Thursday 11/28: No outdoors time and nothing incidental in Otis.
Friday 11/29: Started at BBN, where I managed a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Hermit Thrush. Nothing at the West Meadow. Continued on to Hanscom where one Snowy was way, way out. School St. was quiet. Common Loon and the usual ducks at Flint’s. Thought that was it for the day, but a late afternoon phone call had me running back to Hanscom where Simon had found a Short-eared Owl. About as far as the morning’s Snowy, but fortunately it eventually started hunting in the field on the other side of Virginia Rd (and flew over our heads).
Saturday 11/30: Family stuff in NYC.
Sunday 12/1: Spent most of the day stuck in traffic but an eagle flew across the Hudson before we left.
Monday 12/2: River walk was quiet, except for a Nashville Warbler! Continued to Prospect St without much, then Purgatory Cove and Norumbega (2 shovelers). Lots of mergansers on the res and lots of ice at Hardy Pond.
Wednesday 11/20: Started at Rock Meadow but it was too windy. Moved to School St where I worked the larks and pipits for 45 minutes but couldn’t find a longspur. Quick check of Flint’s Pond (no obvious scoters/loons/grebes but wasn’t about to get the scope out and then a quick walk through Waltham St. had nothing.
Thursday 11/21: Shrike and 2+ White-crowns at Kaveski. Still no luck with longspurs at School St. Lots of ducks but nothing exciting at Flint’s.
Friday 11/22: Waited out the rain before a quick check of the Cambridge Res. Two eagles but no scoters, so I ran around Fresh Pond and got the 2 White-wings that had been hanging around, plus a loon and a few scaup.
Saturday 11/23: Charles from Shaw’s to Prospect St then a scan of Purgatory Cove and Norumbega without anything of note. Ducks in bad light at Cambridge Res but nothing jumped out.
Sunday 11/24: Early check of Cambridge Res had ducks in awful light. Nothing at the north end (mostly with a bit of ice) or Hardy.
Monday 11/25: Dunback had the catbird still, a Killdeer, bluebird, Fox Sparrow, and Great Horned Owl.
Tuesday 11/26: Started by heading west. Flint’s had the usual. Spent 40 minutes at School St, pretty sure I heard a longspur in with the larks at one point but no luck finding it. Norumbega had gulls, geese, and mallards (and ice). Purgatory Cove was frozen but a Great Cormorant on the river was a nice surprise. Cambridge Res looked fairly quiet.
Wednesday 11/13: Walked from Lot 1 to the big marsh at BBN. Lots of waxwings, a Fox Sparrow, and a late Common Yellowthroat plus 2 deer.
Thursday 11/14: Checked Forest Grove and Purgatory Cove without too much, then the res on the way home (tons of Ring-necks but no luck with the Redhead).
Friday 11/15: Great Meadows had 85+ GW Teal and some other ducks (including a Ruddy) but not much else. Checked Barrett’s Mill for the Ipswich Sparrow quickly but lots of dogs. Continued to School St where there were 450 Canada Geese and lots of pipits, larks, and cowbirds but couldn’t find a better goose or a longspur.
Saturday 11/16: Quick check of the res found birds too far out. Dunback was busy with highlights including the continuing catbird and Barred Owl, and Orange-crowned Warbler, and a Lincoln’s Sparrow. An interesting gull got away but was probably an Iceland. Waltham St. had nothing but geese.
Sunday 11/17: Started at BBN. Palm Warbler up the hill was pretty much the only thing of interest (plus a Chipping Sparrow on the return). West Meadow had a Yellow-rump, a Fox Sparrow, and what was probably Wednesday’s yellowthroat plus 3 deer. Around the res after with Hooded Mergansers all over, plenty of Ruddies, 6 Gadwall, 3 goldeneye, and the usual Ring-necks.
Monday 11/18: Morning check of the res had nothing different. Four Greater Scaup at Hardy Pond were nice. Ended up at Great Meadows late afternoon and had a nice flight at dusk (although nothing exciting beyond a probable night-heron).
Tuesday 11/19: Windy at Arlington Res without anything different (10+ Gadwall were the best). Same at Cambridge Res.
Wednesday 11/6: Chased the Dunlin at Heard Farm. Decent flyby view (I assume, I went camera first) and then a shrike.
Thursday 11/7: Fox Sparrow, Catbird, and Barred Owl at Dunback. Light conditions were good at Cambridge Res and I was able to count 210+ Ring-necks. Hobbs Brook end had a Greater Yellowlegs, Gadwall, and 30+ Green-winged Teal.
