Patch Birds

Thought I was going to be satisfied with the warbler along the Charles this morning:

Orange-crowned

Although the Nashville on the way back was actually a better bird…

Then this on the res:

Pink-foot

Presuming new in and I didn’t miss it yesterday when the geese were hiding. Thanks Cliff!

WIR 10/12-10/18

Wednesday 10/12: Home all day, very little in the yard.

Thursday 10/13: West Meadow had a nice male Purple Finch, a slightly odd Red-tail, and the usual sparrows. Still don’t understand why the abandoned area by the parking lot is better, but practically the first bird out of the car was a Vesper Sparrow, Waltham #213!

Vesper

Friday 10/14: Field and 2 White-crowns at Great Meadows but no Nelson’s.

Saturday 10/15: Led the MBC walk at Waltham St. Sparrows generally didn’t cooperate for the group but we had most of the regulars plus a few Rusties. Arlington Res after had a late Green Heron and Hobbs Brook had lingering Leasts and Semipalmated Plovers plus another Rusty (my first for the res!).

Sunday 10/16: Tried heading a bit south for a change. Nahanton was pretty dead, couldn’t find any sparrows beyond Song and White-throat (and junco, keeping the warbler count from topping the sparrow count). Only thing of interest at Millennium was a DeKay’s Brownsnake. Well, that and a call from Norm about a Black-bellied Plover at Flint’s. Plover was apparently gone by the time I got there, but an early Common Merganser was nice.

DeKay's

Monday 10/17: Rock Meadow was quiet for most of the time, but Field and Lincoln’s Sparrows in quick succession were quite nice. Since they were mowing or something, I only checked the gardens and then ran over to the duck ponds. Nice little pocket at the bridge included 2 BH and a Red-eyed Vireo, a Blackpoll, and a few Yellow-rumps.

Tuesday 10/18: Little tough getting around. Nothing new at Hardy, Pileated and both kinglets at Flint’s, Ruddies at Heard.

WIR 10/5-10/11

Wednesday 10/5: First of fall Ruby-crowned Kinglets and the usual at BBN. Quick scan of the res on the way home had 50ish GW Teal.

Thursday 10/6: Kaveski had a harrier, a late oriole, lots of Red-wings, and lots of the normal sparrows.

Friday 10/7: 50+ GW Teal and the usual at Lindentree.

Saturday 10/8: Started with 400+ grackles flying through the yard. First actual stop was at Waltham St with a White-crowned, Lincoln’s, and couple of Rusties. Other end had a late tanager and BH Vireo. On to Dunback, which had a Winter Wren, another Lincoln’s, and a few other things of mild interest. Hobbs Brook had 1 Semi, 4 Leasts, and 4 Pectorals. Peregrine and the usual at the res, and nothing on Old County.

Sunday 10/9: Thought the rain wasn’t going to be so bad so went to Great Meadows. Nothing there and getting soaked, so a quick drive out to School St (400 geese, 100 cowbirds), then a loop of some of the ponds without anything.

Monday 10/10: Started at Danehy. Bit windy, but a Rose-breasted Grosbeak was calling. Seemed to be little else around but Karsten and I turned up a towhee and a raven, so not a bad trip. Spy Pond was quiet. Hanscom Trails were fairly quiet, flyover Rusty was good. Fawn Lake was also quiet and there was nothing at Flint’s. Afternoon loop of the res had 4 Pecs and a late Semipalmated Plover, which surprisingly turned out to be new for Waltham (212).

Tuesday 10/11: Wayland Community Gardens had the usual, 1-5 Rusties being the highlight.

WIR 10/14-10/20

Wednesday 10/14: BW Teal, 40-70 Killdeer, and little else at Great Meadows.

Thursday 10/15: First Hermit Thrush of the fall at BBN.

Friday 10/16: 2 egrets, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, 2 Greater Yellowlegs, tons of Yellow-rumps at Hobbs Brook.

Saturday 10/17: Led an MBC walk at Waltham St. Slow start but 2 snipe, a Rusty Blackbird, and a flyover pipit made it worthwhile. Most of us continued to Dunback with a raven, BH Vireo, and Merlin. I went on to BBN to thrash around in the dry marsh but couldn’t kick up anything good.

Sunday 10/18: Went to Nahanton for something different. Orange-crowned and probably 2 Nashvilles plus 2 Field Sparrows. Went to Millennium briefly after, too many dogs and too windy to do a full loop but an egret was on the water. Hobbs Brook had 3 yellowlegs and 55 Wood Duck. The res had 3 Bufflehead, 2 Ruddy, and about 40 wigeon plus a Greater Yellowlegs, finally in Waltham (ignoring that that end of the res is Lincoln).

Monday 10/19: Few Ring-necks and a Pied-billed Grebe at Purgatory. Had a few minutes to kill in the evening, so quick stops at Heard Pond and the town building added Osprey and a coot.

