WIR 12/6-12/12

Wednesday 12/6: Nothing at the res, Flint’s, or Nine Acre. Probably had the Osprey at Heard but bad angle.

Thursday 12/7: Scouting Lot 1. A flash of yellow about 50 feet from the parking lot turned out to be a Yellow-breasted Chat, #215 in Waltham. I barely saw the head, but Bob got a decent performance later. Usual the rest of the loop.

Friday 12/8: Not much at Purgatory or Forest Grove.

Saturday 12/9: Did a bit of CBC scouting. Nothing exciting at the West Meadow or BBN proper, usual sparrows at the field station, tons of mergs at the res but nothing much else, a Red-wing at Waltham St, and  nothing at Hardy (at least that I could see through the snow).

Sunday 12/10: Walked to Lot 1, no chat or much of anything. Nothing at Hardy either.

Monday 12/11: Weather balloon or something being inflated at School St, nothing at Nine Acre, lots of Canadas at Farrar, nothing at Heard.

Tuesday 12/12: Red-wing in the yard then nothing at Hardy, Cambridge Res, or Heard.

WIR 11/29-12/5

Wednesday 11/29: 2 Gadwall and a wigeon off Forest Grove.

Thursday 11/30: Nothing at Lindentree. Apparently didn’t scan hard enough at Nine Acre.

Friday 12/1: Pipit and the usual at Kaveski.

Saturday 12/2: Got the Hammond’s at Tufts (crazy location). Checked Draw Seven and Sylvester Baxter without much of anything, then went to Deer Island. King Eider was right there. May have walked by the Razorbill, but it popped up while I was talking to Ryan. Barrow’s showed ok, lots of scoters. One Iceland Gull but not much else, then 4 Horned Larks over the parking lot.

Sunday 12/3: Ruby-crowned Kinglets along the Chrales in Watetown, raven in Waltham, very little else. Didn’t bother working the geese at Nine Acre, no Ash-throated or much of anything at Drumlin.

Monday 12/4: Nothing at BBN.

Tuesday 12/5: Yellow-rump at Dunback.

WIR 11/22-11/28

Wednesday 11/22: Pond loop had nothing, few Horned Larks at School St.

Thursday 11/23: Finally able to run up to Wakefield for the BT Gray.

Friday 11/24: Went down to Bristol county. Started with the Townsend’s Solitaire, which was perched up when I arrived. Also Winter Wren, Palm Warbler, and a few other things there. Continued to Allen’s Pond but the parking lot was full, so went to Gooseberry. Harlequin, Purple Sandpiper, turnstone, a late Semipalmated Plover, and almost no landbirds (plus a seal and a vole). Drove through Acoaxet then worked my way up through to Broad Cove in Somerset. Debated the Tufted Duck but decided on the Barrow’s at Great Pond instead. Found that right away, not quite convinced it’s a pure bird yet. Also Greater Scaup and a White-winged Scoter. Just enough light to scan the res on the way home. Hundreds of mergansers and a Snow Bunting flew through as I was trying to count them. Pair of Great Horned starting calling just before bed.

Saturday 11/25: Started at Horn Pond. Three grebes way out looked interesting but after walking all the way over, they were Pied-billed. Crows were going nuts at the edge of the pines, but Marj and Renee were already there and didn’t find anything. We continued and found some jays and titmice screeching and eventually they pointed me at a Barred Owl. We continued around without finding too much else. I continued to Winter Pond, which had a Bufflehead and kingfisher, and then to Sandy Beach. Seemed pretty quiet as I checked the water, but as I worked the edge of the pines, I heard more aggravated nuthatches and titmice. Wandered towards them and eventually found a screech-owl out in the open. Headed back to the car and a pipit jumped out from the edge of the puddle. I figured that was probably a pretty good bird for the lakes, so headed down to the other end to see if Renee was home yet. She wasn’t, so I got word to her and wandered the wood lot a bit. Nothing in it or on the water, but an Orange Sulphur was flying around the field. Drove up to the dam, which was quiet. Went back to Sandy with Janet and Cory and eventually refound the owl but not the pipit.

