WIR 11/23-11/29

Wednesday 11/23: Mostly the usual at Weston Station Pond, but a Ruddy and Lesser Scaup were in with the Ring-necks, finally got a Tree Sparrow, and a pipit flew over the solar field (that’s 3 town birds!).

Thursday 11/24: Gave Waltham St and Dunback a quick run before Thanksgiving festivities. Usual stuff at Waltham St. Got back to Dunback and scanned through a big junco flock to find a Dickcissel among them. Also a towhee (not the one that’s been around?) and a catbird or two plus lots of Purple Finches and a Field Sparrow. No birding in Otis but did get Common Merganser and Barred Owl in Hampden coming/going.

Friday 11/25: Nothing different at the res. Hanscom was fairly quiet, did get a Fox Sparrow there finally. Usual ducks, a couple eagles, and a Pileated at Great Meadows.

Saturday 11/26: Heard Pond was quiet. Gadwall among the regulars at the swamp on Pelham Island Rd. Walked the length of Water Row, Pileated was about the only thing of interest. Gave the Old 27 Bridge an hour but very little was flying around. Starlings were it at Nine Acre, no birds at School St although the lark flock flew over as I was pulling onto Rt. 2. Horned Grebe continued at Flint’s, nothing new at the res or Hardy.

Sunday 11/27: Got the Red-throated Loon at Horn Pond but missed Bonaparte’s Gull, Evening Grosbeak, pintail, etc. Did have a nice Merlin, a Yellow-rump, Lesser Scaup, and a few other things. Quick pond loop had nothing. Check for Sam’s Blackburnian in Acton without luck, but an otter was quite nice. Afternoon check of the res had the same.

Monday 11/28: Cookson was quiet beyond a possible Yellow-rump being drowned out by geese. River was quiet too except for a Horned Lark flying over the pool (Charles #177!).

Tuesday 11/29: Not much change at Arlington Res, Redhead, Orange-crowned, etc still around plus a Yellow-rump.

WIR 11/16-11/22

Wednesday 11/16: Pond loop in the rain. Same in lesser numbers at the res. Geese, starlings, and a dove were all at Nine Acre. Same ducks at Flint’s but a big flock of gulls was dropping in. Unfortunately it was quite foggy and they were at the limit of what I could make out with the scope. Snapped a few photos and got ready to leave, but gave them a quick check first and an Iceland Gull was reasonably obvious, so I got back out and got the scope on it. Couldn’t pick anything else out though.

Thursday 11/17: Couple cormorants along Old County Rd. Chipping Sparrow and bluebirds at BBN.

Friday 11/18: Catbird, towhee, 2 Fox Sparrows at Dunback.

Saturday 11/19: Deer Island had the usual ducks, a few siskins, rb nuthatches, etc. Hairy was probably the biggest surprise. The Bonaparte’s at Earhart was fairly cooperative but not much else.

Sunday 11/20: Cold Spring Park had tons of robins, a bluebird, GH Owl, and not too much else. Usual ducks at Chestnut Hill. No luck with sapsucker at Hall’s Pond in the wind and no close space for a quick run around Fenway.

Monday 11/21: Falzone had a ton of waxwings and robins plus a Chipping Sparrow. Fox Sparrow and lots of geese over the West Meadow.

Tuesday 11/22: Fairly quiet at Habitat, lot of juncos and robins in the meadows but nothing much in the woods. Crossbill flew over the road as I walked to Weeks though, which ties my ‘commute’ year record. Nice sapsucker at the pond too.

WIR 11/9-11/15

Wednesday 11/9: Started at McClennen, got over to the pond and a Lark Sparrow popped up! Unfortunately lots of dog walkers, so it probably didn’t hang around much. Wouldn’t be shocked if it was the LCF bird. Also a siskin going over and a few Hoodies.

Continued to Arlington Res where I had just enough time to race around. Redhead is #186 on the ‘commute’ year list, super long shot but 200 isn’t impossible. Also a coot and a few Bufflehead.

Thursday 11/10: Took a chance that the Cave Swallow would be back at Great Meadows (or replaced by another). No luck and not much different than Tuesday, few less ducks, few more coots, walked the loop so more passerines.

Friday 11/11: Very quiet at Cookson and east of the square. Mt. Auburn had a snacking Merlin but not much else. Stopped at BBN on the way home and found the Ring-neck was still there.

