WIR 3/2-3/8

Wednesday 3/2: Too rainy more or less but it brightened on the way to work, so I stopped for 30 seconds on Pelham Island Rd, where a Merlin was drying off. Eagle over the res on the way home.

Thursday 3/3: Round Hill for a change. Too cold and fairly birdless but 2 Gadwall popped out of Pantry Brook. Nothing along Water Row, turkey running around the gas station across the street from the office.

Friday 3/4: Riverwalk was dead. Gadwall at Norumbega.

Saturday 3/5: Indoors at the Nymphfest all day but a Turkey Vulture flying around on the way back from lunch was a first of year.

Sunday 3/6: Opened the hotel door to about 8 Bohemians (and a Cedar). Pileated on the way back from lunch today. Made a very brief stop at Turner’s Falls on the way home but the mass of gulls was on the far side of the river and I wasn’t up for sorting through them at a distance.


Monday 3/7: Nothing at BBN.

Tuesday 3/8: Fox Sparrow singing and presumably the same eagle at Great Meadows.

WIR 2/24-3/1

Wednesday 2/24: 7 Lesser Scaup in close at the res, too dank and foggy to see much else.

Thursday 2/25: Nothing different at Lindentree.

Friday 2/26: Red-wings found the yard finally. Too windy at Dunback.

Saturday 2/27: Ducks were out of sight at the res. Two Wood Ducks, 5 shoveler, few others at Arlington Res plus 2 Killdeer. GC Kinglets, a coot, and a few other things at Sandy Beach. No parking at Spy Pond, nothing at the duck ponds, Killdeer at the field station (70).

Sunday 2/28: BBN was fairly quiet beyond 2 cowbirds along the parkway (71 for the winter). Killdeer and nothing else at Waltham St. Ring-neck flock wasn’t in the best part of the res to scan, nothing looping out to School St.

Monday 2/29: Kingfisher, eagle, 14 GW Teal, 30ish Ring-necks at Great Meadows (plus a few hundred blackbirds).

Tuesday 3/1: Killdeer and not much else at Forest Grove.

WIR 2/17-2/23

Wednesday 2/17: Finally got a Ruddy on the river walk, although nothing else notable.

Thursday 2/18: 60ish robins and nothing else exciting at Cow Common and the Wayland gardens.

Friday 2/19: First yard grackle of the year. BBN had the Yellow-rump and Fox Sparrow (presuming the same one since December) along with another grackle and a Sharpie.

Saturday 2/20: Started at Horn Pond once the showers fell apart. Apparently just missed an eagle but had a bunch of grackles, a Red-wing singing, and a shoveler. Mary Cummings Park was quiet beyond a flock of waxwings. Couldn’t find the Ring-neck flock at the res.

Sunday 2/21: Started at Great Meadows. Lots of Red-wings, Marsh Wren, and flyover Killdeer but not a ton else. Continued to Meriam’s (eagle) and Kaveski (raven and 3 coyotes) before School St (75 geese, 37 crows), Nine Acre (geese in lousy spots), and the res (half the Ring-neck flock plus a handful of scaup and 5 Ruddy).

Monday 2/22: Ended up in Wayland after trying to avoid traffic. No shrike or Rough-leg and the presumed Pileated calling didn’t quite cooperate. Nice flock of blackbirds but nothing exciting among them.

Tuesday 2/23: Forest Grove had a few blackbirds (no Rusties) and lots of ducks plus a Swamp Sparrow and 2 GC Kinglets.

372 and 373/556

Catching up a bit. Was hoping for 372/556 back on the 31st with the Smith’s Longspur at Bear Creek, but no bird found. Nice Short-eared and Kestrel made it worth the effort at least. With the afternoon free and halfway to the north shore, I zipped up to Gloucester. Awful sun or big crowds had me moving to Andrew’s fairly quickly. After a few minutes at the end of the driveway, I moved to the end of the road. A couple other birders were there and I overheard some muttering about puffin. A few minutes later, there was a gray-faced alcid with a bright looking bill in my scope. A bit far, took a little while to feel totally confident after the fact, but state #372. Other than one brief look a couple minutes later, it disappeared. Fortunately, the Common Murre in close at the other side was nice for all.

The following weekend was the first BBC winter pelagic. I got talked into signing up midweek and even with storms on either side, the weekend was good. The trip ran Sunday to let the seas die down and the roads to clear. Prebright and early, I drove down. After a bit of a late start (get better Ida!), we headed out on totally flat seas. It didn’t take long for lots of scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, and kittiwakes to be seen.




Razorbills started soon after.


We got further out and a few Common Murres appeared, a couple came close enough for good photos.


Along with some gannets.



We passed a trawler and got a good number of gulls including Iceland and Lesser Black-backed.

Iceland Gull

Sometime around this, what was technically bird of the day flew by: Sooty Shearwater. Distant views, but very good for the season.

Sooty Shearwater

As we were ready to head back, a shout of Fulmar went up. It took almost 15 minutes to chase down, but eventually we got excellent views (and apparently a second bird buzzed through as well). My target for the trip, and about the most overdue bird I had in the northeast (12th tubenose in state, after Barolo Shearwater, Black-capped Petrel, and a dozen White-faced Storm-Petrels among others).



We also had an interesting Iceland Gull around here, still debating a nominate.

Iceland Gull

On the way back, we made another stop for a puffin (poor views earlier), which helped me feel confident about the Andrews bird.


Back to shore, we stopped off Monomoy for a few minutes to take in the huge flocks of ducks (mostly eider) and the seals on the beach.



