Twenty-second Report of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee
Sean M. Williams and Jeremiah R. Trimble
The twenty-second report of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee (MARC) evaluates 154 records involving 69 species. The MARC accepted 128 of those records.
Two species were added to the official state list: Trumpeter Swan and Western Meadowlark. This brings the Massachusetts state list to 503 species.
David Lusignan found a Trumpeter Swan at a farm in Charlton in May 2018 and submitted a report to the committee. This swan stayed for nearly a month. It almost certainly originated from the Great Lakes population, which has been exponentially increasing over the past couple decades.
On November 21, 2017, Suzanne Sullivan photographed a meadowlark on Plum Island. Sullivan’s photos were suggestive of Western Meadowlark, and additional photos by Nathan Judd confirmed it. This record was the first Western Meadowlark the MARC reviewed since its inception in 1992, with Sullivan’s report the first one submitted. According to Veit and Petersen (1993), there are over 25 records of Western Meadowlark for Massachusetts. However, the committee has been unable to track down documentation of any of these old records to review.
Geese that used to be exceedingly rare in Massachusetts continue to increase, with seven records of Ross’s Goose in 2017–18, four records of Pink-footed Goose, and one record of Barnacle Goose. Prior to 1997, there were no accepted records of any of these species in Massachusetts.
Eared Grebe remains quite rare, and an individual photographed by Peter Flood on December 12, 2017, at Race Point was noteworthy.
Massachusetts continues to enjoy fall vagrant hummingbirds, with one report of a Black-chinned, three Rufous Hummingbird reports, and one report of a Calliope Hummingbird. Typically these vagrants are found at feeders near the coast in October through November.
Four records of Yellow Rail were accepted, which until this report have included exclusively fall individuals. This year we accepted our first report from the spring, when one was heard singing at close range.
Several rare shorebirds were seen in the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018. Two reports came in post hoc of photographed pairs of Wilson’s Plovers in May 2018. A Common Ringed Plover at Gooseberry Neck, Westport, found by Marshall Iliff represented Massachusetts’ fourth record. Ruff reports seem to be declining, and the committee added this species to the review list last year. Since then, only one report was accepted, from Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham in May 2018. Sue Finnegan and John Pratt skillfully picked out an adult Little Stint among foraging shorebirds at Morris Island within Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham.
The increased presence of Franklin’s and Mew gulls in Massachusetts is notable. Nine records of Franklin’s Gulls were accepted, all from 2015–2017. Four other records within that time frame were already accepted (and we await documentation on others) for a total of 13 records accepted since 2015; prior to 2015, 13 records were accepted. Eleven reports of Mew Gull have been accepted since 2017, eight of which, all adults, were accepted between January and April 2018. Prior to 2017, eight records were accepted.
One Slaty-backed Gull was located by Jeremiah Trimble on Fresh Pond in February 2018, but stayed only for that day and was viewed distantly. The same individual seems to have been found at Jodrey State Fish Pier in Gloucester three days later.
In November 2017, Luke Seitz, Peter Trimble, and Marshall Iliff observed an Elegant Tern flying north along Outer Cape Cod. This was Massachusetts’ fourth record.
Rare seabirds in this report include a Red-billed Tropicbird (eighth state record), a Masked Booby that washed ashore in Wellfleet during a fall storm (second record), a Yellow-nosed Albatross (eighth record), and a Fea’s Petrel photographed by Scott Surner on a mini-pelagic out of Provincetown (second record). The MARC accepted another three reports of Brown Booby. The first record of Brown Booby was in 2005; as of 2018, there are eight accepted records for Massachusetts.
Prior to the twentieth annual report in 2016, the MARC had accepted only one report of a Hammond’s Flycatcher; five more have been accepted since, including a historic report from 1987 and four reports in 2016-17. This flycatcher can be extremely difficult to separate from others in the genus Empidonax and high quality photographs and recordings were obtained for all the modern records.
Reports of Bell’s Vireo have sharply increased in recent years. The first state record was in 2005. Six of the eleven records for the Commonwealth were accepted from 2015–17.
Massachusetts continues to be champion of MacGillivray’s Warblers relative to other East Coast states. Historically, most records have come from the Greater Boston area, although this year we accepted our farthest eastern record in Orleans, and our farthest western record in Hadley.
