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:

4/18/15 -- south Quabbin Reservoir
Seen this morning in the South Quabbin general area: Common Loon (2); Great Blue Heron (91); Turkey Vulture (5); Canada Goose (6: 2 on nests); Wood Duck (17); Mallard (2 pair); Hooded Merganser (2m+1f); Common Merganser (pr+1m); Bald Eagle (2ad); Sharp-shinned Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Wild Turkey (5); Ruffed Grouse (1 drumming); Killdeer (6); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (13); Pileated Woodpecker (6); E Phoebe (12); Tree Swallow (37); N Rough-winged Swallow (2); Red-breasted Nuthatch (2); Brown Creeper (3 singing); Ruby-crowned Kinglet (6); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (3); Hermit Thrush (3 singing); Brown Thrasher (1); Pine Warbler (28); E Towhee (8); Chipping Sparrow (43); Field Sparrow (4); Purple Finch (1).
  • PLUS: Spring Azure (1); E Comma (1); The Infant (a moth) (1); Green Darner (1: first ode of the year!) and lots of Wood Frogs egg masses.
  • ALSO: In Spencer north of Rt. 9: Louisiana Waterthrush (4).
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/17/2015 -- Westborough WMA
    43 species in 2 hours. Highlights were 3 breeding plumage male Ruddy Ducks, Great Egret, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 2 Brown Thrashers, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 5 Palm Warblers, 13 Myrtle Warblers,and 2 American Kestrels. Photos on my Worcester County Big Year Blog. (report from Justin Lawson).

    4/17/15 -- Grafton/Millbury
  • St. Philip's Cemetery, Grafton: There were 4 Eastern Blue birds, 6 Yellow-Rumps and 18 Tree Swallows. No activity in the heron nests.
  • Riverlin Road, Millbury: There were 5 Field Sparrows, 1 Eastern Towhee, 8 White-throated sparrows.
    (report from Susan LaBree).

  • 4/17/15 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 1 Great Blue Heron, 1 Cooper's Hawk (flying across Park Ave toward Mark Lynch's house!), 6 Tree Swallows, 1 N. Rough-winged Swallow, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 Pine Warblers, 1 Palm Warbler, 1 Chipping Sparrow (singing), 4 Brown-headed Cowbirds, and 2 muskrats attempting to mate (seemingly without success -- after a brief encounter, one swam away while the other chased it for some distance). (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/17/15 -- Sterling
    The first Eastern Towhee of the season was seen in our yard this AM. (report from Marsha Paine).

    4/16/15 -- Bike path, Millbury
    Notables today: I had 5 yellow-rumped warblers, 4 eastern phoebe and an eastern towhee on my walk. (report from Susan LaBree).

    4/15/15 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At noon today highlights were 1 Tree Swallow, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, and 1 Pine Warbler (singing). (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/14/15 -- West Hill Park, Northbridge
    In a mid-afternoon walk at West Hill Park, there were 1 male Eastern Towhee, 2 Field Sparrows, a Wood Duck pair, and 3 Broad-wInged Hawks circling fairly high. (report from Beth Milke)

    4/14/15 -- Downtown Worcester
    At 12:14 pm today, I observed a Peregrine Falcon land on the previously described ledge near the top of The Bancroft Commons apartment building at the corner of Portland and Franklin streets. It hopped down behind the small wall that runs along the ledge and out of sight. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    4/13/15 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    Raptors observed today (official counter Donna Schilling): Osprey 10 ; Bald Eagle 1 ; Northern Harrier 2 ; Sharp-shinned Hawk 5 ; Cooper's Hawk 1 ; Broad-winged Hawk 25 ; Red-tailed Hawk 3 ; American Kestrel 5 ; Merlin 2 .
  • Raptor Observations: Two or three Broad-winged Hawks not migrating.
  • Non-raptor Observations: 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, 1 Savannah Sparrow and 6 northward bound Common Mergansers.
    (report from Bart Kamp).

  • 4/13/15 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At noon there were 2 Palm Warblers. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/13/15 -- Ware River IBA/Wachusett Reservoir/Oxbow NWR
  • We started today birding some of the peripheral areas of the WARE RIVER WATERSHED IBA. All the gates are still closed and long stretches of the rail trail are ice covered still. We hiked in where we could and had: Canada Goose (10); Wood Duck (21); Mallard (2); Ring-necked Duck (1); Hooded Merganser (5); Common Merganser (14); A Kestrel (1); Wild Turkey (6); Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2); Pileated Woodpecker (3); E Phoebe (16); Tree Swallow (24); Hermit Thrush (1); Pine Warbler (16);
  • Then at WACHUSETT RESERVOIR, still c. 50% ice covered, but melting quickly: Common Loon (3); Double-crested Cormorant (2); Mute Swan (4); Canada Goose (5); Mallard (14); A Black Duck (51); Green-winged Teal (8); Ring-necked Duck (16); Bufflehead (3); C Goldeneye (5); Red-tailed Hawk (2); A Kestrel (1);
  • Finally we took a 2 hour hike at OXBOW NWR: Turkey Vulture (2); Great Blue Heron (1+4 occupied nests); Canada Goose (2); Wood Duck (5); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Belted Kingfisher (1); Red-bellied Woodpecker (2); Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Phoebe (6); Brown Creeper (2); Hermit Thrush (3); Pine Warbler (2); Palm Warbler (1); Swamp Sparrow (1);
  • PLUS: many Wood Frogs and peepers calling; many E Painted Turtles out and (3) Eastern Commas.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/12/15 -- Worcester
    We saw a bald eagle near chamberlain parkway and morningside at 6:00 p.m. today. It flew in and perched in a tall evergreen for about 20 minutes and then took off again. (report from Jody Emel).

    4/12/15 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    Combined totals from Saturday, April 11, and Sunday, April 12, at the Barre Falls Hawk Watch: 4 Bald Eagles; 13 Ospreys; 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk; 1 BROAD-WINGED HAWK; 8 Red-tailed Hawks; 4 American Kestrels; and 1 Merlin.  On Sunday, there was one Mourning Cloak butterfly. (report from Donna Schilling).

