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.

WIR 1/4-1/10

Wednesday 1/4: Doctor’s appointment, so went to Fresh Pond on the way. Got the Horned Grebe, Redhead, and 2 loons but not too much else. Stopped for an oil change on the way home and had the usual stuff at Hardy.

Thursday 1/5: Too nasty for anything land bird related, so went to Great Meadows. Very little on the water but Alan told me about a Great Horned, so I made the long loop. No owl but 2 Fox Sparrows, a bunch of RB Nuthatches, and what looked like a white-winged gull that got lost in the clouds.

Friday 1/6: Absolutely nothing along the riverwalk.

Saturday 1/7: Did an on foot day. Sharpie at Falzone, ravens everywhere, RC Kinglet at the West Meadow about it.

Sunday 1/8: Debated a few options and went with chasing a few things in Worcester county. Started at Westboro WMA where I didn’t find any Redheads but did get what appears to be a first January Worcester record for Brown Thrasher plus a few other things. Continued with a quick stop at Wachusett Res (350 geese), Coachlace (nothing), then Dexter Drumlin. Apparently all the geese had flown off shortly before, but did have a grackle or two. Couldn’t find the meadowlarks either. Bolton Flats next, which was very quiet. Nothing at School St (medflight across the road probably didn’t help) or Nine Acre.

Monday 1/9: Dunback started with crows harassing a Barred Owl. Circled around and a towhee popped up near the intersection. Then another, which had a pretty patterned back but I haven’t been able to turn it into anything else. Eventually gave up on it and took a quick trip through the woods where I had one of the Yellow-rumps and a Winter Wren plus a Rusty Blackbird and a bunch of Purple Finches on the way over.

Tuesday 1/10: Three Hermit Thrushes, 2 ravens, and that was about it at Hanscom.

WIR 12/28-1/3

Wednesday 12/28: Cookson and Watertown Square were pretty quiet. Got the sapsucker(s) I was looking for at Mt. Auburn along with RB Nuthatch, up to 94 for the county this month. Continued to Jamaica Pond hoping the Canvasback had resurfaced. It hadn’t but a 4th Redhead had joined the 3 from yesterday. Moved on to Leverett Pond where the Lesser Scaup had presumably moved then on to Chestnut Hill Res which was mostly frozen and didn’t have much.

Thursday 12/29: Hop Brook and Assabet were pretty quiet beyond a flyover crossbill. Got the Horned Larks at School St but not much else.

Friday 12/30: Common Mergansers and a Red-shoulder were noteworthy at Hanscom. Meriam’s and Kaveski were quiet. Thought about Great Meadows but decided it would be crowded and saw little at Waltham St. instead.

Saturday 12/31: Ell Pond did not have the Merlin while I was there (White-throated Sparrow was #50 in Melrose at least). No Canvasback at Sylvester Baxter (which meant missing the Merlin wasn’t a big deal and I wouldn’t have to run around looking for one more to hit 100 in county for the month) but there were 4 scaup around the dam. Not much at Spy Pond and the res was fogged in later.

Sunday 1/1: Cardinal then Song Sparrow at the feeder to start the year. Concord CBC was today, usual loop in Lincoln. Pileated was pretty close to first bird out of the car, then at least 3 Savannahs and a siskin at Ricci, a Sharpie along Hanscom Drive, and at least a couple Red Crossbills at Tanner’s Brook made it an ok day. Gave Nine Acre and the res a quick drive by on the way home, nothing worth noting.

Monday 1/2: Quick check of Pelham Island Rd had nothing and not much at the Old 27 Bridge. Water Row had a Pileated, Red-shoulder, Winter Wren, and a couple interesting calls. Non-birding loop of Gloucester had a few of the usual sea things.

Tuesday 1/3: Grackles and GW Teal plus the regular ducks at Arlington Res.

WIR 12/21-12/27

Wednesday 12/21: Got the Great Cormorant and RT Loon on the Mystic Lakes plus a decent number of the usual stuff. Had time to pull in at Spy Pond and added DC Cormorants and a PB Grebe.

Thursday 12/22: Nothing unusual at Ricci Farm or Nine Acre.

Friday 12/23: Quick afternoon run around the res had a few goldeneye and lots of mergansers plus an eagle or two.

Saturday 12/24: Too cold, not much at Nine Acre, nothing at School St, nothing much at the res.

Sunday 12/25: Did an Earhart run. Surf Scoter was visible from Draw Seven and the towhee was cooperative too. Usual at the other side. Made a quick stop to look for the chat on the way out and turned up a Yellowthroat instead!

Monday 12/26: Did a short Cape Ann trip. Halibut was on the quiet side but did have the usual ducks, a few Razorbills, a Bonaparte’s Gull, etc. The fulmar at Jodrey was pretty cooperative. Eastern Point was quiet and 2 seconds of scanning didn’t turn up the Eared Grebe on the way out.