Saturday 11/12: Started with a pond loop while waiting for the rain to leave. Common Mergansers and goldeneye were in but otherwise pretty quiet. Lots of Canadas but no interesting geese at Nine Acre. Once it cleared, I headed to Kaveski where I did not have the Bullock’s Oriole or too much else (5 meadowhawks and 3 Orange Sulphurs though). Figured Tanner’s Brook was worth a try but not much there either.

Sunday 11/13: Started at the res, 75 Ring-necks, otherwise the same. Also a bunch of Wood Ducks down Old County. Rain had picked up by the time I reached Draw Seven but I walked around. Nothing of note there, so over to Earhart. Weather got a bit better for a short while, catbird in front of Encore was about it though. Rain picked back up, but I checked the Mystic Lakes and Hardy Pond (nothing at all) on the way home.

Monday 11/14: Figured the winds made Cave Swallow a possibility so picked Great Meadows over Kaveski. No swallow and other things were just starting to pick up, would have loved a few more hours out there. Good movement of Herring Gulls and 4-5 Turkey Vultures plus most of the stuff that’s been there (no coot or pintail for me today).

Tuesday 11/15: Gave Kaveski another shot at the oriole. No luck obviously but 4 Fox Sparrows and a Fish Crow. Quick stop at Flint’s had a flyover siskin and a few more ducks.

WIR 11/2-11/8

Wednesday 11/2: BBN had a Lincoln’s and Field Sparrow plus a calling rail (November county #3). A meadowhawk by the basketball court was nice too.

Thursday 11/3: Sun and traffic made me second guess Fresh Pond, so I took the convenient turn and went to Lone Tree Hill. Lots of cormorants, 3 loons, a flock of siskins, and little else. Decided to cut and run across the street and had more of not much at Rock Meadow beyond a pair of bluebirds.

Friday 11/4: Lexington Community Farm, had the Orange-crowned but no Lark Sparrow or (likely BH) grosbeak and was too rushed to scan the water at the res. Sharpie was a ‘commute’ year bird somehow.

Saturday 11/5: Started at Danehy. Siskin high overhead was just about the first bird out of the car, Barred Owl later was nice but otherwise fairly quiet. Fresh Pond was very quiet. Shorebirds continued at Arlington Res, nothing in the fields, Redhead showed well. Afternoon check of Cambridge Res had a Peregrine on the rocks, which had me baffled until I got the scope on it.

Sunday 11/6: Coastal run, started at the greenway/cemetery which was pretty quiet (did add GC Kinglet and Yellow-rump to the Belle Isle patch list, so very exciting). Winthrop Beach had a close RT Loon and the usual stuff on the rocks. Lewis Lake wasn’t exciting. Belle Isle proper had 2 different eagles fly over but not much else. Lawn Ave had FOF Tree Sparrow. Quick check of Norumbega on the way home had a bunch of GW Teal and 2 coot.

Monday 11/7: Was stepping out the door to go to Dunback but it was raining way too hard (where’d that come from?) so checked the res (1 scaup among the Hoodies) and Flint’s (zero). Sun was out by then, so I went to Lindentree as it was nearby. Two (or twenty) Horned Larks, lots of bluebirds, a Sharpie, etc.

Tuesday 11/8: Went to Great Meadows hoping for some movement on the NW winds. Winds felt more west than northwest but there were lots of ducks around, highlighted by a pintail and 3+ wigeon. Also a coot, harrier, TV, and lots of blackbirds.

WIR 10/26-11/1

Wednesday 10/26: Parula and a possibly interesting thrush at Cookson, not much in the fog on the river (too much traffic to get east of the square where I actually wanted to go).

Thursday 10/27: Nothing on the res. Finally checked out the Umbrello Hay Field, intersting-ish White-crown among the usual stuff. Nothing on Flint’s either.

Friday 10/28: Started at the Ricci Fields. Pretty quiet, coyote the most interesting thing, surprisingly few sparrows. Was planning on Flint’s anyway, but saw a post about Black Scoters on the NH list and rushed over a bit faster. Today was the fallout day, with 40 there. Had just enough time to check the res too. Only 4 but a White-winged too and 3 Bufflehead.