Orange Sulphur

Sunday 11/26: Started with nothing at Blair Pond, then nothing at Clay Pit. Too windy for ducks at Fresh Pond but the White-winged Scoter was still around, the Orange-crowned Warbler was at Lusitania, and a Fox Sparrow was by the golf course. Started a loop at Mt. Auburn but the wind made listening impossible and there was a funeral near where the interesting sparrows had been seen, so when Marj called about the Snow Goose at Horn Pond, it was a pretty quick decision to head that way. No goose at the parking lot, but fortunately it had moved to the community gardens, where I made the effort to see the shoveler too. Quick buzz of Clay Pit had nothing before I went home to watch the game instead of the Ash-throated.

Monday 11/27: Turkey Vulture over the duck ponds was moderately interesting.

Tuesday 11/28: Too early in the morning for the Ash-throated but did have Snow Bunting (170 in Lincoln), sapsucker, and Red-winged Blackbird. Had just enough time to drive by Heard on the way to work and watched the Osprey grab a fish.

WIR 11/15-11/21

Wednesday 11/15: Finally got a bluebird at BBN this year but not much else.

Thursday 11/16: Pond/goose check was pretty quiet, harrier at Nine Acre about it.

Friday 11/17: Gadwall at Great Meadows.

Saturday 11/18: Combined crossbill hunt/town listing trip failed pretty miserably. Added 3 species in Tyngsboro (RB Gull, Black-backed Gull, Mallard), 1 in Dunstable (Eastern Bluebird) but had no crossbills or anything else of interest. Tried to finish getting 100 in Bedford but nothing at Fawn Lake and a 3.5 mile walk towards the river only added kingfisher. Plus RB Gull in the Stop & Shop lot. Gave the res a swing on the way home and had 11 Black Scoter, plus a bunch of Common Mergansers and 2 cormorants on the Lincoln side, then more cormorants at Hardy.

Sunday 11/19: Spy Pond had a bunch of ducks, nothing unexpected. Nothing good on the Mystic Lakes or North Reservoir at the fells either.

Monday 11/20: Nothing on the res, Flint’s, or Nine Acre. Few teal on the river on Pelham Island Rd, Common Mergansers and my latest Osprey at Heard Pond.

Tuesday 11/21: Usual at Lot 1.

WIR 11/8-11/14

Wednesday 11/8: Heard Pond started very quietly. Just as I was out of time, I made a quick check of the river in the back corner and had an eagle fly over. Took a few steps to the side to get a better view and had something I couldn’t place at all start flying over. Thought it was acting like a Spotted Sandpiper for a second but it clicked in as a meadowlark! One I was just about ready to give up on for the year. Also brings my commute list up to 174 for the year, which is my new high.

Thursday 11/9: First of fall American Tree Sparrows finally and a snipe at Kaveski.

Friday 11/10: Here plus a White-throat in the yard.

Saturday 11/11: Topped yesterday.

Sunday 11/12: Eagles on a deer carcass at the res. Winter Wren at West Meadow. Tried walking across the marsh at BBN, no birds at all in the marsh, got a bit wet, but did have a Snow Bunting flying over (unseen but #169 for the patch). Took a bit of a detour, then nothing at Spy Pond or the duck ponds.

Monday 11/13: Lots of birds at Dunback but almost all robins and White-throats.

Tuesday 11/14: 24+ Wood Duck and absolutely nothing else at Purgatory and Forest Grove.

WIR 11/1-11/7

Wednesday 11/1: Rusty Blackbird at Purgatory, but quiet beyond that.

Thursday 11/2: No shorebirds beyond Killdeer at Hobbs Brook and no ducks of interest at the res.

Friday 11/3: YB Cuckoo at BBN (plus a phoebe which was somehow my first in November).

