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.

WIR 7/16-7/22

Wednesday 7/16: Couldn’t get to the duck ponds, nothing at Hardy or the res before the rain.

Thursday 7/17: Went to Plum finally and basically struck out on the rare terns. Probably had the Royal as the first bird out of the car, but other than a few Stilt Sandpipers not much else.



Friday 7/18: Nothing unusual at BBN.

Saturday 7/19: Dunback had a kestrel.

Sunday 7/20: Nothing at Great Meadows. The pond at Knox Trail is pretty dry and had loads of shorebirds. No sign of yesterday’s Semipalmated Plover but did get a few Semipalmated Sandpipers in addition to the more common stuff, plus the Ospreys were out of the nest.

Monday 7/21: Prospect Hill was dead.

Tuesday 7/22: Tried Knox Trail again, about the same. Moved on to the sand pits, where odes were few and the only butterfly of note was a Horace’s Duskywing. However, while moving between access points on the brook, I snapped a couple of shots of a turtle. It turned out to be a state-listed Wood Turtle.

Wood Turtle

Finished by checking the bog at Hugh Cargill. Got a Bog Copper but no Elfin Skimmers. Also got a boot full of water.

Bog Copper

And a hummingbird in the yard.

WIR 7/9-7/15

Wednesday 7/9: Mt. Misery was mostly quiet. Willow Flycatchers, Dragonhunter, couple other little things.

Thursday 7/10: Nothing exciting along the Charles in Watertown. Went to the duck ponds late morning. Kingfisher was about it there but a/the Broad-wing flew across Trapelo on the other side of Lexington St. Also finally heard a raven from the yard.

Friday 7/11: Long day. Started at Great Meadows with 6+ Least Sandpiper, 1 Spotted, 1 Solitary, and 1 Yellowlegs. On to Assabet, which was dead (hundreds of Blue Dashers and a Clamp-tipped Emerald). Finally met up with Alan and Soheil at Great Brook Farm. ‘A couple hours’ turned out to mean 3.5. Nothing too exciting but lots of photo ops of common stuff.


Saturday 7/12: Concord butterfly count. Decent variety but low numbers.

Sunday 7/13: Lone Tree Hill was fairly quiet, no luck with any hairstreaks. Stopped at the duck ponds on the way home, no shorebird arrivals but a Brush-tipped Emerald was a nice surprise.


Monday 7/14: West Meadow and BBN were quiet.

Tuesday 7/15: Wasted a bunch of time waiting for a phone call, so finally got to Great Meadows midafternoon. Had it to myself but nothing more than a couple Least and tons of herons.

WIR 7/2-7/8

Wednesday 7/2: Checked out College Pond in Weston. Looks like it has potential for birds and odes although I didn’t have a ton. YB Cuckoo, 2 singing Winter Wrens, and a Hermit Thrush were nice.

Thursday 7/3: Mostly too hot but a quick walk around Purgatory Cove had 3 BC Night-Herons and 2 (1 young I think) of Orchard Orioles.

Friday 7/4: Quick check of Hardy Pond and the res had a roosting eagle and 3 turkeys causing a traffic jam.

Saturday 7/5: Great Meadows was dull.

Sunday 7/6: Ode walk at the Cranberry Bog. Couldn’t get the emerald in close enough, but started with catching a Prince Baskettail and a Black-tippd Darner. A Cyrano Darner was still patrolling in the corner, Racket-tailed Emeralds were in the woods, and a few Unicorn Clubtails were along the far edge (couldn’t find any Lilypads though). On the way back, Alan had a large darner in the middle and walked down after it. I followed and picked up something large and reddish: Golden-winged Skimmer! On the county list but I don’t know any details of the record(s).




Better photos from Soheil.

Also 26 species from the yard today including probably 2 Broad-wings.

Monday 7/7: BBN had a Great Horned Owl (in the open! but no camera) and 2 likely migrant Orchard Orioles.

Tuesday 7/8: Not a whole lot at Rock Meadow, first Clamp-tipped Emerald of the year about it.

nature and stuff