Other passerine highlights include an obliging Gray Kingbird (second accepted record) in Hyannisport in October 2017, a flyover Violet-green Swallow (second record) in Hamilton in August 2017 whose identity was confirmed post hoc from photographs, and a singing, one-day-wonder Swainson’s Warbler (fourth record) in Mashpee in May 2018. Some unseasonal songbirds were also accepted including the latest two Yellow-throated Vireos for Massachusetts on Cape Cod, and an Indigo Bunting that showed up at a feeder in January 2018 in Washington, Berkshire County.
The 2017–18 roster of MARC voting members included Nick Block, Ian Davies, Jessica Johnson, Wayne Petersen, David Sibley, Tim Spahr, Ryan Schain, Larry Therrien, and Jeremiah Trimble (chair). Sean Williams served as a nonvoting secretary.
Species taxonomy and nomenclature follow the seventh edition of the American Ornithological Society (AOS, recently changed from American Ornithologists’ Union) Check-list of North American Birds (AOU 1998) and its 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, Chesser et al. 2016, Chesser et al. 2017, Chesser et al. 2018).
Please check the Review List to send evidence of records that are not listed in our Searchable Database—even in this Information Age we often do not receive sufficient information for many records. The committee strongly encourages written submissions even when photographs exist.
The statistics in brackets for each species or taxon show the number of records accepted in this report, followed by the total number of accepted records for that species. Species that lack statistics are species for which we have a relatively poor handle on the number of actual records, or it is a species reviewed due to its unseasonality. Below we present data for all records covered, formatted as such:
Record identification number: count of individuals, location, range of observation dates, original observers and observers submitting documentation. We credit the discoverer with an asterisk (*). We indicate whether the evidence provided was photographic (ph), video (v), audio (au), or a written submission (†).
Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii) [7 records accepted in this report, 29 total accepted records]
- 2017-134: 1 at Moors End Farm (restricted access); last sighting at Bartlett Fields, Nantucket, 12/8/2017 to 3/17/2018 [Richard Ouren*; J. Trimble (ph)].
- 2017-136: 1 at FARM Institute (mostly); Edgartown Golf Club, Dukes, 12/11/2017 to 1/13/2018 [Ken Magnuson (no eBird checklist); Marshall Iliff (ph)].
- 2017-137: 1 at Carson Beach and Moakley Park; Fenway area; etc., Suffolk, 12/24/2017 to 1/29/2018[Anne Winters*; Jason Pietrzak* (ph)].
- 2017-138: 2 at Siasconset Golf Course, Nantucket, 12/30/2017 to 1/13/2018 [Frank Gallo* (ph)].
- 2018-009: 1 at Upper Road, Deerfield, Franklin, 3/30/2018 [Robert Drumgool* (ph)].
- 2018-011: 1 at Agawam (Massachusetts state line); Longmeadow Flats, Hampden, 2/1/2018 to 2/11/2018 [Dorrie Holmes†* (ph)].
- 2018-012: 1 at East Hadley Road fields; Meadow Street fields, Hampshire, 2/23/2018 to 2/26/2018 [Larry Therrien* (ph)].
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) [4, 17]
- 2017-097: 1 at Barton Cove, Gill, Franklin, 10/30/2017 [James Smith* (ph)].
- 2017-098: 1 at Granville Road, Westfield, Hampden, 11/1/2017 to 11/2/2017 [Griffin Richards* (ph)].
- 2017-099: 1 at Turners Falls Rod and Gun, Franklin, 11/5/2017 [Josh Layfield* (ph)].
- 2018-010: 1 at Berkley Bridge (Elm Street), Berkley; 392 Market Street, Swansea; Barney Avenue fields, Rehoboth, Bristol, 1/28/2018 to 2/26/2018 [Glenn d’Entremont*; Glen Chretien (ph), Liam Waters (ph), Jim Sweeney (ph)].
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) [1, 16]
- 2017-100: 1 at Granville Road, Westfield, Hampden, 10/27/2017 to 1/1/2018 [Dorrie Holmes†* (ph)].
