NINETEENTH REPORT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS AVIAN RECORDS COMMITTEE
Matthew P. Garvey, Jeremiah R. Trimble, and Marshall J. Iliff
The nineteenth report of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee (hereafter MARC or the committee) covers the evaluation of 95 records involving 52 species or subspecies. Eighty-seven records were accepted, an acceptance rate of 92%, all unanimous on the first round of voting unless noted otherwise. The 69 records noted with an “eB” were accepted via eBird in accordance with our bylaws for expedited review (Garvey and Iliff 2013). eBird has helped the committee keep up with the plethora of well-documented modern records, improve our website, and focus on tricky and historic records. To this end, we have a queasy uneasiness that some of the only photos, video, or first-hand accounts of certain significant records are gathering dusk and are at risk of destruction in attics, basements, and closets. If you the reader are aware of any such documentation, please contact us!
Three first state records occurred in 2014. Two were pelagic records— and sexy ones at that—dynamic, enigmatic Pterodroma petrels, each of which have been occurring in nearby areas, so they were considered almost overdue. Massachusetts’s first record of Trindade Petrel (Pterodroma arminjoniana) was a light morph photographed by Michael Force on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research boat in late July over Georges Bank; Michael followed that with another light morph Trindade over the bank two days later. Much closer to shore was a Fea’s Petrel (Pterodroma feae), captured in diagnostic photos by Clifford Otto from a whale watch boat over Stellwagen Bank. As with the Trindade, Massachusetts already has a second Fea’s record, a yet unreviewed record hot off the presses from July 2015 just offshore of Truro. Lest landlubbers fear they can’t contribute first state records, Adam Burnett found a Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus) along Wasque Point on Chappaquidick Island in late April 2014; later that year, Marcus Rhodes found possibly the same bird at Cumberland Farms, Halifax in early July. Zone-tailed Hawks were also recorded at Brier Island, Nova Scotia, on June 1 and at the Cape May Hawkwatch in New Jersey on September 27. All these sightings may have pertained to a single bird wandering up and down the East Coast, as previously there had been only two records east of the Mississippi River, one from Florida in 2000 and one from Nova Scotia in 1977.
A Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on January 1, 2015, would have been the first state record but was rejected on grounds of provenance when a stellar suite of photographs revealed falconer’s gear attached to one of the bird’s legs. The committee reduced the state list by one when it re-reviewed and rejected Massachusetts’s lone accepted record of Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis). A submission of another putative Yellow-legged Gull also failed to gain acceptance, as the committee feels identification of these birds in North America is, in most cases, currently too fraught with questions because it is difficult to eliminate the possibility of hybrids between Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls (Larus argentatus x fuscus).
With three additions and one subtraction, the Massachusetts state list now sits at 501. It could soon fall to an even 500, however, as Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), currently supported solely by sight-only written descriptions, stands perilously close to a delisting. The committee re-reviewed and rejected three accepted records, and will review the two remaining accepted records soon. The rejection of these sight-only Anhingas reflects uneasiness with records of this species that lack physical evidence that can be reviewed objectively. In part, this reflects the growing research on the problems with eyewitness reports, e.g., how expectations, past experiences, issues with the way human brains create and store memories, and myriad other factors create some inherent unreliability (Garvey and Iliff 2013, Kozinski 2015). But the committee hasn’t returned to the era of the shotgun as the only means of securing a bird record, nor does it consider the camera the only suitable alternative to the gun. Indeed, the MARC re-reviewed and confirmed acceptance of two previously accepted first state records that were supported solely by written submissions based on memory: a Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) found by Vernon Laux on Martha’s Vineyard in 2002, and a Smith’s Longspur (Calcarius pictus) found by Chris Leahy at Salisbury in 1968. Interestingly, while the first Smith’s Longspur record was under additional Committee review, Alan Trautman found Massachusetts’s second Smith’s Longspur at Nahant’s Eastern Point—a well-photographed bird that came to light via eBird.
