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.
Wednesday 4/29: Barred Owl and Virginia Rail at College Pond.
Thursday 4/30: Waterthrush and BT Green at Arlington Res but not much else new.
Friday 5/1: RB Grosbeak and a couple BH Vireos at BBN.
Saturday 5/2: Grosbeaks and Yellow Warblers all over Dunback. Warbling Vireos and not too much else at Great Meadows. Cliff Swallow and Spotted Sandpiper at Nine Acre, 2 eagles at the res.
Sunday 5/3: Black-and-white, Ovenbird, Wood Thrush at Round Hill. Yellowthroat, 3 Broad-wings, lots of Pine Elfins at Assabet River. Orioles and tiger beetles at the Desert.
Monday 5/4: Couple Parulas among a pile of Yellow-rumps and handful of Palms at Heard Pond, plus a waterthrush or two and a few grosbeaks. Pileated flew over Rt. 30 on the way home.
Tuesday 5/5: Started raining heavily as I reached Purgatory Cove. Lots of Yellow-rumps again plus a couple Parulas, Bt Green, Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-white, Blue-headed Vireo, both orioles, etc. Back corner of the cove was where the excitement was when a large, long-winged, strongly notched tailed swallow buzzed over. Not ideal, but can’t make it anything but a martin.
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).
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.
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?).