WIR 9/10-9/16

Wednesday 9/10: Dunback was pretty dead, 1 waterthrush, 1 parula. Nothing at Waltham St.

Thursday 9/11: Rock Meadow was dead (although I apparently missed a Clay-colored in the gardens), as was McClennen. Semipalmated Plover and 2 Green-winged Teal were new at Hobbs Brook and a Pied-billed Grebe was at Hardy.

Friday 9/12: Tennessee Warbler and a potential Philadelphia Vireo at BBN. Nothing at all at Hobbs Brook.

Saturday 9/13: Dunback was pretty quiet, a couple Blackpolls, 1 Chestnut-sided, and an interesting Catharus up high in poor light. Afternoon not birding in Westport, but a continuous flow of Ospreys was nice.

Sunday 9/14: Started in Wayland. Tennessee Warbler was about it from the community gardens (nice to catch up with Glenn though), hundred or so Rough-winged Swallows at Heard Pond. Cambridge Res was quiet and shorebirds at Hobbs Brook were limited to 1 Killdeer and 1 Pectoral. At least 6 Green-winged Teal mixed in though.


Monday 9/15: First Blue-headed Vireo of the fall at Prospect Hill plus a Magnolia, Black-and-white, Pine, and a few Blackpolls.

Tuesday 9/16: Early run to the West Meadow had a Marsh Wren, Magnolia, and a nice adult Cooper’s. Great Meadows in the afternoon had a Monarch, 4 pintail, a Blue-winged Teal (finally), a Green-winged Teal, lots of Wood Ducks, a few Lesser Yellowlegs, and a Pectoral Sandpiper.

WIR 9/3-9/9

Wednesday 9/3: Started at Mary Cummings Park. Quiet for most of the time, but eventually got one flock that included 3 species of vireos (Yellow-throated being the good one) along with a Nashville, BT Green, and Magnolia. Zabulon Skipper too. Very quick check of Arlington Res (high water) and Hobbs Brook (fewer shorebirds) before a loop of the duck ponds. One Canada Warbler and a Monarch was about it for there.

Thursday 9/4: Went to Plum with Bob. We missed Buff-breasted, Baird’s, and Western Sandpipers along with American Golden-Plover plus got stumped by the one interesting warbler. Did have some first of fall ducks, Red Knot, and a few other things. Quiet at Hobbs Brook.

Friday 9/5: Rock Meadow and BBN were very quiet. Green Heron at the duck ponds.

Saturday 9/6: Went to Prospect Hill before remembering the road was closed for a race and it was too hot to hike up, so around the res and then to Hobbs Brook, where there was nothing new. Continued on to Barrett’s Mill Farm, where there was a Monarch and not much else.

Sunday 9/7: Dunback had a BT Blue, BT Green, Magnolia, Canada, Northern Waterthrush, and bunch of redstarts. Hobbs Brook had more Leasts but otherwise the same.

Monday 9/8: Started at Prospect Hill. Totally dead, spished up a couple Black-and-whites in the first flock and had nothing else all the way down the hill. Did get first of fall Palm Warbler on the way back but that was it. Instead of continuing to the other side, I headed to Great Meadows. Also fairly dead but a Lesser Yellowlegs and flyover Wilson’s Snipe made it worthwhile. Quick check of Hobbs Brook had a few more birds but nothing exciting.

Western Palm

Check out the middle toe.

Tuesday 9/9: BBN was fairly quiet, although a Broad-wing was nice and Parula and Blackpoll were new for the fall (and made up 3 of 4 warbler individuals). Finally found something new at Hobbs Brook with a Pectoral Sandpiper. Also had 2-3 (or more) ravens soaring way off and a decent raptor show.

WIR 8/27-9/2

Wednesday 8/27: Canada Warbler was the most interesting thing at BBN. Mergansers remained at Hobbs Brook but no luck with Marj’s wigeon.

