WIR 10/21-10/27

Wednesday 10/21: Tried Ricci Farm in the mist. Big flock of pipits in the fields, bigger flock of cowbirds going over but that was about it.

Thursday 10/22: Only time for a quick check of Gore and Cookson, nothing of note.

Friday 10/23: Mostly robins at Dunback, one Tennessee/Orange-crowned.

Saturday 10/24: Nothing in a very quick scan of the res (not helped by the sun poking out as I got there). Pipits and that was about it at Waltham St. Cooper’s and siskin were new for Somerville. Had enough time to do the casino side of Earhart but not Gateway. White-crowned and Field Sparrows plus a Purple Finch were all good.

Sunday 10/25: Plan was to check a few spots to the south, but decided I should give the res a quick check first. That only took half an hour, Black and Surf Scoters plus Gadwall and lots of other ducks. Decided to head straight to Great Pond next. Loon and some scaup pretty quickly, then a Black Scoter which was one of my targets. RB Merganser was nice too. Big Aythya flock way out, coot flock (finally for Norfolk) in close, many flocks of cormorants going over, and a few other things. Pretty sure a couple redpolls went over as I was heading back. Continued to Millennium. Only shorebird was a Semipalmated Plover. Interesting warbler chip never showed. Red-shouldered in the dead trees, then a big flock of goldfinches had 2+ redpolls (October #227, was starting to worry about getting one this month). Field Sparrow at the far end, then a Merlin on the way back. Rechecked the mud and warbler spot with only a Hermit Thrush, but not bad at all. 

Monday 10/26: Forest Grove had the expected siskins and a less expected American Pipit (Charles #169) plus a few Rusties.

Tuesday 10/27: More Black Scoters at the res plus a Redhead (and Greater Scaup, so 15 species of waterfowl this week). Nothing at Hobbs Brook, 3 more scaup at Hardy.

WIR 10/14-10/20

Wednesday 10/14: Field Sparrow, Sharpie, 6 Rusties at Weston Station Pond.

Thursday 10/15: Field Sparrow, Peregrine, White-crowned, BT Green at Rock Meadow.

Friday 10/16: Realized I needed Snowy Egret for the county for October (and for the Cambridge region commute) so went to the Mystic Lakes. Egret was there so quickly down to the woodlot. Very dark and quiet. Sort of scanned Spy Pond and Hobbs Brook on the way home, nothing of note.

Saturday 10/17: Waited out most of the rain then did a pond loop. Spotted Sandpiper at Hardy, RN Grebe and tons of Wood Ducks at the res, not much at Flint’s. Got a bit wet at Great Meadows as it cleared. Wind wasn’t ideal for pushing migrants, a few Pecs, a couple snipe, good numbers of raptors, and lots of pipits. Hobbs Brook on the way home had a night-heron, 6 Pecs, and a Least.

Sunday 10/18: Started at McCarthy Park. Pipits and siskins both needed for Norfolk, decent number of other birds but nothing exciting. Continued to the Barber Reservation in Sherborn, which had more finches and stuff. Farm Pond next, wish I could check this more regularly. Nothing exciting walking down to the end, went the other way out the causeway seeing almost nothing. A Black-ish duck popped up and I thought it looked odd for a hybrid before realizing it was a Black Scoter! Quick scan of the res on the way home to make sure there weren’t more scoters.

Monday 10/19: West Meadow had a bluebird, Black-and-white, and BT Green. Parkway had nothing exciting.

Tuesday 10/20: Lindentree had a few pipits and siskins and a few GW Teal but not much else of note.

WIR 10/7-10/13

Wednesday 10/7: Pretty quiet at BBN and West Meadow.

Thursday 10/8: Rock Meadow had 3+ siskins, a sapsucker, a pipit, and 2+ Nashvilles.

Friday 10/9: Danehy was pretty birdy, starting with a sharpie and harrier going over. Flock of pipits around plus siskins moving. No interesting sparrows or warblers, Swainson’s Thrush was nice too.

