WIR 11/12-11/18

Wednesday 11/12: Wandered around Lindentree in the fog. Siskins and a beaver. Opossum running around the yard when I got home.

Thursday 11/13: Great Meadows was pretty dead. Got the jets flying over and added pipit and Marsh Wren to the commute list.

Friday 11/14: Nothing obvious at any of the ponds, although sun and traffic made for tough viewing.

Saturday 11/15: Started at Nahanton, which was quiet beyond a Hermit Thrush and Purple Finch. One shoveler at Purgatory Cove and lots of Hoodies but not much else. Nothing obvious at the res or Hardy. Something for later in the afternoon.

Sunday 11/16: Wanted to check School St for longspurs and geese, so worked my way out stopping at Kaveski first. Driving down Shadyside, an adult male Northern Harrier crossed the road twice (unfortunately it was then chased off by crows before I could park and jump out with the camera). Sparrows galore along the road and hedgerow including at least one White-crowned. Walking way out towards Elm Brook, I heard an check-type note that I wanted to call a Marsh Wren but didn’t seem quite right. Bushwhacked in a bit and a female Common Yellowthroat popped up for a second.

School St was fairly dead (no geese and the lark/pipit flock was barely visible at 60x in the scope), so I checked Warner’s Pond (nothing) and the prison fields (moderate number of geese, nothing obvious among them but not easy to see and I didn’t linger). Debated Nine Acre Corner or Waltham St from there and picked Waltham St (checking on the heron and 3 crows at Hobbs Brook on the way). Totally dead there, just about circled all four fields with nothing more than cardinals and Song Sparrows. And then in the last couple feet, something a bit different popped up. Fortunately it landed in the open and stayed long enough for a couple shots: Grasshopper Sparrow!

Grasshopper Sparrow

Cambridge Res was about the same, except the Ring-neck and most of the Ruddy flock was out by 128 and couldn’t be scanned carefully. Also 3 turkeys would have caused a good traffic jam had it been a weekday.

Monday 11/7: Quick check of Heard Pond in the rain: 10 Ring-billed Gulls, 1 Great Black-backed, and 7 Common Mergansers. Exciting stuff.

Tuesday 11/8: Cat Rock Park was quiet. Winter Wren plus a flicker in the middle of a low bush and lots of gulls overhead.

WIR 11/5-11/11

Wednesday 11/5: Red-shoulder over the middle of Lincoln and Fox Sparrow at Cow Common.

Thursday 11/6: Went to Forest Grove for a change. Very little for ducks and not much more for land birds.

Friday 11/7: Tons of Ring-necks and coots at Cambridge Res, Killdeer at Hobbs Brook.

Saturday 11/8: Started at Rock Meadow and BBN, which were mostly quiet (couple Tree Sparrows, lots of Purple Finches, couple flyover siskins). Tried Fresh Pond but didn’t see easy parking so went to Cambridge Res instead. A good 350 Ring-necks and lots of the same but nothing really good. Check of Hobbs Brook had the Killdeer and 25 Snow Buntings.

Sunday 11/9: Joined the MBC trip to Dunback, which was fairly quiet (lots of Purple Finches, one flock of siskins, a couple Yellow-rumps, 2-3 Fox Sparrows). Savannahs and nothing else at Waltham St. Got the Canvasback at Fresh Pond but apparently walked past the Surf Scoter.

Monday 11/10: Absolutely nothing at Wayland CG.

Tuesday 11/11: Rusty Blackbirds, a few Yellow-rumps, and not much else beyond juncos at BBN.

WIR 10/29-11/4

Wednesday 10/29: Joined the mob not finding the Le Conte’s in the fog at Danehy. Oriole, couple siskins, not a ton else.

Thursday 10/30: Winter Wren and raven at College Pond (plus a few firsts for Weston).

Friday 10/31: Red-bellied at the feeder early. Barred Owl and first American Tree Sparrow of the fall at Heard Farm.