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) [1, 1]
- 2018-022: 1 at Osgood Road, Charlton, Worcester, 5/26/2018 to 6/24/2018 [David Lusignan†* (ph)].
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) [1, 1 since 2017]
- 2018-028: 1 at Atwood Reservoir, Carver, Plymouth, 3/10/2018 to 3/31/2018 [Bill Zuzevich* (ph)].
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) [3, 26]
- 2017-117: 1 at Pocksha Pond, Middleborough, Plymouth, 11/14/2017 to 11/24/2017 [Jim Sweeney* (ph)].
- 2017-127: 1 at Acushnet River Slocum Street bridge, Bristol, 1/1/2017 to 1/22/2017 [Dan Zimberlin* (ph)].
- 2017-135: 1 at Long Pond; Madaket area, Nantucket, 12/10/2017 to 4/23/2018 [Trish Pastuszak* (ph)].
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) [1, 11]
- 2017-120: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 12/2/2017 to 12/5/2017 [Peter Flood* (ph)].
Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) [1, 7]
- 2005-61: 1 at Indian Hill, West Tisbury, Dukes, 11/23/2005 [Marjorie Rogers*, Lanny McDowell (ph)].
Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) [3, 36]
- 2016-040: 1 at Parkman Street, Westborough, Worcester, 10/7/2016 to 11/19/2016 [Sean Williams†* (ph)].
- 2016-049: 1 at Andover, Essex, 10/12/2016 to 11/2/2016 [Donna Cooper*].
- 2017-086: 1 at Main Street, Hingham, Plymouth, 10/2/2017 to 12/4/2017 [Sylvia Schuler*, Sue Finnegan† (ph)].
Calliope Hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope) [1, 7]
- 2016-035: 1 at Little Shaver Lane, Harwich, Barnstable, 10/25/2016 to 10/29/2016 [Doug Meyer*, Chris Meyer*, Sue Finnegan† (ph), Sean Williams (ph)].
Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) [4, 45]
- 1999-26: 1 at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield, Plymouth, 11/1/1999 [Dan Furbish*].
- 2016-042: 1 at Fort Hill, Eastham, Barnstable, 10/29/2016 to 11/24/2016 [Chris Floyd*; J. Trimble (ph)].
- 2017-085: 1 at Fort Hill, Eastham, Barnstable, 12/7/2017 [Marshall Iliff†*, Van Remsen†*, Tim Spahr†*].
- 2018-003: 1, May 2018 [Maili Waters†*, Sean Williams†*]. This record pertains to a singing, potentially territorial individual and the observers elected to not disclose its exact location for now in order to assure it remains undisturbed.
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
- 2017-111: 1 at Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes, 4/10/2017 to 4/15/2017 [Digg Caliri*; Bridget Dunnegan (ph)].
Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) [2, 14]
- 2018-023: 2 at Sandy Neck, Sandwich, Barnstable, 5/13/2018 [Nick Smith* (ph)].
- 2018-029: 2 at Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, Essex, 5/9/2018 [Kimberly Smith*(ph)].
Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) [1, 4]
- 2017-077: 1 at Gooseberry Neck, Westport, Bristol, 9/11/2017 to 9/12/2017 [Marshall Iliff†* (ph), Jonathan Eckerson (ph), Sean Williams† (ph)].
Ruff (Calidris pugnax) [1, 1 since 2017]
- 2018-013: 1 at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Chatham, Barnstable, 5/30/2018 [Maili Waters* (ph), Sean Williams* (ph)].
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) [1, 4]
- 2013-059: 1 at Parker River NWR—Bill Forward Pool, Essex, 8/11/2013 [Margo Goetschkes*; Mark Kosiewski (ph)].
Little Stint (Calidris minuta) [1, 7]
- 2017-081: 1 at Monomoy NWR, Chatham, Barnstable, 8/9/2017 to 8/21/2017 [Sue Finnegan†* (ph), John Pratt†* (ph)].
South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki)
- 2017-089: 2 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 9/22/2017 [Steve Arena* (ph)].
- 2017-106: 3 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 9/23/2017 [Peter Flood* (ph), Steven N. G. Howell* (ph), Blair Nikula* (ph), Amy O’Neill*, Jacob Socolar*, Liam Waters*, Maili Waters* (ph), Sean Williams* (ph)].
Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan) [9, 26]
- 2015-064: max 2 at Quabbin Reservoir—Winsor Dam/Park Headquarters, Hampshire, 11/13/2015 to 11/15/2015 [Larry Therrien* (ph)].
- 2015-065: max 3 at Pilgrim Memorial State Park; Nelson Memorial Park, Plymouth, 11/13/2015 [Marshall Iliff* (ph)].
- 2015-066: 1 at Great Meadows NWR—Concord Unit, Concord, Middlesex, 11/13/2015 [William Martens* (ph)].
- 2015-067: 1 at Lynn Beach, Lynn, Essex, 11/14/2015 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph); John Keeley*].
- 2016-029: 1 at Plum Island, Essex, 7/8/2016 [Brian Harris* (ph)].
- 2016-040: 1 at Race Point Beach, Provincetown, Barnstable, 6/12/2016 to 6/25/2016 [Blair Nikula* (ph)].
- 2016-043: 1 at Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro, Barnstable, 12/4/2016 [Blair Nikula* (ph)].
- 2017-071: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 9/23/2017 [Sean Williams†*].
- 2017-121: 1 at Crane Beach, Ipswich, Essex, 7/25/2017 [Nathan Dubrow* (ph)].
Mew Gull (Larus canus) [7, 19]
- 2018-015: 1 at Siasconset Beach, Nantucket, Nantucket, 1/15/2018 [Trish Pastuszak*, Peter Trimble*, Jeremiah Trimble* (ph), Harvey Young*].
- 2018-016: 1 at Lynn Beach, Lynn, Essex, 1/20/2018 to 1/21/2018 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph), John Keeley*].
- 2018-017: 1 at Lynn Beach, Lynn, Essex, 2/18/2018 to 2/24/2018 [Dan Burton* (ph), Sean Williams* (ph)].
- 2018-018: 1 at Kings Beach, Lynn, Essex, 2/19/2018 [Peter Vale* (ph)].
- 2018-019: 1 at Musquashicut Pond, Scituate, Plymouth, 3/9/2018 [David Ludlow*, Christine Whitebread*, Elizabeth Vacchino* (ph) et al.].
- 2018-020: 2 at Sandy Beach, Cohasset, Norfolk, 4/15/2018 to 4/16/2018 [Vin Zollo* (ph), Marshall Iliff* (ph)].
- 2018-021: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 4/12/2018 to 4/26/2018 [Maili Waters* (ph), Will Sweet* (ph), Jacob Socolar*, Sean Williams* (ph)].
Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus) [1, 7]
- 2018-001: 1 at Fresh Pond, Cambridge, and Jodrey State Fish Pier, Gloucester, Middlesex and Essex, 2/16/2018 (Middlesex) to 2/19/2018 (Essex) [Jeremiah Trimble* (ph), Sean Williams†* (ph)].
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) [2, 10]
- 2016-032: 2 at Lieutenant Island, Wellfleet, Barnstable, 6/17/2016 [Maili Waters†* (ph)].
- 2016-039: max 2 at Plum Island, Essex, 6/11/2016 to 6/17/2016 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph); John Keeley*; Dan Prima
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) [2, 15]
- 2017-103: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 6/28/2017 [Christine and Steven Whitebread* (ph)].
- 2017-104: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 9/23/2017 [Peter Flood* (ph), Steven N. G. Howell* (ph), Blair Nikula* (ph), Amy O’Neill*, Jacob Socolar*, Liam Waters*, Maili Waters* (ph), Sean Williams* (ph)].
Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) [1, 4]
- 2016-034: 1 at Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, Barnstable, 11/19/2016 [Luke Seitz* (ph), Marshall Iliff*, Peter Trimble*].
Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) [1, 4]
- 2016-038: 1 at 35 miles south of Nantucket, Nantucket, 8/19/2016 [Eric Savetsky* (ph)].
Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche chlororhynchos) [1, 8]
- 2016-033: 1 at First Encounter Beach, Eastham, Barnstable, 10/10/2016 to 10/14/2016 [Blair Nikula* (ph), Mary Keleher (ph)].
