The Weekly Bird Report with Mark Faherty can be heard every Wednesday on WCAI, the local NPR station for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the South Coast. Mark has been the Science Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary since August 2007 and has led birding trips for Mass Audubon since 2002. He is past president of the Cape Cod Bird Club and current member of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee.
The Wellfleet Pink-footed Goose
On Thanksgiving morning, there was just one large, meaty bird on the minds of Cape Cod birders. I am of course referring to the rare Pink-footed Goose discovered that morning in Wellfleet. With just two prior records for the Cape and Islands, this was a bird to see. So it was that I loaded my son and all his toddlery accoutrements into the family car and headed to Wellfleet on Thanksgiving morning, leaving my poor wife behind with the baby, the parade on TV, and several side-dishes still to make
Loveable Dovekies Are Stealing the Show
You might have missed it, but the floodgates recently opened. The conditions must have set up just right, with east winds over the weekend, followed by very strong northwest winds through Tuesday morning. This brought big numbers of everyone’s favorite little winter seabird ever so briefly within reach of our binoculars. Thousands of Dovekies passed classic seabirding spots over the last few days, including over 1000 at Race Point and more than 4000 at First Encounter Beach in Eastham. Most
A Fascinating Finch
2020 has been a year to forget in so many ways. But many of us have been given a glimmer of hope in recent weeks, a beacon of light in a dark year. Many voices were heard, and their message was resounding and clear. “We are the winter finches”, they said “and we are here in big numbers."
The 'Penguin of the North' Causes a Stir Among Cape Cod Birders
The Ancient one has returned; the prophecy has been fulfilled. Ok, maybe there wasn’t a prophecy, but the Ancient one has indeed returned. For the first time in over 20 years, a mysterious bird known as the Ancient Murrelet has appeared in Massachusetts. And this odd, singing sea bird from the North Pacific may have an interesting story to tell—one that involves climate change and international shipping route wars.
A Not So Common Cuckoo
I almost always keep these reports to birds on the Cape and Islands. But in this otherwise slow news week, a certain bird from a neighboring state is just way too good to ignore. One of the world’s most interesting birds has landed at a place called Snake Den Farm in Johnston Rhode Island – it’s the not-so-common-around-here Common Cuckoo, just the third ever seen in the lower 48 states. This may seem far afield for the Cape and Islands Bird report, but note that from Falmouth, this farm is
Winter Finches Are Stealing the Show
Though the weather is finally cooling down, the birding continues to heat up. The past few days have brought some nice additions to the winter finch irruption, new rarities, and new expected winter arrivals. At feeders and in the field, birds that weren’t here yesterday are still turning up all the time.
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