WIR 3/1-3/7

Wednesday 3/1: Nothing much of note at BBN.

Thursday 3/2: Too rainy, but did get RB Mergansers at the Mystic Lakes (no cormorant though). Also 5 scaup sp at Spy Pond, not much at the res or Hardy.

Friday 3/3: Wood Ducks, Wigeon, Ring-necks at Great Meadows.

Saturday 3/4: Too snowy

Sunday 3/5: Started at Water Row (after a Fish Crow filling the car). Field Sparrow by the FWS buildings was nice, fairly quiet the rest of the way down. Heading back, at least 2 eagles and a pair of Pileated. Checked the Wayland side and had 4 GW Teal and 2 Ring-necks, then headed out to Wachusetts. First bird in the scope was the Canvasback, not too much else and it was cold and windy. Stopped at School St (nothing) and Nine Acre (geese and a few common ducks) then hard a Turkey Vulture getting off the highway.

Monday 3/6: Forest Grove had lots of mergansers, a few Wood Ducks, and that was about it. Eagle over Norumbega on the way out.

Tuesday 3/7: Cold and windy at College Pond.

WIR 2/22-2/28

Wednesday 2/22: 2 Pintail, 2 Fish Crow, and the Palm Warbler at Great Meadows (new monthly Middlesex #7 for Feb).

Thursday 2/23: Yuck

Friday 2/24: Walk around the northern edge of Hardy Pond didn’t have anything unusual.

Saturday 2/25: Forest Grove had a GW Teal and not too much else, not much more by Moody St. Res had a couple scaup mixed in with the Ring-necks.

Sunday 2/26: Started at Squantum Point Park. Wasn’t too exciting, lots of robins and White-throats mostly, but Fox Sparrow, 2 Harriers, and a GW Teal were nice. Nut Island had a Razorbill and a few more ducks. Wollaston was pretty quiet beyond lots of geese. Decided to stop at the Mystic Lakes next, 365+ Common Mergansers were about it. Just enough time to check Spy Pond, which had a few Ring-necks, a coot, and several scaup (3 Lesser, 1 Greater at least), plus a feeding eagle.

Monday 2/27: Few ducks east of Watertown Square, kingfisher and more of the same at the square.

Tuesday 2/28: Too snowy.

WIR 2/15-2/21

Wednesday 2/15: Lots of robins but that was about it at Dunback.

Thursday 2/16: Decision to wait a day for Drumlin proved good as the meadowlark flew up as soon as I walked up. Two Killdeer in the next field were nice too. Otherwise just the usual. Had time to check the res and found one of each scaup among the Ring-necks. Usual at Hardy, 3 turkeys (somehow my first in Waltham this year) on the way home. Blackbirds arrived in the yard in the afternoon.

Friday 2/17: First in office day of the year, so stopped at Heard. No shrike on my first pass, so out to the overlook. Tundra Swan was out there even though it hadn’t been reported in a week. Shrike was singing on the way back, then 2 Purple Finches and a Pileated along the other edge. Gadwall were obvious at the swamp on the way out.

Saturday 2/18: Bit cool and without a better idea, I did a Brookline-area loop. Hall’s Pond had a Cooper’s but no sapsucker. Leverett Pond had very little, although the flock mobbing something might have been interesting had I found the target. Jamaica Pond had lots of mergansers and a few other things. D. Blakely Hoar had a Winter Wren. More of the same at Chestnut Hill. Saw the report that the Barnacle had flown by Dunback, so gave Fernald, Beaver Brook, Beaver Brook North, and Potter Pond a quick check but no luck.

Sunday 2/19: Did my monthly (hopefully) on foot day. Started well with an eagle flying off from Hardy Pond before I was 2 houses away. Falzone had the usual, as did the West Meadow (including the Fox Sparrow in about the same spot). BBN had 2 more Fox Sparrows. Rock Meadow was fairly quiet, as were the duck ponds. On the way back, I cut along the edge of Rock Meadow then walked down Concord Ave and back in to BBN by the incinerator. Fairly quiet and seeing that the Barnacle was back at Horn Pond dimmed my hopes a bit. West Meadow was quiet as was Falzone. Ended on 39 species, which wasn’t too bad. Need to adjust my goals though, as I’m already at my March target.

Monday 2/20: Day off, went to the coast, starting with Deer Island. Usual ducks all around in pretty good numbers but very little on land (Snow Buntings were using the railing at least). Since there were moderately controlled dogs near the beginning when I started, I stopped at the first hill on the way back instead and had a very brief view of the Palm Warbler zipping by. Fifteen minutes of looping around didn’t turn it up again though. Yirrel Beach was next, no luck with the Audubon’s. Brief stop at Bayswater didn’t have anything, so I headed to Draw Seven for another attempt at towhee. First pass didn’t have anything (murre was in close and I walked down to the Suffolk line to get it there). Sam and Carla were looking for towhee too, so I started a second pass. Thought I heard some scratching at the big bush near the shelter and sure enough it soon started calling (after I had given up and walked off). It flew up and gave us good views for a couple minutes. That’s 5 February birds for the state and 6 for the county!