Saturday 10/29: Bit lazy, started at Mary Cummings, which had a towhee, a few Purple Finches, a sharpie, and not too much else. Sandy Beach had Ring-necks and a Blackpoll, the south end of the lakes had a Sapsucker. Meadowbrook had another Purple, nothing at Spy Pond. McClennen was too crowded by then, Waltham St. had the usual.

Sunday 10/30: Originally planned on Belle Isle but decided I didn’t want to deal with hoards looking for the solitaire, so I got up early and went back out to Wachusett Res. Didn’t need to be quite so early, the LeConte’s appeared to sleep in until 7:40. And I’m pretty sure sleep in is correct, I heard and saw nothing from 7:15 until then and picked it up by a little rustle in the vegetation. Great looks at 10 feet or less away.

Once I had my fill of the sparrow, I gave the water a quick scope. Long-tailed Duck was another county bird but not much else (Snow Bunting earlier was good too). I then went to gate 8 and hiked down to the water there. Very little around and the heat shimmer made deciphering the few (dabbling) ducks all but impossible.

Next was a quick scan of the Tufts fields but the kingbird wasn’t obvious, so I headed to Sudbury Res. Stopped at Big Chauncy on the way but saw no birds. At the res, I found my other target easily (coot), a bunch of Ring-necks, and a few passerines. Then home via Heard Pond (nothing) and Cambridge Res (wigeon).

Monday 10/31: Looked for the shoveler at Alewife without luck. Three hundred plus grackles and a Blackpoll were about it. Did fill in a couple gaps on the audio list, so just need one more for my goal of 100 species prework (unfortunately the swan stopped calling by the time I thought to try for that).

Tuesday 11/1: Quick res check had a Ruddy and another duck fly off before I got a look. Arlington Res started slow, only a snipe on my first couple scans. The farm didn’t have anything at the back except a Red-tail was calling to hit #100 recorded. Around the berm, I picked up the Solitary (November bird #1). Looped the rest of the way without anything, gave it one last check on the way out and had the Pecs, Yellowlegs, and Least (November #2).

WIR 10/19-10/25

Wednesday 10/19: In office day so got out to the Wayland Community Gardens. Tons of sparrows although I didn’t find any of interest. Male Purple Finch about the most interesting thing.

Thursday 10/20: Dunback had a ton of sparrows and robins plus a few Purple Finches, a late Pine Warbler, and a couple Hermit Thrushes.

Friday 10/21: White-crowned at Gaining Ground, Red-shoulder at Hanscom, lots of the usual stuff too.

Saturday 10/22: Did a Quincy run. Quick check of the res partially because the car was fogging up only had swans. Squantum Point Park was loaded with robins, House Finches, and common sparrows. Dug a Clay-colored out eventually but nothing else terribly noteworthy. Passanageset was windy and fairly quiet. Thrashed around enough to get a Nelson’s finally. Ran into Vin partway around who told me he had an Orange-crowned a few seconds earlier. No luck with that, but one flew across in front of me just before I got back to the car, so two county birds today (and with the Clay-colored, 3 questionably upgraded to finds).

Sunday 10/23: Worked the Sudbury River a bit. Started at the Old 27 Bridge. No NW winds and it’s grown up enough to make it tough to see down the river. Walked the bridge and the chip I couldn’t place (but expected Fox Sparrow) turned out to be a very late waterthrush! Hung around enough for 2 harriers and a sharpie. Went down Water Row but there was a photographer right where I wanted to park, so I continued to Lincoln Meadows first. Did the gardens and a loop to Pantry Brook, which were birdy but more of the same. Back to Water Row where I walked just about the whole length. Managed 40 species including 2 harriers (at least one of which was not one of the ones from the bridge), a Red-shoulder with a snack, 3 yellowthroats, a bunch of Purple Finches, and 2 Lincoln’s Sparrows. Quick check of the res in the afternoon had a bluebird but not much on the water.

Monday 10/24: Was planning on the res then Great Meadows if the rain wasn’t too bad, but fog and dark made me go straight to Great Meadows. Lots of sparrows along the dike included a Vesper (Great Meadows bird #205!) and 2 White-crowns. Also flyover pipts and snipe. Bailed a drop early to hit the res, which had a bunch of gulls but nothing else.

