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December 27. 2013 9:08PM

This week's Rare Bird Alert

A young downy woodpecker looks over its shoulder as it perches on a bropken branch at the Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn. 

This is New Hampshire Audubon’s Rare Bird Alert for Wednesday, Dec. 25.

A gyrfalcon was discovered in Hampton Marsh north of the Route 101 causeway on Dec. 14 during the annual Coastal Christmas Bird Count. It was seen in various sections of that area of the marsh since then, but the last confirmed sighting was on Dec. 19. At least one peregrine falcon and one merlin have been seen sporadically in Hampton Marsh during the past week. There was an unconfirmed report of a gyrfalcon from Peterborough on Dec. 21.Snowy owls continued to be reported in New Hampshire during the past week including two in the marsh behind Ray’s Seafood Restaurant on Route 1A in Rye, one opposite Rye Ledges on Route 1A in Rye, and two behind Little Jack’s Restaurant on Route 1A in Hampton.

A short-eared owl and a northern harrier were seen on the north side of Island Path in Hampton on Dec. 21.

A peregrine falcon was seen on Notre Dame Bridge on Bridge Street in Manchester on Dec. 20.

A male Barrow’s goldeneye and five bald eagles were seen on the Connecticut River in Hinsdale on Dec. 24, and a male Barrow’s goldeneye was reported from Great Boar’s Head in Hampton on Dec. 22.

An Iceland gull was seen at Great Island Common in New Castle on Dec. 24.

A flock of 40 purple sandpipers was seen on the rocks located on the east end of Ragged Neck, a flock of 10 was seen off Odiorne Point State Park, and a flock of 10 were seen on Rye Ledges, all in Rye on Dec. 24.

Two American pipits were seen at Ragged Neck in Rye on Dec. 24.

A flock of 25 snow buntings was seen at the Nashua Airport on Dec. 21.

Over 200 cedar waxwings were reported from New London on Dec. 20, and over 135 were seen in Orford on the 21st.

Late-migrating birds reported during the past week included a Wilson’s snipe in Hampton on Dec. 21, a hermit thrush in Mont Vernon on the 22nd, and a gray catbird in Exeter on the 24th.

A Carolina wren was reported from Berlin on Dec. 23.

Highlights of the Errol-Umbagog Christmas Bird Count held Dec. 18 included: nine common goldeneyes, two hooded mergansers, 33 common mergansers, 31 ruffed grouse, 33 wild turkeys, seven bald eagles, three red-tailed hawks, three black-backed woodpeckers, three northern shrikes, 23 gray jays, 46 common ravens, 15 boreal chickadees, 222 red-breasted nuthatches, 64 golden-crowned kinglets, nine American tree sparrows, three northern cardinals, seven purple finches, five white-winged crossbills, and a common redpoll.

Highlights of the Pittsburg Christmas Bird Count held on Dec. 19, included: two hooded mergansers, two common mergansers, a ring-necked pheasant, two ruffed grouse, 35 wild turkeys, a great blue heron, two bald eagles, a sharp-shinned hawk, a red-tailed hawk, a great horned owl, a black-backed woodpecker, a northern shrike, 24 gray jays, 59 common ravens, 43 boreal chickadees, a tufted titmouse, 323 red-breasted nuthatches, 83 golden-crowned kinglets, four American tree sparrows, four snow buntings, a northern cardinal, 13 pine grosbeaks, 379 purple finches, a red crossbill, three white-winged crossbills, and 50 pine siskins.

Highlights of the Lee/Durham Christmas Bird Count held Dec. 21, included a rough-legged hawk (in Dover), two yellow-rumped warblers, two gray catbirds, an eastern towhee, an eastern screech-owl, an American kestrel, three chipping sparrows, four ruddy ducks, two northern pintails, two gadwalls, three long-tailed ducks, a red-throated loon, two ruffed grouse, three northern shrikes, and two great blue herons.

This message is also available by phone recording: call 224-9909 and press 2 as directed or ask to be transferred. If you have seen any interesting birds recently, you can leave a message at the end of the recording or send your sightings to the RBA via e-mail at: Please put either “bird sighting” or “Rare Bird Alert” in the subject line and be sure to include your mailing address and phone number. The RBA is also available on-line at the New Hampshire Audubon web site,

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