Also notable in this report are two records of Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus): one a fall migrant and one a potential breeding record from Otis Air National Guard Base in Mashpee. Once a rare and local breeder and a scarce but regular migrant in the Commonwealth, Loggerheads are now extremely rare anywhere in the Northeast. These modern records are intriguing, and underscore the MARC’s primary function as a single source and archive for evidence of distribution trends over time of the Commonwealth’s rarest avian visitors.
Another significant record in this report is Massachusetts’s third record of Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway), a well-photographed bird from Chatham, which was followed by two subsequent reports from Wellfleet and Westport that are currently under review. Some past records were initially questioned based on provenance, but this is no longer such a major concern as a strong pattern of occurrence has developed in the Northeast.
The committee also reviewed and did not accept a report of a first-cycle Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus), which would have been the first record of the species in that plumage. However, debate was intense, advances in identification criteria are being made, and several experts have recently opined on the identification as correct. The MARC voted to recirculate this record for another full committee review and also changed its bylaws to ensure more records make it to a third-round in-person vote. The new bylaws require a third round vote so long as a record has at least two supporters in the second round; previously, a second-round majority of support was required.
The 2014–15 roster of MARC voting members included Ian Davies, Trevor Lloyd-Evans, Mark Faherty, Blair Nikula, Wayne R. Petersen, Tim Spahr, Ryan Schain, Scott Surner, and Jeremiah R. Trimble (chair). Petersen has completed his six-year term. An icon and inspiration to many in the Commonwealth and beyond, he has been absolutely critical to the MARC, especially as co-author of the seminal Birds of Massachusetts and as a MARC founder and initial chair and secretary. He has served multiple stints as an active committee member, and has been a valuable champion of MARC better serving the greater Massachusetts birding community. The committee thanks Petersen for his dedicated, unique, and valuable service. The committee elected Jessica Johnson to fill the committee slot. Matt Garvey continues as secretary and Ryan Doherty continues as webmaster. We thank committee members Nikula, Petersen, and Spahr for editorial assistance on this article.
For full submission details, including photos, please click on the links to each record number in the report. In the truncated report, for each record of each species or taxon covered, we present basic statistics: the record number, count of individuals, where and when the bird was seen, and who submitted evidence. We also indicate whether the evidence provided was photographic (ph.), video (v.), audio (au.), or a written submission (†). As always, the committee strongly encourages written submissions even where photographs exist. When known, we try to credit the discoverer with an asterisk (*), especially if he or she has supplied evidence. The statistics in brackets for each species or taxon show the number of individual birds accepted through records in this report, followed by the total number of MARC-accepted individual records for that species, followed by our estimate of total known records, often supplemented with a plus sign (+) when we know there are additional records but are not sure how many. We do not count or use a plus sign for 2013–2015 records that are currently in review. For a subspecies, the statistics refer to the species unless noted otherwise. Species not on the Review List do not receive a count.
Species taxonomy and nomenclature follow the seventh edition of the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU) Check-list of North American Birds (AOU 1998) and supplements (Chesser et al. 2009, Chesser et al. 2010, Chesser et al. 2011, Chesser et al. 2012, Chesser et al. 2013, Chesser et al. 2014, Chesser et al. 2015). Subspecies group nomenclature follows taxonomy of The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World (Version 6.9), available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist (Clements et al. 2015).
The list of species reviewed by the MARC (the Review List) is available at www.maavianrecords.com. Please check out the full Review List and send us any evidence of new or old records you may have—even in this Information Age we can never get enough when it comes to the rarity records that keep our hearts thumping.
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) [1,6,6]
2015-011: 1 adult at Allen Harbor, Harwich, Barnstable, 5/23/2015 [ph. A. Curtis]. eB. First Barnstable record. As with all Massachusetts records, this was the northern subspecies D. a. fulgens,
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) [1,8,8]
2014-004: 1 adult at Pilgrim Road, Hatfield, and West Road, Longmeadow, Hampshire, and River Road, Whately, Franklin, 3/23/2014 to 3/30/2014 [ph. S. Motyl, L. Therrien*]. eB. First Hampshire record.