Tuesday 10/20: Nothing terribly exciting at the West Meadow or nearby part of BBN.

WIR 4/15-4/21

Wednesday 4/15: College Pond had a gnatcatcher, calling Barred Owl, and first Mourning Cloak of the year.

Thursday 4/16: Harrier and not a whole lot else at Kaveski.

Friday 4/17: Nothing but scaup at the res on a pond check (rather nasty for the few minutes I was out).

Saturday 4/18: Started with the MBC trip at Horn Pond. First of spring Yellow-rumps were a good beginning. As the group approached the phoebe bridge, I backtracked a bit to scan for hidden teal. No ducks, but something moved in the leaves. Bright white undertail, bright yellow bill. Sora! I ran back and, amazingly, it stayed more or less visible for the entire group. Rest of the walk had more of the typical stuff.

Stopped at Arlington Res on the way back, lots of Yellow-rumps, a few Palms, Bufflehead, a Ruddy, not much else. Duck ponds were quiet other than a Cabbage White. Stopped at BBN to check water levels by Dawes (too high) and flushed a snipe on the way back (Waltham #210!). While trying to get another look at that, the first Common Green Darner of the year flew by. Checked Cambridge Res quickly, 8 Greater Scaup, 7 Ring-neck.

Sunday 4/19: Led the MBC walk at BBN. Flyover loon, lots of Palms, Hermit Thrushes, sparrows, not a whole lot else. Scaup still at Cambridge Res, goldeneye and Ring-necks at Flint’s. Got home to see that the Yellow-throated Warbler I expected yesterday at Arlington Res had showed up, wandered over midafternoon and got it easily. Checked duck ponds again just in case but nothing at all there.

Yellow-throated

Monday 4/20: Nothing at Farm Meadow/Codman. Barn Swallows at Heard Pond and the town marsh (missed the kingbird though).

Tuesday 4/21: Chimney Swift, 2 Ravens, and a bunch of Yellow-rumps at Purgatory Cove.

Tern 4

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).

Yellow-throated

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.

Horned Grebes

Around the bend there were two more blobs way out. Scoping, they had paler cheeks and I eventually realized Red-necked Grebes.

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.

Caspian TernCaspian Tern

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?

WIR 9/11-9/17

Wednesday 9/11: Nothing at Rock Meadow or the duck ponds.

Thursday 9/12: Couple Osprey at Great Meadows. Probable White-rump at Cambridge Res.

Friday 9/13: Duck pond refilled from rain. More of the same at Cambridge Res (eagles at the south end).

Saturday 9/14: Added BT Green and Cape May to the yard list and had yet another Broad-wing.

Sunday 9/15: Lots of warblers and vireos at BBN, including my first Philadelphia in Waltham. More of the same at Cambridge Res.

Philly

Monday 9/16: Would have been a very good day at Prospect Hill if the light was better and it didn’t start to rain. Even so, 10 species of warblers including a Tennessee and a Cape May and a good number of vireos and flycatchers plus my first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the fall. Quick stop at Cambridge Res had a single eagle. Hardy Pond had a big swift flock that I searched through and came up with a Cliff Swallow eventually (and while watching that a Blue-winged Teal flew across). Afternoon trip to Dunback was quiet, Parula, Magnolia, few redstarts, White-throat.

Tuesday 9/17: Started scouting Farm Meadow for an MBC walk this weekend. Wasn’t hopping but a bright Philadelphia Vireo made it worthwhile. Handful of warblers and many pewees besides. Quick walk around Lindentree had a Lincoln’s Sparrow and my first Palm Warbler of the fall. Stopped at Heard Pond on the way home, where there was a large flock of swallows, all distant. After multiple scans through those (only able to pick up Barn and Rough-winged), I noticed an adult Bald Eagle sitting in the treetops right where the flock was hanging around!

Philly

A Series of Events

1. Muffler falls out yesterday.

2. With no car, decide that I should walk the Greenway.

3. See likely Olive-sided Flycatcher at West Meadow.

4. Start for south side of BBN, watch flock of yellowlegs (patch tick! possibly 2!) fly north. Decide it’s too wet and thick and maybe the yellowlegs landed in the marsh on the other side of Concord Ave.

5. No yellowlegs, decide to walk down the road to Rock Meadow instead of doubling back.

6. Walk through Rock Meadow. Find Bob in parking lot.

7. Get ride to duck ponds.

8. Get ride to West Meadow to look for Olive-sided. Park by McLaughlin and whack through the vegetation from Dawes.

9. No Olive-sided. Start to say I’ll walk from there but decide that there’s not enough around and the ride sounds better. Return via the other path and around the parkway.

10. Get back to the car, say to Bob “the area behind the building has nice habitat.”

11. Decide to walk there quickly. Both look at the one bird that pops up and exclaim “Lark Sparrow!”

Lots of things combined for that to happen. Of course, #2 meant I didn’t bother with the camera, but the bird stuck around long enough for Devin  Hefferon to get some nice pictures