WIR 5/31-6/6

Wednesday 5/31: Orchard Oriole at the Meriam’s/Kaveski line, no Alders or much else though. Grass was too wet at the back and four hours later I’m still sneezing.

Thursday 6/1: Tried for any lingering warblers at Mt. Auburn. Blackpoll pretty quickly but then very little else until passing Spectacle on the way to the car when a Northern Waterthrush started singing.

Friday 6/2: No GW Teal at BBN but a couple redstarts and a Barred Owl family were good (and very good to finally confirm the owls).

Saturday 6/3: Not terribly nice but did a Wayland swing. Nothing obvious at Heard Pond, so went to Heard Farm. Kestrel was hunting, lots of Bobolinks and the regulars but nothing much else. Was going to the gardens next but Cow Common was blocked off, so I just went to Sedge Meadow. More of the same there, a pair of Bobolinks the most interesting. Checked the res and Hardy on the way home without anything beyond geese.

Sunday 6/4: Wasn’t quite crappy enough to sit at Great Meadows so started with the Hooded Warbler in Littleton. Moderately cooperative plus a couple other new things there (70 now). Saw a Louisiana Waterthrush spot in Worcester county not too far away, so headed that way. Short walk in and one flew by chipping then eventually sang a bit. Looks good for odes too in nicer weather. Continued to Wachusett Res, where the sun was poking out. Of course that meant not much doing, so I spent a bit of time taking swift shots. A shower eventually passed through but didn’t appear to drop anything in. Checked my month list and saw I was into the 90s and there would be a few possibilities at Bolton Flats, so headed that way. Got Mute Swan along the river and redstart near the parking lot. Walked out and found a few shorebirds which included a Semipalmated Plover, 3 Least Sandpipers, and a Semipalmated Sandpiper (also a county bird!). Since I wasn’t expecting those, a quick check showed that 100 was quite possible. Waded down through the vegetation (the wet spots were dry at least) and got Yellow-throated Vireo (and got excited by a Cooper’s Hawk that looked harrier-ish at a distance), which was 99. Couldn’t dig up any wrens or House Finches or anything else though, even walking a bit on the other side and down to the river along 117. Gave the Bolton Office Park a quick drive through, again no luck but a Carolina Wren was singing right at the 495 ramp, so mission accomplished.

Monday 6/5: No shorebirds at Great Meadows but a singing PB Grebe and a Green Heron were nice.

Tuesday 6/6: Went to Dunback hoping for an Alder. Got one pretty quickly near Clarke, then was surprised by a Least at the intersection. Nothing much out Bacon St, just enough time to get down to the woods. Loud call just as I approached the bridge: “peet-zah!”. Acadian called nonstop for the next 10-15 minutes, although it never showed. ‘Commute’ #249!

WIR 5/24-5/30

Wednesday 5/24: Tennessee, Bay-breasted, lots of turkeys at Habitat.

Thursday 5/25: Nothing at Cookson. East of the square had a few Blackpolls, a Parula, and a tanager.

Friday 5/26: No Acadian in Concord (should have gone yesterday…). Tennessee was a new bird for Concord though, so some compensation.

Saturday 5/27: Went to the coast hoping for a May bird. No luck but not bad. Started at Yirrell Beach which had a Magnolia and redstart or two plus Least Tern (year #200) and oystercatcher. Winthrop Beach had the expected plovers and terns but no turnstone or Sanderling. Greenway/Belle Isle Cemetery had a ton of redstarts, a couple Maggies, a waterthrush, parula, 3 Blackpoll, a RE Vireo, etc. Belle Isle had 7 ibis. Lawn Ave had 2 families of black ducks but no passerines.

Sunday 5/28: Led the Great Meadows walk early. Heard Least Bittern, had a Virginia Rail run across the path, most of the regulars were around. Alan and Cris’s Black-bellied Plovers would have been nice however…

Walked Two Rod Rd after. No boghaunters (one possible) and only one identified ode, which was a very out of habitat Lilypad Clubtail. Also one of the cool wasp-mimicking Syrphids (Temnostoma alterans).

Monday 5/29: Did a central MA swing, although if I realized how windy it was I might have not. High Ridge was moderately birdy, Greater Yellowlegs, Alder Flycatcher about the most interesting. Lots of odes, mostly whitefaces and corporals. Lake Wampanoag had the Canada Warblers I hoped for, Purple Finch, White-throated Sparrow, GC Kinglet, etc. Bugs weren’t great, Elfin Skimmer, another Lilypad Clubtail, and not too much else.

Tuesday 5/30: Nothing out of the expected at Tanner’s Brook. Loon on Flint’s.

WIR 5/17-5/2

Wednesday 5/17: Usual assortment of warblers at Prospect Hill, Prairie the most interesting.

