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.


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.

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?).

nature and stuff