeneye and 4 Hooded Mergs and other ducks. The color of the bill is amazingly bright orangy-yellow. Sheila got shots of both birds.
    (report from Mark Lynch).

  • 4/2/14 -- Uxbridge Community Gardens
    At 1:30 PM I observed and heard 2 Vesper Sparrows in the brush along the old road adjacent to the gardens. I heard a few others calling their characteristic calls in the fields. (report from Bill Sartorelli).

    4/2/14 -- Holden
    Today there was a common goldeneye in the Holden Reservoir where rte 31 goes across. (report from Ted Purcell).

    4/2/14 -- grafton/westboro
    Paul and I celebrated Spring by checking on area Opreys.
  • Grafton: One Osprey was in the nest on a power pole at the marsh near Windle Pond off Rte 30 in Grafton. Also at this location: 5 Great Blue Herons at 3 nests, 2 Tree Swallows, a Bufflehead pair, a few Common and Hooded Mergansers, Canada Geese, and numerous Ring-necked Ducks.
  • Westboro: We stopped at three spots on the perimeter of Mill Pond (SUASCO). From the boat launch off Arch St: 1 Osprey in the low platform nest, 1 Bald Eagle perched in a tree for quite some time, 2 Great Blue Herons, waaay too many Mute Swans, and distant Ring-billed Gulls and ducks including Ring-necks, Bufflehead, and Hooded Mergansers. Several Killdeer were on the cement at the dam off Mill Rd; we also saw 2 Great Black-backed Gulls, a Red-tailed Hawk, and a few Wood Ducks from this location. And more Mute Swans. We explored the trail to the Pump House off Andrews St, where we got a closer look at the eagle.
    (report from Beth Milke)

  • 4/2/14 -- Muschopauge Rd, Rutland
    At Jordans Farm today Nick Monaco found a Greater White-fronted Goose in with about 40 Canada Geese. Photos were taken. (report from Justin Lawson).

    4/2/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    At the Hawkwatch, there were 2 Turkey Vultures, 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks, and FOY songbirds included Brown-headed Cowbird, E Phoebe, and partially leusistic Robin. (phone report from Dave Grant).

    4/2/14 -- Lancaster/West Boylston
  • At Dexter Drumlin, Lancaster: 1 Northern Pintail, 25 Wood Ducks, 13 Green-winged Teal, 18 Ring-necked Duck, 1 Killdeer, Loads of Canada Geese and Ring-billed Gulls.
  • At Wachusett Reservoir, River Rd: 2 Green-winged Teal, 45 Ring-necked Ducks, 1 Lesser Scaup, 3 Bufflehead, 5 Common Goldeneye, 15 Tree Swallow, and a Red-breasted Nuthatch among the other usual suspects.
    (report from Justin Lawson).

  • 4/2/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at 1 pm were 1 DC Cormorant, 1 GB Heron, 6 Common Mergansers. Singing were 1 Red-winged Blackbird (m), 2 Song Sparrows, and 1 Dark-eyed Junco. No Mute Swans today. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/1/14 -- Reservoir on rte 31, Holden
    Driving across the reservoir on rte 31 from Paxton to Holden today there were 10 common mergansers. (report from Ted Purcell).

    4/1/14 -- Lake Quinsigamond
    There are 4 Common Merganser on Lake Quinsigamond this morning - 3 females and 1 male (report from Emily Eaton)

    4/1/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    This morning we did a quick survey of WACHUSETT RESERVOIR. Though the reservoir is still 70%+ ice covered, migrant ducks are beginning to appear where it is opening up. Turkey Vulture 91); Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (6: standing on ice); Mallard (6); Ring-necked Duck (20); Bufflehead (7); Common Goldeneye (17); Hooded Merganser (4); Common Merganser (14); E Phoebe (1). NB: though typically Ring-billed is the most common gull seen in the area, this AM we had Ring-billed (2); Herring (22) and Great Black-backed (17). Everywhere Song Sparrows were singing. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    3/31/14 -- Sterling/West Boylston
  • At Sterling Peat, there were Common and Hooded Mergansers, and Common Goldeneye.
  • In the basin of the Quinapoxet River there were 33 Ring-necked Ducks. There were also 2 Wood ducks near the beaver pond at the Stillwater River.
    (phone report from Dave Grant).

  • 3/31/14 -- Chaffin pond, Holden
    Today between 7am-3pm in Holden around chaffin pond we had the following sightings: pair of mute swans constructing nest in the same spot as past several years, 3 gadwall, 4 wood duck, 3 common goldeneye, 2 hooded mergansers, 2 black ducks, 1 great blue heron, brown creeper, eastern phoebe. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    3/31/14 -- West Millbury
    Around noon today I had a Fox Sparrow feeding on the ground under my feeders. (report from Alan Marble).

    3/29/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
  • At the hawkwatch, there were 6 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Red-Shouldered Hawks, and 1 Golden Eagle.
    (phone report from Dave Grant).

