Monday, March 18, 2013

Fieldfare in Carlisle, Massachusetts

With the memory of the Le Conte's Sparrow in Concord still fresh, Massachusetts birders were stunned on St. Patrick's Day by the news that Alan Ankers had discovered a Fieldfare among a large flock of Robins in Carlisle, Mass., located on Greenough Land off Maple St.  (Carlisle Mosquito article on Alan's sighting.)  Here are some admittedly grim record shots (hand-held phone, scope at 42x, bird at 150yds.)  Some good photography can be found in the eBird Rarities Photo Pool.

Fieldfare, Greenough Land, Carlisle, MA.  Heavy crop of iPhone shot at 42x, but enough to be diagnostic

Fieldfare.  Gray head and heavy eye-line, gray rump just visible, and white leading wing edge.
Fieldfare (on right) with Robin:  lankier build, generally more upright posture

Fieldfare is an ABA Code 4, although many of us were mystified why it was a 4 when an annual bird like Barnacle Goose is a Code 5.   I met five birders today who had seen the Fieldfare in 1986 at Nine Acre Corner; one wag commented, "I don't even get a new county bird!" The mood was celebratory, with numerous grizzled veterans of stake-outs past catching up (I heard chatter about the Ivory Gull of 75-76), young birders enjoying the scene, and one birder celebrating her 700th ABA bird.

Update:  the Fieldfare was relocated on March 19 after heavy snow by several parties, but appeared to be moving around quite a lot, with one sighting in adjoining Great Meadows NWR land.

March 21 update:  Fieldfare is now being seen down Maple St., south of the original location in the vicinity of Piggery Rd., which is the access road to the Great Meadows NWR--Carlisle Unit.  It has been seen much of the day behind the house next to Piggery Rd.  For updates, read MassBirds.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice report David. It was fun to talk with all of you while you watched the bird.