    4/12/15 -- Lake Quaboag, Brookfield
    This morning at 6:30 I saw NINE (9) Immature Bald Eagles on the lake, which is still partially frozen. Needless to say, there were very few ducks (who would blame them!) -- 32 Common Mergansers were the only ducks I saw. Elsehere, in a flooded field at the corner of Rt. 31 and Meadow Street in Spencer there were 56 Wood Ducks and 8 Green-winged Teal. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    4/11/15 -- Worcester/Millbury
  • All Faith's Cemetery: 16 Ring-necked Ducks, 4 Hooded Merganser, 8 Double-Crested Cormorant.
  • Hope Cemetery: 53 Juncos, 12 White-throated Sparrow, 2 Killdeer, 2 Northern Flicker, 1 pair of copulating Red-tailed Hawks.
  • Notre Dame Cemetery: 1 Belted Kingfisher, 1 Great Blue Heron, 2 Wood Duck, 8 White-throated Sparrow, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
  • Rte 56 Airport fields: 1 Kestrel, 2 Killdeer, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 2 Turkey Vulture.
  • Dorothy Pond, Millbury: 14 Ring-necked ducks, 15 Common Merganser, 6 Hooded Merganser.
    (report from Susan LaBree).

  • 4/11/15 -- Bond St. Holden
    At 5:00 p.m. there were 1 Kestrel, 1 male Northern Harrier both hunting in a field next to a farm. (report from Anne Greene).

    4/10/15 -- Westboro Wildlife Management Area
    The Forbush Bird Club held its annual Woodcock Walk at the Westboro Wildlife Management Area led by Laura Lane. With the construction now complete on the new MassWildlife Headquarters, the trip started at the new building. As darkness fell, the spring peepers, Woodcock and Killdeer filled the spring air with sound. Highlights included a newly arrived Eastern Phoebe, a beaver and our target bird, the American Woodcock. (report from Laura Lane).

    4/10/15 -- Grafton/Northbridge
    A Great Egret was seen at Fisherville Pond in Grafton. Also, numerous Chimney Swifts flew over Northbridge near the intersection of Rtes. 122 and 122A. (report from Beth Milke)

    4/10/15 -- Millbury
    At noon today, there were 3 Black Vultures siting on the chimneys of the Millbury Credit Union. (report from Alan Marble).

    4/10/15 -- Gardner
    The feeders were active this morning, with 6 Pine siskins, 13 Red-wings, 11 grackles, approx. 30-40 A. goldfinches, 4 cowbirds, 1 FOX SPARROW, 3 Song sparrows, 1 Chipping sparrow, numerous juncos,and 2 COMMON REDPOLLS around them this morning. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    4/9/15 -- Otter River, Baldwinville
    Highlights from a lunch-time walk along the Otter River in Baldwinville, a good day for birders..tough day for the early migrants:
  • Wood Duck 8; American Wigeon 2; Green-winged Teal (American) 4; Ring-necked Duck 20; Great Blue Heron 1; Bald Eagle 1; Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 3; Eastern Phoebe 12 most feeding along the ice/water edge; Tree Swallow 2; Brown Creeper 1; Winter Wren 2 mousing together in a thicket; Hermit Thrush 1 "foraging" in brush on the ice; American Tree Sparrow 1; Fox Sparrow (Red) 6; Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 150; Pine Siskin 2.
  • This morning before work at Monty tech (Westminster/ Fitchburg) there were 2 Wilson's Snipe and 28 Killdeer. I didn't see the Ibis (see 4/5 report) but they may have been still at their roost.
    (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 4/8/15 -- Sterling
    Today at our house we had 4 Fox Sparrows! (report from Marsha Paine).

    4/8/15 -- Gardner
    Just finished "servicing" all the boxes at Wampanoag WS including the Kestrel box, and as we were about to depart, appearing overhead was a female A. kestrel. Also flushed an Am. woodcock, and 3 N. flickers and 2 E. phoebes have arrived. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    4/7/15 -- Worcester
    This afternoon at the small Soccer Field on Calumet were 418 American Robins and 2 Northern Flicker. At home I had 3 Chipping Sparrows at the feeder. (report from Susan LaBree).

    4/7/15 -- Westborough WMA
    At the Westborough WMA there was a Drake Northern Shovelor in the marsh. While walking out to Little Chauncey there were 4 Fox Sparrows, 4 Palm Warblers, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and  2 Greater Scaup.  On the way back to the car an American Bittern walked slowly across the road and posed nicely on the same marsh as the shovelor. Photos will be on my blog at (report from Justin Lawson).

    4/7/15 -- Worcester
    4 Pine Siskins were on my feeders this morning and a first of year Fox Sparrow arrived this afternoon.
  • For three days last week this racing pigeon was in my yard. It was banded but I couldn't read enough of the printing on the band to identify the source of the bird.
    (report from Bart Kamp).

  • 4/7/15 -- Princeton/Gardner
    This morning at our house in Gardner there were YB sapsucker, E phoebe pair, Chipping sparrow, and 1 Fox sparrow. Many Pine siskins continue.
  • Yesterday (4/6) at Wachusett Meadows in Princeton there were Eastern phoebe and Chipping sparrow.
    (report from Dick Knowlton).

  • 4/6/15 -- Upper North Row Rd, Sterling
    Seen at our suet feeder this morning were a Pine Warbler and a Chipping Sparrow. Phoebes abound! (report from Marsha and Fred Paine).

    4/6/15 -- Dexter Drumlin, Lancaster
    At 1:15pm the Greater White-fronted Goose continues. (report from Bob Abbott)

    4/6/15 -- Bolton/Sterling
  • This morning at 8:30 there were four glossy ibis feeding at the small pond across Rte 117 from Bolton Fairgrounds near Bolton Flats.
  • This evening we heard three Woodcock in the Davis Farm area on Redstone Hill rd. We also heard several killdeer calling among the peenting...and saw 2coyotes trot by. (report from Marion Larson and Scott Handler).

