WIR 12/13-12/19

Wednesday 12/13: Quick stop at Norumbega was quiet, sun was brutal at Charlesbank.

Thursday 12/14: Nothing of note on the riverwalk.

Friday 12/15: Mostly quiet at Dunback.

Saturday 12/16: Checked the res, which had a bit of open water and was very busy: 130+ Hoodies, 100+ Ring-necks, Bufflehead, goldeneye, Ruddy, a Wood Duck, 3 GW Teal, and more. CBC scouting at BBN had a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and 2 Rusty Blackbirds. Moody St was quiet, and a few assorted drive-by stops had nothing much.

Sunday 12/17: CBC highlights included refinding the chat and a Barred Owl at BBN (patch #170!). Returning from the countdown, ended up face to face with the flying squirrel.

Barred Owl

Monday 12/18: Tried for count week Red-breasted Nuthatch at Prospect Hill, settled for a Pileated.

Tuesday 12/19: Nothing exciting at Forest Grove.

WIR 12/6-12/12

Wednesday 12/6: Nothing at the res, Flint’s, or Nine Acre. Probably had the Osprey at Heard but bad angle.

Thursday 12/7: Scouting Lot 1. A flash of yellow about 50 feet from the parking lot turned out to be a Yellow-breasted Chat, #215 in Waltham. I barely saw the head, but Bob got a decent performance later. Usual the rest of the loop.

Friday 12/8: Not much at Purgatory or Forest Grove.

Saturday 12/9: Did a bit of CBC scouting. Nothing exciting at the West Meadow or BBN proper, usual sparrows at the field station, tons of mergs at the res but nothing much else, a Red-wing at Waltham St, and  nothing at Hardy (at least that I could see through the snow).

Sunday 12/10: Walked to Lot 1, no chat or much of anything. Nothing at Hardy either.

Monday 12/11: Weather balloon or something being inflated at School St, nothing at Nine Acre, lots of Canadas at Farrar, nothing at Heard.

Tuesday 12/12: Red-wing in the yard then nothing at Hardy, Cambridge Res, or Heard.

WIR 11/29-12/5

Wednesday 11/29: 2 Gadwall and a wigeon off Forest Grove.

Thursday 11/30: Nothing at Lindentree. Apparently didn’t scan hard enough at Nine Acre.

Friday 12/1: Pipit and the usual at Kaveski.

Saturday 12/2: Got the Hammond’s at Tufts (crazy location). Checked Draw Seven and Sylvester Baxter without much of anything, then went to Deer Island. King Eider was right there. May have walked by the Razorbill, but it popped up while I was talking to Ryan. Barrow’s showed ok, lots of scoters. One Iceland Gull but not much else, then 4 Horned Larks over the parking lot.

Sunday 12/3: Ruby-crowned Kinglets along the Chrales in Watetown, raven in Waltham, very little else. Didn’t bother working the geese at Nine Acre, no Ash-throated or much of anything at Drumlin.

Monday 12/4: Nothing at BBN.

Tuesday 12/5: Yellow-rump at Dunback.

WIR 11/22-11/28

Wednesday 11/22: Pond loop had nothing, few Horned Larks at School St.

Thursday 11/23: Finally able to run up to Wakefield for the BT Gray.

Friday 11/24: Went down to Bristol county. Started with the Townsend’s Solitaire, which was perched up when I arrived. Also Winter Wren, Palm Warbler, and a few other things there. Continued to Allen’s Pond but the parking lot was full, so went to Gooseberry. Harlequin, Purple Sandpiper, turnstone, a late Semipalmated Plover, and almost no landbirds (plus a seal and a vole). Drove through Acoaxet then worked my way up through to Broad Cove in Somerset. Debated the Tufted Duck but decided on the Barrow’s at Great Pond instead. Found that right away, not quite convinced it’s a pure bird yet. Also Greater Scaup and a White-winged Scoter. Just enough light to scan the res on the way home. Hundreds of mergansers and a Snow Bunting flew through as I was trying to count them. Pair of Great Horned starting calling just before bed.

Saturday 11/25: Started at Horn Pond. Three grebes way out looked interesting but after walking all the way over, they were Pied-billed. Crows were going nuts at the edge of the pines, but Marj and Renee were already there and didn’t find anything. We continued and found some jays and titmice screeching and eventually they pointed me at a Barred Owl. We continued around without finding too much else. I continued to Winter Pond, which had a Bufflehead and kingfisher, and then to Sandy Beach. Seemed pretty quiet as I checked the water, but as I worked the edge of the pines, I heard more aggravated nuthatches and titmice. Wandered towards them and eventually found a screech-owl out in the open. Headed back to the car and a pipit jumped out from the edge of the puddle. I figured that was probably a pretty good bird for the lakes, so headed down to the other end to see if Renee was home yet. She wasn’t, so I got word to her and wandered the wood lot a bit. Nothing in it or on the water, but an Orange Sulphur was flying around the field. Drove up to the dam, which was quiet. Went back to Sandy with Janet and Cory and eventually refound the owl but not the pipit.

Orange Sulphur

Sunday 11/26: Started with nothing at Blair Pond, then nothing at Clay Pit. Too windy for ducks at Fresh Pond but the White-winged Scoter was still around, the Orange-crowned Warbler was at Lusitania, and a Fox Sparrow was by the golf course. Started a loop at Mt. Auburn but the wind made listening impossible and there was a funeral near where the interesting sparrows had been seen, so when Marj called about the Snow Goose at Horn Pond, it was a pretty quick decision to head that way. No goose at the parking lot, but fortunately it had moved to the community gardens, where I made the effort to see the shoveler too. Quick buzz of Clay Pit had nothing before I went home to watch the game instead of the Ash-throated.

