WIR 3/13-3/19

Wednesday 3/13: Gate was closed at Great Meadows (or I didn’t pull close enough?), so went to Meriam’s and Kaveski. Swamp, Field, Savannah Sparrows about it. And Swamp mentioned only because it was somehow a month bird.

Thursday 3/14: Common Mergansers at Cookson were a bit surprising. River was quiet at first, but a coot and then a RC Kinglet/OC Warbler combo on the walk back were quite nice. Went for woodcocks in the evening, heard at least 5 and saw a couple.

Friday 3/15: FOY Phoebe, lots of herons, Tree Swallows, usual ducks, 2 Field Sparrows, etc at Weston Station Pond.

Saturday 3/16: Did an on foot day finally. Common Merganser at the Brookhaven Pond then 2 Pine Warblers in the woods at Falzone made a good start. Got fairly quiet after that, did break 40 but nothing else really of note.

Sunday 3/17: Did a Squantum run. Raining to start, so went to Nut Island. Usual ducks, nothing seemed to be moving and it got too heavy to stand. Sat at Wollaston a bit before it stopped enough to walk around at Squantum Point Park. Virginia Rail was calling and an Orange-crown flew past me, but not much else. Nickerson Rock had more of the same stuff. Couple egrets and GW Teal were the interest at the marshes. Gave the Charles and res a run on the way home but nothing worth stopping for.

Monday 3/18: Nothing unexpected at Dunback, singing Pine was of note I guess.

Tuesday 3/19: 2 PB Grebe, 7 Lesser Scaup, Peregrine at Fresh Pond. Hit my goal of 85 for the month, debating a run at 100 now.

WIR 3/6-3/12

Wednesday 3/6: Hanscom had a Field Sparrow and that was about it.

Thursday 3/7: Too rainy. Nothing at Flint’s, not much at Nine Acre, 4 RB Mergs at the res.

Friday 3/8: Nothing exciting at Forest Grove.

Saturday 3/9: Started at Nahanton. Was going to start at the nature center and cover the gardens on the way out, but there were a bunch of juncos flying around, so I walked over that way first and immediately had the White-crown. They all vanished, so good thing I did. Fairly quiet otherwise. Allandale Woods next, no Pileated or anything of note, feeders in a yard were the only busy spot. Millennium next. Quick car scan of the high school marsh was just swans and geese, so to the park itself. PB Grebe on the river was nice, as was a big flock of Rusties down the trail to Brook Village. Two teal flew out with a pile of Mallards, a couple Savannahs back by the car, and one of the RC Kinglets eventually showed. Quick stop at Waltham St. on the way home didn’t have anything exciting.

Sunday 3/10: Started with a quick stop at the Wetherbee fields for the Cackling Goose, which was fairly easy to find. Bolton Flats next, trail was totally underwater and there were barely any birds in the field. Big flock of ducks flew over, couple may have been interesting but not terribly. Walked to the bridge without anything. Delaney next, the boat launch was windy and had lots of Ring-necks and not much else. Taylor Rd had a Winter Wren and couple other things but no goldeneye. Drove around the area a bit but didn’t find any other spots. Nothing much on a drive past Nine Acre, RT Loon was on the res but not much else.

Monday 3/11: RC Kinglet about it at Falzone. Two Lesser Scaup among the ducks at Hardy. Flint’s on the way home from stuff in the afternoon had 3 Greater Scaup.

Tuesday 3/12: Same ducks at BBN, not much circling the marsh. Turkeys at Potter Pond on the way out.

WIR 2/28-3/5

Wednesday 2/28: Kingfisher at Cookson, 2 Wood Duck along the river.

Thursday 2/29: Wasn’t as windy as I expected early, so went to College Pond to look for the Pine Warblers found last week. Got at least 14(!). Also singing creepers, 2 Fox Sparrows, a few ducks, etc. Did a half loop, then decided Nine Acre was more interesting than the deep woods. Seven Killdeer on the Brigham fields, but not much elsewhere.

Friday 3/1: Went for the easy March bird to get the month going. Townsend’s was there right as I walked up, which gave me time to check the Mystic Lakes (pintail and RT Loon still around, eagle made a nice pass) and Hardy (scaup, usual ducks).

Saturday 3/2: Worked a bit west. Started on Pelham Island Rd where there was nothing on Heard Pond and 4 Gadwall at the swamp. Old 27 Bridge had very little. Water Row had a towhee, Pine Warbler, Red-shoulder, Fish Crow, and a pile of ducks. Hop Brook still had the bridge blocked off but I did have a crossbill, so decided not to drive around. School St had pigeons and gulls. Not a ton of geese on Warner’s but a Red-shoulder and 4-5 Savannahs in the field were good. Two vultures over Rt. 2, cowbirds at Nine Acre, and the RT Loon at the res on the way home.