Ross’s Goose (Chen rossii) [5,14,14)
2012-088: 1 adult at various fields (including Ward’s) and Lake Massapoag, Sharon, Norfolk, 10/26/2012 to 12/23/2012 [T. Harmon*; ph. J. Offermann; V. Zollo]. eB. First Norfolk record.
2013-051: 1 adult at Argilla Road, Ipswich, Essex, 12/25/2013 to 1/1/2014 [ph. M. Brengle, P. Brown*]. eB.
2014-048: 1 adult at Madaket, Nantucket, Nantucket, 4/4/2014 to 4/4/2014 [ph. T. Pastuszak]. eB.
2014-047: 1 adult at Barton Cove, Gill, and Turners Falls, Montague, Franklin, 12/20/2014 to 12/26/2014 [ph. C. Hyytinen, B. Zadja*]. eB.
2015-012: 1 adult at UMass Amherst Campus Pond and area, Amherst, Hampshire, 4/1/2015 to 4/2/2015 [ph. J. Drucker]. eB.
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) [2,15,15+]
2014-049: 2 adults at Maple Farm Sanctuary, Mendon, Worcester; later Nine Acre Corner, Concord, Middlesex, 3/1/2014 to 3/31/2014 [ph. I. Davies, Cheri Ezell*]. eB.
2015-004: 2 adults at West Road Sandbar, Longmeadow, Hampshire, and River Road, Agawam, Hampden, 1/2/2015 to 1/16/2015 [ph. S. Motyl]. eB.
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) [5,17,17+; males on Review List only since 2010]
2013-054: 1 female/immature at Little Nahant, Essex, 1/26/2013 to 1/26/2013 [L. Pivacek*, ph. J. Trimble]. eB.
2013-053: 1 female/immature at Falmouth Harbor and later at Siders Pond, Falmouth, Barnstable, 3/11/2013 to 3/30/2013 [ph. G. Hirth*]. eB.
2013-052: 1 adult male and 1 female at Johnsons Pond, Groveland, Essex, 3/29/2013 to 4/19/2013 [ph. T. Spahr, T. Walker*]. eB.
2014-050: 1 adult male at UMass Lowell boat house, Merrimack River, Lowell, Essex, 3/26/2014 to 3/29/2014 [ph. R. Stymeist, S. Sullivan*]. eB.
2014-051: 1 adult male at Salt Pond and Siders Pond, Falmouth, Barnstable, 12/13/2014 to 2/7/2015 [S. Kellogg*, ph. J. Trimble]. eB.
Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) [1,21,21+]
2015-006: 1 adult at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 3/15/2015 [ph. P. Flood]. eB.
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) [2,10,35+]
2014-053: 1 at Quaboag Pond, Worcester, Worcester, 11/15/2014 to 11/21/2014 [ph. E. Nielsen, J. Young*]. eB.
2014-052: 1 at Attaquin Park, Mashpee, Barnstable, 11/20/2014 to 1/23/2015 [ph. P. Crosson, M. Keleher*]. eB.
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) [1,10,10+]
2012-098: up to 4 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Newbury, Essex, 11/23/2012 to 2/22/2013 [M. Goetschkes*, S. Grinley*, ph. J. Offermann, L. Southworth*]. eB. An unprecedented count of birds together in the Northeast, where previously no more than two have been found in one location at once.
Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche chlororhynchos) [1,7,7+]
2014-004: 1 adult at Tillies Bank, at 42.600°, -70.281° (about 17 miles east of Gloucester), Essex, 6/1/2014 [ph. J. Frontierro, ph. K. Gierson, ph. S. Salesky]. The subspecies was T. c. chlororhynchos, identifiable by the gray hood; all North American records have represented this form, split as a species by some authorities.