Thursday 8/28: Started at College Pond, which was fairly quiet although I did get a few more things for Weston. Then went to chase Stylurus clubtails out on the Nashua and Squannacook. Not much luck with those but always nice to get in the water. Also found the Middlesex side of Oxbow NWR and had a Wilson’s and Canada in the 10 minutes I walked.

Friday 8/29: BT Green and 2 Black-and-whites were it at Forest Grove. Semipalmated Sandpiper, a third merganser, and a couple warblers at Hobbs Brook.

Saturday 8/30: Out to Otis. Traffic and a nap made for an uneventful day but a few juncos around and 3 nighthawks overhead.

Sunday 8/31: Took a walk through the state forest. Cloudy and dark and quiet but 7 species of warblers included Canada, Bay-breasted, and lots of BT Blues and BT Greens. Pileated over Framingham on the way home was nice.

Monday 9/1: Went looking for Baird’s at Hobbs Brook with no luck. Did hear some towhees at the back of the powerlines but not much else. Stopped at Waltham St. on the way home and had a Broad-wing drift over. Went back for another try at Baird’s late afternoon but no changes on the water. Three nighthawks and a raven almost made it worthwhile.

Tuesday 9/2: BBN had a few warblers including first of fall Nashville and Blackburnian plus Magnolia, redstarts, Black-and-white, Yellow, and Chestnut-sided. Not a whole lot else. Another pass at Hobbs Brook had more Solitaries and a second Semipalmated but nothing else new.

WIR 8/20-8/26

Wednesday 8/20: Least Flycatcher at Rock Meadow. Patch tick Lesser Yellowlegs at the duck ponds on the way home.

Thursday 8/21: Horn Pond and Horn Pond Mountain. Nothing particularly exciting at either.

Friday 8/22: Great Meadows midday was as dead as I’ve seen it. Nothing different at Knox Trail.

Saturday 8/23: BT Green, an Empid, and a towhee were the only new arrivals at BBN (plus a pile more redstarts). Gnatcatcher from the yard was #110 and some nighthawks rounded off the evening.

Sunday 8/24: BT Blue and Wilson’s Warblers among others at Nobscot. Pileated, GH Owl, RB Nuthatch, etc at Round Hill. And then something interesting.

Monday 8/25: Magnolia, B+W, Redstart, Least Flycatcher, and Broad-wing at Dunback. Nothing at Hayden Woods. Hooded Mergansers at Hobbs Brook.

Tuesday 8/26: Nothing at Great Meadows or the duck ponds.


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?).

WIR 8/13-8/19

Wednesday 8/13: Braved the rain for a quick check of Hardy and the res. Combined totals: 2 swans, 1 Canada Goose, 8 cormorants, 2 Herring Gull, 3 Barn Swallow (plus 8 more geese and the egret at the Hobbs Brook end).

Thursday 8/14: Great Meadows was fairly quiet beyond a possible Least Flycatcher. More of the same at Knox Trail.

Friday 8/15: Poked around Arlington a bit. Too many dogs at Menotomy Rocks Park, nothing exciting at Spy Pond. Bobolink and a hummingbird at McClennen weren’t bad, along with a few Broad-winged Skippers. Stopped at Arlington Great Meadows on the way home without anything terribly exciting.

Saturday 8/16: BBN, 2 Black-and-whites, 4 Redstarts, not much else.

Sunday 8/17: Great Meadows was fairly quiet. A few yellowlegs and stuff over and a distant eagle.

Monday 8/18: Prospect Hill was fairly quiet birdwise, 1 Canada Warbler, 1 Chestnut-sided, a few redstarts and Black-and-whites, and a raven or two. Some insect excitement though, more soon.

Tuesday 8/19: Started at Dunback where an Olive-sided was more or less expected.

Olive-sided Far

At the big tree in the middle of the fields

Olive-sided Close

And up close heading towards Clarke.

Continued to Prospect Hill to confirm the beetles from yesterday.

WIR 8/6-8/12

Wednesday 8/6: BBN had a redstart and most of the expected stuff. Quick stop at the duck ponds had a Solitary (and Bob with nothing to report from the other pond).

