Saturday, September 3, 2016

Squantum section of Quincy - 8/28/2016

Nine of us poked around Squantum during the morning hours and enjoyed some nice weather and a few noteworthy birds. The skies were fair, with bright sunshine on the shorebirds in salt pans along East Quantum Street. Temperatures were comfortable and ranged from 66-79F.

A nice variety of shorebirds were present in these salt pans at high tide including several Greater Yellowlegs and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Also in the mix were Short-billed Dowitchers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Killdeer, and a few Least Sandpipers. Out of nowhere a Merlin made a quick pass at the shorebirds and was gone in a flash.

As the tide started to wane a bit we checked out some of the sand spits in the area for additional species. Birds of note included a few American Oystercatchers, a Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plovers, and 2 Sanderlings. The highlight of the trip was seeing 5 Caspian Terns together in flight from Squaw Rock Park. We were alerted to their presence by the very unique and loud "grating" call. The birds eventually circled back around and settled on the Thompson Island spit and nice scope views were had by all.

Not much in the way of landbird migrants, although the group heard a Black-billed Cuckoo call a couple of times.

Complete list:
51 species

American Black Duck  6
Double-crested Cormorant  90
Great Blue Heron  8
Great Egret  10
Snowy Egret  20    Estimate
Osprey  5
American Oystercatcher  3
Black-bellied Plover  2
Semipalmated Plover  10
Killdeer  4
Ruddy Turnstone  1    Uncommon; Thompson's Island spit
Sanderling  2    Uncommon here; Thompson's Island spit
Least Sandpiper  4
Semipalmated Sandpiper  150
Short-billed Dowitcher  12
Greater Yellowlegs  55
Lesser Yellowlegs  6
Laughing Gull  120    Estimate; typical numbers for late summer
Ring-billed Gull  35
Herring Gull (American)  150
Great Black-backed Gull  7
Caspian Tern  5    Thompson's Island spit. Local in MA; but regular here during fall migration. All were adults. These bird were quite vocal while in flight. Photo.
Common Tern  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  25
Mourning Dove  18
Black-billed Cuckoo  1    Heard only; Squaw Rock Park
Chimney Swift  2
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)  2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  1
Merlin (Taiga)  1    Made a pass at the shorebirds at Squantum salt pans.
Eastern Wood-Pewee  1    Squaw Rock Park
Eastern Kingbird  1
Blue Jay  2
American Crow  4
Tree Swallow  17
Barn Swallow (American)  1
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Tufted Titmouse  1
American Robin  15
Gray Catbird  15
Northern Mockingbird  2
European Starling  300
Cedar Waxwing  6
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  1
Song Sparrow  5
Northern Cardinal  8
Common Grackle  5
Baltimore Oriole  3
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  5
House Sparrow  100

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Vin Zollo

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