Friday 11/8: Arlington Res: lots of dabblers, a Pectoral Sandpiper, lots of juncos and Song Sparrows. Then chased the Western Kingbird in Concord. Got it before I even reached the crowd, but took another hour to get better views.
Saturday 11/9: Joined the MBC trip to Dunback (probably a different catbird, 5-7 Fox Sparrow, and a Purple Finch). Cambridge Res after. Nothing along Winter St and the big flock by Trapelo was in an odd spot so I almost kept going. Noticed a bit of an opening where I could pull over and in the first group I looked at was a Long-tailed Duck! Up and out with the scope and going through the Ring-necks I found a Redhead too!
Sunday 11/10: Started at Rock Meadow which had lots of robins and finches but nothing of any interest. Decided to check the duck ponds for the first time in a couple months and was rewarded with a patch tick Gadwall! Moved on to the res (same birds but the flock was too far to pick out the Redhead) and then Flint’s (Red-necked Grebe) and Waltham St. Fields (GB Heron, Kingfisher, and flyover cormorant).
Monday 11/11: Started at Lindentree, which was dead. Moved on to check some goose fields and found no geese. Next was the Charles including a handful of GW Teal at Norumbega, 3 Shoveler at Charlesbank, and fire engines at Purgatory Cove. Skipping that, I went to the other bit of Waltham St and had another catbird and not much else. An afternoon check of the res found the flock even more distant.
Tuesday 11/12: Waited out the snow and then went to the res. Big flock of Ring-necks way out but fortunately the Redhead was with a smaller flock at the Trapelo end. On to Flint’s where there were 2 Surf Scoters. Gulls and Hoodies at Hobbs Brook and Hardy.
Wednesday 10/30: Plan was to join the Danehy trip and then check out the new Alewife trails until I found an Orange-crowned. It started raining though. Nothing exciting at Danehy, except for some interesting waterbirds flying over. Decided to skip Alewife with the rain and stop at Fresh Pond in hope that they landed there. No luck, but the usual ducks and stuff and a flyover pipit. Continued to Cambridge Res where the grebes were still around and coot, Ring-neck, and scaup numbers were up. Common Mergansers and goldeneye at Flint’s.
Thursday 10/31: Midafternoon Cambridge Res loop had very little.
Friday 11/1: Buzzed Cambridge Res early, lots of Ring-necks and coots, not much else. Flint’s had little, Hobbs Brook end of Cambridge Res had nothing. Hardy Pond had more of the same.
Saturday 11/2: Started at Danehy. Orange-crowned Warbler (finally) and a late Red-eyed Vireo in the first couple minutes plus a Hermit Thrush. Looped around twice and had nothing much after that. Continued to School St where there were lots of geese and crows. Started to check Nine Acre Corner but 117 was being paved, so skipped back to Flint’s (nothing different) and then the Cambridge Res (the four grebes were still around as were most of yesterday’s stuff). Waltham St. was dead.
Sunday 11/3: Pretty nasty in the morning, but after seeing the early Quabbin report, I headed for the Cambridge Res. Four grebes, 18 Black Scoters, and 3 Surf Scoters. Didn’t stop to check the Ring-neck flock as I moved on to Flint’s, which looked dead. Decided to try Lake Nagog, but ended up not seeing anything obvious and not seeing any easy access. On the way back, counted the geese at School St and then went to Heard Pond, which had a few more Black Scoter. Purgatory Cove had wigeon and geese (including an interesting one or two but not interesting enough to sit through the wind) and the usual stuff was on Hardy.
Monday 11/4: BBN for the first time in a little while. Chipping Sparrows at the top of the hill and the usual stuff otherwise. West Meadow briefly had my first American Tree Sparrow of the fall and not much else. Quick buzz around the Cambridge Res didn’t have anything good.
Tuesday 11/5: Refound the gallinule and Snow Buntings at Great Meadows but not much else. Wandered a bit after without anything worth mentioning.
Wednesday 10/23: Nicer than expected out, so I went to Rock Meadow. Field Sparrow was new for the patch year list (125!) but not much else. A few Ruddy, a couple scaup, and some wigeon on the res, more Ruddy at Flint’s were enough to stop at Hardy. Ruddy were all over, I counted 130 plus a Gadwall.
