SE Mass Field Trip, February 2001

The Athol Bird and Nature Club visited Southeastern Massachusetts for one of their periodic birdwatching trips to the “Banana Belt” of Massachusetts. Seven members from six different towns, led by Rick Magee, met at the Middleboro Rotary. The weather was brisk and cloudy, a fine day for watching wildlife.

The day was somewhat successful with 50 species of birds sighted, 3 species of mammals including gray squirrel, harbor seal, and cottontail rabbit. We were disapointed that the reported sandhill crane in Fairhaven had disappeared, and the short-eared owls decided to take the night off in Marshfield. Instead of the crane we had a great view of a rough-legged hawk that landed in a small tree at the edge of a cornfield, just after a small flock of eastern meadowlarks disappeared.

One of the highlights of the day was a good look at red-breasted mergansers with their crests in “the full, up-right and locked position” swimming at the Marina in Fairhaven. Another was a personal guided tour of the WWII coastal defense battery site on the Sagamore Hill Trail given by Rick’s friend John Pribilla, a Park Ranger at the Cape Cod Canal. An amusing sight was one of the harbor seals at Plymouth lazily floating on his back for several minutes while other seals bobbed up and down around him. Another bright spot was a colorful Redhead with a flock of mixed ducks at Arms House Pond behind Jenny Grist Mill in downtown Plymouth.

Here is the full list of birds as recorded by Meridith Larson and Jacob Morris-Siegel:

Middleboro: Rte. 44 Rotary:

  • American crow
  • Blue jay
  • Rock dove
  • American robin
  • English or house sparrow


at Ocean Spray Corporate Headquarters:

  • Canada goose
  • Black duck
  • Northern flicker
  • Great black-backed gull
  • Herring gull

at Assawompset Pond:

  • Mute swan
  • Mourning dove
  • Northern pintail
  • Common merganser
  • Hooded merganser
  • Snow goose
  • Mallard
  • Common goldeneye
  • Bufflehead
  • Starling
  • Ring-necked duck


at Marina:

  • Greater scaup
  • Red-breasted merganser

at Cornfields near Shaw Road:

  • Eastern meadowlark
  • Rough-legged hawk
  • Red-tailed hawk

Cape Cod Canal:

at Sagamore Hill Trail:

  • Yellow-rumped warbler
  • Northern mockingbird

at Scusset, fishing pier::

  • Common eider
  • Common loon
  • Great cormorant
  • Red-winged blackbird

at Scusset, breakwater:

  • Gadwall
  • Surf scoter
  • Field sparrow
  • Song sparrow
  • Ring-necked pheasant


at Manomet + Plymouth Beach:

  • Horned grebe
  • Oldsquaw
  • White-winged scoter
  • Green-winged teal
  • (Harbor Seals)


Jenny Grist Mill Pond:

  • Redhead
  • American coot

end of Water Street:

  • Sanderling
  • Dunlin

Marshfield: Daniel Webster Audubon Sanctuary:

  • American goldfinch
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Northern cardinal
  • Northern harrier (male and female)
  • (Great Horned Owl – a shadow that was identified and originally spotted by someone outside ABNC)
  • (Cottontail Rabbit)

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