After a pretty quiet morning Sunday, I made one last stop at the greenhouse side of the Waltham St. fields. The back corner has been good for Connecticut Warbler in the past, so I made a bit of a beeline there. Just a House Wren and a couple phoebes in the veggies. Working the back side, I saw one of the farm workers pull in. Waved hello, said hi to the dog, and worked my way to the front.
Still wasn’t seeing much of anything as I worked my way out when a hawk flew up from the ground in the plowed section. It seemed a bit odd shapewise and looked pretty dark, so I went for the camera and started firing away. It went up and circled a bit before drifting off.
Looked down at the photos and it was pretty clearly not something I was expecting around here. I quickly checked Sibley, the HWI app, and a few Macaulay photos and found nothing to go against Swainson’s. Still not believing, I sent a back of camera photo out (should have captioned “talk me down” instead of just “thoughts?”).
No immediate response and with the bird apparently having drifted off, I decided going home and looking at photos on screen was the best thing. Got the first confirmation back before I got to the computer and that was enough to send out the messages and emails.
Unfortunately the weather deteriorated and despite people spread out, it didn’t reappear.
And since I didn’t post the previous one:
Thanks plover crew!
Thanks Scott (and Justin)!
Sunday afternoon, the Middlesex RBA group dinged with a picture of a Barnacle Goose at Bullough’s Pond in Newton. No way to chase it then, but I figured I could stop by on the way home Monday. It turned out the bird had been seen at the cemetery too, but disappeared shortly after.
Monday turned crappier than expected and I ended up lazing around but reports were negative anyway. I thought the Charles seemed a likely place and planned on a few stops Tuesday.
Tuesday morning, I pulled in at the Norumbega parking lot (where I actually had been when the initial message came through, unfortunately I was about to pick up a sub and didn’t have time or optics to have chased it then). Lots of geese including a few down the road but nothing exciting. Behind Charlesbank was pretty dead, so I continued to Forest Grove.
Parking at Auburndale Park, I decided to do the river side first instead of my normal loop through Flowed Meadow and along the landfill. Nothing near the playground. I went down the tiny trail that gives a view partway down. There were two Canadas sitting in the river right there and I almost didn’t, but then decided I could hide behind the big tree without bothering them too much. A quick scan didn’t show much but there were a few geese down near the dock and one looked pretty white-headed. I quickly jogged down to the pump house where the view was more open and there was the Barnacle Goose!
Messages sent, then a quick walk to make sure at least one of us was on the Waltham side. Waited around for a few in case anyone was nearby, then made a quick loop down to the cove. Came back to watch the goose drifting north but fortunately the first arrivals were there.
Hopefully it’ll be consistent in habits for a few days and let others catch up.
Been quite some time since I had 2 new birds at Great Meadows in a day (2019, which was also the last year I had more than 1 in the year).
Should have been 3 but the ibis didn’t cooperate.
Too close to dusk for photos. Thanks Andrea!
Hard to explain how I define it, but #300 for my 16 town local area!
After nothing new for the ‘commute’ list in a couple months (missing multiple Yellow-throated Warblers among other things), two this week. The Golden-winged Warbler at Mt. Auburn was moderately expected. This wasn’t though:
That means only 10 from the 250 milestone. Obvious birds remaining are Common Nighthawk (tougher because of the time that qualifies as ‘commuting’), Clay-colored Sparrow, Surf Scoter, Northern Saw-whet Owl, and Worm-eating Warbler. Others that seem reasonable include Lesser Black-backed Gull, Lapland Longspur, Gray-cheeked Thrush (have a /Bicknell’s that I could count), Red-headed Woodpecker, Upland Sandpiper, and Worm-eating Warbler. Black Vulture, Nelson’s Sparrow, White-eyed Vireo, Short-billed Dowitcher, and Sandhill Crane are all reasonable too. And plenty of random rarities.
Averaging 8-9 a year for the last couple years, so likely still a year away.