Fea’s Petrel (Pterodroma feae) [1, 2]
- 2015-068: 1 at offshore Provincetown, Barnstable, 7/18/2015 [Scott Surner* (ph), Blair Nikula*].
Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) [1, 4]
- 2009-59: 1 at Duxbury Yacht Club Golf Course, Duxbury, Plymouth, 11/1/2009 [John Carnuccio* (ph)].
Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) [1, 2]
- 2017-084: 1 at Lecount Hollow Beach, Wellfleet, Barnstable, 9/26/2017 [Wild Care, Inc.†].
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) [3, 8]
- 2015-063: 1 at Herring Cove Beach to Marconi Wireless Station, Barnstable, 6/14/2015 to 11/15/2015 [Joseph Bourget*; P. Flood (ph); Scott Landry (ph); Stephen Brenner (ph)].
- 2017-109: 1 at Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown, Barnstable, 7/14/2017 [B. Nikula* (ph)].
- 2017-110: 1 at Wood End Lighthouse, Provincetown, Barnstable, 7/19/2017 [Esther Brady* (ph)].
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) [4, 27]
- 2016-041: 1 at The Oxbow, Northampton/Longmeadow Flats, Hampshire and Hampden, 9/15/2016 to 9/24/2016 [Dorrie Holmes (ph)].
- 2017-090: 1 at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield, Plymouth, 11/18/2017 [Charlie Nims†*].
- 2017-128: 1 at Musquashicut Pond /Minot and The Glades, Scituate, Plymouth, 8/25/2017 [Friday Morning Birders*; Sally Avery (ph)].
- 2017-129: 1 at Black Point Pond, Chilmark, Dukes, 8/26/2017 to 9/28/2017 [Hepler*; Early*; Bob Shriber (ph)].
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) [3, 15]
- 2017-130: 1 at Swallow Cave, Nahant, Essex to Castle Island and Pleasure Bay area, Suffolk, 9/11/2017 to 11/7/2017 [Christian Bauta* (ph); Linda Pivacek*].
- 2017-131: 1 at Sandy Neck Beach to Scusset Beach State Reservation, Barnstable, 11/9/2017 to 11/14/2017 [Peter Crosson* (ph)].
- 2018-025: 1 at Manomet Point, Plymouth, Plymouth, 6/11/2018 [Ted Bradford* (ph), Sebastian Jones* (ph)].
White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) [2, 8]
- 2017-101: 2 at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Wellfleet, and Forest Beach, Chatham, Barnstable, 7/28/2017 to 8/15/2017 [Jeannette Bragger*; Mark Faherty (ph)].
- 2017-102: 1 at The Oxbow, Hampshire, 10/23/2017 [Paul Dutil* (ph)].
White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) [1, 25]
- 2018-026: 1 to 2 at Ipswich, Essex, 4/18/2018 to 5/28/2018 [Margo Goetschkes* (ph), Dan Prima* (ph)].
Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) [3, 18]
- 2016-037: 1 at Pilgrim Heights, Truro, and Hatches Harbor, Provincetown, Barnstable, 5/15/2016 [Peter Trimble*; Steve van der Veen* (ph)].
- 2016-038: 1 at Chenail’s Farm, Williamstown, Berkshire, 5/29/2016 [John Manuel Morales* (ph); Manuel Morales*].
- 2018-014: 1 at Bearberry Hill, Truro, and Beech Forest, Provincetown, Barnstable, 5/25/2018 to 5/26/2018 [Blair Nikula* (ph), Peter Trimble*, Sean Williams†* (ph), Stefanie Paventy (ph)].
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) [1, 5]
- 2015-069: 1 at Hixbridge Road, Westport, Bristol, 7/5/2015 [Robin Parsons* (ph)].
Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens) [4, 26]
- 2017-113: 1 at Mack Park Community Garden, Salem, Essex, 10/23/2017 to 10/28/2017 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph)].
- 2017-114: 1 at High Head, Truro, Barnstable, 11/27/2017 to 12/3/2017 [Sue Finnegan* (ph)].
- 2017-115: 1 at Drumlin Farm, Lincoln, Middlesex, 11/26/2017 to 12/2/2017 [Pam Sowizral* (ph)].
