After hearing of a possible Gyrfalcon sighting in the Gloucester/Rockport area over the past few weeks, we made several attempts to locate the falcon.
We observed a large/bulky falcon-looking bird on the lighthouses on Thacher Island on several days, but the distance and lighting presented a challenge for confirming the ID of the perched bird.
This past Saturday morning <x-apple-data-detectors://0> (Feb 24), we were able to observe and photograph a bird at length on the Thacher lighthouses, both in flight, in hunt and perching. Still a hard look, but later after reviewing the photos with Paul Roberts, we feel confident that the bird in question appears to be a Peregrine Falcon and not a Gyrfalcon. Whether it is one of the "local" Peregrines is not known, but it does seem to perch on these lighthouses quite often.
Photos are posted here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43300377 <https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43300377>
However, this does not mean that a Gyrfalcon was not seen elsewhere on another day as reported by others.
If anyone has had potential Gyr sightings and/or photos, we would love to hear about them. (Hope springs eternal!)