Sunday 3/3: Started by heading to the Fells for Sage’s RN Grebe. Saw one of the loons fairly close while passing the Mystic Lakes, so pulled over and found 4 in view at once. Two Pileated right from the car at the Fells and the grebe was visible as soon as I reached the water. Ended up circling the whole South Reservoir, adding RB Nuthatch, Winter Wren, etc. Gave Spot Pond a quick check after without anything, then went to Draw Seven. Tide was as low as I can remember, not much there either. Pulled back in at the lakes on the way home to get the Great Cormorant, then decided to loop Hobbs Brook. It was pretty quiet other than what was probably a phoebe calling once.

Monday 3/4: BBN to the West Meadow had a few ducks on the parkway marsh along with a Tree Swallow (#70 for the month already). Fairly quiet after that.

Tuesday 3/5: Great Meadows was about the same as last week but quieter (no Fish Crow, wren, still no harrier or shoveler, etc).

WIR 2/21-2/27

Wednesday 2/21: Nothing out of the expected at BBN.

Thursday 2/22: First of year chipmunks, 2 RT Loons, bunch of scaup at Fresh Pond.

Friday 2/23: Big flock of turkeys at Nine Acre finally got me to 100 in February. Calling Red-throated Loon at the res.

Saturday 2/24: Started at Ell Pond (minus a two minute check of Spot Pond) where one Canvasback was around. Also both kinglets and a few other Melrose additions. Horn Pond had 3 eagles, the Barred Owl, the 3 shovelers, etc but the snipe were not cooperating. Quick check of Spy Pond had a goldeneye and 2 RB Mergansers. Although there had been no reports for almost two weeks, I figured the Townsend’s Warbler was still around and had good views after a minute or two.

Sunday 2/25: Finally got the central MA swing I’d been hoping to do. Fitchburg Res was frozen, so I didn’t stop. Siskins all over Watatic and a surprise White-winged Crossbill at the summit. Not surprisingly, I didn’t find a state first Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch. Did a loop at Townsend State Forest next, which had even more siskins and 6 eagles overhead. Townsend Hill WMA had a ton of blackbirds and a Hermit Thrush (and a distant crossbill-sounding thing).

Monday 2/26: Colder than I expected at Ricci. One Savannah was about it. Few ducks on Flint’s after.

Tuesday 2/27: Most of the geese had left Great Meadows by the time I got there and no luck with the shoveler or harrier again. Lots of other ducks, a Killdeer, Marsh Wren, etc.

WIR 2/14-2/20

Wednesday 2/14: Too cold and windy for much. Sat at School St for a bit and eventually got one lark, otherwise just pigeons and crows. Nine Acre had geese and not much else. Res had the usual ducks.

Thursday 2/15: 3 Lesser Scaup in with 85+ Ring-necks at Weston Station Pond. Not much beyond juncos along the bike path.

Friday 2/16: Ducked the wind by going to College Pond, which worked surprisingly well once I got past the ball field. Worth the effort too, with a few Rusties, a RB Nuthatch, and a Fox Sparrow.

Saturday 2/17: Draw Seven had a Gadwall, a few RT Loons, a Common Loon, and the usual bunch of ducks. Stopped at the Winthrop Greenway on the way to the beach and had a pair of wigeon and 14 Green-winged Teal. Couldn’t find the Western Grebe at Winthrop Beach but had 28 or so Dunlin and a flock of Snow Buntings at Yirrell plus a ton of Common Loons and the various ducks. Rivergreen Park on the way home was pretty quiet, but an eagle got my February list to 90.

Sunday 2/18: Started with a quick drive through Nine Acre, which had nothing. Assabet next. Colder and windier than I expected. Three crossbills, a good flock of siskins, and that was about it. Fisher loop after was more of the same. Drove back through School St (pigeons), Nine Acre (nothing), back side of Drumlin (nothing), and the res (nothing different).

Monday 2/19: Successful holiday. Started at Bolton Flats, which was pretty quiet other than Marsh Wren and RC Kinglet. Quick check of Dexter Drumlin didn’t turn up any cranes. After hearing that the Canvasback wasn’t at Wachusett gate 25, I stopped at 36 first and immediately found it. Continued to 25, mostly to pass word on. Gave the scaup a quick sift through but not overly carefully. Continued to River Rd where a Barrow’s showed off and on and the hybrid Red-shoulder x Red-tail flew by. Dexter Drumlin again found the cranes, not sure if they were in a spot I didn’t look at carefully earlier. Same loop home as yesterday had the same results beyond a bluebird at the res.