  • 3/29/14 -- Warren and the Brookfields
    Today we birded a few stops in WARREN and then a few stops in the Quabog IBA in the Brookfields. Ponds were still mostly ice covered and ice fishermen were out on the larger ponds. The following were the highlight totals: Great Blue Heron (19 with 4 occupied nests); Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (41); Wood Duck (29); A Black Duck (3); Mallard (48); Ring-necked Duck (83); C Goldeneye (2); Hooded Merganser (49); Common Merganser (7); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Wild Turkey (2); Killdeer (2); LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (1adBr: Lake Quabog); Belted Kingfisher (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (9); Pileated Woodpecker (2); E Phoebe (15); Tree Swallow (2); Brown Creeper (2 singing); Carolina Wren (6); Winter Wren (2 singing); E Bluebird (7); A Tree Sparrow (13); Fox Sparrow (1); Also: Red Fox and several River Otters.
  • We then headed over to Orlando's Ponds in Charlton to look for the Black-headed Gull Rodney Jenkins found, and found and photo'd it.
  • Pre-dawn in Spencer: American Woodcock (6);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/28/14 -- Northbridge
    After checking in at the Northbridge Sewer Dept office, Paul and I drove around the dry gravel beds. We found our first-of-year Eastern Phoebe, a few Eastern Bluebirds, one Yellow-shafted Flicker, several Song Sparrows, and quite a few Slate-colored Juncos. A number of Red-winged Blackbirds were calling from the marsh (still mostly frozen) and a few were perched on grass or trees. No killdeer yet. (report from Beth Milke)

    3/28/14 -- Lake Quinsigamond, Shrewsbury
    I spotted a pair of Wood Ducks on Lake Quinsigamond (north end) this morning. (report from Emily Eaton).

    3/27/14 -- Holland/Sturbridge
  • Hamilton Reservoir: (open water near causeway) Ring Necked Duck (4), Hooded Merganser (1f).
  • Westville Lake: 11 Common Mergansers (7f, 4m), 4 Great Blue Heron, 1 Osprey, 2 Eastern Bluebird (1f, 1m), 4 Red-winged Blackbird. Also 1 Beaver, 1 Otter.
    (report from Naomi Lacasse).

  • 3/27/14 -- Worcester/Holden
    Highlights inlude
  • Tatnuck Brook: Mallard Duck (88)
  • Eagle Lake: Killdeer (1), Wood Duck (1m), Hooded Merganser (1f) Common Grackle(3)
  • Alta Vista Farm: Wild Turkey (44).
  • Alden Labs : Hooded Merganser (1m).
  • Also this morning we had 2 Fox Sparrows sheltering in our forsythia bush.
    (report from Lisa Hennin).

  • 3/27/14 -- Dorothy Pond, Millbury
    At Dorothy Pond on Riverlin Street, there were 4 hooded merganser, 12 common merganser, 14 ring necked ducks and 6 mallards. At my feeder in Worcester I had my first chipping sparrow and cowbird this morning. (report from Susan LaBree).

    3/27/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At noon highlights were 4 GB Herons, 1 Mute Swan (there were 4 a couple of days ago), 4 Ring-necked Ducks, 9 Hooded Mergansers, and 17 Common Mergansers. One Am Goldfinch was singing, the only thing spring-like today. (report from Rick Quimby).

    3/27/14 -- West Millbury
    At home at my feeders I had a 6 woodpecker day, all visiting the suet cage that I have stapled to a tree: Red-bellied, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy, Hairy, an amazing 7 Northern Flickers and a first time visitor to the suet, Pileated. I often hear and see Pileated Woodpeckers around the house, but I have never seen them come to the suet before. A Brown Creeper also showed up. The pair of Red-shouldered Hawks are still hanging around and I got a picture of one. (report from Alan Marble).

    3/26/14 -- Holden
    Today between 8 am-4pm on chaffin pond and Gail drive we had American robin, fox sparrow, 4 wood duck, 2 mute swan, 1 sharp shinned hawk, 1 adult bald eagle soaring in the strong wind. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    3/25/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
  • At the hawkwatch, there were 5 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, and 2 Cooper's Hawks. There was also a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
  • At my house in northeast Worcester, there was 1 Merlin.
    (phone report from Dave Grant).

  • 3/24/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester / Wachusett Reservior, West Boylston
  • Had the following highlights at Institute Pond Worcester; 1-Red-tail Hawk; 36-Common Merganser; 5-Hooded Merganser 2m 3f; 1-Great Blue Heron; 1-Song Sparrow  
  • Also had the following at the 140 Causeway Wachusett Reservior; 1-Buffle Head Duck; 2-Eastern Blue Birds Old Stone Church  
  • Also had the following at the River Rd of Wachusett Reservior; 7-Mute Swan; 2-Ring-neck Duck 1m 1f in water adjacent to River Rd.
    (report from Scott Ricker).