- 2017-116: 1 at Great Neck Road, Wareham, Plymouth, 12/11/2017 [Nate Marchessault* (ph)].
Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) [1, 2]
- 2016-043: 1 at Ocean Avenue Beach, Hyannis Port, Barnstable, 10/23/2016 to 11/2/2016 [Carol Wrisley†* (ph)].
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)
- 2017-105: 1 at Highland Light, Truro, Barnstable, 10/17/2017 to 10/23/2017 [Maili Waters* (ph), Sean Williams†* (ph), Amy O’Neill*].
Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana) [2, 10]
- 2018-027: 1 at East Sandwich Beach, Sandwich, Barnstable, 4/13/2018 [Williams Newstead* (ph)].
- 2016-037: 1 at Plum Island, Essex, 8/10/2016 [Multiple observers, Lee Weber (ph), Nancy Smith (ph)].
Hammond’s Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) [4, 6]
- 1987-06: 1 at Service Drive, Wellesley, Norfolk, 12/19/1987 to 12/29/1987 [Kenneth Winkler*].
- 2016-044: 1 at the Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham, Middlesex, 11/7/2016 to 11/13/2016 [Renee LaFontaine*].
- 2017-075: 1 at Hanscom Field, Bedford, Middlesex, 11/11/2017 [Jason Forbes†* (ph)].
- 2017-076: 1 at Tufts University, Medford, Middlesex, 11/29/2017 to 12/3/2017 [Nick Dorian†* (ph)].
Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya) [1, 10]
- 2017-108: 1 at Wellfleet, Barnstable, 8/31/2017 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph)].
Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) [1, 2]
- 2017-072: 1 at Musquashicut Pond/Minot and the Glades, Scituate, Plymouth, 10/10/2017 [D. Peacock* (ph)].
Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii) [6, 11]
- 2016-041: 1 at Manomet, Plymouth, Barnstable, 10/12/2016 to 11/23/2016 [Manomet* (ph)].
- 2016-042: 1 at Fort Hill, Eastham, Barnstable, 10/24/2016 to 10/28/2016 [Sean Williams†* (ph)].
- 2015-070: 1 at Fort Hill, Eastham, Barnstable, 10/30/2015 to 12/12/2015 [Sean Williams†* (ph)].
- 2015-071: 1 at William Forward Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Rowley, Essex, 9/19/2015 to 9/21/2015 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph)].
- 2015-072: 1 at Manomet, Plymouth, Plymouth, 10/9/2015 [Manomet* (ph)].
- 2017-082: 1 at Shipyard Farm, Fairhaven, Bristol, 11/28/2017 to 12/13/2017 [Jim Sweeney†* (ph)].
Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons)
- 2017-118: 1 at Herring River thickets, Truro, Barnstable, 11/23/2017 [Maili Waters†* (ph), Liam Waters*, Amy O’Neill*].
- 2017-119: 1 at Woods Hole, Falmouth, Barnstable, 12/2/2017 to 12/3/2017 [Sean Williams†* (ph), Peter Trimble*].
Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) [1, 2]
- 2017-074: 1 at Chebacco Woods, Hamilton, Essex, 8/21/2017 [Davey Walters* (ph)].
Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) [2, 22]
- 2016-047: 1 at Plum Island, Essex, 10/18/2016 [Robert Murphy* (ph)].
- 2017-132: 1 at Demarest Lloyd State Park, Dartmouth, Bristol, 11/12/2017 to 4/23/2018 [Glenn d’Entremont*; M. Kieron (ph)].
LeConte’s Sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii) [2, 13]
- 2017-094: 1 at Bolton Flats WMA, Worcester, 10/16/2017 to 10/22/2017 [Simon Bunyard*; Rita Grossman (ph)].
- 2017-095: 1 at Peterson Farm, Falmouth, Barnstable, 10/22/2017 to 10/23/2017 [Michael Schachenbacher* (ph)].
Harris’s Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula) [2, 14]
- 1978-03: 1 at River Road, Acoaxet, Westport, Bristol, 12/17/1978 to 3/11/1979 [Robert D. Emerson, Dick Bowen (ph)].