And back to the dock in time to drive home in the light. Great day.

WIR 2/10-2/16

Wednesday 2/10: River walk was still slow for ducks (4 Common and 12ish Hoodies, 4 Ring-necks) but a Merlin flyover was nice (#70 for the winter in Waltham, tying my high with 2+ weeks to go ed: 69, not sure where the Pied-billed Grebe on the list came from).

Thursday 2/11: Merlin and 2 Ruddies at Forest Grove. Believe the Merlin is new for me in Newton, but would have liked the sapsucker that Paul had earlier in the week and really would have liked the Pileated a dog walker told me about. Hopefully that will linger.

Friday 2/12: Too cold.

Saturday 2/13: Thought it was going to be too cold but just warm enough for a couple hours out. Res had some open water but no birds (flicker on the roadside was mildly interesting). No woodpeckers at Forest Grove but 2 eagles. Usual ducks along the riverwalk, a Ruddy and an eagle at Moody St.

Sunday 2/14: Too cold.

Monday 2/15: Rock Meadow and BBN were dead.

Tuesday 2/16: Too icy unfortunately, looked pretty nice out.

WIR 2/3-2/9

Wednesday 2/3: Lesser Scaup and 20 Rusties at Forest Grove.

Thursday 2/4: Usual at the res, did get my commute list past 50 for the year.

Friday 2/5: Snowed.

Saturday 2/6: Walked around Dunback, didn’t find anything.

Sunday 2/7: Pelagic.

Monday 2/8: Snowed.

Tuesday 2/9: Immature eagle near the res on the way into work was the first locally in a little while.

WIR 1/27-2/2

Wednesday 1/27: Absolutely nothing on the riverwalk and about the same in a quick check from Cronin’s.

Thursday 1/28: Usual at College Pond.

Friday 1/29: Still no gulls of note at Moody.

Saturday 1/30: Scaup and Ring-necks still at the res (no eagle surprisingly, there’s been one on the ice every morning I’ve gone up 128). GW Teal (new for Cambridge) and shoveler at Alewife. The Orange-crowned was cooperative at Danehy and there was very little at Fresh Pond (did hear and watch the vegetation move from a chipmunk).

Sunday 1/31: Short-eared at Bear Creek, some other stuff at Andrew’s.

Monday 2/1: Big flock(s) of grackles at Dunback plus a couple bluebirds.

Tuesday 2/2: Yellow-rump, 2 Rusties, and a Swamp Sparrow at BBN.

WIR 1/20-1/26

Wednesday 1/20: Checked out the Sudbury Reservoir and found nothing. Dueting Great Horneds from the yard were nice though.

Thursday 1/21: Very slight uptick in ducks on the riverwalk: 3 Common and 10 Hooded Merganser plus 3 Ring-necks.

Friday 1/22: Nothing interesting at Dunback.

Saturday 1/23: Two eagles, geese, swans, and no ducks at the res. Nothing exciting out to School St and back.

Sunday 1/24: Walked to Lot1 and the West Meadow. Great Horned was about the only thing of note.

Monday 1/25: Quiet at Forest Grove.

Tuesday 1/26: Two blackbirds got away and otherwise quiet at BBN.

WIR 1/13-1/19

Wednesday 1/13: Bit too cold and windy. Started to buzz Pelham Island Rd but too much traffic on the way meant no time.

Thursday 1/14: River walk was quite dead.

Friday 1/15: Headed towards Lincoln. Planned on just Lindentree but figured a quick stop at Flint’s was worthwhile. Fifteen minutes later, I was still completely puzzled by scaup. Gave up and went to Lindentree where bluebirds and a Purple Finch flyby were highlights.

Found an email with pictures from Norm later while at work and I’m still puzzled although one seems pretty clearly a Lesser.

Saturday 1/16: Midafternoon loop of the res was fairly quiet (eagle, scaup, Ring-necks). Scaup were still at Flint’s and very obvious Lessers today. Nine Acre in between had tons of geese, but right in the sun.

Sunday 1/17: Started at BBN. Creeper, big flock of crows mobbing a raven, bluebird, and a few waxwings were the limited highlights. Would have been nice to see if the Red-shoulderish call was a hawk or jay. Continued to Moody St, which had the usual gulls and ducks. Quick stop at Purgatory finally got Great Black-backed Gulls and the geese were slightly better positioned at Nine Acre (just couldn’t find anything but Canadas).

Monday 1/18: Yard birding, moderate variety but nothing unusual.

Tuesday 1/19: Two minutes on Pelham Island Rd had geese and mallards.

WIR 1/6-1/12

Wednesday 1/6: Drove through Nine Acre and Pelham Island Rd without anything worthwhile.

Thursday 1/7: River walk was fairly quiet. 3 Bufflehead, 2 Ring-necks, 7 Hoodies and nothing much else. Upriver was frozen.

Friday 1/8: Nothing exciting at Kaveski or Meriam’s.

Saturday 1/9: Cambridge Res had 16(!) species of waterfowl including Wood Duck, Pintail, Ruddy, and 4 Redhead. Nothing terribly exciting at Spy Pond (50+ Ruddy) or the Mystic Lakes. A few Red-breasted Mergs at Earhart and Bufflehead made it 18 and the GW Teal and shovelers at Arlington Res made it 20 waterfowl on the day.

Sunday 1/10: Too wet.

Monday 1/11: Basically nothing at Dunback. Would have had some nice kinglet shots if they landed on the sunny side.

Tuesday 1/12: Forest Grove had a Fox Sparrow, eagle, and a coot in the stream.