Saturday 10/10: Decided to work on siskin town lists. Started at McClennen Park in Arlington where I had a Field Sparrow, 4 siskins, and a raccoon. Arlington Res had 2 Ring-necks and a big flock of siskins. Sandy Beach had another big flock, plus B+W and BT Blue Warblers and a sharpie. Found siskins walking in at Horn Pond but still looped the gardens, Lesser Yellowlegs the most interesting. Wind was really picking up but a quick stop at Mary Cummings had a White-crowned Sparrow and 2 flyover siskins there, so I added them to 4 towns today. Gave the res a quick buzz on the way home, which was not so quick with a big Ring-neck flock that had at least 1 scaup, a Red-necked Grebe, a few Ruddy, and a few coot.

Sunday 10/11: Did a semi western loop. Rock Meadow Pond had finches, tons of Yellow-rumps and White-throats, pipits, teal, and a few other things I needed for Ayer. Oxbow was quietish, just added Savannah Sparrow and had a leucistic White-throat. Fitch’s Bridge Rd was quiet too, plus one of the fields was being plowed.

Monday 10/12: More siskin hunting on the holiday. Started at Hanscom (and got one from Gaining Ground walking over). Couple good-sized flocks plus a ton of robins and a RB Nuthatch that was a big gap for Bedford. Continued to the Cranberry Bog and had a few more plus teal and a Merlin. Weather was getting worse, so gave up.

Tuesday 10/13: Nasty out but there was a White-winged Scoter on Hardy. Nothing elsewhere in a pond/field loop.

WIR 9/30-10/6

Wednesday 9/30: Weather wasn’t exactly good, nothing on the res or Hardy.

Thursday 10/1: Thought about Waltham St but school is open in Lexington so parking would have been a pain. Upper Vine Brook was quiet, walked into Dunback and had a Connecticut flush just before the intersection. Got nice pics of the bush it was in but not the bird and not much else. Ringlet back by the car was a new October butterfly for me.

Friday 10/2: Tried North Bridge again. Was fairly birdy but Francis texted about a Sora in the gardens(!) at Rock Meadow, so I cut and ran. No luck with that, but 2+ towhees.

Saturday 10/3: Waltham St was very busy, almost 50 species including siskins, pipits, a grosbeak, and a parula. Meadowbrook had a late waterthrush. South end of the lakes had another parula and 3+ Catharus. Sandy Beach had a Philadelphia Vireo, 4 Blue-headed, 12 BW Teal, and a tanager. Tide was dead high so no space for the skimmers at Point of Pines.

Sunday 10/4: Started with a very quick check of Point of Pines, skimmers scopeable. Plan was Earhart, Torbett McDonald, Draw Seven, etc but saw the message about Dunback as I got to Earhart. Decided to bird there anyway, which was a good decision with no flycatcher at Dunback after the initial sighting and birds all over at the dam. Got 6 new species for Everett (although Red-belly and WB Nuthatch aren’t exactly exciting), Indigo Bunting, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, and Palm Warbler, which got me town #23 over 100. On to Dunback, which was birdy but without too much of interest. Did have FOF BT Blue and Alan had a Connecticut while standing next to me (but I saw nothing).

Monday 10/5: Hobbs Brook had a few peep along the road, then decent numbers of both teal off the road. Since I didn’t check the power lines, I had time to double back to the road for another scan and had both yellowlegs and 2 Pecs plus more peep. Those were 3 of my bigger misses until now for the ‘commute’ Cambridge Region list, which is now at 156.

Tuesday 10/6: Mostly errands but a quick walk in Watertown had 20+ siskins go over.

WIR 9/23-9/29

Wednesday 9/23: Tennessee and Cape May at Rock Meadow plus first of fall junco.

Thursday 9/24: Lots of the usual at Kaveski, pipits finally and a kestrel.

Friday 9/25: Danehy was pretty birdy, thrasher and Pine Siskin were new for the prework list.

Saturday 9/26: Went to Westborough for a change. No Connecticut and a text about the Kentucky as I was walking in, but Swainson’s Thrush was new for Worcester. As was American Golden-Plover, which was quite nice even for a brief flyover. Skipped on nearby sites and went to Cold Spring. Ran into Max pretty quickly (who immediately waved a picture of a Connecticut at me). We went to where he had the Kentucky and I got the most minimal view of a bird chipping correctly and with the right rear. Lost it immediately and never found it again. It turned out to be chipping at a Barred Owl, which was super cooperative. A decent number of other birds in a couple hours wandering around too.