Tuesday 2/21: Snowing harder than I expected so did a Nine Acre run. Couldn’t see anything at Flint’s on the way. Just a few Mallards and geese in the water, eventually found 4 Killdeer on the fields. Usual at the res on the way home.

WIR 2/8-2/14

Wednesday 2/8: Barred Owl about it at BBN.

Thursday 2/9: Grackles flying around at home. Bluebirds, eagle, kingfisher, moderate number of ducks at Forest Grove.

Friday 2/10: Harrier and the usual at Kaveski and Meriam’s.

Saturday 2/11: Started by poking around to see if the Tundra Swan was nearby. Peregrine at the office park right off 128 was a good start. Old 27 Bridge had a harrier but little else. Walked most of Water Row without anything of interest (Purple Finch got away). Wayland Community Gardens had a big flock of blackbirds but nothing on the river. Debated walking back through the gardens instead of Cow Common because of the wind but decided on Cow Common. As I emerged from the trees, the phone buzzed. Figured it was about the shrike at Heard but saw Thick-billed Murre Draw Seven and took off running. Debated checking the swamp for a second but decided better to go. About forty minutes later I pulled in and ran up to Leslie watching the bird. It proceeded to swim closer and closer (although never quite as close as I would have liked). Also had the RT Loon, a scaup, and a couple Ruddy but no towhee in a very quick check.

Sunday 2/12: Didn’t feel like driving much of anywhere so started at Alewife. GW Teal, Fox Sparrow, RC Kinglet, a few other things there. Continued to Fresh Pond. Looped around without seeing the grebe or any ducks other than mergansers but did have 5 loons. Got back and made one last scan above the Weir Meadow and was pretty sure I picked up the grebe along the western edge. Ran back for the scope but couldn’t find it, so I drove over to the golf course lot and walked down. Couldn’t find it again but did have a Winter Wren and fortunately I saw Karsten who had been watching it up close. Going away from the course, I did get a distant view so doubled back again and couldn’t find it again so I gave up. Had less time than I wanted at Mt. Auburn now, but gave the suet feeders 20 minutes with no warbler only to have it fly through as I was walking off. Wasn’t quite rolling up to the birds like I had hoped but I got my targets.

Monday 2/13: Lots of birds at Cookson but mostly starlings and robins. Teal was prominent along the Charles but not much else.

Tuesday 2/14: Couple Pileated and a Hermit Thrush about it at Hanscom.

WIR 2/1-2/7

Wednesday 2/1: Harrier was still at Great Meadows but that was about it.

Thursday 2/2: Arlington Res had the usual ducks and that was about it. Had time to check Cambridge Res too, where the Redhead was still around plus a wigeon among the Ring-necks and mergansers.

Friday 2/3: Too cold

Saturday 2/4: Too cold but a few turkeys on Old County Rd

Sunday 2/5: Started at Horn Pond where I picked a pintail out of the Mallards pretty quickly. No Redhead or shoveler though. Also couldn’t find the redpoll. Did have a couple grackles, a couple Red-wings, a Red-shoulder, and a sapsucker, and added a GW Teal on the way out. Too windy at the Mystic Lakes. Afternoon check of the res had a few mergansers and an eagle finishing something off.

Monday 2/6: Yellow-rump, singing Red-wings, etc at Dunback but no luck with towhee or catbird.

Tuesday 2/7: Didn’t find the Orange-crowned or much else at Mt. Auburn.

WIR 1/25-1/31

Wednesday 1/25: Pileated at Weston Station Pond, loon at the res.

Thursday 1/26: School St had a flock of larks with a couple Snow Buntings mixed in. Cowbirds and lots of geese at Nine Acre, usual at Flint’s and Hardy.

Friday 1/27: Fox Sparrow at West Meadow, not a whole lot otherwise.

Saturday 1/28: Started in Lowell, nothing beyond a couple cooperative goldeneye at the boat ramp. Tsongas center had the Orange-crowned and an Iceland Gull but couldn’t find the Barrow’s. Tried the parking lot in Tewksbury but all the gulls flew off immediately. Looked up conservation land and ended up on the Pinnacle Trail, which was quiet beyond a blackbird but looks real nice for later in the year. Parking lot again had no gulls, so off to Silver Lake which had a few hundred. Almost all Herring however and an eagle eventually flushed them all.