  • 4/6/15 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    At noon there was 1 Black-crowned Night Heron. It flew into the back corner of the small cove between the apartments and the island, and was hard to see after that. (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/6/15 -- Bolton Flats, Bolton
    In mid-day there were 2 Osprey, 3 Glossy Ibis, 50 Green-winged Teal, 6 Snipe, and 1 Eastern Phoebe. (phone report from Dave Grant).

    4/6/15 -- Lancaster/Bolton
  • LANCASTER: DEXTER DRUMLIN early in AM: Canada Goose (432); Wood Duck (11); Green-winged Teal (168); Mallard (121); A Black Duck (19); A Kestrel (1f); Killdeer (4); Ring-billed Gull (57);
  • BOLTON: Wild Turkey (15);
  • BOLTON FLATS: west of river right along Rt. 117 Glossy Ibis (4: they eventually flew over to the main area of Bolton Flats. Where we noticed several birders); Canada Goose (19); Mallard (6); Ring-necked Duck (3);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/5/15 -- Leominster/Westminster
    this evening on my way home from Easter Dinner at my folks, I spotted a flock of waxwings off union Street in Leominster. It turned out to be a mixed flock of 150-175 Bohemians and about a 100 Cedars. I did not see any food present -- these birds were drinking water from a puddle, a nearby stream and eating snow. They stayed about 10-15 minutes then flew off to the east.
  • Closer to home in Westminster there were 3 Glossy Ibis feeding on the athletic field a Monty Tech Regional School... on the Westminster/Fitchburg line.
    (report from Tom Pirro).
      Update on 4/9/15: Ted Purcell reports that a friend of his at Monty Tech showed him a photo, taken on 4/7, of birds there that were identifiable as Glossy Ibis.

  • 4/5/15 -- Western Worcester County
  • STURBRIDGE (1 stop): Great Blue Heron (17 nests with birds standing on them); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (4); Hooded Merganser (1m); Great Horned Owl (1 on nest); Tree Swallow (20+); Brown Creepers heard singing in several areas.
  • BRIMFIELD: EAST BRIMFIELD LAKE: Canada Goose (15); Wood Duck (3); Green-winged Teal (3); Ring-necked Duck (48); Common Merganser (13); Tree Swallow (50+);
  • WARREN (2 stops): Great Blue Heron (5 nests with birds standing on them and a total of 9 birds in the area); Green-winged Teal (6); Mallard (16); A Black Duck (8); Ring-necked Duck (8); Hooded Merganser (4); Bald Eagle (1 sub ad); Tree Swallow (16); PLUS: 1 Bobcat watched for 20 minutes as it hunted muskrats.
      NB: After a conversation with Tom French Saturday, we checked on the three OSPREY nests in Sturbridge (2); and Warren (1); all of which were in microwave relay towers, and it appears that all three nests have been removed by the owners, which they can legally do.
  • BELCHERTOWN: STATE TROUT HATCHERY Great Blue Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (2); Killdeer (6);
  • HARDWICK: 1 large area of fields Killdeer (7); Horned Lark (19); American Robin (400+); NEW BRAINTREE: Canada Goose (52); Wood Duck (59); Green-winged Teal (37); Mallard (71); A Black Duck (23); Killdeer (9); American Pipit (1);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/5/15 -- Bolton Flats, Bolton
  • At 1:30 this afternoon there were 4 Glossy Ibis in the farm field west of the path from the Route 117 parking lot. Hip boots required.
  • Yesterday (4/4/15) there was a Chipping Sparrow at my feeder.
    (report from Bart Kamp).

  • 4/5/15 -- River Rd, West Boylston
    From 7:48 AM to 9:10 AM I observed 25 species. Highlights: heard and saw 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches about half-way down River Rd; 1 Common Raven harassed by crows, flew over basin towards Old Stone Church; 1 Barn Swallow with 17 Tree Swallows, and the 2 male Gadwalls continue. (report from Ed Kittredge).

    4/5/15 -- Gardner
    About 40 Bohemian waxwings in our Linden trees at sunrise this morning. 2 Fox sparrows around our feeders. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    4/4/15 -- Wachusett Reservoir, West Boylston
    Where the Quinapoxet River empties into the reservoir, a single Barn Swallow was seen amongst 30 or so Tree Swallows. Seems a bit early from my experience. A minute later, an adult Peregrine Falcon came from the river low and fast making a pass at the swallows as they rested on the ice. The falcon was unsuccessful and passed over my head and continued northward. (report from Josh Gahagan).

    4/4/15 -- Wachusett Reservoir/Dexter Drumlin
    We went out early this morning to see if the passing rain had put any new species down.
  • We started at WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Common Loon (1ad br); Great Blue Heron (2); Canada Goose (11); Mute Swan (5); Wood Duck (8); Gadwall (2m); A Black Duck (2); Mallard (20); Ring-necked Duck (17); Greater Scaup (1m); Bufflehead (10); Common Goldeneye (21); Common Merganser (42); Ruddy Duck (3); Bald Eagle (3); Cooper's Hawk (1); A Kestrel (1f); Wild Turkey (23); E Phoebe (6); N Rough-winged Swallow (seen and heard);
  • THEN, on to DEXTER DRUMLIN, LANCASTER. We got there and got it birded before the winds really kicked up. Canada Goose (339); Snow Goose (1ad); Wood Duck (16); Green-winged Teal (144); Mallard (252); A Black Duck (46); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Killdeer (6); Ring-billed Gull (52);
  • At DAVIS FARMLAND, STERLING we were hoping for more geese, but found only 3 Canadas, but did have a huge flock of (70+); cowbirds.
  • Finally, at EAGLE LAKE, HOLDEN: Great Blue Heron (1); Osprey (1);
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/4/15 -- Douglas
    Had a Pine Warber at the suet feeder this morning -- a welcome sight in a yard still covered with snow. (report from Mark Landon).