Tuesday 2/20: Rusty and a Wood Duck at Kaveski.

WIR 2/7-2/13

Wednesday 2/7: Winter Wren at Falzone, Orange-crowned and a few blackbirds at the West Meadow.

Thursday 2/8: Ravens and bluebirds the most exciting at Dunback. Had to run into the office midday so looped the res on the way home, 90 Ring-necks, a few mergansers, and a Ruddy.

Friday 2/9: Tried for the thrasher at Wright-Locke Farm. Took a bit to find the right spot and then no bird (not too surprising). Not a whole lot there otherwise. Quick stop at Hardy had the usual.

Saturday 2/10: Bit of a Cape Ann run. Halibut Point had the usual ducks but no alcids. One Yellow-rump was the most exciting land bird. Granite Pier added Razorbill. Jodrey didn’t look like it was worth a stop. Tide was super high, so could only scan at Eastern Point from the parking lot and didn’t notice much of anything. Gave up at that point and worked home. Lynnfield Marshes had a continuing Greater Scaup and a pintail. Interesting raptor at Lake Q got away. DC Cormorant was a surprise at the res.

Sunday 2/11: Had a Bird Observer thing, so poked around Norfolk county on the way over. Kendrick Pond was less exciting than I think it should be as always, but I did find a Great Horned, which was my commonest gap for the county. Gadwall was at Needham Reservoir. Very little at the Charles River Peninsula, not helped by the wind picking up. Did have a Field Sparrow at least.

Monday 2/12: Coot, Fish Crow, Marsh Wren, lot of goldeneye at Great Meadows. The RB Merganser would have been nice.

Tuesday 2/13: Storm was a complete bust but still wasn’t nice out. Walked to Hardy and Graverson, most of the usual ducks and little else.

WIR 1/31-2/6

Wednesday 1/31: Great Meadows was flooded but had 3 Marsh Wrens and a harrier while debating whether I could walk through (it was iced over, so no), #100 and 101 for the year. Walked the woods instead and had a Pileated, creeper, and 4 deer.

Thursday 2/1: Creeper was about the most exciting thing at BBN. Or maybe the muskrat.

Friday 2/2: Usual ducks at Arlington Res, nothing of note at the res.

Saturday 2/3: Chasing sparrows. The Gambel’s White-crown at Nahanton was there when I walked up. Quiet otherwise however, Common Mergansers on the river the only other thing of note. Started for Forest Hills Cemetery next but decided to pull in at Allandale Woods and search for Pileated. No luck and a grackle was about the only thing of any interest. Cemetery next, spent an hour and a half circling the area where the Lark Sparrow had been without luck. Quick check of Norumbega on the way home (and the res on the way out) had nothing.

Sunday 2/4: Kamchatka Gull was the target today. Started with a brief scan of the Mystic Lakes and Revere Beach (nothing obvious worth lingering for at either). Still on the early side, so I drove out the Nahant causeway and stopped at the Audubon thicket, which was just regulars. Decided against other stops and went to Lynn Beach. A few gulls but nothing of interest. Waves made scanning the water tough. Over to King’s Beach where 4 of us scanned for an hour without any luck. Went to a random spot for some woodland birding next and didn’t have much. Flax Pond after, found 2 of the 3 night-herons quickly plus got a few more of my February Essex county targets. Quick trip back down the water had no gulls on the ballfield and nothing different at King’s Beach.

Monday 2/5: Started with a nice surprise when I looked out the window while getting dressed and noticed a hawk perched. Not a normal spot for one and sure enough, it was a Red-shoulder, only the second from the yard (and the first was a flyover). Weston Station Pond was frozen and the scaup apparently didn’t move to the quarry. Did get the Field Sparrow though, believe that’s species #71 seen in all 12 months in the county.

Tuesday 2/6: Hairy at Cookson, Bufflehead and Ring-neck about it at the square.

WIR 1/24-1/30

Wednesday 1/24: Physical and other stuff kept me busy (plus lousy weather) but a quick circuit of the res didn’t have anything obviously different.

Thursday 1/25: Finally caught up with the towhee at Dunback. Not too much else besides turkeys.

Friday 1/26: Swans, a Common Merganser, and not much else at Nine Acre, more of the same at the res (again, no scoping).