  • 3/23/14 -- Lake Quinsigamond, shrewsbury
    There were many Ring-necked ducks, and also 1 Double-crested Cormorant behind white City Plaza
    (phone report from Dave Grant).

    3/23/14 -- Quinnebaug River/Sturbridge/Quabog IBA
  • Today we started birding right along the QUINNEBAUG RIVER from Southbridge, through Dudley to the Connecticut line. In many sections the river was running too fast for many ducks and some slow sections were still iced over. Highlights included: Turkey Vulture (3); Canada Goose (7); Wood Duck (9); Mallard (7); Common Merganser (16); Eastern Phoebe (2); Tree Swallow (19);
  • Then in STURBRIDGE: Great Blue Heron (11 occupied nests in rookery+another bird); Canada Goose (7); Wood Duck (4); Mallard (6); Hooded Merganser (2); Common Merganser (1); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1); N Flicker (3); E Phoebe (1); Tree Swallow (2);
  • BRIMFIELD: East Brimfield Reservoir Canada Goose (42); Mallard (2); Hooded Merganser (4); Common Merganser (12); Killdeer (1);
  • QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields: Great Blue Heron (2); Canada Goose (58); Wood Duck (1); A Black Duck (2); Mallard (34); Ring-necked Duck (23); Common Goldeneye (1m); Hooded Merganser (28); Common Merganser (22); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Killdeer (1); Eastern Phoebe (2); Tree Swallow (28);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/23/14 -- Leesville Pond, Worcester
    Early this afternoon, There 4 Pairs of Canadian Geese, with one pair being continuously harassed by a pair of Mute Swans. There was 1 Male Wood Duck. 2 Pr. Mallards, 1 Pr. Black Ducks, 1 Pr. Ring-necked Ducks, 16 Hooded Mergansers, 26 Common Mergansers, including this Femaleand Male . 1 Great Black-backed Gull , 2 Great Blue Herons, and a pair of Red-tailed Hawks frolicking together in the sky. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    3/22/14 -- Rail Trail, Sterling
    There was a Rusty Blackbird along the rail trail.
    (phone report from Dave Grant).

    3/22/14 -- Rutland
    Woodcock's started displaying this evening at our place in Rutland. Also had a fox sparrow here today. Had started to feel left out, but I guess enough ground is finally showing. (report from Ted Purcell).

    3/22/14 -- Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Bolton Flats, Wachusett Reservoir
    This AM we birded several ponds and reservoirs in central-eastern Worcester County. Below are the highlights. Most ponds were still ice covered, but with some open water around the edges.
  • WESTBORO-NORTHBORO: including SuAsCo, both Chauncys (ice fishermen out on all 3), Bartlett. Canada Goose (188); Mute Swan (11); Mallard (16); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Wild Turkey (1); Red-winged Blackbird (507); C Grackle (1356); Brown-headed Cowbird (18); NB: huge movement of blackbirds at Little Chauncy and on the State grounds.
  • SOUTHBORO: Sudbury Reservoir. Most birds noted along the river. Canada Goose (111); Mallard (11); Ring-necked Duck (1); Hooded Merganser (11); Common Merganser (8); Gray Catbird (1);
  • BOLTON FLATS: several stops and walk ins. Fields still mostly frozen, but sections of Still River are open. Great Blue Heron (3); Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (670+); Mute Swan (1); Wood Duck (10); A Black Duck (31); Mallard (107); N Pintail (pr); Green-winged Teal (26); Ring-necked Duck (37); Hooded Merganser (4); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (4); Killdeer (3); Pileated Woodpecker (2); Tree Swallow (1); E Bluebird (2); A Tree Sparrow (28); Red-winged Blackbird (187); C Grackle (111);
  • CLINTON: Coachlace Pond Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (55); Mallard (8); A Black Duck (1); C Goldeneye (1m); Hooded Merganser (1f);
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR (still mostly ice covered, but open water at river entrance on River Road); Mute Swan (3); Canada Goose (40); Mallard (12); Ring-necked Duck (6); Hooded merganser (10);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/21/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
  • At the hawkwatch, there were 7 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Red-Shouldered Hawks, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, and 1 Goshawk. There were also 9 Brant flying over.
  • At the Quinapoxet River there were many Ring-necked ducks
    (phone report from Dave Grant).

  • 3/19/14 -- Hager Pond, Marlborough
    On my break at work today I had one Pileated Woodpecker( FOY ). One Osprey ( FOY ) diving for fish. Also appx. 34 Ring-necked Ducks. (report from Bob Abbott).

    3/18/14 -- Winimusett Wildlife Management Area, New Braintree
    At the McKay road location, a beautiful adult Northern Shrike was teed up in a small tree along the right side of the field looking from the road. I remember seeing one in this exact spot several winters ago. (report from Josh Gahagan).

    3/18/14 -- Leominster
    At approximately 1pm while in the parking lot at Walmart in south Leominster (Rt 117/Jungle Road) I sighted a bald eagle soaring just to the north of my position. This was confirmed with binoculars. It continued to soar and eventually moved too far north of my position to see. This area is not far from the North Nashua River. (report from Paul Zephyr).