    4/4/15 -- Upper North Row Rd, Sterling
    A nice pair of Pine Siskins have been visiting our feeders since yesterday, April 3rd. Also we have heard several Woodcock displaying in our yard since April 1, despite a ton of snow! (report from Marsha and Fred Paine).

    4/3/15 -- Dudley
    I heard my first Eastern Phoebe today as I stepped onto my porch. It was calling from my neighbor's yard. A new and lovely sound of spring. (report from Joan Zumpfe).

    4/3/15 -- Quabog IBA, Brookfields
    Today we birded the ponds and rivers of the QUABOG IBA IN THE Brookfields. The ponds are still 80-90% ice covered, and some ice fishing is still going on. Some fields were mostly snow free while others were still white. Robins swarmed over most open fields. Some Red-winged Blackbirds on territory, but many migrant flocks also seen. Migrant duck numbers are building and phoebe numbers rapidly increasing.
  • Great Blue Heron (3); Turkey Vulture (4); Canada Goose (68); Wood Duck (31); A Black Duck (27); Mallard (24); Green-winged Teal (16); Ring-necked Duck (118); Bufflehead (6); Hooded Merganser (24); Common Merganser (49); Bald Eagle (5: a pair of adults perched near the nesting area along the shores of Lake Quabog. Another adult flying down the river. One immature perched on the ice at Lake Quabog and another flying along the river); N Harrier (1f); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Merlin (1); Killdeer (16); Wilson's Snipe (3); Ring-billed Gull (31); N Flicker (3); Pileated Woodpecker (1); E Phoebe (13); Tree Swallow (72: most along the open river); Carolina Wren (only 1); E Bluebird (5); Fox Sparrow (2); Rusty Blackbird (12: feeding in a grassy field with robins. Photo'd);
  • Mammals included River Otter and several Muskrats.
    (report from Sheila Carroll/Mark Lynch).

  • 4/3/15 -- Lancaster
    This afternoon there was a juv. white morph Snow Goose among a flock of Canada Geese on Rte 117, one mile west of Rte 110 opposite the canoe launch access. (report from Bob Abbott)

    4/2/15 -- Barre Falls Dam, Barre
    At the hawkwatch site today, there were 5 Red-tailed Hawks, 3 Red-shouldered Hawks, 7 Turkey Vultures, 1 Bald Eagle, 2 Cooper's Hawks, 1 Rough-legged Hawk, 3 Am. Kestrels, and 2 Ospreys migrating. Also seen were Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, and 3 Ravens. (phone report from Dave Grant).

    4/2/15 -- Bolton Flats WMA, Lancaster
    This morning we birded BOLTON FLATS WMA in Lancaster, from several vantage points along rts. 117 and 110. Things aren't totally flooded yet as there is still a lot of snow and ice cover, BUT the process is under way. There were lots of waterfowl out on the flats. When we walked out we went no further than where the water that crosses the road so as to not flush the birds because we were back in the trees. The views weren't the best, but at least we did not flush the ducks and geese. This is a constant problem at this location. We also birded several other overviews of fields in the whole area and had the following:
  • Great Blue Heron (1); Turkey Vulture (3); Canada Goose (896: as best as I could count); Mute Swan (2); Wood Duck (141: flocks were sitting at the edge of some ice covered pools); A Black Duck (35); Mallard (116); Green-winged Teal (69); Eurasian/Common Teal (1m: I have missed this bird several times at this location because birders keep flushing the teal, which are very jumpy, far back. Today we just waited and waited and eventually it paid off. We both studied the bird for about 20 minutes and LEFT IT THERE.); Ring-necked Duck (9: the Still River is still ice covered in sections, but where it is open, we found waterfowl); Red-tailed Hawk (3); Rough-legged Hawk (1 light-phase); Killdeer (12); Wilson's Snipe (4) Passerines were typical, but we did have 4 Tree Swallows heading out and 1 singing Fox Sparrow.
  • Later at DEXTER DRUMLIN TRUSTEES OF RESERVATIONS PROPERTY also in Lancaster: Great Blue Heron (1 overhead); Canada Goose (400+: they were coming and going so it was tough to keep a good count); Greater White-fronted Goose (1: took off with some Canadas. Sheila got some distant record shots); Mallard (8); Killdeer (2). (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/2/15 -- Millbury
    This morning at the Riverlin Street end of Dorothy Pond I had 14 Common Merganser. There were 6 White-throated Sparrows and a Phoebe heard for the first time this season. Cowbirds are also back. (report from Susan LaBree).

    4/1/15 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Today at noon there were 2 DC Cormorants (ad), 4 GB Herons, 3 Mute Swans, 2 Am. Black Ducks, 3 Hooded Mergansers, 8 Common Mergansers, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, and 4 Song sparrows (one trying out a song, not fully developed). (report from Rick Quimby).

    4/1/15 -- Uxbridge/Grafton
  • This morning there was a male Northern Harrier working the fields at the Uxbridge Community Gardens.
  • In Grafton at the usual Osprey nesting site on the powerlines near Nelson Pond, an Osprey flew over. There was also an Eastern Phoebe.
    (report from Alan Marble).

