Just avoided going a year without a life bird.
Flat tire changed my schedule perfectly.
Wednesday 5/14: Added 3 birds to my Charles list: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Ovenbird, and a frustrating Yellow-breasted Chat. I chased the chat up and down the edge of Flowed Meadow but never got a look.
Thursday 5/15: Horn Pond: Tennessee highlighted 13 warblers plus first of year Field Sparrow finally.
Friday 5/16: Started dodging traffic at the Cambridge Res and managed to flush the Horned(?) Grebe that was in close. Socialized at Mt. Auburn for an hour and a half before actually looking for birds (Swainson’s Thrush, Cape May and Bay-breasted about it). Ruddy at Hardy Pond but no luck refinding the grebe in two attempts. Also first of year pewee while looking for (and finally finding) ravens for birdathon.
Saturday 5/17: Birdathon. Not a bad day after the pouring rain. Twenty warblers including Louisiana Waterthrush, a few thrushes, flycatchers, etc. 101 total.
Sunday 5/18: Started for Rock Meadow but had a flat tire so walked to Lot 1. Canada (which we missed yesterday) and a few other things plus a nice Common Baskettail.
Monday 5/19: Got the tire fixed, so a quick check of Forest Grove was on order. Fairly quiet but Scarlet Tanager and Tennessee Warbler were nice. Since I was halfway to Nahanton, I decided the Prothonotary was worth a stop. Heard it singing across the river pretty quickly once I got down there but it took a few minutes to come back and then played hard to see (blaring away in the bush next to me and I only saw it after it moved further away).
Tuesday 5/20: Additional stuff at Plum included several Blackburnians and Bay-breasteds, a good number of other shorebirds, and some Brant. Never made it to the beaches though. Checked Hamlin Reserve for the White-faced Ibis after, only found 40 Glossies and another Blackburnian.
Wednesday 5/7: BBN again. Prairie in the middle of the woods was out of place, first of year GC Flycatcher, Six-spotted Tiger Beetle, etc.
Thursday 5/8: Great Meadows: 10 warblers including Magnolia, Nashville, and Ovenbird. Also Green Heron, Orchard Orioles, Virginia Rail, Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted and Least Sandpipers, Blue-headed Vireo (#200 for Concord!). Actual highlights were a Blanding’s Turtle and Mink.
Friday 5/9: Early trip to Arlington Res was pretty quiet. Solitary Sandpiper and a couple Bank Swallows were the only new things.
Saturday 5/10: One scaup still at the res in the morning rain. Juvenal’s Duskywing and not much else at the duck ponds in the afternoon.
Sunday 5/11: Led the Mt. Auburn trip. Birds everywhere so it was easy. Nineteen warblers including 3 Blackburnian, 2 Wilson’s, 3 Canada, and Cape May plus Broad-winged, 2 Osprey, Least Flycatcher, etc.
Monday 5/12: BBN had lots of warblers highlighted by a singing Tennessee along with a Black-billed Cuckoo. Springtime Darner and a Beaverpond Baskettail at Fort Pond Brook plus the usual elfins.
Tuesday 5/13: Warblers, warblers, and more warblers at Prospect Hill. Bay-breasted the best but so many common ones I had trouble sorting through. Also a loon over and a Springtime Darner. And an afternoon twitch.
Wednesday 4/30: Quick check of Hardy, the res, and Flint’s had nothing of interest. Stopped at Great Meadows and had a late American Tree Sparrow, 2 Ring-necked Ducks, and a kestrel. Plus a new bird for Great Meadows: Eastern Towhee.
Thursday 5/1: Same loop except I added Nine Acre briefly and went to the Beaver Brook ponds instead of Great Meadows. Pretty much the same nothing although the scaup and Bufflehead are now considered late.
Friday 5/2: Mt. Auburn was fairly quiet. Lots of cormorants overhead, a couple Black-and-whites, an oriole or two, and a grosbeak or two. Another Black-and-white and a kingbird at the duck ponds on the way home.
Saturday 5/3: Seven species of warbler at BBN plus a few other things including a Spring Azure.
Sunday 5/4: A few more warblers at Prospect Hill plus a distant Osprey and a towhee. Scaup still at the res, including a potential Lesser (plus 6 Ruddy). Yellow, Parula, and Yellow-rumps in the yard.
Monday 5/5: Early walk around Dunback: Harrier, calling Virginia Rail, Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, grosbeaks everywhere. Catbird in the yard.