Trindade Petrel (Pterodroma arminjoniana) [2,2,2]
2014-017: 1 light morph at 39.952°, -67.602°, Georges Bank, Nantucket, 7/26/2014 [ph. J. Aschettino, † M. Force].
2014-037: 1 light morph at 40.06°, -67.873°, Georges Bank, Nantucket, 7/28/2014 [† M. Force].
Fea’s Petrel (Pterodroma feae) [1,1,1]
2014-016: 1 at Stellwagen Bank, Barnstable, 42.18°, -70.34°, 6/24/2014 [† ph. C. Otto*]. Remarkable photos from a whale watch boat captured enough of the underwing pattern and bill size and shape to eliminate the similar Zino’s Petrel (Pterodroma madeira), which so far is known from just one North Carolina record in the western Atlantic.
White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) [1,6,9]
2014-028: 1 immature at Dogbody Canyon, Nantucket, 9/4/2014 [ph. † E. Savetsky*]. eB.
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) [6,17,26+]
2012-117: 2 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Ipswich, Essex, 10/11/2012 to 10/13/2012 [ph. S. Sullivan]. eB
2012-140: 1 at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, South Wellfleet, Barnstable, 11/3/2012 to 11/11/2012 [ph. K. Yakola]. eB.
2012-130: 1 at Nauset Marsh, Eastham, Barnstable, 11/17/2012 to 11/24/2012 [ph. E. Nielsen]. eB.
2012-086: 1 at Black River, Duxbury, Plymouth, 12/22/2012 [ph. S. Davenport]. eB.
2014-023: 1 at Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, Barnstable, 10/25/2014 [ph. J. Evans]. eB.
2014-022: 1 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Ipswich Essex, 10/26/2014 [† M. Salett]. eB.
Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) [1,2,4]
1991-011: 1 adult dark morph at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, South Wellfleet, Barnstable, 5/12/1991 [ph. R. Prescott].
White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) [1,5,20+]
2011-097: 1 juvenile at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Ipswich, Essex, 9/4/2011 [† ph. N. Landry, ph. J. Trimble]. eB.
Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) [1,11,11+]
2014-036: 1 at River Court, Amesbury, Essex, 3/22/2014 [† K. Elwell*] (2nd round, 8–1). First Essex record.
Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) [3,28,55+]
2014-033: 1 subadult at Pumpkin Farm Pond, Nantucket, Nantucket, 5/27/2014 [ph. M. Malin]. eB.
2014-034: 1 subadult at South Monomoy Island, Chatham, Barnstable, 6/15/2014 [ph. M. Malin]. eB.
2015-015: 1 subadult at Morse Street, Westboro, Worcester, 5/23/2015 [† ph. S. Arena*]. eB.
Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) [1,7,11+]
2014-070: 1 dark morph at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Newbury, Essex, 5/5/2014 [ph. J. Trimble*]. eB. First record for well-birded Plum Island.
Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus) [2,2,2]
2014-030: 1 adult at Wasque Point, Chappaquiddick Island, Dukes, 4/25/2014 [ph. † A. Burnett*].
2014-031: 1 adult at Wood Street, Cumberland Farms, Halifax, Plymouth, 7/8/2014 [ph. M. Rhodes*].
A majority of committee members thought these likely pertain to the same bird.
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) [4,7,7]
2012-144: up to 3 at Hummock Pond and Bartlett’s Farm, Nantucket, Nantucket, 10/30/2012 to 4/1/2013 [ph. V. Laux, T. Pastuszak*, J. Shuster*]. eB.
2012-146: 1 at Fuller Street Fields, Cumberland Farms, Halifax, Plymouth, 11/11/2012 to 11/13/2012 [J. Carlisle*, ph. I. Davies]. eB.