Saturday 1/27: Started at Heard. Pileated, raven making crazy noises, RC Kinglet, bunch of Ring-necks, not too much else. Swamp didn’t have anything of note. Assabet had a bunch of crossbills, a few siskins, a Sharpie, another Pileated, 2 Chipping Sparrows, etc. Checked a few spots for the crane reported yesterday and earlier, pipit at Warner’s Pond was all I turned up. Nine Acre had 4 Great Blues but not much else.

Sunday 1/28: Winthrop Beach first, the Western Grebe was the third bird I looked at. Also 26 Snow Buntings and the usual water stuff. Continued to Revere Beach, where there wasn’t much. Thought about continuing to Lynn Beach, but it had started raining, so started towards home instead. Quick check of Draw Seven had mostly robins, no RT Loon. Mystic Lakes had an eagle right along the parkway but nothing else obvious.

Monday 1/29: Less snow than expected, so got out to the river walk. Nothing particularly of note, a few ducks were in including both mergansers and 3 Bufflehead.

Tuesday 1/30: 3 ravens the most noteworthy at Forest Grove/Flowed Meadow, a handful of ducks at Norumbega.

WIR 1/17-1/23

Wednesday 1/17: Midday check of the res didn’t have much.

Thursday 1/18: Nothing at Watertown Square.

Friday 1/19: Flint’s frozen, nothing at Nine Acre or School St. Lots of ducks at the res, although nothing different. Hardy frozen too.

Saturday 1/20: PB Grebe, GW Teal, normal stuff at Horn Pond. Silver Lake was frozen and just about gull-less, went up to the parking lots in Tewksbury too as they were only 10 minutes away and had nothing more. Res on the way home had a loon.

Sunday 1/21: Decided to wait for some sun before trying for the Townsend’s, so started at Fresh Pond. Winter Wren, cormorant, scaup flock, not too much else. Over for the warbler next, after not seeing much for close to an hour, Bob played a quick bit of scold and we had it within seconds. Quick drive through Mt. Auburn got an Orange-crown.

Monday 1/22: Nothing exciting at BBN (other than one call overheard that was either a starling or really good).

Tuesday 1/23: Went back for the warbler (‘commute’ #252!), then, since it flew off quickly, went to Blair Pond, which had the usual suspects.

WIR 1/10-1/16

Wednesday 1/10: Very wet Mystic Lakes had both cormorants and a few mergansers. Spy Pond had a RB Merganser.

Thursday 1/11: Big flock of grackles over Dunback, fairly quiet otherwise beyond a sleeping raccoon.

Friday 1/12: Got a few minutes in the Fenway gardens. Lots of White-throats, 6 waxwings, not too much else.

Saturday 1/13: Waited out most of the rain, then went to School St. Good number of geese, pintails, and gulls plus the abieticola Red-tail but no larks or anything. Nothing much at Nine Acre. Flint’s was fogged in. Res wasn’t, just the Ring-necks around though.

Sunday 1/14: Earhart area. Torbert McDonald had one of the Gadwall, a few coot, some Ruddy, and not much on land (it was windy). Draw Seven was quiet, not many ducks on the water. Earhart itself was about the same. Rivergreen Park had one mixed flock but nothing exciting among them (assuming the olive thing that flew by was a kinglet). Quick stop at the Mystic Lakes on the way home got the pintail.

Monday 1/15: Decided that with no wind and unsettled weather off and on, if I wanted to see the goose hybrid, I better go today. Started at Ft. Phoenix where I did not see the bird in with the Brant, so I walked to the other end. A “storm” wigeon was interesting and lots of waterbirds around. Walked back to the east end and there was a whitish thing in with the Brant. Not the point blank looks others have gotten on occasion, but a nice Snow Goose x Brant.

Egypt Lane next. Other than Song Sparrows, the thickets along the bike path were quiet, but 2 Black Vultures were nice and a raven was a county bird. Nothing much at the ponds. Checked the bike path further up and didn’t have much of anything. Checked needs alerts to figure out which pond next and saw some reports of a Cackling Goose (at least) in New Bedford. No details so a bit skeptical, but it was almost on the way. Pulled in at Buttonwood Park and there were hundreds of geese on the water and ice. Started working through, found a few of those smaller things that get your attention but then don’t look right with a more detailed study, which is what I expected. Moved towards the other end of the flock, almost as much to scan the ducks. Walked back up towards the water and one bird stuck out naked eye. Sure enough, a better looking Cackling. Spent a few minutes with it, getting some nice comparisons. Also had another Black Vulture, so they must be pretty settled in here.

Thought about the MacGillivray’s on the way home but the back parking area was full and I didn’t want to start circling around to sneak in the next lot, so settled for the res, which had the usual ducks.

Tuesday 1/16: Just walked Graverson to Hardy, Tree Sparrows and the same otherwise.