Saturday 11/1: West Meadow and Rock Meadow were pretty dead. Arlington Res had a nice selection of ducks including 7 Gadwall along with a White-crowned Sparrow. Rain started, so on to Cambridge Res. Interesting looking flock way out immediately, but I continued around first and found a scoter flock (19 Black, 1 White-winged). Doubled back and the other flock was about 30 Black. Nothing much else, so continued to Flint’s with another 30ish Blacks. Halfway to Heard at that point, so I went over and found a Great Black-backed Gull and a cormorant.

Sunday 11/2: Repeated the pond loop but it was too nasty. Scoter-like flock in the middle of Cambridge Res turned out to be coots.

Monday 11/3: Tried for the Blue Grosbeak in Sudbury in the cold and wind. Not my best idea.

Tuesday 11/4: Pond check again had big numbers but nothing terribly interesting. Believe Common Goldeneye was #100 for the new commute list.

WIR 10/22-10/28

Wednesday 10/22: Rain started before I got to the wren, traffic was too bad at Cambridge Res, so I finally made it to Heard Pond instead. A whole 26 Ring-billed Gulls, 2 cormorants, and an eagle.

Thursday 10/23: Too wet.

Friday 10/24: 2 Horned Grebes Cambridge Res, 1 Red-necked Flint’s, Bufflehead Heard Pond.

Saturday 10/25: Started by heading to Dunback to try for the Sedge Wren again. Lots of geese at Waltham St. as I drove by, so I walked over first. One interesting one, more eventually. Dunback had no wren but loads of Purple Finches (25+ and I covered less than half the area). Something in the afternoon too.

Sunday 10/26: Started at Great Meadows which was on the quiet side (lots of blackbirds and siskins overhead). On to Kaveski and Meriam’s, which was also quiet. Cool and starting to rain, so I didn’t spend too much time at School St (lots of Ring-bills, crows, starlings, cowbirds, Red-wings and a few pipits). Mergansers at Flint’s. Two Horned Grebes at the Cambridge Res, then scoping to the side and 5 more popped up! Plus the continuing big numbers of Ring-necks, coots, and wigeon.

Monday 10/27: Wayland Community Gardens and Cow Common were busy. Five species of warbler including late Wilson’s and Parula plus good numbers of sparrows and blackbirds.

Wilson's WarblerNorthern Parula

Tuesday 10/28: West Meadow for a bit. Hoping for Ammodramus (right target, wrong location!) but made do with a sapsucker, bunch of Purple Finches, and lots of the common sparrows.

290!

Goal for the weekend was 200 for the year and hopefully finally get a longspur in the county. Potentially got to 200 with a goose in the morning (more later) but by the time I left Dunback, I didn’t feel like searching for longspurs.

A few hours later, while sitting at home my phone rang. Very odd call. Marj: “I’ve got a bird on the Mystic Lakes and I have no clue what it is.” And something about storm-petrel. Out the door and on the way (except for missing the turn for Rt. 2).

Leach's Storm-Petrel

Good crowd and it took quite a while to get better views than that and get the ID figured out (although Leach’s was the pretty obvious pick).

Eventually a boater went by and it flew a couple feet, which didn’t help much. But then a gull came in and gave a couple swipes, which got a lengthy flight. I went straight for the camera and filled the buffer a couple times.

Leach's

Leach'sLeach's

Nothing to go against Leach’s and everyone was happy.

WIR 10/15-10/21

Wednesday 10/15: Tried Farm Meadow again, fairly quiet. Eastern Tailed-Blue was the best thing.

Thursday 10/16: County bird plus more of the same.

Friday 10/17: Checked Cambridge Res first. About 50 Ruddy, 200 Ring-necks, 4 Greater Scaup, 1 Lesser Scaup, 25 American Wigeon, a few coots, a siskin, etc.

Saturday 10/18: Tons of waxwings at the West Meadow, tons of Yellow-rumps, a Winter Wren, and a kestrel at BBN. A few less Ring-necks and a few more of the other stuff at the res. Wandered over for the Golden-Plover in Winchester in the afternoon and also had a feeding Merlin by the Mystic Lakes.

