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.

WIR 3/29-4/4

Wednesday 3/29: Ducks still on the water at BBN. Also 2 Fox Sparrows, a couple phoebes, a pair of bluebirds at a hole, etc.

Thursday 3/30: Errands today, Kaveski tomorrow, oops (maybe). Other than 120 geese at Cookson, very little around Watertown.

Friday 3/31: Kestrels and a Fox Sparrow but no crane at Kaveski and Meriam’s.

Saturday 4/1: Midafternoon check of the res had FOY Double-crested Cormorant but that was about it, same ducks at Hardy.

Sunday 4/2: Bluebird and not much else at the res in a quick scan. Nothing at Heard, shovelers still at the swamp. North end of Water Row had an Osprey and around 10 Purple Finches. Overlook was pretty quiet, a few raptors, lots of Tree Swallows, a handful of waterfowl. Another vulture at Nine Acre.

Monday 4/3: 2 PB Grebe and a Rusty at Great Meadows.

Tuesday 4/4: Meriam’s again. Lucked out this time and the crane was out in the open immediately (‘commute’ #246!). Also 3 Savannah Sparrows, a Cooper’s Hawk (somehow the first I’ve seen in the SRV this year), lots of the usual. Fish Crow calling over the house late morning was nice too.

WIR 3/22-3/29

Wednesday 3/22: Walked north side of Hardy, 6 Ring-necks, eventually picked out the Ruddy. Nothing exciting on land there or at Graverson. Evening check of BBN had the same general ducks as last week and then at least 7 woodcock. Also heard some at Rock Meadow as I drove by on the way home.

Thursday 3/23: Pintail and Lesser Scaup at Arlington Res.

Friday 3/24: Worcester county run, had 3 targets. Bolton Flats was fairly quiet, lots of geese and GW Teal but no sign of shoveler (and beyond a wigeon, no ducks of note). A check across the street added a few sparrows but not much else. Westborough WMA next. Quiet to start, but eventually turned up 3 Fox Sparrows, 1 target down. Continued around and had a group of Yellow-rumps fly by. Lots of Ring-necks at Little Chauncy but nothing else of note. Started back and something odd flushes from the sumacs right in front of me. Fortunately it landed at the top of the pines and was obviously a shrike. A target, although not one I expected. A Horned Lark flying over as I walked off was nice too. Continued to the Sudbury Res, which was pretty quiet. Didn’t see the geese on Fay Road, which turned out to be because they were  at the Fay School a mile or two away. Quick check of directions and Snow Geese made the list. Brief stops at Heard Pond and Pelham Island Rd, then the res on the way home had very little. Woodcock walk in the evening at BBN had a pintail and about 4 woodcock.

Saturday 3/25: Decided to squeeze in an on-foot day before it got nasty out. Nothing too exciting at Falzone or the West Meadow (Killdeer the first addition to the nonmotorized year list). The pintail was still in the parkway marsh, #159 on the cumulative non-motorized list. Also 4 GW Teal, 4 Ring-necks, and a bunch of Bufflehead plus 2 Tree Swallows and a Phoebe (and what was probably a Yellow-rump but lousy views and no calls). Weather looked to be getting worse so I skipped Mackerel and went out to Concord Ave without seeing too much more. Flyover Hooded Merganser was about it along Concord Ave and nothing different through the West Meadow return. Falzone was quiet until the pond, which had a goldeneye (#160).

Sunday 3/26: Tried to beat the wind and started at Belle Isle. Gadwall were off Lawn Ave but not too much elsewhere. Finally found the wigeon flock from the cemetery (those and Hooded Mergansers were apparently new for me here). Fought wind and sun for a bit at Revere Beach but eventually had at least one Manx fly through.

Monday 3/27: One of the towhees was out at Dunback. Not much in the woods, phoebes and a Tree Swallow down Bacon, and that was about it.

Tuesday 3/28: Quick stop at Mt. Auburn got the Orange-crowned for March. RB Nuthatch was about the only other thing of interest.