Thursday 5/18: Fairly quiet at College Pond, Bay-breasted and a Northern Waterthrush the best.

Friday 5/19: Mt. Auburn was very good but not great. Mourning, Cape May, multiple Tennessees, couple Blackburnian, Least Flycatcher, bunch of Bay-breasted, Magnolia, etc. Cuckoo calling from the yard as I was getting ready.

Saturday 5/20: Rain held off, so got out to Water Row. Quieter than I hoped but a nighthawk was a nice surprise. Lots of Blue-wings (and a more Golden-winged sounding bird that wouldn’t show). Heard Pond next, very quiet. Still wasn’t raining so over to Great Meadows. Mist started pretty quickly then some heavier rain but I was mostly in the woods by then. Not too much around either, no flyover shorebirds or anything.

Sunday 5/21: Tried a walking big day but with rain overnight and everything clearing yesterday ahead, expectations were low. And still tough to meet, only 56 species (granted I didn’t bother with any ponds since they weren’t worth the extra walking). Did have a few warblers including Canada and Wilson’s, a late-ish White-throat, and a bit more, enough to get to 88 on foot this year.

Monday 5/22: Too windy at Great Meadows but Willow Flycatcher and Bank Swallow were ‘commute’ year birds. Didn’t get to where the Least Bittern had been calling until I didn’t have enough time to actually wait unfortunately and no sign of any gallinule either. Magnolia singing in the yard.

Tuesday 5/23: Prothonotary was singing across the river from Brewster’s Woods (‘commute’ #248!). Also Barred Owl, Magnolia, not a ton else.

WIR 5/10-5/16

Wednesday 5/10: Pileated, Blue-winged, GC Flycatcher, hummer, Veery, etc at Hayden Woods.

Thursday 5/11: Cookson was quiet. Square was fairly quiet too but a BT Blue was somehow a patch bird (180!) and a thrasher was quite nice.

Friday 5/12: Planned on Estabrook but the car felt funny and after circling the block, it was obvious the tire was flat. Decided to leave that for later and walked over to Falzone. Wasn’t great but a decent variety of warblers, FOY tanager, etc. Think 21 were new for the on foot year list.

Saturday 5/13: MBC big day, a bit slow with only 90ish species. WC Sparrow, BB Cuckoo among the highlights.

Sunday 5/14: Decided to do a relaxed bit of target birding in Suffolk which was quite successful. Got a space right at the entrance for McLaughlin Woods. Wandered away from the crowd to start and had a Bay-breasted, Wilson’s, Canada, and 3 BH Vireos pretty quickly. Showed a few people the Bay-breasted then wandered down to chase a Least Flycatcher among others. Found that and a second Wilson’s, then there was a third back at the top. Continued to Chestnut Hill Res. Got out of the car and heard a bunch along the road, so walked that way down to the rink woods. Wilson’s was the most interesting on the way. Ovenbird and Least Flycatcher in the woods. Walked the edge of the reservoir back, which wasn’t too exciting. Then over to the gardens which had very little beyond a House Wren. Got back to the car and heard a high pitched song that seemed interesting. Took 10 minutes to find it, but it was the Cape May I was hoping for. So 3/4 targets (Bay-breasted, Canada, Cape May, missed the more common Chestnut-sided). Decided to give Forest Grove a quick look in case Friday’s Prothonotary had hung around. It didn’t and it was fairly quiet (birdwise, people all over). Did have FOY baskettails and Eastern Forktails and a few birds.

Monday 5/15: Made it to Estabrook. Decent number of warblers including the Bay-breasted I needed for the SRV. Also FOY pewee and a Yellow-throated Vireo plus a Stream Cruiser.

Tuesday 5/16: Fairly busy at BBN, 13ish warblers including FOY Blackpoll and 4 Bay-breasted. Also several pewees, lots of thrushes (mostly Swainson’s), etc.

WIR 5/3-5/9

Wednesday 5/3: FOY Oriole and yellowthroat plus catbirds, Yellow Warbler, etc at BBN.

Thursday 5/4: Loon at the res. Orioles, BT Green, Black-and-white, usual swallows at Arlington Res.

Friday 5/5: Not much at the south end of the Mystic Lakes, quicks scans of Spy and Hardy ponds had nothing.

Saturday 5/6: More or less a bug day. Started at Bolton Flats where I had an oriole and a bunch of sandpipers including both yellowlegs and a Pectoral. Open spot nearby had the targeted Purple Tiger Beetle plus 3 others. No boghaunters at Oxbow but an Eastern Forktail was FOY ode and also had American Emerald and Common Green Darner.