    3/16/14 -- Quabog IBA/Spender/Charlton
    Today we birded the Quabog IBA with stops in Spencer and Charlton.
  • Quabog IBA: highlights Ponds still almost completely ice covered, but rivers are open. Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (7); Mallard (45); A Black Duck (9); Ring-necked Duck (16); Hooded Merganser (61); Common Merganser (34); Ring-billed Gull (16); Red-shouldered Hawk (2: possible pr); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (1); Killdeer (1); Winter Wren (1); E Bluebird (24); A Robin (74); Gray Catbird (1);
  • Charlton: Orlandos Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (12); Mallard (300+); A Black Duck (32); Ring-billed Gull (25+); C Grackle (9);
  • Spencer: Wood Duck (pr); Mallard (pr); Hooded Merganser (1m); Red-tailed Hawk (pr); C Raven (1 mobbed by crows, 1 on nest); Red-winged Blackbirds were widespread at most locations.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/16/14 -- Davis Farmland, Sterling
    We had two Eastern Meadowlarks here at 2:30pm.
    (report from Bob Abbott).

    3/16/14 -- Holden
    While walking frozen Chaffin pond today between 1-2 pm we observed 6 male wood ducks, 4 male hooded mergansers, 2 male black ducks,4 eastern bluebirds, 2 red tailed hawks. The pond has open water by the industrial park and is visible from ball field across. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    3/16/14 -- Thomas Street, West Boylston
    Around 3: 45 pm, a Red-Shouldered Hawk was on the telephone line on Thomas Street in West Boylston just before the entrance to the Rail Trail parking lot. It appeared to be an adult male and wasn't bothered by the traffic passing below it. This is my second sighting of a Red-Shouldered Hawk this winter. I had a previous sighting in mid-January around the 140 & 62 intersection in Sterling. Unlike Red-Tailed Hawks, the Red-Shouldered Hawks stay closer and low to the ground to get their prey quicker. Also, the adult birds have a "snowflake" pattern to their back and are smaller than the ordinary Red-Tailed Hawk. Given this unusual winter, I'm not surprised to see these birds in the area. So keep your eyes peeled. (report from Steve Olson).

    3/15/14 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
  • At the hawkwatch, there were a handfull of Red-tailed Hawks, and 1 Goshawk.
  • At St. Phillips Cemetery, Grafton: 1 Great-horned Owl and 1 Tree Swallow
  • At Lake Quinsigamond, there was 1 Ruddy Duck behind white City Plaza
    (phone report from Dave Grant).

  • 3/15/14 -- Barton Cove/South Quabbin
    Today we first stopped at BARTON COVE to enjoy the waterfowl show described by James Smith. We saw the Canvasbacks (2m), Redhead (m), Long-tailed Duck (f), the scaup, Bufflehead, Goldeneye, Ring-necked Duck (close to 70), and mergansers. A Bald Eagle adult was perched nearby (they nest here).
  • From there we headed to the South Quabbin area where birds found included: Turkey Vulture (3); Mallard (16: at the trout hatchery); A Black Duck (2); Common Merganser (1f at the trout hatchery); Bald Eagle (9: including 5 adults, a pair of which looked to be in a display flight. 1 ad was on the nest visible from the Administration Building); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Golden Eagle (1ad: from Enfield looking north along Prescott); Killdeer (4: at the trout hatchery); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Common Raven (4). Red-winged Blackbirds, grackles and vultures were in many areas all morning. NB: the surface of the main body of Quabbin is still ice covered. Saturday there was an old deer carcass visible from the Administration Building. This carcass was also visible and a bit closer from the pull off near the gate down to the DCR boat area, north of the spillway on Quabbin Hill Road. Birders earlier in the morning had several eagles on this carcass, but we had only an interesting looking immature Bald.
  • In PAXTON, on our way to Barton Cove, we had a TREE SWALLOW and a sapsucker.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/15/14 -- West Millbury/Sutton
    This morning, before heading out to do some birding, I saw a hawk perched on a limb in my backyard. When I got my binoculars, of course it was gone. While standing there, I started to hear a Red-shouldered Hawk calling. Naturally without visual confirmation I couldn't ID it as it might have been a Blue Jay mimicking. Soon, however, I saw 2 Red-shouldered Hawks flying around in the woods and then soaring and calling overhead. I had put out some turkey bones and scraps on the snow and one came down for a bite. When I came back with my camera, it was gone and the were 2 crows feeding, soon to be displaced by a Turkey Vulture (photo), a sight I had never seen in my yard before.
  • Later I was able to get a picture of an American Kestrel on Oakhurst Rd in Sutton.
    (report from Alan Marble).

  • 3/13/14 -- West Millbury
    There was a large flock of 60+ mixed blackbirds at my feeders all morning. Mostly Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds with a few Brown-headed Cowbirds. (report from Alan Marble).