2012-145: 1 at Bridgewater State Farm, Bridgewater, Plymouth, 11/12/2012 to 1/1/2013 [ph. M. Iliff, K. Ryan*]. eB.
2013-058: 1 at Bolton Flats, Bolton, Worcester, 4/27/2013 to 4/29/2013 [† S. Arena*, ph. J. Johnson]. eB.
As discussed in our 18th Report, a remarkable flight of Northern Lapwings arrived along the East Coast in the fall of 2012 (Garvey et al. 2014). The April 2013 record, as with similar records from Maine and New Hampshire that spring, likely represents a bird from the previous fall that arrived from Europe, wintered to the south of Massachusetts, and was discovered during its spring migration as it traveled north within North America.
Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) [3,13,38+]
2014-054: 1 at South Beach, Chatham, Barnstable, 5/14/2014 [ph. K. Yakola]. eB.
2014-055: 1 at Crane Beach, Ipswich, Essex, 5/17/2014 [ph. I. Pepper]. eB.
2014-056: 1 at Sandy Point, Plum Island, Ipswich, Essex, 5/22/2014 [ph. A. Spears]. eB.
Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan) [1,13,29+]
2014-066: 1 adult at Plymouth Beach, Plymouth, Plymouth 6/10/2014 [ph. C. Gras*]. eB.
Thayer’s Gull (Larus thayeri) [1,6,6+]
2014-035: 1 1st-cycle at Niles Pond, Gloucester, Essex, 12/27/2014 [ph. † N. Bonomo, † G. Hanisek, ph. † J. Hough*] (3rd round, 7–1). The lone dissenter commented this was within the enormous range of variation in Kumlien’s Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides kumlieni) immature plumage.
Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus) [1,8,21]
2012-101: 1 first-summer on the BBC Pelagic at 40.152°, -68.379°, 8/25/2012 [ph. M. Iliff]. eB.
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) [3,10,55+]
2014-057: up to 2 at Sandy Point and elsewhere on Plum Island, Ipswich/Rowley/Newburyport, Essex, 7/13/2014 to 8/30/2014 [ph. S. Sullivan, Brian Tucker*]. eB.
2014-058: 1 adult in alternate plumage at South Cape Beach area, Mashpee, Barnstable, 7/16/2014 [ph. M. Keleher]. eB.
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) [1,10,10+]
2014-061: 1 adult or subadult at Parker River NWR Lot 1, Plum Island, Newbury, Essex, 7/10/2014 to 7/14/2014 [ph. N. Dubrow, R. Heil*]. eB.
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) [2,15,33+]
2014-062: 1 at Plum Island Turnpike (across from airport), Newburyport, Essex, 7/13/2014 [ph. Liam Waters*]. eB.
2014-029: 1 at Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Plymouth, Plymouth, 8/27/2014 [ph. I. Davies*, B. Lagasse*]. eB.
Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) [3,28,28+]
2014-015: 1 adult male at Dudley Road, Townsend, Middlesex, 7/23/2014 to 7/24/2014 [ph. M. Goetschkes]. eB.
2014-045: 1 hatch-year male at Cohasset Street, Roslindale, Suffolk, 11/7/2014 to 11/16/2014 [ph. † S. Finnegan, v. M. Garvey, C. Wenc*]. eB. First Suffolk record.
2014-018: 1 after-hatch-year female at Newport Street, Arlington, Middlesex, 11/15/2014 to 11/18/2014 [ph. † S. Finnegan, ph. J. Forbes]. eB.
Rufous/Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus/sasin)
2014-046: 1 at Rural Avenue, Medford, Middlesex, 10/17/2014 [ph. M. Rines].
Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) [1,4,100+]
2015-009: 1 male at Forest Hills Cemetery and Franklin Park, Jamaica Plain, Suffolk, 1/6/2015 to 4/19/2015 [ph. R. Jelik, ph. B. Peters, † P. Peterson*, ph. S. Whitebread]. eB.
First Suffolk County record; previously known for periodic irruptions of dozens of birds, the last occurred in 1974–75.
