by Robert H. Stymeist, Statistician


During 2001, the Brookline Bird Club listed 303 species of birds on 210 reported trips, two fewer than the previous year. A total of 268 trips were scheduled, 22 fewer than the previous year’s all time high of 290 for the Club. There were 80 all-day, 157 morning, 28 afternoon or evening, and three weekend trips. A very high number of trips went unreported (a gentle reminder to leaders to return the checklist provided with a stamped envelope). Fifty-eight trips were not reported, of which only 14 were due to weather. Forty-four were simply not reported! In Massachusetts, the Club reported a total of 300 species on 197 trips.


One new species was added to the overall Brookline Bird Club list of birds, a Sage Thrasher recorded on an extension of a Newburyport trip on November 25 led by Jonathan Center.

Bill Drummond also organized a special trip on this day to add the bird to the Club list. This bird, found at Nubble Light on Cape Neddick in York, Maine, represented the first state record for this species in Maine. There is only one other record for this species in New England; one was photographed at Plum Island on October 26, 1965.


In 2001, the Club scheduled only five pelagic trips, down from 13 the previous year. Of the five trips, only two were reported. An overnight trip to Hydrographer Canyon on August 27 had a

total of just 14 species but among them was a sighting of two White-faced Storm-Petrels, only the second record for the Club. The overnight trip also noted three Audubon’s Shearwaters, along with 17 Cory’s Shearwaters and 24 Leach’s Storm-Petrels among the usual Stellwagen Bank fare.


The Massachusetts Audubon Society (MAS) Checklist (11/98) now includes all the species that have been identified in the state as determined by the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee (MARC). The Club recorded the following species that are listed on the new list as very rare or as accidental species:


Eared Grebe                            Gloucester                              January 1

Audubon’s Shearwater           Hydrographer Canyon            August 27

White-faced Storm-Petrel      Hydrographer Canyon            August 27

Rufous Hummingbird             Agawam                                  September 16

Gray Jay                                   Windsor                                  December 8

Northern Wheatear                Plum Island                             September 9

Sage Thrasher                         York, Maine                             November 25

Painted Bunting                      Malden                                    February 11


In addition, though not in the rare or accidental category, the following species listed as rare or uncommon were seen by the Club:


Leach’s Storm-Petrel                           Hydrographer Canyon            August 27

Golden Eagle                                       Salisbury                                  November 17

Atlantic Puffin                                     Cape Ann                                 March 4

Ringed Turtle Dove (escape)              Mt. Auburn                             June 9

Chuck-will’s-widow                             Wellfleet                                 May 26

Western Kingbird                                West Newbury                        November 17

Sedge Wren                                        Barnstable                               May 26

Summer Tanager                                Mt. Auburn                             May 17

Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow           Boston Public Garden             November 4


The following species occur with some regularity in the state but were missed by the Club during 2001: Cattle Egret, Western Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Parasitic Jaeger, Little Gull, Black Tern, Alder Flycatcher, Connecticut Warbler, Dickcissel, and Red Crossbill.


The Club visited Essex County most often, with a total of 108 trips (62 to Newburyport and Plum Island area, 28 to Cape Ann, and 18 to other spots in the county). Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge was second with 42 trips. Competing migration trap Marblehead Neck was visited 16 times thanks to Linda Ferraresso, Joe Paluzzi and others. There were also 50 scheduled trips in the Metropolitan Boston area, 12 trips to the South Shore, six trips to areas on Cape Cod, and eight trips to areas in Western Massachusetts. Out of state trips included a weekend trip to Rangely Lakes in Maine, a weekend trip to Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison, Vermont (cancelled because of bad weather), and seven t1ips

in New Hampshire.


The Club also conducted several workshops in 2001. Shawn Carey and Don Crockett, along with Dave Larson and Steve Mirick, held a Photo and Video Workshop in February for birders considering getting into bird photography and Marj Rines conducted a Birding and Computer Technology Workshop in November. Repeated were the Warbler Workshop in April and the Sparrow Workshop in October. New in 2001 were a Hawaiian Shirt Shorebird Safari on South Beach in Chatham and a Mad Hatter’s Walk on September 1. You can view images of the Photo Workshop and see some of those fancy shirts on the BBC web page http://www.massbird.org/bbc/.


A special thank-you goes out to the 72 leaders who guided our members throughout the year. Several leaders deserve special mention. Bill Drummond led 22 trips; Steve Grinley led 19

trips; Soheil Zendeh was listed as a leader 16 times; Bob Stymeist, 14; Laura de la Flor, Linda Ferraresso, and John Nave each led 12; Bob Petersen and Eddie Giles each led 11 trips; and Glenn d’Entremont led 10 trips. The Club honored its leaders with a Leader Appreciation Day held at Wompatuck State Park. A special thank-you goes out to Laura de la Flor and Eddie Giles and other Board members that made this event a big success.


