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.

WIR 12/13-12/19

Wednesday 12/13: Red-shoulder at the West Meadow, nothing much at Falzone.

Thursday 12/14: Grackles and a couple other blackbirds were about it at Dunback.

Friday 12/15: Walked to Hardy, about the same as it’s been. Flock of Red-wings at Graverson and the scaup the most interesting.

Saturday 12/16: Planned something of a CBC scouting trip along the Charles. Started at Watertown Square. RC Kinglet by the pool then my phone dinged with a message about Bell’s Vireo in Weymouth. Decided to finish the loop instead of turning straight around, adding a catbird and 2 cowbirds but that was about it. Zipped down to Webb SP and found that the bird had gone missing 5-10 minutes earlier. An hour and a half later, Chris Floyd found it up above where we had been staking out. Fortunately, I got a few brief views but no photos. Also had county Snow Bunting go over and a sulphur flying around. Thanks Josh, Chris, Val, Sally, etc! Quick check of Wollaston Beach, Norumbega, and the res had the usual ducks.

Sunday 12/17: CBC. Barred Owl, siskins, a Purple Finch, and a few blackbirds at Dunback. Robins, robins, robins, and a Pileated at Falzone. Lot of ducks at Hardy (all the same that have been there). Sapsucker at Gore for a six woodpecker day, a few kinglets along the Charles but it was pretty dreary by then. Way over our previous species total, just would have liked that one weird bird.

Monday 12/18: nice out

Tuesday 12/19: Nothing different at BBN.

WIR 12/6-12/12

Wednesday 12/6: Nothing exciting at BBN.

Thursday 12/7: Even less at Hanscom.

Friday 12/8: Usual at Forest Grove.

Saturday 12/9: Started with a Suffolk run. Got 10 new December Suffolk birds at Millennium but no Wilson’s. Yellowthroat, flyover Horned Larks, 2-3 Marsh Wrens the highlights. Red-shoulder was at Cow Island Pond. Nothing interesting (no Pileated) at Allendale Woods. Was planning on Nahanton after but saw the eider report from Earhart and rushed that way. No luck, Wood Duck from Station Landing the most interesting.

Sunday 12/10: Another eider attempt. Went to the Everett side today. Yellowthroat by the casino but not much else, few ducks today. Decided to make a quick coastal run from there. Started at Revere Beach, which had a ton of scoters and Herring Gulls. Fisherman’s Bend had 3 Dunlin. Quick check from one of the parking lots at Crystal Cove had the yellowlegs, which was what I actually came over for (December bird). Stopped at Rivergreen Park on the way home and dug up the towhee but not much else. And gave Draw Seven a quick check, which was quiet.

Monday 12/11: Too wet, bunch of mergs and Ring-necks at the res.

Tuesday 12/12: Ruby-crowned Kinglet crossing between Cookson and Gore.

WIR 11/29-12/5

Wednesday 11/29: Nothing much at Dunback.

Thursday 11/30: Tried for crossbills at Brewster’s Woods and somewhat surprisingly had 4. Also Winter Wren, 3 Common Mergansers, etc.

Friday 12/1: Weston Station Pond had 3-4 Gadwall, a pintail, and the Clay-colored.

Saturday 12/2: Mt. Auburn had 3(!) Orange-crowns.

Sunday 12/3: Couldn’t find anything driving around in the rain.

Monday 12/4: Usual ducks at Arlington Res, no shorebirds or interesting land birds.

Tuesday 12/5: Crossbill and lots of geese at Great Meadows.