  • 4/1/15 -- Westboro, Northboro, Southboro and Wachusett Reservoir
    This morning 4/1 we checked some ponds east of Worcester. All bodies were still 90%+ ice covered, BUT there was some open water where streams entered, Waterfowl numbers are still low:
  • SUASCO, WESTBOROUGH: Mute Swan (10); Canada Goose (2); Mallard (1); Belted Kingfisher (2); Fox Sparrow (1 singing);
  • CHAUNCY LAKE, WESTBORO: Mute Swan (2); Wood Duck (pair); Mallard (2 pairs);
  • BARTLETT POND, NORTHBORO: Mute Swan (5: 2 pair and 1 single that was chased off the ice by one of the pairs); Canada Goose (2); Wood Duck (pr); Hooded Merganser (2m);
  • SUDBURY RESERVOIR, SOUTHBORO: Canada Goose (27); Wood Duck (2); Mallard (4); Ring-necked Duck (1m); Common Goldeneye (5); Hooded Merganser (4); Common Merganser (3); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Tree Sparrow (9);
  • WACHUSETT RESERVOIR: Great Blue Heron (1); Mute Swan (5: got to watch a pair mating); Canada Goose (6); Wood Duck (3); Mallard (14); Ring-necked Duck (26); Bufflehead (1m); C Goldeneye (9); Hooded Merganser (4); Common Merganser (26); BALD EAGLE (3imm: 2 near carcass on ice; 1 perched on the rocky outcropping next to Rt.70); Red-tailed Hawk (2)
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/1/15 -- Downtown Worcester
    At 12:45PM a Peregrine Falcon landed on the previously described ledge at The Bancroft Commons building at the corner of Franklin and Portland Street. It hopped down behind the small wall that runs along the ledge, and was still there out of sight when I left 15 minutes later. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    3/30/15 -- Gardner/West Boylston/Princeton
  • A Fox sparrow was at our feeder in Gardner this a.m. along with 1 song sparrow, A tree sparrow; 6 C grackles; numerous Pine siskins and other usual feeder birds.
  • At the Oakdale section of Wachusett Reservoir: 6 C goldeneye ; 1 mute swan; 19 C. geese; 13 Hooded mergansers; 1 GB heron; 1 Belted kingfisher; 2 RB gulls; 3 Tree swallows; 4 R-N ducks; 9 Mallards.
  • At Wachusett Meadow Sanctuary in Princeton: 2 Hooded mergs; 1 RB woodpecker; 2 Downy woodpeckers; 2 TVs; various Common grackles and Red-wings and usual feeder birds.
    (report from Dick Knowlton).

  • 3/30/15 --Paxton
    At Little Asnebumskit Hill there were 13 well constructed Great Blue Heron nests at one of the beaver pond/swamps. They were all empty nests, and there were 5 perched GB Herons. The pond is covered with ice and snow, but there was a small open area where the water was flowing through which I had a pair of Mallards. I was chopping a fallen log with a machete, which attracted a calling, flyby Pileated Woodpecker. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    3/29/15 -- Gardner
    Annie and I went up to Gardner for a first close look at the bohemian waxwings. Didn't count them but there must have been more than 150 at times. They like to sit up in the maple behind 259 Green St. and occasionally swoop into the crab apples for a quick bite. They remain somewhat skittish with the traffic along the road. A few photos maybe seen here. (report from Garry Kessler).

    3/29/15 -- Rutland
    Was just out looking at Venus and a few other stars, and sure enough heard the first woodcock at our place in Rutland. Haven,'t seen a snow free patch much bigger than 3 ft. x 3 ft, but he is ready to go. (report from Ted Purcell)

    3/29/15 -- The Fair Plaza, Worcester
    This morning at 11:00 a.m. there was an Iceland Gull with a small group of Ring-billed Gulls in the Fair Plaza Parking lot right, in front of the Burlington Coat factory. (report from Alan Marble).

    3/29/15 -- Gardner
    I finally had a chance to slide up to Gardner and was rewarded with excellent views of the Bohemian Waxwings at 10:00 AM today. Intersection of Green and Mathews. At one point they flew and a pair of House Finches replaced them. Also, as I drove out of Rutland, a herd of five deer crossed rte 56 in front of me. (report from Ted Purcell).

    3/28/15 -- Millbury
    There was an adult Bald Eagle on Dorothy Pond in Millbury feeding on something at the edge of the ice/open water near Massasoit Rd. A resident there in a green house decided to walk close to the edge of his yard/shore line and spooked it a few hundred feet, then walked towards it again until the bird had to abandon its find/meal and lift off. (report from Scott Ricker).

    3/28/15 -- Grafton
    Between 3-5 Great Blue Herons flew into the rookery at 8:15a located behind Koopman Lumber in North Grafton. I watched three fly in, and there were at least two others alredy jockying around for a nest. Two are currently (at 9:30 am) standing atop two nests. (report from Scott Ricker).

    3/27/15 -- Brookfields
    This afternoon we birded a few stops in the QUABOG IBA in the Brookfields. The ponds are still 90+% ice covered, but the river is open for the most part. Many of the fields are still very much snow covered, but patches of grass are now showing.
  • Totals: Turkey Vulture (4); Canada Goose (4); Mute Swan (1); A Black Duck (5); Mallard (52); Ring-necked Duck (27); Hooded Merganser (12: all paired up); Common Merganser (7); Bald Eagle (1ad in tree near nest); Cooper's Hawk (1ad); Red-shouldered Hawk (par mating and making a racket); Red-tailed Hawk (2); A Kestrel (1m); Ring-billed Gull (19). Passerines were typical for the most part, but we did have: EASTERN PHOEBE (3); TREE SWALLOW (21: 17 flying low over ice covered Lake Quabog); Tree Sparrow (2); Red-winged Blackbird (224: flocks+territorial males); C Grackle (27); Brown-headed Cowbird (6). Plus: several Muskrats and 1 River Otter.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/27/15 -- River Road, West Boylston
    From about 1:30 PM to about 2:30 PM I observed 16 species in, along, or above the river and the basin.  Highlights: 8 Common Goldeneye, 2 Tree Swallows, 1 Rusty Blackbird. The rusty was foraging along the river bank around the bend upstream from the bridge. (report from Ed Kittredge). 

    3/26/15 -- Berlin/Sutton
  • Berlin: when leaving the grand opening of Cabela's at Highland Commons in Berlin, there was a Fish Crow calling on top of a light pole in the parking lot.
  • Sutton: Viewing the Blackstone River from Tricentennial Park in Sutton in the afternoon, I saw 12 Wood Ducks, 8 Mallards, 8 Ring-necked Ducks, 1 Northern Mockingbird and 41 Cedar Waxwings. Two Green-winged Teal had been seen there in the morning by Justin Lawson, but I didn't get them.
    (report from Alan Marble).