Sunday 9/27: Should have gone for the YH Blackbird yesterday, but went over first thing. Wasn’t there when I arrived at Mary Cummings, so I looped the trails and had very little only to find out that it flew off as I was returning. Too many flyers at that point, so a few of us went over to Horn Pond. FOF coot and Rusty Blackbird plus 2 PB Grebes and a few other things. Drive by Mary Cummings after still had lots of planes so no point in walking back. Stopped at Hobbs Brook, which had a GW Teal and the usual sandpipers.

Monday 9/28: Tried Mary Cummings again. No blackbird, not much else but did get Purple Finch and Swainson’s Thrush for Burlington.

Tuesday 9/29: Hobbs Brook had the usual, still can’t get a workday yellowlegs.

WIR 9/16-9/22

Wednesday 9/16: Quiet at BBN.

Thursday 9/17: Brush work kept me from actually reaching Weston Station Pond but a few Blackpolls and a Pine on the bike trail plus a singing(ish) Black-and-white in one of the fields. Nothing at the res.

Friday 9/18: Handful of warblers at Dunback, Chestnut-sided the most interesting (plus the couple calls that were probably a Connecticut that others had).

Saturday 9/19: Supposed to be a big migrant push, so headed out to Wayland. Not much for landbirds, a handful of warblers flying over at Heard. Did have a decent selection of shorebirds including a few Semipalmated and Pectoral Sandpipers plus at least 3 kestrels. After a quick scan of Heard Pond and the bridge, continued to the community gardens. A couple more warblers there including a slightly early Yellow Palm. Checked the Rt. 20 bridge briefly, no shorebirds or herons of note before deciding to try closer to home. Hobbs Brook had a Greater Yellowlegs and the usual, nothing much at Waltham St.

Got home and was about to take a nap when Marj called. Townsend’s Warbler at Sandy Beach! In the car a minute later and there in under 20. Walked up past where they had it and promptly found it in the middle of the woods. Waited around for others to start arriving and we soon refound back where Renee had it originally. It stayed there until I left almost 3 hours later.

Sunday 9/20: Decided to start with a Squantum run. Ran into Vin at Squaw Rock, who reported a handful of warblers. I didn’t have much luck with his but had a Chestnut-sided and FOF Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Also had a weird Swainson’s Thrush still showing a lot of juvenile plumage. Got back to the last thicket before the car and had a BT Green pop up, then 2 Empids, and then a Philadelphia Vireo. One Empid proved to be a Yellow-bellied, the other got away. Continued to Commander Shea, which had 2 Yellow Warblers but not much else. Decided to work home from there and headed to Earhart. Quiet by the casino, Black-and-white (eating a Catacola!) and a Blackpoll at Gateway Park. I originally thought those got me to 100 in Everett, but I had just forgotten to update the maps, so still at 99. Brooks next in case yesterday’s Golden-winged was still present. Practically no birds but I did find the Pileated again.

Monday 9/21: Forest Grove had a Tennessee but not much else.

Tuesday 9/22: Only had a few minutes, nothing on Hardy or the res.

WIR 9/9-9/15

Wednesday 9/9: Couple decent flocks of warblers at Prospect Hill included FOY Cape May finally, FOF Blackpoll, and a Blue-winged.

Thursday 9/10: Nashville, Blackpoll, more of the same warblers, Broad-wing, etc at BBN.

Friday 9/11: Wanted to look for a morning flight path in Concord but was slow moving and it was a bit dark, so went to Great Meadows. Seemed quiet but a Sanderling appeared on the mudflat, #200 here (finally)! It wasn’t cooperative, but good enough. 

Saturday 9/12: Tried Old North Bridge but no flight in evidence (but other reports of none meant it wasn’t necessarily the site). Couple Purple Finches the best there. Went to Hanscom next. Somehow no RB Nuthatch and the probable Mourning got away before I eliminated Connecticut. Hobbs Brook had the usual, Waltham St. had a Savannah and 3 ravens.

Sunday 9/13: Did the patch on foot for the first time in a few months. Unfortunately a very slow day. Buckeye at BBN along with FOF Blue-headed Vireo was about it. Gave up before I made it to Rock Meadow.

Monday 9/14: Only had time for a quick check of Watertown Square and just to the east and found nothing.

