Charles River Nature

This is a page for keeping track of what I’ve seen along the Charles River in Waltham (and a bit of Watertown and Newton). I’ve been exploring the area for almost 10 years now, mostly a few times a month in winter and sometimes summer, a bit less in spring and fall.

At the moment, here’s my checklists. Photos are almost all linked in now, note that the date of the photo isn’t likely to be the date of the first sighting. The date of the first sighting is listed. If it hasn’t been seen between Shaw’s and Elm St. I’ll note that as well. Bold means something quite unexpected.

New: I’ve shared my spreadsheet breaking things down by location. An x is my record, o is someone else’s (only if I don’t have one). Still need to add data for Mt. Feake and dig through other stuff.

Key to the locations:

  • Walk: main section behind Shaw’s, from Farwell St to Elm St
  • Moody: Moody St to Prospect St, also including the short bit below the dam by the parking lot and Museum of Industry
  • Purgatory: Purgatory Cove, also including the Woerd Ave boat ramp and the Forest Grove trails on the Waltham side of the line (so everything even with or north of the circle at the end of Forest Grove Rd)
  • Forest Grove: everything on the Newton side of the line past Forest Grove Rd up to Comm Ave, including Flowed Meadow
  • Charlesbank: around the Charlesbank apartments, Charles River Rd and Edgewater Dr
  • Norumbega: Norumbega Park and Norumbega Rd
  • Watertown: Farwell St to Bridge St
  • Square: Watertown Square to Bridge St
  • Mt. Feake: Mt. Feake cemetery

Note that there’s a lot of overlap between Purgatory Cove, Forest Grove, Charlesbank, and Mt. Feake.

Charles River Handout covers the most common birds along the river.

Birds (124)

  1. Greater White-fronted Goose (3/23/11, Christopher Ciccone’s pics)
  2. Snow Goose (Prospect St, 12/19/01)
  3. Canada Goose (1/29/00)
  4. Mute Swan (12/19/99)
  5. Wood Duck (1/30/00)
  6. Gadwall (11/30/02)
  7. American Wigeon (2/24/00)
  8. American Black Duck (12/20/98)
  9. Mallard (12/20/98)
  10. Blue-winged Teal (11/7/08, Purgatory Cove)
  11. Northern Shoveler (12/30/05)
  12. Green-winged Teal (12/10/05)
  13. Ring-necked Duck (2/6/00)
  14. Lesser Scaup (12/25/04)
  15. Bufflehead (1/4/01)
  16. Common Goldeneye (1/4/01)
  17. Barrow’s Goldeneye (12/28/08)
  18. Hooded Merganser (12/20/98)
  19. Red-breasted Merganser (1/29/05)
  20. Common Merganser (1/30/00)
  21. Ruddy Duck (Purgatory Cove, 9/17/10)
  22. Wild Turkey (Forest Grove, 4/15/06)
  23. Pied-billed Grebe (Purgatory Cove, 10/13/09)
  24. Double-crested Cormorant (4/29/00)
  25. Great Cormorant (1/29/05)
  26. Great Egret (Purgatory Cove, 9/5/10)
  27. Great Blue Heron (12/19/99)
  28. Green Heron (Purgatory Cove, 8/7/10)
  29. Black-crowned Night-Heron (7/10/00)
  30. Turkey Vulture (7/23/00)
  31. Sharp-shinned Hawk (3/14/01)
  32. Cooper’s Hawk (12/21/00)
  33. Bald Eagle (Purgatory Cove, 12/18/09)
  34. Red-tailed Hawk (1/30/00)
  35. American Kestrel (3/12/03)
  36. Merlin (3/19/06)
  37. Peregrine Falcon (Moody St, 4/30/10)
  38. American Coot (1/29/00)
  39. Killdeer (7/15/04)
  40. Solitary Sandpiper (Purgatory Cove, 9/17/10)
  41. Spotted Sandpiper (5/14/03)
  42. Least Sandpiper (8/27/05)
  43. Semipalmated Sandpiper (Purgatory Cove, 9/17/10)
  44. Black-headed Gull (Prospect St, 1/30/00)
  45. Ring-biled Gull (12/19/99)
  46. Herring Gull (12/19/99)
  47. Iceland Gull (Prospect St, 2/16/09, although a flyover nearby 1/31/07)
  48. Lesser Black-backed Gull (Prospect St, 2/25/09)
  49. Great Black-backed Gull (1/30/00)
  50. Rock Pigeon (12/19/99)
  51. Mourning Dove (12/19/99)
  52. Great Horned Owl (2/16, Purgatory Cove)
  53. Chimney Swift (5/28/00)
  54. Belted Kingfisher (12/20/98)
  55. Red-bellied Woodpecker (Purgatory Cove, 10/30/09)
  56. Downy Woodpecker (12/19/99)
  57. Hairy Woodpecker (1/29/06)
  58. Northern Flicker (4/26/01)
  59. Eastern Wood-Pewee (Forest Grove, 8/7/10)
  60. Willow Flycatcher (Forest Grove, 5/28/10)
  61. Least Flycatcher (5/14/03)
  62. Eastern Phoebe (8/21/00)
  63. Great Crested Flycatcher (Forest Grove, 7/3/05)
  64. Eastern Kingbird (5/28/00)
  65. Yellow-throated Vireo (Forest Grove, 5/31/10)
  66. Blue-headed Vireo (5/5/05)
  67. Warbling Vireo (5/29/00)
  68. Red-eyed Vireo (8/19/03)
  69. Blue Jay (12/20/98)
  70. American Crow (12/20/98)
  71. Fish Crow (3/12/03)
  72. Tree Swallow (5/29/00)
  73. Northern Rough-winged Swallow (8/29/00)
  74. Bank Swallow (Purgatory Cove, 8/24/10)
  75. Cliff Swallow (Purgatory Cove, 9/5/10)
  76. Barn Swallow (5/14/03)
  77. Black-capped Chickadee (12/20/98)
  78. Tufted Titmouse (4/29/00)
  79. White-breasted Nuthatch (2/24/00)
  80. Carolina Wren (2/24/00)
  81. House Wren (6/17/10)
  82. Golden-crowned Kinglet (11/30/02)
  83. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (11/22/01)
  84. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (4/20/09, Forest Grove)
  85. Hermit Thrush (10/6/04)
  86. Wood Thrush (5/23/08, Forest Grove)
  87. American Robin (2/24/00)
  88. Gray Catbird (5/28/00)
  89. Northern Mockingbird (12/20/98)
  90. European Starling (12/20/98)
  91. Cedar Waxwing (5/28/00)
  92. Northern Parula (5/14/03)
  93. Yellow Warbler (5/28/00)
  94. Chestnut-sided Warbler (5/17/02)
  95. Magnolia Warbler (5/14/03)
  96. Yellow-rumped Warbler (5/7/01)
  97. Pine Warbler (7/3/05)
  98. Palm Warbler (5/9/05)
  99. Blackpoll Warbler (5/7/01)
  100. Black-and-white Warbler (5/14/03)
  101. American Redstart (5/15/03)
  102. Common Yellowthroat (5/15/03)
  103. Mourning Warbler (5/31/10)
  104. Wilson’s Warbler (5/28/00)
  105. American Tree Sparrow (2/6/00)
  106. Chipping Sparrow (11/22/01)
  107. Savannah Sparrow (4/29/00)
  108. Song Sparrow (12/20/98)
  109. Lincoln’s Sparrow (5/16/05)
  110. White-throated Sparrow (12/19/99)
  111. Dark-eyed Junco (12/19/99)
  112. Northern Cardinal (12/20/98)
  113. Indigo Bunting (5/15/03)
  114. Bobolink (5/14/03)
  115. Red-winged Blackbird (3/25/00)
  116. Rusty Blackbird (3/30/11)
  117. Common Grackle (3/25/00)
  118. Brown-headed Cowbird (5/28/00)
  119. Baltimore Oriole (5/28/00)
  120. Orchard Oriole (5/29/07)
  121. Purple Finch (12/18/10)
  122. House Finch (12/20/98)
  123. American Goldfinch (12/19/99)
  124. House Sparrow (12/20/98)

