Modern Birding

Rough timeline from Saturday:

11:14 Pull into the tennis court lot at Dunback.

11:20: Reach the first boardwalk and hear interesting finches, decide to check by the gardens instead of heading to the Bowman end.

11:33: Find some crossbills.

11:38: Pull out phone at get a recording.

11:46 They’ve quieted down, text recording to Tim.

11:48: Tim says type 1 and 10 by ear, sonogram check proceeding.

11:49: OMGOSH 1, 3, and 10!!!!!

11:55 Tim sends edited clip with sonogram.

So, 20 minutes in the field from discovery to expert analysis to full documentation.

Commute 222

Thinking my goal of six new commute birds might be a bit too easy, this is already #3 for the year (shrike and crossbill).


An Odd Duo

Nice surprise at Arlington Res today. Did have a brief Hammond’s flashback when it flew away from the farm and disappeared before anyone else arrived but fortunately it went to the edge of the res and spent the day there. Guessing there aren’t too many photos of this combo (or with a Mallard which I also have).


Blue Grosbeak


And much better views when first found

Blue Grosbeak


Planned to spend some time Saturday looking for new Bedford birds. Targets were Red-breasted Nuthatch and American Tree Sparrow at Hanscom and then look for ducks at Fawn Lake and along the river. Didn’t find either target at Hanscom and didn’t make it further:

Hammond's Flycatcher!

5th state record I think.

Unfortunately a two hour wonder, fortunately the locals got it and everyone else saw last year’s Fells bird.

Patch Highlights

Putting a bit of effort into getting a patch list to 200. Which will be first? Beaver Brook/Rock Meadow at 166, Charles at 162, or Cambridge Res at 166? The answer is Great Meadows at 195. However of those 3, it’s a tough call. I suspect the res, mostly because it has the largest number of common birds missing (2 sparrows, 6+ warblers, 2 thrushes, 2 swallows, 2-3 vireos, a couple flycatchers, a couple shorebirds, a few raptors) plus a decent number of somewhat expected rarities (mostly waterfowl and shorebirds). The Charles is about the same but with the cove cleaned up, the potential for shorebirds seems to have gone down. BBN just doesn’t have the habitat for waterbirds and I’ve seen most of the expected land birds.

That leads in to this week. If I wrote this last Monday, the Res list was 162. Two visits to Hobbs Brook (mostly hoping for Cliff and Bank Swallow) added 4 species. Three were somewhat expected: Blue-winged Warbler, Prairie Warbler, and Black-billed Cuckoo (all heard only unfortunately). The fourth was a bit better. Walking back to the car, a Hooded Warbler started singing! Lousy light and lots of trees made photos impossible though.