Tuesday 9/15: Gave Old North Bridge another try, no flight evident again. Did have a kestrel, harrier, and FOF Lincoln’s Sparrow. Checked Hobbs Brook after, usual shorebirds and a Philadelphia Vireo.

WIR 9/2-9/8

Wednesday 9/2: Hobbs Brook had a Prairie, a couple towhees (finally for the local ‘commute’) and the usual shorebirds.

Thursday 9/3: Nothing exciting at Dunback.

Friday 9/4: Tanager, Red-shoulder, Purple Finch at Rock Meadow, nothing at the duck ponds.

Saturday 9/5: Went out to Watatic. Five loons at Fitchburg Res on the way out. Good warbler show on the way up including 4 Tennessee plus a cuckoo and a few other things. Hawkwatch was slow. Shadow Darners but nothing better on the way back down.

Sunday 9/6: Horn Pond was pretty busy, Olive-sided the most interesting. No egrets though. Turnstones on Magnolia Beach later among the usual stuff.

Monday 9/7: Thrasher at Danehy. Nothing much at Draw Seven and Earhart (75 Semipalmated Sandpipers, RE Vireo). No parking by Point of Pines, nothing at Belle Isle, still no parking at Point of Pines.

Tuesday 9/8: Found the flock of warblers that the Golden-winged was with the other day at Dunback but it wasn’t among them. Also Veery, not too much else.

WIR 8/26-9/1

Wednesday 8/26: Least Flycatcher at BBN, bit disappointing otherwise. Red-eyed Vireo still feeding young was interesting, otherwise redstart and the usual shorebirds. Quick stop at Hardy Pond since I had to loop around had 2 kingfishers chasing each other.

Thursday 8/27: Figured Simon’s Lark Sparrow was long gone from Pine Hill but Kaveski and Meriam’s would be worth a try. Tons of House Finches, Mourning Doves, and a good number of Bobolinks but not much else. Wasn’t thrilled to see the nearby reports later.

Friday 8/28: Thought about Great Meadows but ended up at Hobbs Brook again. Semipalmated Plover for the ‘commute’ finally, 9+ kingbirds, and Least Flycatcher was #180 for the res area, and not too much else.

Saturday 8/29: Figured the storm would make for something at Great Meadows. Very little for the first hour or two, but eventually had a bit with Cliff Swallow, Pec, Semipalmated Plover, and bittern plus harrier and snipe. Quick pond loop after had nothing as the rain got heavier.

Sunday 8/30: Got a space at Deer Island. Very little in the trees, not too much on the water either. Seaweed bed at the tip had a bunch of shorebirds including 4 Ruddy Turnstone. Went towards Point of Pines after but the tide was too high. Same at Draw Seven, so went to Habitat to look for the GW Warbler. No luck with that or much else birdwise but 4 species of darner included a Swamp.

Monday 8/31: Back to Habitat. Had to leave before the GW showed up but had first of fall Magnolia and Parula among 7 other warblers. Pileated flying along Concord Ave on the way home.

Tuesday 9/1: More or less the usual at BBN, 6 warblers included Ovenbird and BT Green.

WIR 8/19-8/25

Wednesday 8/19: Falzone and West Meadow were fairly quiet. Hummingbird around the yard in the evening.

Thursday 8/20: More or less the usual at Hobbs Brook, Prairie, 3 Hoodies among the most interesting. Red-spotted Purple in the yard was new for the yard.

Friday 8/21: Quiet at Watertown Square, 5 minutes at the duck ponds had the usual sandpipers.

Saturday 8/22: Attempted a south shore loop. Squantum marshes had lots of peep but all in the sun. Too many cars at Squaw Rock. Went to Scituate Reservoir but looked like parking was all roadside and busy traffic, so gave up. Great Pond still had high water. Grebe was still at the res, Peregrine at Hobbs Brook (but no night-heron).

Sunday 8/23: Quick check of Nobscot had not much. Hager Land and Have Not Pond in Boxborough had the usual birds, got a decent number for the town list. Drive by off Hobbs Brook had a couple Lesser Yellowlegs.

Monday 8/24: Construction meant Hobbs Brook was the easiest place to hit. Egret and one night-heron at the Mill St marsh, couple Semipalmated Sandpipers among the Leasts, and a flyover Pileated.

Tuesday 8/25: Zabulon Skipper and lots of kingbirds at Dunback. Five nighthawks over the house later.