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:

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 ( 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