Sunday 5/7: Mt. Auburn again. Forgot to arrange for a key and somewhat surprisingly there were no early arrivals with one. We walked down to Fresh Pond and watched the Great Horned for 20 minutes then came back with the gate open. Cape May on Indian Ridge was nice. Quiet with bursts of birds otherwise, finished with 10 species of warbler, an Indigo Bunting, and a few other things.

Rivergreen Park after was quiet, BT Green and a White-throat the only nonsummering birds. Earhart had a couple Yellow-rumps, more sparrows, and 3 Common Terns.

Monday 5/8: Sort of an odd morning at BBN. Tons of White-throats (I put down a very conservative 60), a Lincoln’s, and a handful of warblers but no vireos, no flycatchers, etc.

Tuesday 5/9: Had an appointment in the morning but enough time to check Falzone (Blue-winged, pale Savannah) and West Meadow. Very quick check of the res on the way back had nothing but geese.

WIR 4/26-5/2

Wednesday 4/26: Towhee was somehow at patch bird at Forest Grove. Also a ton of Yellow-rumps and swallows, an Osprey, 2 turkeys, etc.

Thursday 4/27: Lots of Yellow-rumps, a Palm or two, 3 Savannahs at Cookson. Two night-herons, a Parula, and a Warbling Vireo at the square.

Friday 4/28: Catbirds were in at Estabrook, fairly quiet otherwise. House Wren, maybe an Ovenbird, raven, etc.

Saturday 4/29: Some county chasing. Started at Stony Brook in Boston where the Louisiana Waterthrush was singing (but too far away to see). Looped over to Turtle Pond and around, Peregrine was apparently new for the site and a turkey were about it. Next stop was the high school marsh at Millennium. No luck digging out a snipe but an egret and FOY kingbird were nice. Cow Island Pond had FOY Chimney Swifts go through but nothing among the swallows. Next stop was Needham Reservoir where the funny gap of Solitary Sandpiper is no longer a gap. No other targets nearby, so I decided to do Hobbs Brook and Shade St. A fox was nice on Shade St but it was quiet otherwise. I figured out more of the trails at Hobbs Brook and had a kestrel and Purple Finch plus bluebird was a new bird for me there.

Sunday 4/30: Hoped for some storm-blown stuff. Started well with a Red-necked Grebe on the res. Great Meadows next, got pretty soaked and only had FOY Yellow Warblers plus a harrier. Quick check of the Mystic Lakes and Spy Pond had nothing. Rain was less, so tried Draw Seven which was quiet. Gave Fresh Pond a quick check, only a few gulls on the water but there was a small group looking at one of the Great Horneds right where I walked in. Hardy still had a Ruddy.

Monday 5/1: Basically a repeat of the first couple stops yesterday. Grebe was still on the res without much else. Greater Yellowlegs, 4+ Virginia Rail, a posing Pileated, etc at Great Meadows but no lingering Tree Sparrow or any other storm birds.

Tuesday 5/2: Thought there’d be some movement overnight so fought traffic to Mt. Auburn. And found very little, handful of Yellow-rumps and Palms, FOY Black-and-white, couple BH Vireos, a gnatcatcher, and that was it.

WIR 4/19-4/25

Wednesday 4/19: Rough-wing, couple Hermit Thrushes, more of the same in a quick run around BBN. Barn Swallows and nothing else at the res.

Thursday 4/20: Estabrook had singing Winter Wren, flyover Rusty Blackbird, Common Loon, and a probable siskin but no waterthrush.

Friday 4/21: Savannah Sparrow was actually a new bird for me at Mt. Auburn (about time). Also kinglets everywhere, a few Yellow-rumps and a Palm, and an Osprey were about it.

Saturday 4/22: Eventually decided on a Sudbury/Wayland loop. Started at Nobscot where the was a singing House Wren and a couple Blue-headed Vireos but no waterthrush or new warblers. Raymond Reservation next, Osprey, gnatcatcher, ton of Tree Swallows. Decided to walk Heard Pond, started with a Barred Owl calling then lots of swallows and 2 eagles from the point. The woods had a couple Rusties and lots of Yellow-rumps and Palms along the road. First goslings of the year at the town building. Water Row had more of the same plus a few more ducks. Osprey at Flint’s.

Sunday 4/23: Rain held off enough to lead the Mt. Auburn trip. Pretty quiet beyond the kinglets, displaying Cooper’s and a BH Vireo or two about it. Since it still wasn’t raining much, I went to Rivergreen Park to look for the night-herons that had been around. Made it 20 yards and it was raining as hard as I’ve seen in some time. Ran the rest of the trail (1 Black-crowned) and got totally soaked. It seemed to lighten a bit as I drove off, so pulled in at Draw Seven, but it picked up again. Did stop enough to take a quick walk at BBN though, GW Teal and Ring-necks still on the parkway marsh. Afternoon loop of the res timed it as the rain picked up yet again so I didn’t work the swallows but did have two loons.