Saturday 11/4: North winds meant it was worth a try at Blood Hill for goshawk and Golden Eagle. First, Fitchburg Res had Bufflehead and Ring-necks. RB Nuthatch on the trail up. No luck with the goals but a moderate flight of Red-tails, vultures, and Bald Eagles plus crows and bluebirds. Stopped at Crystal Lake in Gardner on the way home hoping to fill in some dabbling duck gaps for Worcester county. No ducks but 8 Dunlin. Buzzed Flint’s and Bill pointed out the Surf Scoter Will found earlier.

Sunday 11/5: Started with nothing new around the res before joining the MBC walk at Dunback. Quiet beyond a Harrier, as was the Waltham St extension. Fresh Pond had the usual ducks. Few other ponds had nothing exciting.

Monday 11/6: Chipping Sparrow was about it at College Pond.

Tuesday 11/7: RN Grebe at the res before running out to the Sudbury Reservoir for the Barrow’s Goldeneye.

WIR 10/25-10/31

Wednesday 10/25: PB Grebe and a couple Ring-necks on Hardy. Too much traffic to check the res too.

Thursday 10/26: 13 Pecs, 1 of each yellowlegs at Hobbs Brook plus 35 Wood Ducks, lots of teal, and a Common Merganser.

Friday 10/27: Usual at Great Meadows. No scoters or other sea stuff at the res on the way home.

Saturday 10/28: Plan was to do Rock Meadow to the West Meadow. Got an early start and decided a quick run around the res would be good as that would let the sun hit Rock Meadow. More or less the usual stuff at the res (up to 12 coots and an eagle), but lots of calls at the Trapelo end, so I got out and walked a bit. Almost the first bird was a Winter Wren, #167 for the patch. Also lots of Yellow-rumps, both kinglets, a Hermit Thrush, and some more ducks. Decided to continue to Hobbs Brook. Nothing particularly exciting there, but 50+ species combined. Also checked out the new trail behind the new construction and it looks very good for land birding in the spring.

Decided to skip Rock Meadow. West Meadow was quiet, as was BBN (did have a buckeye). Gave the duck ponds enough of a check to say it was just geese and mallard, then went to Waltham St, which was also pretty quiet.

Sunday 10/29: Decided to try Deer Island again. No parking and no one parking on the road when I got there, so doubled back to Winthrop Beach for a few. Lots of Black-bellied Plovers with a few turnstones, Dunlin, and a single dowitcher (calling Short-billed for now). Got my Suffolk county gannet way out and a few ducks plus a flyover pipit and some more pipit/lark type things. Several spaces open at Deer Island, so started by walking the hill for passerines. Nothing much for them, but a turkey was a surprise. Grabbed the scope and made the full circuit. Usual ducks, plus 4 gannets in close. Big Laughing and Bonaparte’s Gull flock by the airport on the way back plus about 25 Tree Swallows. Stopped at Earhart on the way home. Three Ruddy were nice, along with a GC Kinglet, 3 Yellow-rumps, and a few sparrows. Gull frenzy from the Somerville side didn’t have anything good, but a Swamp Sparrow was a fairly decent bird for the location.

Monday 10/30: Pond check, Greater Scaup at the res was the extent of anything.

Tuesday 10/31: Same at Great Meadows plus a couple wigeon and an eagle.

WIR 10/18-10/24

Wednesday 10/18: 2 PB Grebes not much else at Forest Grove.

Thursday 10/19: Field Sparrow and sharpie were the most interesting things in the Wayland Community Gardens. Two coots on the res on the way home.

Friday 10/20: Farm Pond had 30 Ring-necks, a coot, a snipe, a GH Owl, and 2 Peregrines.

Saturday 10/21: Nothing much at the res (finally got a Ring-neck), 2+ Dickcissel at Waltham St, 18 Pecs and 50+ teal at Hobbs Brook. BBC fall meeting was in Reading, so headed out to the Reading Town Forest on the way. Wooded area in late October may not have been the best idea, but 2 Winter Wrens and a Hermit Thrush were nice.