    3/13/14 -- Douglas
    I saw my first red-winged blackbirds of this season this morning, under my feeder. Also, the robin sitting on top of my feeder has been hanging around my suet for days. (report from Mary Sughrue-Yacino ).

    3/12/14 -- Holden
    At 4:00 pm in our yard today we had a Northern shrike chasing a common grackle. It was perched for several minutes while I took a picture through a window, and it could be the same bird that I spotted last week from a couple hundred yards on chaffin pond but couldn't confirm. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    3/11/14 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At 3:00 on the pond there were 2 Mute Swan, 2 Green-winged Teal, 8 Ring-necked Duck, 2 Hooded Merganser, and 14 Common Merganser. (report from Rick Quimby).

    3/9/14 -- Bolton Flats/Wachusett Reservoir/L Quinsigamond/Notre Dame Cemetery
  • We started well before dawn owling the Bolton Flats and Oxbow NWR areas and continued to bird there at dawn. Highlights: Red-tailed Hawk (3); E Screech Owl (2); Great Horned Owl (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); Downy Woodpecker (2); Hairy Woodpecker (1); Carolina Wren (1); E Bluebird (6); A Robin (19); N Mockingbird (2); A Tree Sparrow (7); Song Sparrow (7); Red-winged Blackbird (3 signing); C Grackle (1); N Cardinal (38: singing everywhere and first song we heard well before dawn); Also: just as dawn was breaking, an amazing chorus of eastern coyotes.
  • Then we birded WACHUSETT RESERVOIR, which remains 99% ice covered, but we did manage: Mallard (5); Hooded Merganser (2); Red-breasted Nuthatch (2);
  • On to the LAKE QUINSIGAMOND-FLINT POND complex: Highlights included: Mute Swan (16); Canada Goose (4); Mallard (56); A Black Duck (19); Ring-necked Duck (6); C Goldeneye (1m); Hooded Merganser (5); Common Merganser (6); Red-tailed Hawk (4); Iceland Gull (1adW);
  • Auburn: Dunn's Brook dam: A Black Duck (2); Hooded Merganser (3); Red-tailed Hawk (4);
  • Leesville Pond: (6); Canada Geese on ice.
  • Notre Dame Cemetery, Worcester: Wood Duck (1m); Green-winged Teal (3m); Mallard (7); A Black Duck (4); Common Merganser (6); Red-winged Blackbird (3m);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/7/14 -- Holden
    From our yard today between 7am-9am we observed 4 eastern bluebirds,2 American robins,6 cedar waxwings,8 house finch,12 goldfinch,1 fox sparrow,1 red bellied woodpecker,2 red tailed hawks,4 common raven. (report from Scott & Rubina Corazzini).

    3/7/14 -- Douglas
    While heading out this afternoon, I saw a huge bird circling the wide part of the Mumford River (next to the DD just off Route 146). I pulled into the envelope factory's parking lot, and though it flew away before I could get a decent look, I was pretty sure it was a juvenile bald eagle. On the way home, I pulled into the parking lot and saw something out on the ice. Luckily, I had my good binocs with me and could clearly see the bald eagle as it stood on the ice, tearing apart a goose. (report from Mary Sughrue-Yacino).

    3/2/14 -- Worcester County Winter Birding Rally Results
    Over 30 participants went out from 12am-530pm on Sunday, March 2nd and covered every town in the whole county for the 1st Worcester County Winter Birding Rally. In total on rally day teams found 71 species! and 82 species for the rally week scouting trips. A very good number given the lack of water and amount of snow in some parts of the county. I want to thank all the pioneers involved that took part and believed in this event as we collected valuable data in towns that are very under-birded. Our next rally will be this May! Stay Tuned.
  • Complete species list
    (report from Justin Lawson).

  • 3/2/14 -- Quinsigmaond Community College, Worcester
    In the last week I have observed a Chroicocephalus Gull flying over the student parking lots at Quinsigmond community college. I originally identified it as a Bonaparte's Gull, but on further reflection came to the conclusion that I could not rule out Black-Headed Gull. I would encourage birders to try to get a positive ID of this bird, since they are both rare to the area. (report from Mark C. Clegg).