The biggest trip list was, as always, Bill Drummond’s spring trip on May 19 with 122 species. Bill commented that it was a poor migration day and that the group had to work hard for every species, but nonetheless they recorded such goodies as a late Snow Goose, a Ruff and a Reeve at the salt pannes on Plum Island, a grand slam on all of the swallows, and 17 species of warblers. The next best trip list was 96 species recorded on a morning trip led by Laura de la Flor to Marblehead Neck with an extension to Essex County on May 26. Glenn d’Entremont extended his trip on the same day from Plymouth to Cape Cod and added Sedge Wren and Chuck-wills-widow to the Club List. Our leaders are always eager to see a special bird and it is not unusual to extend a trip.


Jonathan Center extended his Newburyport trip on November 25 to Cape Neddick, Maine to add the Sage Thrasher only to find another BBC trip already there! Through the hotlines, Bill

Drummond added an additional unscheduled trip assuring that this vagrant was added to the Club list. Joe Paluzzi and six members win the prize for the longest and most rewarding

extension. Meeting in Beverly for a coastal trip, Joe headed west to the Berkshires and added Gray Jay, as well as 41 Pine Grosbeaks and 60 Evening Grosbeaks to the list. The most species for the least amount of travel was a trip totally within the town of Wellfleet that recorded a total of 83 species on September 15.


Weather-wise, the year 2001 was very warm and exceptionally dry. In the Boston area the temperature averaged 52.5 degrees, 1.2 above normal, almost two degrees warmer than

2000 and the warmest since 1999. The year tied for the twelfth warmest in 130 years of record keeping. A high of 97 degrees was recorded in Boston on August 9, and the low was 10 degrees on February 12. July was very cool for the second year in a row, making the summer very comfortable. Rainfall was only 31.41 inches, 10.10 inches less than average and 14.48 inches less than 2000. The year ranked as the 7th driest in 131 years of records for Boston. The wettest month was March with 8.16 inches and the driest month was November with a mere 0. 73 of an inch. Days with measurable amounts were 111, 13 days under the average. Snowfall in Boston totaled 46.6 inches, 4.7 more than the past average and 17.8 inches more than 2000. March was the snowiest month; in fact, the lion roared all month. A severe nor’easter on the

5-7th and flooding rains on the 21-22nd also made for a miserable March. The sunniest month was July at 71 % sunshine, followed closely by September with 70%. The least sunny month was March with only 38%. The year had 137 clear days, 117 partly cloudy days, and 111 cloudy days, all noted and recorded from the Blue Hills Observatory in Canton.


The Club recorded nearly 84% of all the birds that were noted during 2001-pretty impressive! A total of at least 358 species were observed and reported by birders across the state during 2001. A Couch’s Kingbird, found on Plum Island on September 7, was the only new bird added to the official State list. A possible Long-toed Stint in breeding plumage was discovered on

Plum Island on May 4. If this species is accepted by MARC, it would constitute the first record for eastern North America. Another potential species that could be recorded in the state is Yellow-legged Gull. Perhaps as many as three birds were present among the masses of gulls found along Low Beach on Nantucket. This species breeds in southern Europe along the

coast of Iberia and in the Mediterranean, as well as the Azores. One was carefully studied this past winter but MARC has rejected the report. The problem, one that challenges the gull

experts, is that hybrids of Herring X Lesser Black-backed Gull show many of the same features of Yellow-legged Gull. Other impressive species seen during 2001 were: Pacific Loon, West-

ern Grebe, Anhinga, Ross’ Goose, Barnacle Goose, Tufted Duck, Black Vulture, Swallow-tailed and Mississippi Kites, Swainson’s Hawk, Gyrfalcon, Yellow Rail, Purple Gallinule, American Avocet, Franklin’s Gull, Thayer’s Gull, Sabine’s Gull, Rufous Hummingbird, Northern Wheatear, Townsend’s Solitaire, Varied Thrush, Bohemian Waxwing, Townsend’s Warbler, and Harris’ Sparrow.



Oakes Spalding, Cambridge                319

John Hoye, Wayland                           312

Audrey McCarthy, Wayland               309

Chris Floyd, Lexington                         303

Glenn d’Entremont, Stoughton          293

Joe Paluzzi, Beverly                             293

Fred Bouchard, Brookline                   278

Linda Ferraresso, Watertown             271

Herman d’Entremont, Somerville      268

Bob Stymeist, Watertown                  274

Laura de la Flor, Salem                       257

Bobette Wicks, Westwood                 240

Glen Tepke, Boston                             236

Jerry Soucy, Rockport                         234

Larry O’Bryan, Arlington                     232

Nancy Eaton, Enfield CT                      229

Mark Lynch, Worcester                      217*

Larry Jodrey, Rockport                        209

Adams Little, Cambridge                    191

Bob Stymeist, Watertown                  166**

*Blackstone National Corridor only

**City of Boston only