Thursday 8/7: Dunback had 2+ Cliff Swallows and a Bank Swallow.


Friday 8/8: Both yellowlegs and a few other things at Great Meadows.

Saturday 8/9: Walked to BBN. Ended up with 6+ warblers (migrant redstarts and Chestnut-sided plus Pine, Yellow, Blue-winged, and Yellowthroat, and a probable Canada) and finally got a pigeon for the year there.

Banded Hairstreak

Sunday 8/10: Knox Trail had a few juvenile Least Sandpipers plus an Indigo Bunting and a few Rough-winged Swallows. Dragonhunter, Broad-wing, and not much else at Fort Pond Brook.

Monday 8/11: Indigo Bunting (finally) at Rock Meadow, also gnatcatcher and a couple Yellow Warblers in the garden. Walked up Lone Tree Hill (redstart) and then through Habitat (Green Heron) and back (turkey head and a couple feathers). Stopped at the duck ponds on the way home and had a Merlin.


Tuesday 8/12: Started at Alewife. Not a ton overall but a late Orchard Oriole and a Northern Waterthrush were nice (and a bunch of other things were additions to my Cambridge list). Walked to Blair Pond which only had 2 Killdeer and 2 Least Sandpiper. Decided to stop at Danehy after. Still rush hour so the 5 minute drive took a good 15 and pretty much all I found was a yapping dog.

WIR 7/30-8/5

Wednesday 7/30: Waited around most of the day for a Verizon tech. Ran to Purgatory Cove and had a few Wood Ducks and a Spotted Sandpiper.

Thursday 7/31: Knox Trail again was about the same. Stopped at Hobbs Brook on the way home, water level way up but there was a Great Egret on the edge.

Great Egret

Friday 8/1: Great Meadows midday. Stayed on the tower, few Killdeer, 1 Spotted, 1 Least, 1 Great Egret.

Saturday 8/2: Checked res and Hardy without anything.

Sunday 8/3: Cranberry Bog trip. Not much exciting for odes but a Silver-bordered Fritillary was the first I’ve come across in MA. Stopped at Knox Trail briefly on the way home with nothing different.

Silver-bordered Fritillary

Monday 8/4: Lots of expected stuff at Rock Meadow. Solitary and not much else at the ponds.

Tuesday 8/5: Had to wait aorund for Verizon again, although he actually came close to the beginning of the window. Prospect Hill eventually after. Not much in bugs but a Chestnut-sided Warbler was nice. Probable Swamp Darner over the yard towards dusk.

WIR 7/23-7/29

Wednesday 7/23: Monarchs at Rock Meadow, Least and Solitary Sandpipers at the ponds. Something in the afternoon. Also finally found the area of Townsend State Forest I’ve been to with a group for odes before but haven’t found again myself.

Thursday 7/24: Cat Rock Park and College Pond were both fairly dull (although if I had a view of the sky when the yellowlegs-ish call drifted down…).

Friday 7/25: Wandered a bit in Lincoln midafternoon. Kingfisher and a couple Solitaries were about it.

Saturday 7/26: BBN had 5+ Blue-wings. Nothing different at West Meadow or the ponds.

Sunday 7/27: Started at Great Meadows. No shorebirds on view and I was pretty discouraged on my way back from the river (needed to mow the lawn before it started raining and could have been using the time better). Then two odd shapes appeared in the path.


Wasn’t the best light, but when a walker came by, I zipped to the other side. The adult came back out and posed nicely.


Continuing on, I found the American Bittern right at the edge by the benches. Unfortunately, it saw me even before I had the scope down and took off up and over well before I could lift the camera.

On to Knox Trail, which had lower numbers but most of the same shorebirds.

Monday 7/28: Late morning check of the duck ponds, nothing of interest and to flooded for sandpipers. Sitting outside in the afternoon, a Peregrine passed over twice, which is the last expected raptor for the yard list.

Tuesday 7/29: Heard Pond and the Pelham Island Rd swamp had nothing terribly exciting.

nature and stuff