Sunday 1/29: Torbert MacDonald had a kingfisher, RB Merg, and not too much else. Draw Seven had the towhee (in a different spot), the Gadwall, and no scoter. Since the Gadwall was a new bird for me in Everett, I went to the other side and found the Surf Scoter and a loon. Then out to Winthrop Beach, where Snow Buntings were in my way walking out (and if I checked probably the Palm Warbler). Got out to the small crowd and realized I should have been here earlier, but thats to the text alerts, I scanned way left and eventually found the Western Grebe. Did a short loop after and had a big flock of Sanderling and some Horned Larks too.

Monday 1/30: Hairy at Watertown Square was about the most interesting.

Tuesday 1/31: Two Yellow-rumps, 4 bluebirds at Dunback.

WIR 1/18-1/23

Wednesday 1/18: BBN had the usual. Ton of turkeys at Potter Pond on the way home including a few climbing a tree.

Thursday 1/19: Harrier and Virginia Rail at Great Meadows.

Friday 1/20: Quick walk over to Hardy Pond had the usual, too snowy otherwise.

Saturday 1/21: Headed down to Wrentham for the duck show. Redhead was obvious before I got out of the car and the Tufted swam by not too much later. Lots of other things around, probably should have done a full loop of Lake Pearl instead of heading out. Stopped at Norumbega (quiet) and Moody St (usual) before hitting the res (3(!) loons).

Sunday 1/22: Decided to skip Bear Creek again but go nearby. Started at Belle Isle. Lawn Ave was quiet (although White-winged Scoter was new for me here), and other than the sapsucker (also new), geese, doves, and goldfinches there wasn’t much more at the main reservation. The greenway/cemetery had larger numbers of the waterfowl but that was about it. Winthrop Beach had Sanderlings, Dunlin, and maybe a Purple Sandpiper plus a flock of Snow Buntings. Bayswater didn’t have an obvious Rough-leg at Logan. Mills Ave didn’t have an obvious Rough-leg over Bear Creek but I was able to pick up the Short-ear. Afternoon loop of the res didn’t have much.

Monday 1/23: No RB Merganser at the Mystic Lakes, nothing much else there, at Spy Pond, or at Hardy.

Tuesday 1/24: Raven was the most exciting thing along the river from Shaw’s to Nova.

WIR 1/11-1/17

Wednesday 1/11: Couldn’t find any pintails at French Meadow although there seemed to be a decent number of birds just up the river and not quite in sight. Kaveski had a Savannah but no harrier.

Thursday 1/12: See last week’s Fresh Pond report and take away a few Ring-necks and Common Mergansers.

Friday 1/13: GW Teal along the river in Watertown, not much at Cookson.

Saturday 1/14: Too icy early, eventually wandered to the res where the was a loon and the usual mergansers. Nothing on new Hardy.

Sunday 1/15: Started at Mill Pond where there was one interesting duck and next to nothing else. Continued to a few spots in Billerica and found very little. Got 4 of the 6 I needed to reach 50 there but couldn’t find a junco, White-throat, or Red-tail at all even driving around a bit looking for feeders. Loon was still at the res in a half check.

Monday 1/16: More snow than I expected and it kept picking up every time I thought about getting out, so a yard day.

Tuesday 1/17: Commute 245!

Goose Hunt

Sunday afternoon, the Middlesex RBA group dinged with a picture of a Barnacle Goose at Bullough’s Pond in Newton. No way to chase it then, but I figured I could stop by on the way home Monday. It turned out the bird had been seen at the cemetery too, but disappeared shortly after.

Monday turned crappier than expected and I ended up lazing around but reports were negative anyway. I thought the Charles seemed a likely place and planned on a few stops Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, I pulled in at the Norumbega parking lot (where I actually had been when the initial message came through, unfortunately I was about to pick up a sub and didn’t have time or optics to have chased it then). Lots of geese including a few down the road but nothing exciting. Behind Charlesbank was pretty dead, so I continued to Forest Grove.

Parking at Auburndale Park, I decided to do the river side first instead of my normal loop through Flowed Meadow and along the landfill. Nothing near the playground. I went down the tiny trail that gives a view partway down. There were two Canadas sitting in the river right there and I almost didn’t, but then decided I could hide behind the big tree without bothering them too much. A quick scan didn’t show much but there were a few geese down near the dock and one looked pretty white-headed. I quickly jogged down to the pump house where the view was more open and there was the Barnacle Goose!


Messages sent, then a quick walk to make sure at least one of us was on the Waltham side. Waited around for a few in case anyone was nearby, then made a quick loop down to the cove. Came back to watch the goose drifting north but fortunately the first arrivals were there.

Hopefully it’ll be consistent in habits for a few days and let others catch up.