    3/2/14 -- Quabog IBA/Lake Quinsigamond, Brookfields/Shrewsbury
  • Today we birded a few stops in the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields and had the following: Mute Swan (2); Mallard (36); Hooded Merganser (31); Red-breasted Merganser (1m: photo'd as it swam under the Rt. 148 bridge over the Quabog River); Cooper's hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (6 on frozen Lake Quabog along with many ice fishermen and over 25 cars on the ice); Red-bellied Woodpecker (1); Downy Woodpecker (9: 1 excavating hole); Hairy Woodpecker (1); N Flicker (1); C Raven (1); A Robin (311); Pine Warbler (1: possible over winterer. Though I typically see/hear my first Pine Warblers in the Brookfields during the first week of April, on 1/7/07 we found, and photo'd a Pine Warbler also in the Quabog WMA in the company of chickadees and robins.); A Tree Sparrow (14); Red-winged Blackbird (2);
  • We Then checked out a report of a POSSIBLE Snowy Owl at Greenhill Park area, but found nothing. While there, we did a quick birding survey of LAKE QUINSIGAMOND/FLINT POND complex. Highlights included: Canada Goose (4); Mute Swan (8); A Black Duck (26); Mallard (156); Ring-necked Duck (14); C Goldeneye (2m); Hooded Merganser (4); Common Merganser (18); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Wild Turkey (5); Fish Crow (2 very vocal birds sitting right next to each other. Possible pair?); A Robin (111); Red-winged Blackbird (2); C Grackle (3);
  • While looking for the Canvasback (and dipping) we had 3 snowmobilers zoom under the Rt. 9 bridge (where the water looked open, and park below us and then climb up to the restaurant. Leaving their snowmobiles on VERY thin looking ice. Yikes! Also: there is a deer carcass on the ice under the Rt. 290 bridge. People should watch for eagles here.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/1/14 -- Mendon
    I had a report this evening of a Barnacle Goose in Mendon. It was reported by Cheri Ezell, who runs Maple Farm Sanctuary in Mendon, and she saw it at the Farm with a flock of Canadas, and the flock was evidently around most of the day. See (http://www.maplefarmsanctuary.org/). I asked if the public could visit, and she said yes, keeping in mind it is a sanctuary. She included a couple of cell phone photos. (report from Marj. Rines fide Paul Meleski)

    2/26/14 -- Chandler St, Worcester
    I had 9 Turkey Vultures today around Worcester State University over Chandler St and area. (report from Scott Ricker).

    2/26/14 -- Quabog and Swift Rivers, East Brookfield/Palmer
    We decided to bird right along the mainstem of the Quabog River from Lake Lashaway to the river's confluence with the Chicopee River in Palmer. To our surprise, there was even less open water along the river than there was a week ago. Hiking in paths was also a challenge because the snow had developed an icy crust and you broke through every third of fourth step, making progress difficult and dangerous. Pull-offs were in mostly poor shape with ice and snow. The Quabog River runs from East Brookfield through Brookfield through Warren and then forms the border between Monson and Palmer for a while and then at the "Three Rivers" area meets the co-joined Ware and Swift Rivers at the start of the Chicopee River in Palmer. As the river runs through Warren it becomes shallow and "riffly" and as there is a significant elevation drop into Palmer, the river gains some speed.
  • Totals: Turkey Vulture (1); Mute Swan (2); A Black Duck (1); Hooded Merganser (5); Common Merganser (16); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (4); Herring Gull (1); Great Black-backed Gull (1); Passerines were typical with good numbers of the usual species: jays; chickadees; bluebirds.
  • From Three Rivers, we followed the Swift River north to Quabbin Reservoir through the towns of Palmer and Ware. The Swift River is for the most part a narrow river but surprisingly had more open water than the Quabog did. We noted: Mallard (16); American Black Duck (4); Ring-necked Duck (1m); Hooded Merganser (14); Common Merganser (4);
  • At Quabbin Park there was a deer carcass out from the Administration Building. Through Quabbin Park we had (2) Turkey Vulture; (7) Bald Eagles; (1) Golden Eagle and (6) Common Ravens.
  • NB: At the trout farm Sheila was able to get a few poor shots of a Short-tailed Shrew that was running around frantically. At the Enfield Lookout, we watched a coyote stalk a deer out on the ice. The coyote had attacked the deer, which had fallen, but had gotten up. The coyote had laid down facing the deer about 30 yards away while the deer just stood frozen facing the coyote. They were like that for 15 minutes and we left.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/26/14 -- Holden
    In our yard today between 7 am-9am we had 4 eastern bluebirds perching on nest boxes, 2 carolina wren, 1 fox sparrow, 3 white throated sparrow, 6 American robin, 4 common grackle, 2 rw blackbird, and 1 raven (report from Scott Corazzini).

    2/25/14 -- Holden
    I saw an adult bald eagle soaring over Kendall reservoir along rte 31 in Holden today. (report from Ted Purcell).

    2/25/14 -- Millbury
    Today there are 16 Common Grackles and 14 Red-winged blackbirds in the marsh. I guess Spring is really coming! (report from Susan LaBree).

    2/23/14 -- Downtown Worcester
    This morning at about 9:30, I saw two Peregrine Falcons. One was on the T&G building and the other was on the Peoples United Bank Building. (report from Alan Marble).

    2/22/14 -- Uxbridge Community Gardens
    While checking out the usual birds at Uxbridge Community Gardens this morning, I was quite surprised to hear a very early Killdeer calling overhead. I got the binoculars on it and made visual confirmation. (report from Alan Marble).

    2/19/14 -- Worcester
    This morning while shoveling I heard a Fish Crow calling near my yard and a Pileated Woodpecker calling in my yard.. I looked up and found a male Pileated Woodpecker in a tree about 20 feet from me. (report from Bart Kamp).