Sunday 10/22: Squantum run. Squaw Rock Park had a feeding frenzy of gulls offshore, 6+ Hermit Thrush, and a late (maybe) yellowthroat. The marshes were quiet, but 40+ Red-throated Loons were off the hummock and 3 Caspian Terns were on the sandbar just beyond. The canoe launch had one probable Nelson’s and a raven. Passanageset had 6 Brant and a few sparrows. And all spots had hundreds of cormorants. Decided to check Great Pond on the way home and had a Vesper Sparrow and Marsh Wren on the causeway plus many raptors and another few hundred cormorants. Res on the way home had first of fall Common Merganser.

Monday 10/23: Rock Meadow had a sapsucker, Merlin, and not too much else.

Tuesday 10/24: Arlington Res was pretty quiet. Found the Pecs and some snipe on my last scan. Fought traffic to work and saw Bob had Dunlin at Hobbs Brook, wrong choice.

WIR 10/11-10/17

Wednesday 10/11: Nashville and little else at Rock Meadow and nothing at the duck ponds.

Thursday 10/12: Less than last week at Meriam’s.

Friday 10/13: Late Magnolia, Nashville, usual at BBN on the parkway.

Saturday 10/14: Started by leading the MBC walk at Waltham St. Too cloudy and not overly birdy. Rusty, poorly seen White-crown, Bobolinks about it. Continued after to West Meadow, which was very quiet. Walking back by the ball courts at BBN to get to the car, kicked up yesterday’s Nashville and a Field Sparrow. Arlington Res had 3 pipits and not much else. Hairy at McClennen, eagle at Spy Pond, another pipit at Hobbs Brook.

Sunday 10/15: Did a Worcester county swing. Finally got Savannah Sparrow and mockingbird(!) at Westborough where the highlight was a huge flock of House Finch. Pectoral Sandpipers at Bartlett Pond, nothing at Wachusett, not much at Sterling Peat.

Monday 10/16: Field Sparrows and a Pileated at College Pond.

Tuesday 10/17: Sora at Great Meadows and Black Scoters at the res (commute #208).

WIR 10/4-10/10

Wednesday 10/4: Went to Rock Meadow. No luck with Anna’s Dickcissel but a Yellow Warbler was my first in October and a Grasshopper Sparrow was patch #168. Two ravens over the Pike later.

Grasshopper Sparrow

Thursday 10/5: White-crowned and other sparrows at Round Hill.

Friday 10/6: Couldn’t find the Clay-colored at Arlington Res but another White-crowned or 3 and a flyover pipit were nice. About 13 Ruddies on the res on the way home.

Saturday 10/7: Started with the MBC walk at Waltham St. Dickcissel, Clay-colored, and adult White-crowned were nice but the rail and vireo that got away would have made things better. Continued to Hobbs Brook where I finally got the Pec and there were lots of Yellow-rumps. Tried Hanscom, couldn’t find anything new for Bedford.

Sunday 10/8: Plymouth run. Had hopes of a big set of county additions but the forecast got worse. Figured I’d have a few hours before the rain but didn’t count on the wind. Gannets, lots of Laughing Gulls and Tree Swallows, and not much else at Ellisville Harbor. Great Herring Pond had boats and no birds. Manomet Point had wind but from inside the car I got Cory’s and Great Shearwaters along with lots more gulls, gannets, and cormorants before the rain hit. Nothing at Nelson Field in the downpour. Figured it might be over by the time I got to Cumberland Farms but it picked up again right as I arrived, so I bailed and checked Hobbs Brook, which was essentially the same as Saturday.

Monday 10/9: Went to Great Meadows to see if anything came in on the storm. Did get first of fall harrier and pintail, plus a White-crowned and the Clay-colored but not a whole lot else.

Tuesday 10/10: Finally got a towhee in Wayland at Heard Farm, not a whole lot else (Slender Spreadwing and Slaty Skimmer were nice too actually). Ran out at lunch for the Brant at Farm Pond.