This Week’s Highlights: December 24 – 30, 2022.

This Northern Fulmar graced Gloucester, MA harbor on 12/26. I originally found the bird in a short birding outing on Christmas Day. Details below.

My birding highlights this week were mostly from Christmas in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  I did very little birding, but in short outings, found two great birds!  The first was a NORTHERN FULMAR in Gloucester Harbor, during a short break from eating on Christmas Day. Although not a “rarity” in Massachusetts by any means, having one sit in the harbor was an exceedingly rare occurrence in New England.  I managed some lousy phone-scoped photos while hand-holding my phone to my scope with frozen fingers in 30mph winds.  We returned the next day where Jeannette greatly improved upon my photos (see above). Many birders enjoyed it through the 27th.

But that was trumped by a bona fide state rarity that Jeannette and I found while walking Bonxie on the 26th. This Eared Grebe we found off Niles Beach would be MA’s 20th record I believe. My phone-binned photos while out with the dog were the best we did, but many birders were finding it through week’s end.

We also had a THICK-BILLED MURRE off Niles Beach on the 25th (along with an intriguing distant grebe that was undoubtable the Eared we confirmed the next day) and I had 4 RED CROSSBILLS in the Eastern Point neighborhood on the 26th.

Meanwhile, here in Maine, my observations of note over the past ten days included the following:

2 female Greater Scaup, Yarmouth Harbor, 12/24 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).

1 Common Redpoll (FOS), our yard in Durham, 12/28-29.

1 continuing SAGE THRASHER, Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, 12/29. Great views and a prolonged period of observation with no one else present early in the morning. My photos were a little more distant than I would have liked (and backlit) but the quality time with this incredible rarity – unlike the brief view on my first visit – was most rewarding.

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