    2/19/14 -- Downtown Worcester
    This morning the old Worcester Center Galleria was being demolished. A peregrine Falcon was circling overhead as the demolition started, then it flew off. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    2/18/14 -- Main South, Worcester
    I have had this leucistic Tufted Titmouse coming to my feeders the last few weeks. Photo taken through a window.. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    2/17/14 -- South Quabbin area
    We found (and photo'd); a pair of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS today in the Swift River, which runs between Ware and Belchertown, south of Quabbin Reservoir. They were visible from the southern end of River Road, near a group of Hooded Mergansers, Mallards and Black Ducks. We birded Quabbin Park and along this first section of the Swift River . The reservoir is completely ice covered. Totals were: Mallard (25); A Black Duck (4); Hooded Merganser (18); Red-breasted Merganser (pair); Bald Eagle (1ad); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (just 1 at the state trout farm); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); Downy Woodpecker (2); Hairy Woodpecker (2); Blue Jay (6); A Crow (3); C Raven (1); Black-capped Chickadee (35); Tufted Titmouse (9); Red-breasted Nuthatch (4); White-breasted Nuthatch (3); Golden-crowned Kinglet (5); Hermit Thrush (2: Quabbin Park); A Robin (11); Dark-eyed Junco (2);
  • Also: from the Administration building: 1 Eastern Coyote, the same one with the injured paw that we saw Saturday when there were at least 7 coyotes seen from the same spot. Sheila will post some pics on her blog.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/16/14 -- downtown Worcester
    I saw one of the Peregrine Falcons sitting on the People's Bank sign (Building behind City Hall) around 3:00 this afternoon. It was too far away to tell if it was the male or female, or if it had been injured. (report from Emily Eaton).

    2/16/14 -- Worcester
    Since 2/13 an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk, an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk and an adult Cooper's Hawk have hit birds in the yard. They left feathers on the ground; but with no bird. Each was seen perched in a nearby tree with empty talons after the hit. (report from Bart Kamp).

    2/16/14 -- Trout Brook Reservation, Holden
    While snow shoeing at trout brook reservation today we observed a winter wren for several minutes in and out of snow covered brush piles; also ruby crowned kinglets, cedar waxwings, brown creeper, red breasted nuthatch. (report from Scott & Rubina Corazzini).

    2/15/14 -- Quabog IBA+South Quabbin area
  • We started the morning birding just a few stops in the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields. Birding was tough as people were still digging out from the last storm and there were very few places to pull over and park. Most of the water on the lakes was ice-covered, but we still managed along the river: Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (2); A Black Duck (13); Mallard (40); Hooded Merganser (15); Common Merganser (9); Bald Eagle (1imm). Passerines included Common Raven (1); Carolina Wren (2); E Bluebird (4); American Robin (48); N Mockingbird (1); Tree Sparrow (3);.
  • Then we headed to South Quabbin (Ware-Belchertown). Most of Quabbin Park still had the gates closed, so we birded from in front of the Administration Building (the road from Rt.9 to there is always open), then went on to the state trout farm and along the first mile of the river. We had: Bald Eagle (2ad+2subAd); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Mallard (10); Hooded Merganser (9); American Robin (32); Cedar Waxwing (4). Plus: a nice show of minimally (7) Eastern Coyotes on the ice covered reservoir.
  • Finally we stopped at Orlando's Ponds in Charlton. Here there was a very small blob of open water that had: Canada Goose (5); Mallard (300+); A Black Duck (29); Red-tailed Hawk (1 in the area).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/12/13 -- Downtown Worcester
    There was a Peregrine Falcon Perched atop the Peoples Bank Building at 8:15 this morning. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    2/9/14 -- Rutland
    At 11:00 this morning - close to old state hospital - there was a Bald Eagle circling and heading west. (report from Jane Fitzgerald).

    2/8/14 -- Rutland
    We had two adult bald eagles frequenting the ice fishing derby at Demond Pond in Rutland. One or two have been regular lately. They seem to come and go from the feeder stream that flows from an area of large white pines. (report from Ted Purcell).

    2/8/14 -- Leominster
    Around 2 PM while driving south on Rte I-190 in Leominster I spotted an adult bald eagle flying very low over the highway bridge that spans the Nashua River near Exit 5 (Rte 117 exit). The bird flew downstream along the Nashua River. (report from Marion Larson).