Sunday 10/19: Joined the BBC Suffolk county trip. Orange-crowned Warbler, several Field Sparrows, 225 Ruddies, and a few other things. Still 8 Lesser Yellowlegs at Hobbs Brook.

Monday 10/20: Farm Meadow had a meadowlark and potentially an interesting finch.

Tuesday 10/21: Chased the Sedge Wren at Dunback without luck (missed by 10-20 minutes on either side). Tons of sparrows, Yellow-rumps, an Orange-crowned, siskins, etc.

WIR 10/8-10/14

Wednesday 10/8: Started the new commute with a brief stop at Heard Pond. Eagle, Osprey, late Barn Swallow, etc.

Thursday 10/9: Wayland Community Gardens: Field Sparrow, BT Blue, Tennessee, lots of common sparrows.

Friday 10/10: Heard Farm had a sapsucker and more of the same.

Saturday 10/11: Started by leading a MBC trip at Waltham St. Got 100% of everyone on every bird, not that any were interesting (Osprey was nice at least). That’s very easy to do when you’re alone. With the rain starting, went to check Cambridge Res. Big flock (87) of Ruddy plus a few Ring-necks and other stuff. Flint’s still had nothing but cormorants, Hardy had 18 more Ruddy and a coot. Went to Arlington Res in the afternoon and caught up with the Great Cormorant and White-rumped Sandpiper plus a new Gadwall. Continued to Hobbs Brook where there were tons of yellowlegs and some early Common Mergansers.

Sunday 10/12: Started at Rock Meadow. Gardens were fairly quiet, Brown Thrasher and siskins being the main highlight (unfortunately couldn’t find the Bay-breasted among the Yellow-rumps). Field Sparrows and Purple Finches were also nice. Was about to head for the West Meadow when Norm called with an Ammodramus at Farm Meadow, so headed that way instead. No luck refinding it but Pileated, Bobolink, Red-shoulder, and tons of White-throats. Family walk at Great Meadows had a Turkey Vulture kettle, a pintail, and a Familiar Bluet. Purple Finch in the yard in between too.

Monday 10/13: Back to Farm Meadow. Didn’t see the Grasshopper but siskin, Purple Finch, redstart, etc made for a decent hour.

Tuesday 10/14: Wayland Community Gardens again: about the same sparrows (swap Lincoln’s for White-crowned), and a Baltimore Oriole.

WIR 10/1-10/7

Wednesday 10/1: Started by successfully chasing Bob’s Dunlin along with 6 shoveler and a few other ducks and shorebirds at Arlington Res.

Dunlin

Continued to Hobbs Brook to find my own but no luck with that. Big flock of teal that surprisingly turned out to be more Blue-winged than Green-winged. Cambridge Res was quiet, as was Hardy. First White-throat of the fall in the yard.

Thursday 10/2: Went to Great Meadows (after quickly checking Flint’s which had nothing but cormorants). Was expecting a couple hours but ended up staying about 6 on the platform. Lots of raptors moving (25 Osprey, 8 harriers, 3 Sharp-shinned, 3 Merlin, 6 Peregrine) and a few shorebirds (6 Pec, 2 Semipalmated Sandpipers, 1 Least). Along with several pipits, warblers, etc. Big highlights were 54 White-winged Scoters (all sorts of reports on reservoirs to the west) and two good flocks of Rusty Blackbirds (80+ in total).

White-winged Scoters

Friday 10/3: Started at Dunback. Lincoln’s and Scarlet Tanager in the gardens. Ran into Marj down Bacon St and we went over to Waltham St. Bobolink, lots of Indigo Buntings, but not much else. I walked back to Dunback and had a bunch of Yellow-rumps but not much else. A quick check of Hobbs Brook had 7 Green-winged Teal and a tree crew.

Saturday 10/4: Stayed in for Yom Kippur. Cooper’s across the street.