Tuesday 12/27: Started at Horn Pond. No Barnacle Goose, but the Redhead was back and joined by a second. Winter Wren was the only other thing of any interest from a loop. Quick check of sightings showed that the redpolls were at Lions Park, which I had skipped earlier, so walked over there and enjoyed 4. Silver Lake was next. Made a tiny detour on the way to check some small looking crows at one of the shopping centers and they did prove to be calling Fish. Turned out that wasn’t a worthwhile detour as an even bigger flock flew over the lake. Moderate number of gulls around, maybe a couple hundred and nothing stuck out enough to even get out and scope before they left.

WIR 12/14-12/20

Wednesday 12/14: Nothing much at Cookson or Gore.

Thursday 12/15: Towhee and catbird still at Dunback plus a siskin.

Friday 12/16: Loon at the res, ton of mergs at Flint’s, ton of geese at Nine Acre.

Saturday 12/17: Bit of CBC scouting, not much at the field station or along the river. Did a Meriam’s/Kaveski loop after hoping for a lapwing but not much beyond an eagle.

Sunday 12/18: CBC was quiet. Winter Wren, 4 Bluebirds, 2 grackles at BBN, then not much.

Monday 12/19: Most of the same ducks at Arlington Res, nothing much for land birds.

Tuesday 12/20: Very little at Falzone and the West Meadow but a catbird popped up by the parking lot on the way back.

WIR 12/7-12/13

Wednesday 12/7: Little too rainy at Great Meadows and got there too late for the geese, did have a Marsh Wren at least. Not much on the res. Sharpie on the deck midday.

Thursday 12/8: Siskin, couple Purple Finches about it at Rock Meadow, Red-tail with most of a squirrel at the ponds.

Friday 12/9: Nothing exciting at Ricci. Since that didn’t take long, ran to Great Meadows where the swan was back (190 for the ‘commute’, new record!) plus a Killdeer (new for first half of December finally).

Saturday 12/10: Started at Castle Island, which may not have been the best choice in the overcast and windy conditions. No shorebirds, not too many ducks, but a Harbor Seal (in the bay) or 3. Up to Draw Seven next, got the towhee but that was about it. Station Landing had 2 Hairy Woodpeckers (patch bird!). Tried Rivergreen Park next, no luck with the Wilson’s Warbler but a kestrel posed nicely. Lower end of the Mystic Lakes was quiet, nothing at Spy Pond but an eagle flew over as I was heading home.

Sunday 12/11: Plan was to work my way down from Heard Pond. Pond was quiet, probably too raw at Heard Farm but a Fox Sparrow and blackbird flock was ok. Ton of ducks at the bridge so I stopped and dug out 4 shovelers there plus 3 Gadwall from the driveway. Phone was dinging away about the Barnacle Goose in Woburn and given the weather that made more sense, so buzzed up. Debated a drive-by but gave it a few minutes. Stopped at Horn Pond, 2 more shovelers among the stuff on the main pond. Same ducks still at Arlington Res, nothing at Hardy.

Monday 12/12: Didn’t feel like going out in the snow, so walked to Hardy Pond and Graverson. Kingfisher, few mergansers and Bufflehead, and that was about it.

Tuesday 12/13: Rusty, siskin, 4 bluebirds at BBN.

WIR 11/30-12/6

Wednesday 11/30: Sharpie and that was about it at Fresh Pond.

Thursday 12/1: 7 GW Teal, 3 Fox Sparrows, and a woodcock at BBN. Usual at Hardy.

Friday 12/2: Pileated, Hermit Thrush, not too much else at Meriam’s. Cambridge Turnpike marshes were quiet. Flint’s looked to be mostly mergansers but didn’t scope.

Saturday 12/3: Wanted to be home early, so just a quick run. Started with a scan of the goose-less prison and School St fields then stopped at Warner’s Pond. Seven Gadwall still around along with 4 Savannahs and a Yellow-rump. Nine Acre had lots of Canadas but couldn’t pick anything else out.

Sunday 12/4: Went down to the Charles River Peninsula for the warbler show. First pass had none, second had the Blackpoll and Tennessee. Walked the full loop after and didn’t see much, came back to find Simon and Erik in the parking lot and that the Nashville had joined the crowd. Hung around for a bit, then we did the loop again, adding a catbird this time.

While considering the next stop, I got a text about the Tundra Swan at Great Meadows so that made the decision easy for Simon and I. Got there in time to see it swim by at close range then fly right over our heads. Enjoyed the social hour for a bit before I had to run.

Monday 12/5: Fairly quiet at Forest Grove.

Tuesday 12/6: No luck with any warblers at Drumlin Farm, probable Dickcissel calling didn’t cooperate either.