Weekly Bird Report
3:07 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Brown Booby One of Many Highlights of Columbus Day Weekend Birding

The Brown Booby is a tropical seabird that was unknown from this part of the world until 3 years ago. In recent years sightings have increased all over the Gulf of Maine.
The Brown Booby is a tropical seabird that was unknown from this part of the world until 3 years ago. In recent years sightings have increased all over the Gulf of Maine.
Credit Marc AuMarc/ flickr

The Columbus Day Weekend lived up to its considerable and deserved reputation as offering some of the best birding of the year with the discovery of an immature Brown Booby, a tropical seabird that was unknown from this part of the world until 3 years ago. In recent years sightings have increased all over the Gulf of Maine; something is clearly going on with this species. The bird was seen all 3 days of the long weekend off of Provincetown.

On the morning of October 14, a Black-throated Gray Warbler, a western species that rarely strays to the east, was discovered at Jackson Point on Nantucket. This striking species has only been recorded a few times from the Cape and Islands during the fall migration. It was well seen and record photos were taken to confirm the presence of this bird. An immature Red-headed Woodpecker seen nearby added some excitement, as did the Clay-colored Sparrow feeding on the ground below the warbler.

Brown Creepers, tiny woodland mites that are the only members of their family, were widespread, with as many as a dozen flitting around in a few trees on Nantucket. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, a woodpecker with a funny name, as well as several other species of woodpeckers were also on the move.

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