Monday 11/27: Turkey Vulture over the duck ponds was moderately interesting.

Tuesday 11/28: Too early in the morning for the Ash-throated but did have Snow Bunting (170 in Lincoln), sapsucker, and Red-winged Blackbird. Had just enough time to drive by Heard on the way to work and watched the Osprey grab a fish.

WIR 11/15-11/21

Wednesday 11/15: Finally got a bluebird at BBN this year but not much else.

Thursday 11/16: Pond/goose check was pretty quiet, harrier at Nine Acre about it.

Friday 11/17: Gadwall at Great Meadows.

Saturday 11/18: Combined crossbill hunt/town listing trip failed pretty miserably. Added 3 species in Tyngsboro (RB Gull, Black-backed Gull, Mallard), 1 in Dunstable (Eastern Bluebird) but had no crossbills or anything else of interest. Tried to finish getting 100 in Bedford but nothing at Fawn Lake and a 3.5 mile walk towards the river only added kingfisher. Plus RB Gull in the Stop & Shop lot. Gave the res a swing on the way home and had 11 Black Scoter, plus a bunch of Common Mergansers and 2 cormorants on the Lincoln side, then more cormorants at Hardy.

Sunday 11/19: Spy Pond had a bunch of ducks, nothing unexpected. Nothing good on the Mystic Lakes or North Reservoir at the fells either.

Monday 11/20: Nothing on the res, Flint’s, or Nine Acre. Few teal on the river on Pelham Island Rd, Common Mergansers and my latest Osprey at Heard Pond.

Tuesday 11/21: Usual at Lot 1.

WIR 11/8-11/14

Wednesday 11/8: Heard Pond started very quietly. Just as I was out of time, I made a quick check of the river in the back corner and had an eagle fly over. Took a few steps to the side to get a better view and had something I couldn’t place at all start flying over. Thought it was acting like a Spotted Sandpiper for a second but it clicked in as a meadowlark! One I was just about ready to give up on for the year. Also brings my commute list up to 174 for the year, which is my new high.

Thursday 11/9: First of fall American Tree Sparrows finally and a snipe at Kaveski.

Friday 11/10: Here plus a White-throat in the yard.

Saturday 11/11: Topped yesterday.

Sunday 11/12: Eagles on a deer carcass at the res. Winter Wren at West Meadow. Tried walking across the marsh at BBN, no birds at all in the marsh, got a bit wet, but did have a Snow Bunting flying over (unseen but #169 for the patch). Took a bit of a detour, then nothing at Spy Pond or the duck ponds.

Monday 11/13: Lots of birds at Dunback but almost all robins and White-throats.

Tuesday 11/14: 24+ Wood Duck and absolutely nothing else at Purgatory and Forest Grove.


Planned to spend some time Saturday looking for new Bedford birds. Targets were Red-breasted Nuthatch and American Tree Sparrow at Hanscom and then look for ducks at Fawn Lake and along the river. Didn’t find either target at Hanscom and didn’t make it further:

Hammond's Flycatcher!

5th state record I think.

Unfortunately a two hour wonder, fortunately the locals got it and everyone else saw last year’s Fells bird.


Had the day off for Veteran’s Day (just like last year). Too windy for much, so I decided on a goose/duck loop. Eagle flyover at the res but not much else. Very brief stop at Flint’s didn’t appear to have much and I wasn’t about to get out and look. School St had a decent sized flock of pipits and a few larks but no geese. Prison fields had a few geese but at a bad angle. Nine Acre had nothing, so I thought about Spy Pond and maybe the Mystic Lakes.

Continuing down 117 from Nine Acre, noticed a bunch of geese on Farrar Pond so pulled in at the Mt. Misery lot and jogged back. Fortunately the hill blocked most of the wind. Started scanning the geese but noticed a swan that appeared to have a black bill. Jogged back for the scope, looked again, and started making phone calls. First chaseable Tundra Swan in the county in 20 years (and barely any anywhere nearby recently).

Two hours later I did actually check the geese and finally left another hour after that.

Tundra Swan

WIR 11/1-11/7

Wednesday 11/1: Rusty Blackbird at Purgatory, but quiet beyond that.

Thursday 11/2: No shorebirds beyond Killdeer at Hobbs Brook and no ducks of interest at the res.

Friday 11/3: YB Cuckoo at BBN (plus a phoebe which was somehow my first in November).

Saturday 11/4: North winds meant it was worth a try at Blood Hill for goshawk and Golden Eagle. First, Fitchburg Res had Bufflehead and Ring-necks. RB Nuthatch on the trail up. No luck with the goals but a moderate flight of Red-tails, vultures, and Bald Eagles plus crows and bluebirds. Stopped at Crystal Lake in Gardner on the way home hoping to fill in some dabbling duck gaps for Worcester county. No ducks but 8 Dunlin. Buzzed Flint’s and Bill pointed out the Surf Scoter Will found earlier.

Sunday 11/5: Started with nothing new around the res before joining the MBC walk at Dunback. Quiet beyond a Harrier, as was the Waltham St extension. Fresh Pond had the usual ducks. Few other ponds had nothing exciting.

Monday 11/6: Chipping Sparrow was about it at College Pond.

Tuesday 11/7: RN Grebe at the res before running out to the Sudbury Reservoir for the Barrow’s Goldeneye.