  • 3/25/15 -- Millbury
    This morning at Central Cemetery in Millbury there was a flock of about 20 Common Redpolls. They were moving around into various birch trees including the trees at the bridge that crosses the Blackstone as you enter. (report from Alan Marble).

    3/25/15 -- Wachusett Reservoir
    We did a quick check of Wachusett Reservoir this morning. The reservoir is still 95% ice covered, BUT open water is stating to show in a few places, notably Thomas Basin/River Road and around the causeway on Rt. 110. Both locatios are where water is strongly flowing.
  • Totals as follows: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (5); Mallard (15); A Black Duck (4); Ring-necked Duck (5); Common Goldeneye (7); Hooded Merganser (7); Common Merganser (8); Bald Eagle (1 immature at the deer carcass right off the Rt. 110 causeway and 1 sub-adult at Thomas Basin); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Ring-billed Gull (5).
  • Passerines were in low numbers but did include a handful of grackles and Red-wings. Plus: 3 White-tailed Deer.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 4/24/15 -- Gardner
    This evening shortly before sunset there was a mixed flock of ~75 red-wings, ~20 common grackles and at least 4 cowbirds at our feeders. They appeared to be all males. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    3/24/15 -- Clinton
  • Circling over the open water at Bart's Pond in Clinton this afternoon were 3 Tree Swallows. The only ducks on the pond were Mallards.
  • At Holden Reservoir 2 there was a coyote feeding on a dead deer that was on the ice. On the south side of the reservoir's dam there was a herd of 6 or 7 deer grazing.
    (report from Bart Kamp).

  • 3/24/15 -- Gardner
    The well documented Gardner flock of Bohemian Waxwings continued to show well this morning from 7:45 to 8:00AM. They were present on the corner of Green and Matthew's Streets. Some were perched high in the Maple, other fed on a sunlit "crab" on the Green Street sidewalk and others fed on fallen berries and snow on the ground.
    The total was about 175+, or about the same I counted Saturday morning (194), using a photo of the flock and placing a dot over each bird counted in the Paint program. (thanks to Steve Mirick for this great idea -- he used this to tally a large flock in NH).
    (report from Tom Pirro).

    3/23/16 -- Downtown Worcester
    I saw a photo by Edward Kittredge on my flickr page of a Peregrine Falcon at The Bancroft Commons building last night. I went there at 7:30 this morning. Immediately I saw a Peregrine Falcon land on the ledge with green lining, top floor just below the roof at the corner of Franklin and Portland St. It hopped down out of sight, then reappeared and flew away. While it was away, another Falcon constantly called. The Falcon which flew came back five minutes later, then flew away again while the other one called. This happened a third time, then the calling Falcon hopped up and perched. Both Falcons were still perched there for twenty minutes until I left (report from Brian Mulhearn).

    3/21/15 -- Shrewsbury
    Today as I was driving down South St in Shrewsbury after leaving Westboro A-1 I noticed some birds fly off the birch trees across from house number 614. I pulled over. When it was all said and done I had counted 103 Common Redpolls. Photos on my Worcester Photographic Big Year blog. Also there are 2 Iceland Gulls behind White City on Lake Quinsigamond.  (report from Justin Lawson).

    3/20/15 -- Rutland
    Today I passed a Barred Owl that had been hit by a car on rte 56 in Rutland, and was dead in the road. (report from Ted Purcell).

    3/20/15 -- Institute Park, Worcester
    Highlights at noon were 2 GB Heron, 2 Mute Swan, 3 Ring-necked Duck, 4 Hooded Merganser, and 4 Common Merganser. (report from Rick Quimby).

    3/20/15 -- Millbury
    There was a mixed flock of 152 blackbirds feeding this morning, consisting of 3 Rusty's, 37 Red-winged and 112 Common Grackles. (report from Susan LaBree).

    3/19/15 -- Gardner
    Bohemian Waxwings were present at 7:30AM this morning near Heywood Hospital at the intersect of Green and Matthew's Streets. There were many more than I saw two days ago -- 180 perched high in a maple and another 40-50 feeding low in a nearby crab-apple along Green street. After about 15 minutes groups began to fly off the east, there was still about 75 present when I left at 7:45.
  • Totals: Bohemian Waxwing approx 225; Cedar Waxwing 0; Red-winged Blackbird 2; Common Grackle 1. There is still a lot of fruit on the "crabs apples" along Green Street. (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 3/17/15 -- Gardner
    This afternoon some of the Bohemian waxwings were still present at Lake St and Park in Gardner. (Thanks to Tom Pirro for that info). Also a Great blue heron flying over South Gardner. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    3/17/15 -- Gardner
    A cohesive flock of about 140 Bohemian Waxwings was perched in a large maple tree on the corner of Park and Lake Street this morning at 7:45AM. After a few minutes they flew a 1/4 mile or so to an area between the Gardner Veteran's Ice Rink (parking lot) and Crystal Lake. The South East side of Crystal lake.
    There is still a good deal of crab apple "stock" along Lake St. and some bitter sweet near the skating rink parking area. Please be careful not to disrupt traffic, the parking situation is not too bad right now, but there is a good deal of traffic on the streets.
    (report from Tom Pirro).

    3/17/15 -- Millbury
    This morning there are 34 Red-winged Blackbirds and 2 Common Grackles at the feeders Spring IS coming! (report from Susan LaBree).

    3/17/15 -- Gardner/Princeton
    There were 6 Common grackles at our feeders this morning in Gardner. Also yesterday (3/16), there were 12 Red-winged blackbirds at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. (report from Dick Knowlton).

    3/16/15 -- Holden bird sightings
    Chaffin pond, this morning around 9:00am. A lone red-winged blackbird came in to our feeders, 6 eastern bluebirds, American robin, white-throated sparrow, red-breasted nuthatch, American goldfinch-(several showing some plumage change). (report from Scott Corazzini).

