First time out in a couple weeks.
Didn’t get the camera up for the redpolls or the Peregrine. Scaup still around, not much else duckwise.
Sandwiched between Brown Creeper and Gadwall on my Suffolk county list:
Well that was unexpected. I spent most of the morning in Sudbury, picking up a few new migrants and a couple other things. On the way home, I debated a stop in Lincoln but decided to check the Hobbs Brook end of the Cambridge Res instead. Got there at about 11:35 and a couple Killdeer and a Spotted Sandpiper visible from the road were enough to say park and walk out.
Leaving the underpass, I pulled out my phone for a quick email check. 11:30 message subject Whimbrel in Lincoln?. Continue walking out while calling Marj. Did you check your email? What’s Norm’s number? Why did I leave my bag with notepad and pencil in the car? What’s that number again? Sorry, traffic noise is too much, what was that? Hi Norm, where’s the bird? On the way.
I did stop to scope the little bit of mud quickly (I think there were more Killdeer and a few waterfowl) before jogging back to the car and backtracking to the commuter rail station. Quick run down to Farm Meadow and no bird.
Norm appeared and started down the other side, so I went back to join him. Marj got there at about the same time and we started out along the edge of the field. No obvious Whimbrel. Halfway out, with most of the field visible, we were beginning to think that it had moved on. We continued around, but mostly talking.
Barely paying attention, we just about reached the farthest corner. And something flushed. And everyone was happy.
Including the Whimbrel, which was catching lots and lots of stuff (grasshoppers and crickets presumably).
Great show as it ran around feeding and flew in closer at one point.
Although I did expect to see one in the county at some point, it certainly wasn’t on one of the nicest days of the year. In a freshly cut Farm Meadow wasn’t the place either, although it has been pointed out that the habitat isn’t quite as crazy as it seemed originally (and does anyone check the Hanscom runways?).
After a mediocre BBC walk at Mt. Auburn yesterday, I decided to swing over to Nahanton and finally catch up with the Yellow-throated Warbler. Took an hour and a half but I got brief, but good views (and a bit of song).
Had to get home after that, but after the grebe/Long-tailed Duck show on the res yesterday, I figured it was worth a quick check. I started by doubling back almost immediately to check some ducks before West St. that turned out to be Ring-necks. I had to double back again almost immediately as some dark blobs popped up as I started off again by Sylvan Rd. Those turned out to be 2 Horned Grebes and if I was patient I might have had some really good photos.
Around the bend there were two more blobs way out. Scoping, they had paler cheeks and I eventually realized Red-necked Grebes.
There were also a huge number of cormorants out by 128, haven’t gotten around to counting yet but somewhere between 100 and 200 easily (and many were already flying off).
I continued along, stopping at every opening or two for a quick scan. Most of the way down, I noticed a bird in flight. Actions looked a bit odd for a gull and the bit of pattern I could see wasn’t quite right. Two cars were passing me right then, so I had to wait a couple seconds to hop out and couldn’t refind it.
Fortunately, it came back and I confirmed the black cap, big black wedge on the wings, and huge size for a Caspian Tern. It then vanished again and took another few minutes before I was able to snap some lousy photos.
At this point, the phone came out. Not too surprisingly, Marj had just been there. She hadn’t seen it though. She (and Erik, who I knew was in the area) were there within 10 minutes but we never saw the bird again (whether it was just hiding, in a different corner of the res, or long gone I don’t know).
So that’s tern species #4 for Waltham! Arctic, Forster’s, or Sooty next?