WIR 11/26-12/2

Wednesday 11/26: 160+ Coots on the res and a flyover pipit.

Thursday 11/27: Walked over to Hardy Pond: Gadwall, coots, kingfisher, a few other ducks.

Friday 11/28: Nothing much at the res or Flint’s, but School St was worth the drive.

Saturday 11/29: Nothing of note at Spy Pond or Dunback. Huge numbers at Cambridge Res but couldn’t find anything good.

Sunday 11/30: Great Meadows for the morning. Little bit moving early (probable redpoll, few Herring Gulls, and 10 Snow Buntings). Not much after, male harrier and 5 pintail about it.

Monday 12/1: BBN and West Meadow were fairly quiet (well, lots of juncos, sparrows, and goldfinches but nothing exciting). Red-tail was intriguing, maybe more later.


Tuesday 12/2: River walk had 6 Hoodies, 1 Ring-neck and nothing else. Very quick scan from Purgatory Cove had a few Bufflehead, 2 Ruddy, and lots of geese, mallards, Ring-billed Gulls, and swans.

WIR 11/19-11/25

Wednesday 11/19: Dunback had lots of robins, Purple Finches, and waxwings.

Thursday 11/20: Ruddy, Bufflehead, and a Mink at Purgatory Cove.

Friday 11/21: Only a quick stop at Heard Pond where there was a kingfisher and 1 gull.

Saturday 11/22: Nothing exciting at Alewife or Spy Pond.

Sunday 11/23: Rusty Blackbird, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow-rump or two between Rock Meadow and BBN. Stopped by Clay Pit Pond for the Cackling Geese later.

Monday 11/24: Nothing at Flint’s, hunter at Heard, GW Teal on the river.

Tuesday 11/25: Wandered Heard Farm. Didn’t find the Ash-throated I almost expected but settled for a bunch of Rusty Blackbirds and a pintail. Quick check of the town building marsh had a couple wigeon and a coot.

WIR 11/12-11/18

Wednesday 11/12: Wandered around Lindentree in the fog. Siskins and a beaver. Opossum running around the yard when I got home.

Thursday 11/13: Great Meadows was pretty dead. Got the jets flying over and added pipit and Marsh Wren to the commute list.

Friday 11/14: Nothing obvious at any of the ponds, although sun and traffic made for tough viewing.

Saturday 11/15: Started at Nahanton, which was quiet beyond a Hermit Thrush and Purple Finch. One shoveler at Purgatory Cove and lots of Hoodies but not much else. Nothing obvious at the res or Hardy. Something for later in the afternoon.

Sunday 11/16: Wanted to check School St for longspurs and geese, so worked my way out stopping at Kaveski first. Driving down Shadyside, an adult male Northern Harrier crossed the road twice (unfortunately it was then chased off by crows before I could park and jump out with the camera). Sparrows galore along the road and hedgerow including at least one White-crowned. Walking way out towards Elm Brook, I heard an check-type note that I wanted to call a Marsh Wren but didn’t seem quite right. Bushwhacked in a bit and a female Common Yellowthroat popped up for a second.

School St was fairly dead (no geese and the lark/pipit flock was barely visible at 60x in the scope), so I checked Warner’s Pond (nothing) and the prison fields (moderate number of geese, nothing obvious among them but not easy to see and I didn’t linger). Debated Nine Acre Corner or Waltham St from there and picked Waltham St (checking on the heron and 3 crows at Hobbs Brook on the way). Totally dead there, just about circled all four fields with nothing more than cardinals and Song Sparrows. And then in the last couple feet, something a bit different popped up. Fortunately it landed in the open and stayed long enough for a couple shots: Grasshopper Sparrow!

Grasshopper Sparrow

Cambridge Res was about the same, except the Ring-neck and most of the Ruddy flock was out by 128 and couldn’t be scanned carefully. Also 3 turkeys would have caused a good traffic jam had it been a weekday.

Monday 11/7: Quick check of Heard Pond in the rain: 10 Ring-billed Gulls, 1 Great Black-backed, and 7 Common Mergansers. Exciting stuff.

Tuesday 11/8: Cat Rock Park was quiet. Winter Wren plus a flicker in the middle of a low bush and lots of gulls overhead.

WIR 11/5-11/11

Wednesday 11/5: Red-shoulder over the middle of Lincoln and Fox Sparrow at Cow Common.

Thursday 11/6: Went to Forest Grove for a change. Very little for ducks and not much more for land birds.

Friday 11/7: Tons of Ring-necks and coots at Cambridge Res, Killdeer at Hobbs Brook.