Sunday 10/5: Joined the MBC trip to Dunback and Waltham St. Started with a meadowlark (#211 in Lexington, #210 is above), then had an Orange-crowned Warbler (singing!) before adding a Baltimore Oriole. Quick check of the West Meadow was quiet by 11:30.

Monday 10/6: Quick check of the res had 45ish Ring-necks and a Pied-billed Grebe. Afternoon walk around Arlington Res had a few less shorebirds (3 Semis, 3 Solitary, 1 Spotted, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs, 9 Killdeer) but the shoveler count was up to 8.

8 Shovelers

Tuesday 10/7: Last weekday to really wander for a few months most likely. Danehy was quiet, McClennan wasn’t much better. Horn Pond had a mousing heron in the gardens but not a whole lot more. Stopped at Hobbs Brook and got the only rain of the day other than the couple seconds right after I left the house so no walking out there.

Great Blue with lunch

WIR 9/17-9/30

Two weeks as I forgot to hit post last week.

Wednesday 9/17: Rock Meadow was pretty quiet (at first). Continued through BBN with not much more. On the way back, an Eastern Kingbird was flying around the bluebird boxes, about a week later than I’ve ever had one. Quick check of Waltham St had nothing.

Thursday 9/18: Scouted Lincoln for Sunday’s MBC trip. Five or more Indigos, a Lincoln’s Sparrow, and a Nashville Warbler at Farm Meadow, a Redstart and not much else at St. Anne’s. Path to Lindentree was flooded and I didn’t feel like looping all the way around and went to Hobbs Brook instead, where there was a Greater Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpiper.

Friday 9/19: Started at Danehy. First Purple Finch for the county this year plus first White-throated Sparrow and Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the fall. Not much else though. Continued to Fresh Pond where there were 4 Ring-necked Ducks and 2 Nashville Warblers. Brief stop at the duck ponds on the way home had a Northern Waterthrush and not much else.

Saturday 9/20: Another Purple Finch and that was about it at BBN.

Sunday 9/21: MBC walk in Lincoln was pretty much same as Thursday (minus the Nashville). Cooperative Virginia Rail at Great Meadows, 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 10 GW Teal at Hobbs Brook.

Monday 9/22: Next to nothing at Purgatory Cove and Forest Grove (was midafternoon though).

Tuesday 9/23: Dunback was slightly busier than things have been: BT Green, Magnolia, Blackpoll, singing Pine, Black-and-white, and a Redstart in addition to first of fall Golden-crowned Kinglet. Lots of raptors as the morning went on with Sharpie, Osprey, Kestrel, and a bunch of distant presumed Broad-wings. Also some interesting dead mammals: Star-nosed Mole (I think) and a skunk. Quick run through Hayden Woods after had more BT Greens and a Parula.

Wednesday 9/24: Started at Rock Meadow, where there were a couple warblers, an Indigo Bunting, and a few turkeys in the gardens. BBN was fairly quiet beyond a Broad-wing and there was nothing of note at the West Meadow.

Thursday 9/25: First of fall White-crowned Sparrow and American Pipit at Great Meadows.

Friday 9/26: Had to take the car for service, so walked to Mary Cummings Park while I waited. Five species of warblers and a few other things (and a probable flyover siskin).

Saturday 9/27 and Sunday 9/28: Pelagic. Lots of Audubon’s Shearwaters, a White-faced Storm-Petrel and some nice phalarope and jaeger photo ops. Quiet otherwise birdwise. Basking Shark and Leatherback Turtle made up the other fauna highlights.

Monday 9/29: Arlington Res had 4 shoveler, 5 wigeon, 2 snipe, 2 Pectoral, a Palm, and a bunch of Yellow-rumps. Lots of Savannahs at Waltham St.

Tuesday 9/30: Started at the West Meadow which had a bunch of sparrows (including White-crowned), several warblers, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Jogged through BBN to Rock Meadow. Wood Thrush, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and not much else there. Back through BBN in more detail added a few more sparrows and another warbler or two. Bunch of Ring-necks and an even bigger bunch of other ducks at Cambridge Res.

nature and stuff