- 2017-096: 1 at Minot and the Glades, Scituate, Plymouth, 9/16/2017 [Dennis Peacock* (ph)]
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) [1, 4]
- 2016-048: 1 at Spring Lane, Hingham, Plymouth, 5/1/2016 to 5/6/2016 [Carter Harrison* (ph), Sean Williams† (ph, au, vi)].
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) [1, 1]
- 2017-088: 1 at Plum Island, Newburyport, Essex, 11/21/2017 to 11/23/2017 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph), Judd Nathan* (ph), Ann Gurka*].
Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii) [2, 10]
- 2008-48: 1 at Chestnut Hill Reservoir, Boston, Suffolk, 12/3/2008 [Marshall Iliff* (ph)].
- 2018-007: 1 at Willow Road, Nahant, Essex, 4/20/2018 to 4/21/2018 [Vi Patek*, Sean Williams† (ph)].
Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) [1, 2 since 2017]
- 2018-006: 1 at Washington Street, Gloucester, Essex, 5/19/2018 to 5/20/2018 [Brian Harris*, John Keeley (ph)].
Swainson’s Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) [1, 4]
- 2018-004: 1 at Santuit Pond Preserve, Mashpee, Barnstable, 5/6/2018 [Peter Crosson* (ph, au), Maili Waters (vi)].
MacGillivray’s Warbler (Geothlypis tolmiei) [3, 12]
- 2017-068: 1 at Dunback Meadow, Lexington, Middlesex, 9/17/2017 [Marj Rines*].
- 2017-069: 1 at Nauset Heights Road, Orleans, Barnstable, 9/18/2017 [Maili Waters†*, Sean Williams†* (ph)].
- 2017-070: 1 at Honey Pot Road, Hadley, Hampshire, 11/12/2017 to 11/17/2017 [Ted Gilliland* (ph)].
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) [5, 15]
- 2016-028: 1 at Gerry Road, Brookline, Suffolk, 11/19/2016 [Paul Peterson†*].
- 2016-030: 1 at Blacksmith Valley Road, Chilmark, Dukes, 10/8/2016 [Lanny McDowell* (ph), Bob Shriber* (ph)].
- 2017-092: 1 at Indian Hill Road, Chatham, Barnstable, 9/17/2017 [Amy Fulcher* (ph)].
- 2017-093: 1 at Monomoy NWR, Chatham, Barnstable, 10/11/2017 [James Junda (ph)].
- 2017-112: 1 at Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield, Middlesex, 11/20/2017 to 12/6/2017 [David Williams* (ph), Bill Lee* (ph)].
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) [3, 13]
- 2017-087: 1 at Pond Plain Road, Westwood, Norfolk, 12/11/2017 to 12/15/2017 [Erik Nielsen* (ph)].
- 2017-107: 1 at 96 Chadwick Road, Bradford, Essex, 1/31/2017 to 4/29/2017 [W. Tatro; Kirk Elwell (ph)].
- 2017-122: 1 at Gary Avenue, Haverhill, Essex, 12/15/2017 to 12/27/2017 [Kathy Diamontopolous*; S. Mirick (ph)].
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)
- 2018-002: 1 at Frost Road, Washington, Berkshire, 2/27/2018 to 4/2/2018 [Ed Neumuth†* (ph)].
Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) [1, 22]
- 2018-008: 1 at Pine Ridge Road, Cotuit, Barnstable, 4/18/2018 [Justin Spence* (ph)].
RECORDS NOT ACCEPTED
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
In both records, the observers did not rule out the similar African Collared Dove, which is kept commonly as a pet. Specifically, the MARC seeks reports of this species that highlight the extent of black on the outer vane of the outer tail feather, p6. In African Collared Dove, the black is even with the inner vane, and on the Eurasian Collared Dove, the black on the outer vane extends farther down the
tail than on the inner vane.
- 2004-44: 1 at Hingham, Plymouth, 5/25/2004.
- 2013-60: 1 at Eastham, Barnstable, 5/17/2013 to 5/18/2013.
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
- 2018-024: 1 at Pochet Island, Orleans, Barnstable, 5/22/2018.
Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia)
- 2016-036: 1 at Plum Island, Newburyport, Essex, 9/11/2016.