    2/8/14 -- Blackstone/Millville
    This morning we birded a few stops along the Blackstone River in Worcester County. Out first stop was in the small towns of BLACKSTONE AND MILLVILLE. Here we bumped into Glenn d'Entremont, which was a pleasant surprise. He was looking for Black Vultures. We had just looked over the border in Woonsocket and had only 3 Turkey Vultures roosting on houses and none at the transfer station. We took him a tour of the Woonsocket spots and as we returned to the Blackstone Dunkin' Doughnuts lot a single TV flew in. We left to see if we could find the roost and did, from the entrance road to the Hartnett Middle School off Federal Street. We had atlased the areas down here and knew all the areas to look. We called Glenn an got him on some perched Black Vultures. But shortly afterwards (by 9:30AM) suddenly all the vultures put up, circling in one confusing large mob of Turkey and Black Vultures. They then seemed to go down somewhere nearby. We left Glenn and found where the vultures went down, They were NOT in Woonsocket per usual, but atop neighborhood houses in southern Blackstone like along Williams and May Streets. Some houses had more than 10 vultures on them. At the end, we believe we had: Minimally (61) Turkey Vultures and Minimally (23) Black Vultures. Likely more, but it was tough to count as they were spread out and moving around.
  • Among the other species seen in the Blackstone/Millville area: Bald Eagle (1ad); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Canada Goose (118); Mute Swan (4); Mallard (90); A Black Duck (5); Hooded Merganser (21); Common merganser (9); Wild Turkey (11); Common Raven (1: they nest in northern Blackstone); Eastern Towhee (1); Swamp Sparrow (1); Red-winged Blackbird (1);
  • Further north along the river we also noted (2); Great Blue Herons and much more waterfowl.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/7/14 -- Bart's Pond, Clinton
    Trying to find open water was difficult today, but the old reliable Bart's Pond had a lot of Mallards and one Male Northern Pintail. (report from Peter Morlock).

    2/4/14 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    This morning we birded Wachusett Reservoir, including the Rt. 100 dike; the dam, River Road, South Bay and a rather beautiful walk out to Scar Hills Bluffs. The reservoir is now close to 100% ice/snow covered including the Quinapoxet River near River Road (I am sure it is open further up river at least in sections). We did manage: Mute Swan (1 dead? A lump of white off from River Road appeared to be a frozen, dead swan); Mallard (158); A Black Duck (1: all behind Wheetabix); Ring-billed Gull (14); Herring Gull (1). It was great snow for tracking, and I tracked a coyote along the main trail out to the bluffs, then down the side trail and then: OVER THE EDGE. The tracks showed that the coyote continued over the edge and down into some birches on the steep cliff face.
  • We then headed to Lake Quinsigamond-Flint Pond complex partly in the towns of Worcester, Shrewsbury and Grafton. Here there was at least some open water, though not a lot. We checked for the Red-breasted Merganser and did NOT see it, but there was a lot of work going on at the Rt.9 Bridge. Totals: Mute Swan (12); Canada Goose (146); Mallard (61); A Black Duck (36); Bufflehead (1f); Hooded Merganser (24); Ring-billed Gull (161); Herring Gull (29); Great Black Backed Gull (3);
  • One of the more unusual sightings was on Holden Street, at the north end of Lake Quinsigamond. A car had gone well off the road where Mud Pond connected to the lake. The car was there in the muck, there was also a huge crane and several police cars. It was a busy mess. Yet, just about 75 feet out in the thin strip of open water, there was a mess of Mallards, Canada Geese, Ring-billed Gulls and a pair of Hooded Mergs resting seeming not to notice.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/3/14 -- Sterling
    Highlights seen today at our feeders and below the feeders (at one time!) during the snow were: "our" Fox Sparrow (here since Jan 22, 2014), and a record (for us) of 22 Northern Cardinals. Previous record for us was 12 last year at one time. (report from Marsha and Fred Paine).

    2/3/14 -- Holden
    From our yard between 7am-3pm, highlights were red bellied woodpecker,fox sparrow, brown creeper, and sharp shinned hawk. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    2/2/14 -- Royalston
    Today we birded Royalston, looking (hopefully) for some Evening Grosbeaks. We dipped in all the usual spots, including areas where we had them breeding this summer. Our total list is as follows: American Black Duck (3: 1 fly-over and two in a small part of an open stream north of Tully Lake); Wild Turkey (4); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3); Hairy Woodpecker (3); Pileated Woodpecker (1); Blue Jay (32); American Crow (7); Common Raven (2); Eastern Bluebird (6); Black-capped Chickadee (72); Tufted Titmouse (10); White-breasted Nuthatch (8); Eastern Bluebird (6); American Robin (69); E Starling (16); A Tree Sparrow (3); N Cardinal (3); A Goldfinch (4);
  • Later at Mandel Hill, East Quabbin Land Trust property in Hardwick we had a huge flock of 100+ Snow Buntings flying overhead towards Quabbin.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/1/14 -- Rutland State Park, Rutland
    Near the entrance to parking for the beach area there was a Northern Goshawk giving its kek kek kek calls, as if it was defending a nest. This is way too soon for that, so I don't know what got it agitated. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    2/1/14 -- Winimusset WMA ,New Braintree
    This evening at Winimusset WMA at 5:35pm we had a Long-eared Owl in a tree on the opposite side of the street from the little building . We heard it first and then located it a few minutes later. (report from Bob and Diane Abbott).

    For previous sightings, see January 2014 Archives or Archive Index