Thursday 10/24: Went to Great Meadows. Windy and not overly active, but David Sibley had a Clay-colored that hung around long enough for me to get it. A check of some of the goose fields had next to nothing (lots at the back of the prison field in an unscannable spot). Stopped at the Cambridge Res on the way home. A couple white spots out in the middle were enough for the scope. They turned out to be Bufflehead, but while double-checking my count a Red-necked Grebe stuck its head out. That was #200 for the county this year! The same ruddy, wigeon, and scaup were at the Trapelo end.
Friday 10/25: Amazing numbers of sparrows at Arlington Res. Fox Sparrow or two and a couple Field Sparrows were it for exciting ones though. Good variety of ducks including a Gadwall and a couple Shoveler too, 52 species total. Cambridge Res on the way home added 2 Horned Grebes.
Saturday 10/26: Started at West Meadow. Lots of White-throats but not much else. Looped through Met State without anything. Red-necked Grebe again at the Cambridge Res. Continued on to the north end. The Cackling Goose looked fairly obvious so I got out to scope. After showing it to a passing birder, it started to swim a bit closer, so I waited even though it was freezing with the wind. Unfortunately, it decided to take a nap instead of join most of the birds really close. However, as I started to walk back to the car, I noticed a few more geese swimming in from around the corner. A quick look and there was a bright orange bill staring back. I suspect that the White-fronted showing up here confirms David Sibley’s theory that the Cackling is coming from Great Meadows and passing Kaveski.
Sunday 10/27: Started at Rock Meadow where I finally got a fall Purple Finch and a lateish Common Yellowthroat. After pancakes, I went over to Sandy Beach and enjoyed the Nelson’s Sparrow for an hour or so.
Monday 10/28: Started at Forest Grove, where a Winter Wren was new for me on the Charles. A Rusty Blackbird was also nice, but quiet otherwise. Surprisingly little on Purgatory Cove and the river (raccoon hunting on the far shore). Usual coots and stuff at Charlesbank, nothing on the Cambridge Res.
Tuesday 10/29: Started at Meriam’s Corner with a bunch of bluebirds and a few Palm Warblers. Walking up Shadyside to Kaveski, I had a couple (or more) White-crowned Sparrows but that was about it. Cambridge Res on the way home added 4 Horned Grebes (three in the photo below). Flint’s had nothing (assuming the dark things sleeping were all Ruddy and not 2 Black Scoter).
Wednesday 10/16: A loop of the Charles: 2 Lesser Scaup, 7 Ruddy, many GW Teal, and a Parula at Purgatory Cove. More teal and a shoveler at Norumbega. Coots at Charlesbank. On to the res, where a big flock of ducks in the middle had me jumping out of the car. They were Ruddies however. Hardy Pond had wigeon and Ruddy.
Thursday 10/17: Prospect Hill had a few warblers. About 27 Ruddies on the res, 2 Common Mergansers on Flint’s.
Friday 10/18: More Common Mergansers on Flint’s. Nothing at Great Meadows.
Saturday 10/19: Lots of the usual at BBN and West Meadow (Nashville the best). Dunback was quiet beyond another Nashville and a Bobolink and Waltham St was dead. Greater Yellowlegs and not much else in a very quick scan of the north end of the Cambridge Res.
Sunday 10/20: Possible Blue Grosbeak at the other section of Waltham St, Field Sparrows at both.
Monday 10/21: Started at the West Meadow (Lincoln’s Sparrow about it). Decided to quickly check Rock Meadow since I was almost there and came up with 2(!) Vesper Sparrows. In between those, Marj called and confirmed the grosbeak. I was headed there way anyway, but skipped the far side of the marsh. Walked in and got a very brief view immediately but it took a good bit of effort to get enough to feel comfortable with it. Didn’t spend much time on other stuff but a leucistic Song Sparrow was interesting (there was a White-throat yesterday). After giving up on getting photos, I headed out to the rotary fields to look for the White-fronted Goose seen yesterday. It wasn’t in the flock at the front of the prison field and I couldn’t find a way to check the bigger flock at the back. No birds at Weatherbee and nothing but crows at School St. Nothing but cormorants in a quick scan of Flint’s on the way back.
Tuesday 10/22: Went to Plum for a change. Quiet overall but nice. Skimmers showed up towards high tide, Eurasian Wigeon at the north overlook, raven over the Dunes trail, lots of Yellow-rumps, GC Kinglets, etc. Gannets constantly moving along the ocean, shovelers all over the pools.
Wednesday 10/9: Joined the MBC walk at Danehy. Chestnut-sided was about it.