    3/15/15 -- ponds in Westboro, Southboro and Worcester
    Today we birded a few ponds close to or in the city to see if there was any open water. The short answer is: VERY little. Most ponds were open a little where a stream flowed in, but that was it. Ice fishermen were still out on several bodies. Here's the short list:
  • WESTBORO: SuAsCo: Mallard (3); Hooded Merganser (pair); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Red-winged Blackbird (2);
  • SOUTHBORO: SUDBURY RESERVOIR: Mute Swan (2); Canada Goose (3); Mallard (2); Hooded Merganser (pair); Cooper?s Hawk (1);
  • NB: Both Bartlett Pond in Northboro and Chauncy Lake in Westboro were ice covered with no birds.
  • WORCESTER: NOTRE DAME CEMETERY: Canada Goose (4); Red-winged Blackbird (3);
  • WORCESTER/AUBURN: LEESVILLE POND: A Black Duck (1); Hooded merganser (pair); Common Merganser (1m); Red-tailed Hawk (1); Red-winged Blackbird (2);
  • AUBURN: DAM BEHIND BRADY BUILT: Mallard (2); A Black Duck (4);
  • WORCESTER: ST JOHN?S CEMETERY: Turkey Vulture (1); Canada Goose (2);
  • WORCESTER: Salisbury Pond: Mute Swan (2); Mallard (5); Ring-necked Duck (3); Common Merganser (1m); Bald Eagle (1ad overhead)
  • NB: The Hermit Thrush continues at my feeder.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/15/15 -- Queen Lake, Phillipston
    My family had the great opportunity today to have a mature Bald Eagle fly down to the ice and pick off our small Pickerel that we had caught ice fishing. He didn't complain about the boney fish. (report from Matt Pearson).

    3/13/15 -- All Faiths Cemetery, Worcester
    A Killdeer was in an area at the back of the cemetery which was cleared of snow for a new grave. Also, I was standing next to the almost completely ice covered pond when a Coopers Hawk flew up the embankment from the other side of a tree trunk where I was standing. He did not see me until the last second, same for me. We scared each other. (report from Brian Mulhearn)

    3/12/15 -- Sutton
    I had a House Finch today at my feeders, and watched him fly to the ground -- he never left. Appears to have conjunctivitis. (report from Michael Joubert).

    3/9/15 -- Chapin road, Hudson
    During my morning run along Chapin Road in Hudson I had four wood duck, five common merganser and five hooded merganser gathered in a small opening on the Assabet River just east of the bridge.  Also there's been a turkey vulture over our neighborhood the past two days. (report from Randy Langer).

    3/9/15 -- Town Farm Road, Sutton
    There are Horned Larks at Town Farm Road in Sutton. Sometimes they are on the manure pile in the fields and sometimes picking and scratching on the roadside. (report from Alan Marble).

    3/8/15 -- Brookfields/Charlton/Sturbridge
  • Today we birded around the Brookfields. Most of the river is still ice covered as are the ponds. Ice fishermen were out on all ponds. One the few small open stretches of the river we had Canada Goose (1); Mallard (4); Hooded Merganser (10); and Common Merganser (3). The pair of Bald Eagles were back at Lake Quabog and we had (18) Wild Turkeys which were having a very hard time trying to walk on the deep snow. Passerines were the typical permanent resident species only.
  • At Orlando's in Charlton in a very tiny blob of open water there were an estimated (300+) Mallards, (15+) Back Ducks and (5) Canada Geese, but no gulls.
  • In Sturbridge we had a Great Horned Owl on the nest.
  • The HERMIT THRUSH is still coming to our feeders [Worcester].
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 3/1/15 -- Charlton Rd, Sturbridge
    At the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (215 Charlton Rd) there were Bohemian Waxwings in some crab apple trees along with robins. (report from Susan LaBree).

    3/1/15 -- South Quabbin/New Salem
    We started the day birdng around the South Quabbin area including the outflow of the Swift River and the state trout farm. There were VERY few birds inside Quabbin Park.
  • Highlights: Mallard (34); A Black Duck (5); Hooded Merganser (8); Common Merganser (1); Bald Eagle (2ad: 1 at the trout farm; 1 at the nest out from the Administration Building); Common Raven (1); A Robin (3); Cedar Waxwing (22).
  • In NEW SALEM, highlights: Pileated Woodpecker (1); Pine Siskin (20+).
  • There is some open water at the outflow of Lake Wickabog in West Brookfield and we found a pair of Hooded Mergs.
  • Returning home (Worcester), the HERMIT THRUSH continues at our feeders. It has been there since January 30, and has gone through all that horrible weather.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/28/15 -- Rutland
    Woke this AM to a house finch, redpoll and pine siskin trifecta at the feeder. (report from Ted Purcell).

    2/27/15 -- Rutland
    Was just out back with the dog and her ears pricked up, I thought I heard a "croaking" and then heard it for sure and then a raven flew up out of the woods behind our house. (report from Ted Purcell).

    2/26/15 -- Flint pond, Shrewsbury
    At 8:15 am I saw a large bald eagle on the ice edge fishing. (report from Doug White)

    2/25/15 -- Gardner
    This evening at 5:20 I was fortunate to see a Black Vulture in flight over rte2, near exit 23, as it moved from north to south....then east. Perhaps headed to toward the landfill in Westminster, were I have seen them on a few occasions in previous years. (report from Tom Pirro).

    2/24/15 -- Central Mass Rail Trail, West Boylston
    In a 2 hour walk along the trail from Rt. 140, from 3:30 until 5:30, highlights were 1 barred owl, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, and 1 golden crowned kinglet. (report from Roscoe Sweeney).

    2/24/15 -- Chaffin pond, Holden
    Today around noon a sharp shinned hawk was on the hunt. (report from Scott&Ruby Corazzini).

    2/22/15 -- Rutland
    At our feeder today we had a pair of pine siskins, a pair of red-bellied woodpeckers (rarely see both at same time), a mockingbird and four bluebirds. Also had a red-wing blackbird in the yard hoping today's warmth and sunshine meant spring was coming. (report from Ted Purcell).