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) [1,3,3]
2015-007: 1 at Cotchpinicut Landing, Chatham, Barnstable, 4/5/2015 [ph. P. Zuckerman*]. First Barnstable record.
Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana) [1,7,18+]
2014-064: 1 worn adult female at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Middlesex, 5/13/2014 to 5/14/2014 [ph. R. Merrill, ph. A. Trautmann*]. eB. First record for this well-birded hotspot.
Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) [2,3,3+]
2008-047: 1 at Otis Air National Guard Base, Mashpee, Barnstable, 5/27/2008 to 6/30/2008 [ph. M. Iliff, ph. J. Trimble, ph. P. Trimble ]. eB.
2012-068: 1 at Morris Island Causeway, Chatham, Barnstable, 9/6/2012 [ph. M. Faherty, ph. D. Manchester*]. eB. Once a regular albeit uncommon migrant in Massachusetts, fall records like this have been almost unheard of since the mid-1970s (Veit and Petersen 1993).
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) [1,10,10+]
2014-065: 1 at Skaket Beach, Orleans, Barnstable, 10/11/2014 to 10/17/2014 [B. Prescott*, ph. R. Schain]. eB.
Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) [1,9,9]
2012-106: 1 at Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, Essex, 11/11/2012 to 11/14/2012 [J. Berry*, M. Brengle*, ph. J. Offermann, ph. T. Spahr]. eB.
Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) [2,19,19+]
2014-014: 1 at Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, Essex, 11/4/2014 [v. R. Diebboll, † H. Galbraith*, ph. S. Sullivan]. eB.
2014-042: 1 at Evergreen Cemetery, Marion, Plymouth, 11/29/2014 to 1/14/2015 [ph. V. Zollo*]. eB.
Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius) [3,14,14+]
2012-142: 1 at Old King’s Highway and Pasture Road, Sandwich, Barnstable, 3/13/2012 [ph. J. Trimble, ph. P. Trimble]. eB.
2012-143: 1 at Bayview Drive, Cuttyhunk Island, Dukes, 11/23/2012 [ph. I. Davies*]. eB.
2013-055: 1 at Massasoit Road, Eastham, Barnstable, 12/25/2013 [ph. N. Rabke]. eB.
Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus) [1,3,3]
1965-02: 1 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Newbury, Essex, 10/26/1965 [ph. W. French*].
Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus) [1,2,6]
1991-012: 1 at Duxbury Beach, Duxbury, Plymouth, 10/23/1991 to 10/27/1991 [ph. R. Abrams].
Smith’s Longspur (Calcarius pictus) [2,2,2]
1968-001: 1 at Salisbury Beach, Salisbury, Essex, 10/12/1968 [† C. Leahy*] (3rd round, 8-0). Re-review of a previously accepted record. Petersen 1995.
2014-020: 1 at Lodge Park, East Point, Nahant, Essex, 11/9/2014 [ph. A. Trautmann].
MacGillivray’s Warbler (Geothlypis tolmiei) [2,9,18]
2012-125: 1 at Fenway Victory Gardens, Boston, Suffolk, 12/13/2012 to 12/23/2012 [T. Factor*, ph. J. Trimble]. eB. This was the third record for this urban hotspot.
2013-046: 1 at Crooked Lane Fields, Lakeville, Plymouth, 12/29/2013 to 12/31/2013 [ph. M. Faherty*]. eB.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) [1,7,7+]
2014-025: 1 at Stodders Neck, Hingham, Plymouth, 11/21/2014 to 1/11/2015 [† ph. S. Williams] (2nd round, 9–0). There was discussion about an intergrade with Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata coronata), but all committee members agreed the bird fell within the parameters of a “pure” Audubon’s.
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) [1,6,10+]
2013-047: 1 female/immature at Jackson Point, Nantucket, Nantucket, 10/14/2013 [N. Ernst*, ph. B. Harris*, ph. V. Laux]. eB.