Tuesday 5/6: Charles in Watertown had the usual. First of year night-herons plus a few warblers were the highlights.
Wednesday 4/23: Nothing new at Arlington Res although I barely was halfway around before it started raining.
Thursday 4/24: Nothing much at Hardy or the res.
Friday 4/25: Blue-headed Vireo and not much else at BBN.
Saturday 4/26: Was planning on waiting out the rain but lots of western/central Mass reports got me out late morning. Nothing new at Hardy. Four scaup started things off at the res. Nothing at the first opening but a few blobs further down were enough to get out the scope. The first one was a Long-tailed Duck and at least 5 others were Horned Grebes! Plus another 4 scaup.
Continued to Flint’s and Heard Ponds but nothing beyond swallows at either.
Sunday 4/27: Tern and other stuff.
Monday 4/28: Prospect Hill: ravens looked pretty big in the nest, 5 deer, not a whole lot else.
Tuesday 4/29: First Chimney Swifts at Purgatory Cove but not too much else.
After a mediocre BBC walk at Mt. Auburn yesterday, I decided to swing over to Nahanton and finally catch up with the Yellow-throated Warbler. Took an hour and a half but I got brief, but good views (and a bit of song).
Had to get home after that, but after the grebe/Long-tailed Duck show on the res yesterday, I figured it was worth a quick check. I started by doubling back almost immediately to check some ducks before West St. that turned out to be Ring-necks. I had to double back again almost immediately as some dark blobs popped up as I started off again by Sylvan Rd. Those turned out to be 2 Horned Grebes and if I was patient I might have had some really good photos.
Around the bend there were two more blobs way out. Scoping, they had paler cheeks and I eventually realized Red-necked Grebes.
There were also a huge number of cormorants out by 128, haven’t gotten around to counting yet but somewhere between 100 and 200 easily (and many were already flying off).
I continued along, stopping at every opening or two for a quick scan. Most of the way down, I noticed a bird in flight. Actions looked a bit odd for a gull and the bit of pattern I could see wasn’t quite right. Two cars were passing me right then, so I had to wait a couple seconds to hop out and couldn’t refind it.
Fortunately, it came back and I confirmed the black cap, big black wedge on the wings, and huge size for a Caspian Tern. It then vanished again and took another few minutes before I was able to snap some lousy photos.
At this point, the phone came out. Not too surprisingly, Marj had just been there. She hadn’t seen it though. She (and Erik, who I knew was in the area) were there within 10 minutes but we never saw the bird again (whether it was just hiding, in a different corner of the res, or long gone I don’t know).
So that’s tern species #4 for Waltham! Arctic, Forster’s, or Sooty next?
Wednesday 4/16: Tern
Thursday 4/17: Rock Meadow and the duck ponds, lots of Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a gnatcatcher at both.
Friday 4/18: Loon was the only bird on the water at Flint’s. Snipe and not much else at Nine Acre. More of the same at the res.
Saturday 4/19: Late afternoon trip to Great Meadows was fairly quiet, lots of Palms, Gnatcatchers, Yellow-rumps, Tree Swallows, and a few Barns.
Sunday 4/20: Gnatcatcher at Arlington Res was the only new thing there (suppose Common Mergansers too). Nothing much at the duck ponds.
Monday 4/21: BBN was pretty quiet, although I did get 4 year birds for Waltham (Gnatcatcher, Palm, Chipping, Savannah so not exactly exciting).
Tuesday 4/22: Nothing much at Dunback.
Back to the Arlington Res today in equally lousy conditions (sunnier but much colder). Haven’t rushed around like this for a bird in a couple years.
360/285, thanks Bob.
I was planning on a quick run around the res this morning, but it appeared to clear up a bit so I ran to the Arlington Res first. Turned out that it wasn’t very nice but it was well worth the trip.
For a change, I went to the main parking lot. Two Herring Gulls were on the close islands and I could see more on the flat across the way. A quick scan showed one looking very white. There had been a very bleached one lately, but this looked different. A quick photo seemed to show an interesting bill pattern, so I hurried around to get better views.
Nothing obvious got me to pause on the way, so it only took a couple minutes to get to the far side. And as expected, the bird looked like a young Glaucous Gull.
Unfortunately, at this point, it hopped onto the rocks for a few seconds, then got up and started flying. I got some nice flight views and shots but was disappointed to watch it drift off instead of coming back in.
The rest of the walk was too windy and I barely avoided the heavy rain, but no complaints (I would trade days though…).