    2/21/15 -- Gardner
    This morning there were at least 4 Bohemian Waxwings along with a dozen Cedars feeding in a crabapple tree in front of 83 Central Street in Gardner. This is near the intersection of School Street, Lake View and Central Streets.
  • # 83 sits well above the public sidewalk, so observes should not be too intrusive for the residents, as always be respectful. Parking would be best on side streets. Traffic moves along quickly on Central (aka Rte 101), high snow banks limit visiblity for drivers ... so birders should be carefull and use common sense....stay on the side walk and off the road. I have posted a few photos on my blog.
    (report from Tom Pirro).

  • 2/20/15 -- Charlton
    A Red-shouldered Hawk showed up at our bird feeder this afternoon. This was a first for us. We are located quite close to the center of town, but with lots of woods and swampy areas nearby. (report from Robert Hartwig).

    2/20/15 -- Oxford
    A friend who lives on Lovett Road in Oxford reports that he and his neighbors have been seeing 3 Bald Eagles since Feb 16, 2 adults and an immature. There's a pig farm in the area and maybe that's what is attracting them. He also said there have been dozens of crows around there, too. There's a road opposite The Market Basket on Sutton Ave. that will bring you to Lovett Road. It's kind of hilly. (report from Joan Zumpfe).

    2/19/15 -- Worcester
    Today at my Suet Feeder in my backyard there was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a Downy Woodpecker. (report from Peter Morlock).

    2/18/15 -- Gail drive, Holden
    From Gail drive, Chaffin pond at 5:45pm today 2 Great horned owls soared from a tall pine tree to another and perched together for 5 minutes then dropped to lower branches and then back to the original tree for several minutes. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    2/18/15 -- Rutland
    Today at the feeder in Rutland there was a Pine Siskin in with a half dozen goldfinches. Also two bluebirds, a Carolina wren, a red-bellied woodpecker, a hairy and downy woodpecker, juncos, cardinal (2), blue jays (6) and house sparrows(2). I threw out some bread crumbs on one of the recent bitter cold days and the Carolina wren shot out from under the deck at them as soon as they hit the ground. (report from Ted Purcell).

    2/14/15 -- Clinton
    Around noon today there was an Eastern Screech Owl roosting in an old woodpecker hole off of route 62 in Clinton, across from the old train tunnel. Watched it and took photos for about 30 min. (report from Roscoe Sweeney )

    2/14/15 -- Berlin
    A cooper's on Thursday (2/12) and today a Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Amazing to see both in my backyard in two days of each other.  (report from Randy Langer).

    2/14/15 -- Leicester
    A short-eared owl was observed for about 30 min. today at about 1:30, on Mannville St. in Leicester ( where the old landfill is). Watched it (hunting) until a group of crows came along and chased it. I took two photos of it (photo1| photo2). (report from Anne Greene).

    2/14/15 -- South Quabbin/the Brookfields
  • We spent the morning birding Quabbin Park/South Quabbin area. Not much around (there are more birds of more species in my backyard) but we did manage: Mallard (1: on river); Common Merganser (1:ditto); Bald Eagle (1ad: NB: all of south Quabbin water is ice covered); Red-bellied Woodpecker (4); A Robin (5); Cedar Waxwing (7); Pine Siskin (3).
  • On the way to Sturbridge we made a few stops in the Brookfields and had: Hooded merganser (3: most of the river is ice covered); Bald Eagle (1ad); Cooper's Hawk (1); Red-shouldered Hawk (1); Red-tailed Hawk (2); Red-bellied Woodpecker (3)
  • BTW: the HERMIT THRUSH continues at our feeders (Worcester) despite all the weather. Also in our tiny yard: (2) carolina Wrens; (1) Red-breasted Nuthatch and hunting Red-tailed and Cooper's Hawks.
    (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

  • 2/14/15 -- Chaffin Pond, Holden
    Today, Gail Drive, vicinity of Chaffin pond, there were 20-30 common redpoll feeding in birch trees, 8 bluebirds, brown creeper, red-breasted nuthatch, gold finch, red-bellied woodpecker, Cooper's hawk. (report from Scott Corazzini).

    2/12/15 -- Berlin
    This cooper's hawk has been hanging around my back yard all fall and winter.  Held still long enough for a shot. (report from Randy Langer).

    2/8/15 -- Spencer
    Today an adult bald eagle was scavenging a dead calf at the dairy farm in Spencer where my son works. (report from Ted Purcell).

    2/7/15 -- Holden
    I had a female Goldeneye in a very small patch of open water at the Holden Reservoir causeway on route 31. An odd site indeed this winter. (report from Rodney Jenkins)

    2/6/15 -- vicinity of Salisbury&Park Ave, Worcester
    The HERMIT THRUSH continues at our feeders, feeding both on the ground and in the feeders throughout the day. The bird actually holds its own against the throngs of House Sparrows. Other birds include a Carolina Wren and a large (female?) immature COOPER'S HAWK that is taking a variety of birds. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

    2/1/15 -- Sterling
    A flicker and 5 bluebirds were seen at 32 Maple Street around 2PM. 2 Pine Siskins at a feeder on Matthew Lane at 1 PM. (report from Marion Larson and Scott Handler)

    1/31/15 -- Sterling
    Marion Larson and Scott handler observed a Belted Kingfisher in Sterling flying over rte 12 a half mile south of the junction at Rte I 190 (near Dunkin Donuts). (report from Marion Larson).

    1/31/15 -- Worcester
    For the last two days a HERMIT THRUSH has been coming to my feeder briefly in the late afternoon, feeding on seed on the ground and sometimes suet. Also in the feeder area: an immature COOPER'S HAWK and 2 Red-tailed Hawks trying to pick off squirrels. (report from Mark Lynch/Sheila Carroll).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    For previous sightings, see October 2014 Archives or Archive Index