Photos from this report showed a Semipalmated Plover.
Long-billed Murrelet (Brachyramphus perdix)
- 2016-046: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 12/26/2016.
This report was intriguing, but committee members felt that the description did not sufficiently rule out other alcid species.
Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)
- 2016-031: 1 at Outermost Harbor Marine, Chatham, Barnstable, 8/31/2017.
This report contained a blurry video that the committee agreed was either a Laughing or a Franklin’s gull.
Mew Gull (Larus canus)
- 2017-080: 1 at Nahant Beach, Nahant, Essex, 10/27/2017.
California Gull (Larus californicus)
- 2017-067: 1 at Gooseberry Neck, Westport, Bristol, 8/31/2017.
This report contained a detailed description that may have pertained to this species. However, the views were quite distant, and the committee could not be completely certain that other species, hybrids, or aberrant individuals were ruled out.
Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus)
- 2016-045: 1 at River Road, Westport, Bristol, 12/26/2016 to 12/31/2016.
This report contained a long description of a gull seen at considerable distance, and the committee thought that tricky, aberrant individuals could not be ruled out with certainty.
Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)
- 2017-063: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 9/23/2017.
- 2017-064: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 9/24/2017.
- 2017-065: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 10/14/2017.
- 2017-066: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 8/17/2017.
The committee acknowledges the formidable difficulty of the identification and separation of Sooty and Short-tailed shearwaters. Seemingly all useful traits for separation are variable and either overlapping or very close to overlapping, and these minor differences may converge further depending on head posture, angle, viewing conditions, and more.
Many committee members felt that these variations and the moderately distant images made it impossible to judge if the birds definitely represented a Short-tailed Shearwater and ruled out Sooty Shearwater. The committee fully acknowledged the observer’s expertise in separating the two species. Some characters mentioned appeared supportive of the identification including a noted apparent distinctive flight pattern that seem to differ from nearby Sootys. The record was not accepted, but all members agreed that further investigation was warranted. The committee agreed to seek out further expert opinions on this and other reports of this species with the intent of voting on this record again.
Audubon’s Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri)
- 2017-126: 1 at Gooseberry Neck, Westport, Bristol, 7/21/2017.
This report contained a detailed written component. Members were uncertain if the written description ruled out Manx, especially since the bird was seen briefly and at a poor angle. Some members were confident in accepting the record because the observer is extremely experienced with the species. Others thought that the description fell short for accepting the first mainland record of Audubon’s Shearwater in Massachusetts.
White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)
- 2014-072: 1 at Pine Hill Lane, Concord, Middlesex, 4/14/2014.
The description was brief and members were not confident that other possibilities were considered fully.
Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
- 2016-039: 1 at Wachusett Mountain, Worcester, 9/20/2016.
The written report detailed the situation surrounding the sighting, but there was little description of the bird itself and how other hawks were ruled out.
Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens)
- 2017-083: 1 at Turkey Hill, Cohasset, Norfolk, 12/8/2017.
The members were uncertain as to whether other Myiarchus could be ruled out from the photo and description, but acknowledged that other species would be unlikely.
Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus)
- 2015-062: 1 at Hatfield Dike, Hatfield, Hampshire, 10/27/2015.
Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis)
- 2017-091: 2 at Hardscrabble Road, Sterling, Worcester, 1/22/2018. Photos showed two Brown-headed Cowbirds.
Swainson’s Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii)
- 2018-005: 1 at Sweet Alice Conservation Area, Amherst, Hampshire, 5/3/2018.
The description supported Swainson’s Warbler, although the bird’s bizarre behavior noted by the observer left members uncomfortable to accept.
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens)
- 2015-061: 1 at Hellcat, Parker River NWR, Essex, 5/7/2015.
- 2017-062: 1 at Jackson Point, Nantucket, Nantucket, 10/2/2017.
Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)
- 2017-073: 1 at Winthrop Greenway, Winthrop, Suffolk, 11/8/2017.
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
- 2017-078: 1 at Tuckernuck Island, Nantucket, Nantucket, 9/11/2017 to 9/12/2017.
- 2017-079: 1 at Squaw Rock, Squantum, Norfolk, 9/29/2017.