Saturday 11/8: Started at Rock Meadow and BBN, which were mostly quiet (couple Tree Sparrows, lots of Purple Finches, couple flyover siskins). Tried Fresh Pond but didn’t see easy parking so went to Cambridge Res instead. A good 350 Ring-necks and lots of the same but nothing really good. Check of Hobbs Brook had the Killdeer and 25 Snow Buntings.

Sunday 11/9: Joined the MBC trip to Dunback, which was fairly quiet (lots of Purple Finches, one flock of siskins, a couple Yellow-rumps, 2-3 Fox Sparrows). Savannahs and nothing else at Waltham St. Got the Canvasback at Fresh Pond but apparently walked past the Surf Scoter.

Monday 11/10: Absolutely nothing at Wayland CG.

Tuesday 11/11: Rusty Blackbirds, a few Yellow-rumps, and not much else beyond juncos at BBN.

WIR 10/29-11/4

Wednesday 10/29: Joined the mob not finding the Le Conte’s in the fog at Danehy. Oriole, couple siskins, not a ton else.

Thursday 10/30: Winter Wren and raven at College Pond (plus a few firsts for Weston).

Friday 10/31: Red-bellied at the feeder early. Barred Owl and first American Tree Sparrow of the fall at Heard Farm.

Saturday 11/1: West Meadow and Rock Meadow were pretty dead. Arlington Res had a nice selection of ducks including 7 Gadwall along with a White-crowned Sparrow. Rain started, so on to Cambridge Res. Interesting looking flock way out immediately, but I continued around first and found a scoter flock (19 Black, 1 White-winged). Doubled back and the other flock was about 30 Black. Nothing much else, so continued to Flint’s with another 30ish Blacks. Halfway to Heard at that point, so I went over and found a Great Black-backed Gull and a cormorant.

Sunday 11/2: Repeated the pond loop but it was too nasty. Scoter-like flock in the middle of Cambridge Res turned out to be coots.

Monday 11/3: Tried for the Blue Grosbeak in Sudbury in the cold and wind. Not my best idea.

Tuesday 11/4: Pond check again had big numbers but nothing terribly interesting. Believe Common Goldeneye was #100 for the new commute list.

WIR 10/22-10/28

Wednesday 10/22: Rain started before I got to the wren, traffic was too bad at Cambridge Res, so I finally made it to Heard Pond instead. A whole 26 Ring-billed Gulls, 2 cormorants, and an eagle.

Thursday 10/23: Too wet.

Friday 10/24: 2 Horned Grebes Cambridge Res, 1 Red-necked Flint’s, Bufflehead Heard Pond.

Saturday 10/25: Started by heading to Dunback to try for the Sedge Wren again. Lots of geese at Waltham St. as I drove by, so I walked over first. One interesting one, more eventually. Dunback had no wren but loads of Purple Finches (25+ and I covered less than half the area). Something in the afternoon too.

Sunday 10/26: Started at Great Meadows which was on the quiet side (lots of blackbirds and siskins overhead). On to Kaveski and Meriam’s, which was also quiet. Cool and starting to rain, so I didn’t spend too much time at School St (lots of Ring-bills, crows, starlings, cowbirds, Red-wings and a few pipits). Mergansers at Flint’s. Two Horned Grebes at the Cambridge Res, then scoping to the side and 5 more popped up! Plus the continuing big numbers of Ring-necks, coots, and wigeon.

Monday 10/27: Wayland Community Gardens and Cow Common were busy. Five species of warbler including late Wilson’s and Parula plus good numbers of sparrows and blackbirds.

Wilson's WarblerNorthern Parula

Tuesday 10/28: West Meadow for a bit. Hoping for Ammodramus (right target, wrong location!) but made do with a sapsucker, bunch of Purple Finches, and lots of the common sparrows.


Goal for the weekend was 200 for the year and hopefully finally get a longspur in the county. Potentially got to 200 with a goose in the morning (more later) but by the time I left Dunback, I didn’t feel like searching for longspurs.

A few hours later, while sitting at home my phone rang. Very odd call. Marj: “I’ve got a bird on the Mystic Lakes and I have no clue what it is.” And something about storm-petrel. Out the door and on the way (except for missing the turn for Rt. 2).

Leach's Storm-Petrel

Good crowd and it took quite a while to get better views than that and get the ID figured out (although Leach’s was the pretty obvious pick).

Eventually a boater went by and it flew a couple feet, which didn’t help much. But then a gull came in and gave a couple swipes, which got a lengthy flight. I went straight for the camera and filled the buffer a couple times.



Nothing to go against Leach’s and everyone was happy.

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.

nature and stuff