Townsend’s Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) [2,17,19]
2013-056: 1 adult male at Wauwinet, east end of Nantucket, Nantucket, 5/5/2013 [ph. Diane Kottmyer]. eB.
2014-006: 1 female/immature at Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Marblehead, Essex, 12/7/2014 to 1/7/2015 [ph. Andy Sanford]. eB.
Le Conte’s Sparrow (Ammodramus leconteii) [2,14,27]
2014-063: 1 apparent adult at Danehy Park, Cambridge, Middlesex, 10/28/2014 [ph. T. Spahr*]. eB.
2014-021: 1 apparent adult at T-Time Driving Range (4790 State Highway), Eastham, Barnstable, 12/14/2014 to 12/15/2014 [N. Block*, J. Sweeney*, ph. V. Zollo*]. eB.
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) [1,4,7]
2015-001: 1 female/immature at Lake Road, Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes, 1/3/2015 [ph. † T. Spahr*].
Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) [3,14,14+]
2014-044: 1 female/immature at Evergreen Cemetery, Brighton, Suffolk, 10/28/2014 to 11/3/2014 [† v. ph. P. DeGennaro*, ph. J. Trimble]. eB.
2014-069: 1 immature male at Madaket, Nantucket, Nantucket, 12/14/2014 [ph. K. Blackshaw, S. Langer*]. eB.
2015-014: 1 at Old Country Road, Wellfleet, Barnstable, 1/31/2015 to 2/1/2015 [ph. J. Drucker, ph. K. Yakola]. eB.
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) [1,1,1]
2002-32: 1 adult male at Herring Creek Farm, Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes, 10/14/2002 [† E. V. Laux*] (3rd round, 8–0). Re-review of a previously accepted record (Rines 2003).
RECORDS NOT ACCEPTED
Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga)
1997-34: 1 at Great Brook Farm State Park, Carlisle, Middlesex, 9/16/1997 (2nd round, 1–8). Re-review of a previously accepted record (Rines 2003).
2001-24: 1 at Spring Street, Essex, Essex, 6/17/2001 (2nd round, 3–6). Re-review of a previously accepted record (Rines 2004).
2001-006: 1 at Stockwell Drive and Route 24, Avon, Norfolk, 6/19/2001 (2nd round, 3–6). Re-review of a previously accepted record (Rines 2003).
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
2002-045: 1 adult at Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, Barnstable, 10/6/2002 (3rd round, 2–6). Re-review of an accepted record (Rines 2005). The committee, after a good candidate ended up as a hybrid Lesser Black-backed x Herring Gull based on voice and, eventually, head streaking, thought this species’ identification is too fraught with questions to accept a record based on photos of a sitting bird taken on a single day in fall. (Garvey and Iliff 2012).
2014-039: 1 first-cycle at UMass Lowell Boathouse, Lowell, Essex, 4/8/2014 (2nd round, 3–6). The committee felt photos of a first-cycle bird couldn’t rule out a hybrid Lesser Black-backed x Herring Gull.
Thayer’s Gull (Larus thayeri)
2015-002: 1 first-cycle at UMass Lowell, Lowell, Essex, 1/15/2015 (3rd round, 0–8). After much discussion on the sad state of Thayer’s identification, the committee thought photos of this record didn’t rule out Kumlien’s Iceland Gull. Can someone please tag and photograph these guys on their breeding grounds to help elucidate the differences in these putative species?
Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus)
2013-050: 1 first-cycle at Silver Lake, Wilmington, Middlesex, 3/16/2013 (2nd round, 4–5). Will be recirculated for further review.
Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus)
2015-003: 1 juvenile at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Ipswich, Essex, 1/1/2015 [ph. J. Forbes, ph. T. Kavanaugh, † T. Wetmore] (first round, 0–9). Photos revealed falconer’s gear on the bird, leading the committee to reject it based on dubious provenance.
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