Monday 4/24: Brief bittern, FOY Marsh Wren, kestrel, Rusty at Great Meadows and a raven flying  over Hanscom.

Tuesday 4/25: RB Grosbeak was a nice start at BBN, pretty much just the same birds that have been around after, although an Osprey was good too.

WIR 4/12-4/18

Wednesday 4/12: Most of BBN was fairly quiet, but the ducks were still all on the parkway marsh and there were a pile of warblers, a Field Sparrow, and a Rusty all along the adjacent trail.

Thursday 4/13: Not much at Cookson or near the square.

Friday 4/14: Lots of Palms and Yellow-rumps at Arlington Res plus lots of Bufflehead and Ruddy.

Saturday 4/15: Quick check of the res had an opossum but no birds. Busy yard in Otis including a Barred Owl. Afternoon walk down to Upper Spectacle had just about zero birds. Multiple owls and a fox calling at night.

Sunday 4/16: Was hoping for a bunch of ducks and to get my Berkshire list to 100, but after the long drive out to Pontoosuc and Onota had a few geese combined. Worked back to the Stockbridge Bowl where there was a loon but not much else (fortunately I still needed a few of the common things). Jackson Pond had a bit more including Wood Duck and Virginia Rail. Pulled in at Shaw Pond on the way back and had a Savannah Sparrow, which got me to 92.

Monday 4/17: Did a bit of a western loop. Started at the res where there were 4 Long-tailed Ducks. Flint’s had a loon but nothing else. Nagog had nothing. Walked the conservation land at the south end a bit and added a few Littleton birds (nothing of note though). Have Not Pond had a Pileated, Steele Farm had a Barred Ow and both kinglets. That got me to 48 in Boxborough, so looked around and found Wolf Swamp. Creepers were singing quickly but had to walk all the way to the end before I heard a Rusty.

Tuesday 4/18: At least 8 snipe and a bunch of Savannahs at Waltham St, nothing much at Dunback.

WIR 4/5-4/11

Wednesday 4/5: Bunch of Palms, couple Pines, and a Rough-winged Swallow at Forest Grove. Nothing at the res, Ruddy, a cormorant, and a Common Merg still at Hardy.

Thursday 4/6: Super early gnatcatcher, a few Fox Sparrows, Palms and Yellow-rumps, and the same ducks at BBN.

Friday 4/7: Commute year birds at Hanscom included Turkey Vulture, sapsucker, RC Kinglet, and Field Sparrow plus a towhee, 2 Fox Sparrows, 2 Rusties, etc. Also first Syrphids of the year (2 species TBD). Afternoon emergency.

Saturday 4/8: Started at a cold and windy Millennium. Calling Virginia Rail, lots of Palms, FOY Chipping Sparrow, Turkey Vulture. Stopped at the high school marsh but the wind was more than I wanted to deal with so I missed the snipe. Took a ride out 135 to Fisk Pond in Natick next and pushed my list there past 50 with a couple ducks, a phoebe, a Chipping Sparrow, and a few other things. Drove home past Heard, nothing beyond Gadwall and a Rough-winged Swallow.

Sunday 4/9: Continued to town listing kick, went up to Dracut hoping to go from 18 to 50. Got there relatively easily, although I don’t know if I could have gone much higher. Beaver Brook Farm had a nesting Cooper’s and lots of common stuff. I pulled in at some marshy spot and added a few waterfowl, then went to Yapp Farm, which was pretty busy (RB Nuthatch, tree sparrows, singing Winter Wren the most interesting). That got me to 49, so I tried Long Pond and added Bufflehead, Turkey Vulture, and Fish Crow. Billerica was at 48, so a quick stop at Vietnam Veterans Park was next. GW Teal and Ring-necks in the pond next to the parking area got me there, but I did a loop and just missed getting to 60 (staring at the sky for 5 minutes before leaving and no hawks). Also more Syrphids, FOY garter snake, and some bees. First Cabbage White (and first butterfly) of the year along the highway heading home. Quick res circuit had a few Common Mergansers and a Tree Swallow. Ended the day with my town list totals ticks up past 5000 too!

Monday 4/10: Loon at Flint’s. Ibis were still at French Meadow, so 247 up for the ‘commute’ (and between them, the snipe, and the Solitary, 102 for the year). Everything was pretty far out and looked like they were happy there, so I headed off rather than wait for better views. Nothing much at Nine Acre, another loon at the res.

Tuesday 4/11: Kestrel, Rusties, usual at Ricci.