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.

WIR 1/3-1/9

Wednesday 1/3: No luck with the Orange-crowned at Falzone. Usual pile of robins, a couple Winter Wrens, not too much else. One scaup still at Hardy.

Thursday 1/4: Found the Spizella flock at Harrington as they crossed into a yard, so didn’t get a full count or the Clay-colored. Also raven, perched siskins, maybe a couple crossbills. Pintail still at Nine Acre but not much else.

Friday 1/5: Barely got the Clay-colored at Weston Station Pond. Also Field Sparrow and Lesser Scaup but what had to have been the House Wren got away.

Saturday 1/6: Started at Longfellow Pond where the shoveler was right near the parking lot (220 for Norfolk). Looped down to the aqueduct and along the side road and got the very overdue Yellow-bellied Sapsucker as well. Seven new January Norfolk birds total, moving the list along although 100 is still a ways away. Continued to Millennium to work on Suffolk too. Saw Marshall had refound the Wilson’s, so started on that. Found a bird bouncing around the base of some phrags that turned out to be a kinglet but then caught a flash of yellow next to it. The warbler proved to be very uncooperative, calling regularly but never landing or sitting in the open. Eventually moved on and looped around. Nothing particularly exciting from there. On return, the warbler was still bouncing around a bit never posing. Check of the res on the way home had lots of Ring-necks and Hoodies but nothing else.

Sunday 1/7: Yuck

Monday 1/8: Walked over to Hardy. Scaup, Ruddy still present along with the rest of the usual ducks. Crossbill flew over as I was walking back, new nonmotorized and one mile bird but unfortunately not quite on the yard list.

Tuesday 1/9: River walk had a Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rump, and RC Kinglet. Ran out of time to go past Moody though.

WIR 12/27-1/2

Wednesday 12/27: Loon, RC Kinglet, raccoon, 9 Lesser Scaup at Fresh Pond. Two more loons at Draw Seven, no interesting ducks though. No Great Cormorant in a very quick pass of the Mystic Lakes.

Thursday 12/28: Yuck. Nothing east of the square and everything at the res was too far out.

Friday 12/29: Same ducks and not much for land birds at Arlington Res.

Saturday 12/30: Did a Squantum/Castle Island loop. Squantum Point Park was fairly quiet, Yellowthroat a highlight. Thought I heard a chip across the parking lot as I was getting ready to leave so walked over and found an Orange-crowned which was joined by a Palm. Nickerson Rock was pretty dead. Walked a bit at Wollaston Beach and Caddy Memorial Park, Savannah Sparrow the most interesting. Weather got lousy, but stopped at Castle Island anyway. Got 9 Razorbill and the Barrow’s, plus the peep tbd.

Sunday 12/31: Concord CBC. On the quiet side, felt like less than earlier in the week although most things were still around. One Field and 5 Savannah at Ricci. Nothing beyond waxwings at Hartwell (didn’t check Hanscom Dr). Thought I had a Yellow-rump walking up to Tanner’s Brook, then photographed a junco instead and couldn’t find it, but it started calling when I entered the trail. Not much around, got a tick on me bushwhacking into the marsh. Bunch of waxwings joined the Yellow-rump on the way out. Zero birds on the walk through the woods back to Hartwell.

Monday 1/1: Decided to do Deer Island, Winthrop Beach, and whatever else I had time for. Quick check of the res didn’t have anything new. Deer Island had most of the usual ducks (couldn’t find any Black Scoter), a Razorbill, and an Iceland Gull. Also a warbler sp and cormorant sp. Didn’t find the Western Grebe at Winthrop Beach, lots of Horned and Red-necked. Greenway/cemetery loop was pretty quiet. Belle Isle was quieter. Made the mistake of trying to jump the puddle near the little observation deck. Cleared the puddle but slid through the mud next to it and splashed right in, which was a sign to not bother elsewhere, although I did check Norumbega and Hardy (now 2 Lesser Scaup and an eagle). The eagle was flying down Trapelo as I got home, just barely visible from the yard.

Tuesday 1/2: Found the White-crown at Kaveski. Pileated about it otherwise. Usual ducks at Flint’s in a couple minute scan from the car.

WIR 12/20-12/26

Wednesday 12/20: Nothing much at Habitat, same ducks at the res.

Thursday 12/21: Chased stuff at Nine Acre, got the Greater Yellowlegs and shovelers but no pintail or Cackling. Few pipits still around too. Nothing obvious at Flint’s.

Friday 12/22: Bit of a pond loop. Mystic Lakes were quiet other than a big flock of Red-wings at Sandy Beach. Nothing much at Spy, the res, or Hardy.

Saturday 12/23: Last walking big day of the year. Only 34 species and Winter Wren was the only addition (although what had to be an Orange-crowned would have been had it been closer than 50 yards across the marsh). So 107 total for the year barring any last minute additions (plus BB Cuckoo and Fish Crow only from the yard).

Sunday 12/24: Plan was to check Heard quickly, then do Water Row, then work through the river in Concord looking for whatever curve-billed thing Jay saw a few days ago. Pelham Island Rd was blocked off, did get a couple Gadwall at the marsh. Got to the 27 bridge before realizing Water Row was also likely to be closed and it was. Skipped down to Nine Acre and found Concord Rd was closed. Had a few geese and ducks but nothing noteworthy. Did a quick check of French Meadow and then went down 62 and out to School St. Good flock of Horned Larks was about it there. Barrett’s Mill next, huge flock of blackbirds including one with a mostly white tail plus 4 Field Sparrows, a few siskins, and other stuff. Gave Great Meadows a check. Trails were flooded out, so down the rail bed. Got the coot I was looking for from the benches then walked to the WTP where there was a darker Red-tail. Tower was empty when I got back to the parking lot, so I was able to count another 250 Red-wings and a few more coots. Nothing new at the res on the way home.

Monday 12/25: Did a bit of scouting at Ricci. Ton of Mourning Doves, a bunch of Savannahs, and 2 Field Sparrows. Did a quick loop at Hobbs Brook on the way home, 4+ more Field Sparrows and a Winter Wren.

Tuesday 12/26: Waited out the fog then went on an Assabet/Desert run. Hop Brook was fairly quiet (and still foggy). Didn’t realize that Eversource had the railbed blocked off, so did a short loop. Drove over to the main Desert entrance with a quick check at Grist Mill (nothing worth noting). More than a few crossbills around, 2 types that I recorded. Also siskins, 3 Winter Wrens, and a lot of the common winter stuff. Couple quick stops on the way home didn’t have anything.