Butterflies (16)

  1. Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) (7/15/04)
  2. Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice) (7/15/05)
  3. Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) (7/9/08)
  4. Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius) (9/4/06)
  5. Eastern Pine Elfin (Callophrys niphon) (5/25/08)
  6. Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta) (7/24/05)
  7. Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) (5/29/06)
  8. Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) (Newton, 7/3/05)
  9. Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) (5/3/07)
  10. Little Wood Satyr (Megisto cymela) (8/22/08)
  11. American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) (8/8/08)
  12. Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) (6/2/05)
  13. Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) (7/14/07)
  14. Monarch (Danaus plexippus) (6/27/06)
  15. Silver-spotted Skipper (Epagyreus clarus) (7/15/04)
  16. Juvenal’s Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis) (Newton, 4/15/06)
  17. Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor) (8/7/05)
  18. European Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) (6/18/05)
  19. Peck’s Skipper (Polites peckius) (6/2/05)
  20. Broad-winged Skipper (Poanes viator) (7/17/06)

Odes (20)

  1. Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) (Watertown, 8/7/05)
  2. Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis) (7/9/05)
  3. Variable Dancer (Argia fumipennis) (6/18/05)
  4. Stream Bluet (Enallagma exsulans) (6/18/05)
  5. Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum) (7/9/05)
  6. Vesper Bluet (Enallagma vesperum) (7/25/07)
  7. Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) (6/18/05)
  8. Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis) (6/2/05)
  9. Common Green Darner (Anax junius) (6/24/05)
  10. Aeshna sp. (6/24/05)
  11. Common Baskettail (Epitheca cyanosura) (5/29/07)
  12. Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps) (7/24/05)
  13. Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicollis) (7/3/05)
  14. Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) (6/8/05)
  15. Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) (7/3/05)
  16. Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella) (8/7/05)
  17. Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) (7/3/05)
  18. Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) (7/24/05)
  19. Ruby Meadowhawk (Sympetrum rubicundulum) (7/24/05)
  20. Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) (10/10/06)

Mammals

Mammals seen include Raccoon, Mink, Gray Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk, and Eastern Cottontail.

nature and stuff