Thursday 10/10: Went to BBN to look for sparrows. Tons of birds around early, although nothing interesting. Boardwalk at West Meadow as busy with lots of Swamps and a White-crowned. Decent variety of warblers including Nashville and BT Green. On return, there were a bunch of sparrows behind the basketball court including an interesting looking White-crowned. After some reading and consultation, I feel pretty good about calling it a Gambel’s.
More orange bill, pale lores, etc. Click through the photo for a full set.
Walking down to the cemetery and then up the hill was not particularly productive.
Friday 10/11: The morning was described elsewhere. Sitting outside in the afternoon, a juvenile Bald Eagle flew over (and then a Yellow-rump for #80 for the yard this year).
Saturday 10/12: Waltham St/Dunback MBC trip. Couple Rusty Blackbirds, 2 Bluebirds at Dunback, and that was about it. Ruddy at both Cambridge Res and Hardy Pond.
Sunday 10/13: Wandered to Lindentree and Waltham St without much.
Monday 10/14: Refound the sparrow and then the goose. Scarlet Tanager at the West Meadow in between.
Tuesday 10/15: Started for Rock Meadow but construction stuff there, so I went to Lone Tree Hill first. Lots of Hermit Thrushes and that was about it. On to Dunback, which was busy but not much exciting (late House Wren, Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos about it). Waltham St had a kingfisher.
Wednesday 10/2: Wandered Lincoln for a bit in the morning without seeing too much (missed a Connecticut by a few minutes). A Band-winged Meadowhawk over the yard in the afternoon tied my late date.
Thursday 10/3: Went somewhere slightly different for a change, McClennen Park in Arlington. Lots of sparrows but nothing unusual. Stopped at Arlington Res after, a Ring-necked Duck among the Mallards was it. Then on to Arlington Great Meadows to look for Buck Moths. No luck with those but 10 wigeon and a Solitary Sandpiper were on the Waldorf Pond and a couple Parula were in the trees back at the car.
Friday 10/4: BBN and Waltham St were on the quiet side.
Saturday 10/5: Started at the Wayland Community Gardens. Nothing too exciting, assuming the junco isn’t anything. Cambridge Res next: 21 Ring-necks, 3 Pied-billed Grebes, 1 eagle. North end had 2 Least, 1 Solitary, 1 Spotted, and 1 Pectoral Sandpiper, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Semipalmated Plover, and the two Blue-winged Teal. After a call from Marj, I headed to Waltham St where the Clay-colored cooperated briefly (but longer than the Yellow-billed Cuckoo).
Sunday 10/6: Cambridge Res: nothing, Flint’s Pond: nothing, north end of Cambridge Res: similar shorebirds to previous days, Hardy Pond: nothing. In nice weather too.
Monday 10/7: Rock Meadow: Meadowlark (1st record for the site?), lots of common stuff. Cambridge Res: Great Cormorant.
Tuesday 10/8: Prospect Hill: 6 species of warblers, multiple sapsuckers, a bunch of Blue-headed Vireos. Nothing at Waltham St.
Wednesday 9/25: Joined the MBC walk at a fairly quiet Danehy, then on to Dunback which was also fairly quiet (tanager, RB Grosbeak about it). After a meeting in the afternoon, I buzzed the Cambridge Res and had a Common Loon and Pied-billed Grebe.
Thursday 9/26: Rock Meadow was slow but 12-13 warblers were at BBN along with a late pewee.
Friday 9/27: West Meadow had a Rusty Blackbird and a very confiding Yellow-rump but not much else. Nothing at Waltham St. Chased the reported Western Tanager at Dunback with no luck.
Saturday 9/28: Rock Meadow had nothing interesting. Ran into Marj at Waltham St. She was on her way out but predicted a Dickcissel in the newly mowed back field. It was actually in the front field, along with a Bobolink. Nothing much at Dunback.
Sunday 9/29: Great Meadows late morning had a calling Sora, 4+ pintail, a few pipits and bluebirds flying over, and a snake eating a frog. North end of the Cambridge Res had a few Least Sandpipers, a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Pectoral Sandpiper, a Blue-winged Teal, and a Bald Eagle.
Monday 9/30: Walked Lot 1 and West Meadow. Sapsucker at the meadow was about it.
Tuesday 10/1: Started at Rock Meadow. Quiet otherwise, but a thrasher smashing up a Wooly Bear was interesting. Quick stop at the duck ponds added another sapsucker.