Tuesday 10/25: Yellowthroat about it at the West Meadow, 4 Purple Finches at BBN.

WIR 10/12-10/18

Wednesday 10/12: Pipit and White-crowned at Kaveski/Meriam’s were SRV year birds but that was about it.

Thursday 10/13: Sapsucker, Nashville, not much else at Rock Meadow, duck ponds were quiet in a very quick run..

Friday 10/14: Nothing in the rain.

Saturday 10/15: Got to Wachusett a bit late for the LeConte’s but did have a decent showing of more regular stuff. Unfortunately not much on the water either. Two checks at Gate 37, plus a stop at 25 and at the dam. Afternoon check of the res had geese and swans.

Sunday 10/16: Barrett’s Mill was pretty busy, took over half an hour for the species to minute ratio to fall below 1. Likely crossbill and siskin the highlights but lots of blackbirds and stuff too. Tried the Hugh Cargill gardens after, nothing much beyond a Field Sparrow. Waltham St. next, checked both sections for the first time this year. Another Dickcissel, a couple ravens, lots of Palms and Savannahs, etc plus a Common Green Darner.

Monday 10/17: Most of the shorebirds were still at Arlington Res although I didn’t dig out the White-rump and peep in the time I had. Blue Grosbeak took some time but started calling and then showed just as I was walking away. That and the snipe make 150 species photographed before work this year meeting that goal (ed: missed one, so the snipe was 150, grosbeak 151), still 6 away from my goal of 100 audio recorded.

Tuesday 10/18: Some interesting specks too far out at the res. Great Meadows next except it was chained off, so Kaveski instead. Harrier, Field Sparrow, not too much else.

WIR 10/5-10/11

Wednesday 10/5: Did an extended pond check (res, Flint’s, Mystic Lakes (skipping the south end, oops), Spy, Fresh, Hardy and had essentially nothing to show for it.

Thursday 10/6: Back to the south end of the lakes. Got the Golden-winged within a couple minutes, also Black-and-white, Purple Finch, Philadelphia Vireo, ton of kinglets. No GC Thrush and probably overlooked the Acadian.

Friday 10/7: Danehy had a ton of sparrows, White-crowned the most interesting. Also Nashville, 2 Peregrines, a few Purple Finches, etc.

Saturday 10/8: Decided to do the long walk to Rock Meadow or so for a change. Really should do it more often. Wasn’t the most exciting but an Orange-crowned was a new nonmotorized bird. Also a pair of BT Blues and a Red-shoulder were about it for the rest among 50 species.

Sunday 10/9: Led the MBC walk at Waltham St. Lots of the usual sparrows, a few warblers, etc. Most of us went to Dunback for a bit after and had more of the same. Hobbs Brook only had 2 Greater Yellowlegs and a few Killdeer for shorebirds but a flock of 30 Palm Warblers and a bunch of sparrows were nice. Got back to the car and noticed some movement along the highway and found a flock of Purple Finch (6+) and a Rusty Blackbird.

Monday 10/10: Did a complete loop of Millennium. At least 17 Purple Finches, the Clay-colored, and a few other things, lots of birds around. Nahanton next, usual stuff in the gardens. Drove through Norumbega on the way home and had nothing, then watched an eagle fly right over as I got back on the highway. Checked the res too, another eagle, 5 Ring-necks with a teal(!?) mixed in, and 5 Ruddy. Went to Arlington Res later in the afternoon and had 3 White-rumps, 2 snipe, 2 pecs, a pipit, etc.

Tuesday 10/11: Usual at Cookson and along the river, but the otters were back.

WIR 9/28-10/4

Wednesday 9/28: Kaveski had a pile of sparrows, a Dickcissel, a Peregrine, and a handful of warblers.

Thursday 9/29: Arlington Res had a Purple Finch, few warblers, PB Grebe, Greater Yellowlegs, and first local junco of the fall.

Friday 9/30: Weston Station Pond had a towhee, Merlin, lots of Yellow-rumps, a couple Solitaries, a couple GW Teal, and an eagle.

Saturday 10/1: Started at Great Meadows but the storm didn’t quite reach, so it was dead beyond Swamp and Song Sparrows. Started to head to Barrett’s Mill but the rain finally arrived so I gave it 20 minutes without anything dropping in. Rain picked up so I decided not to walk Barrett’s Mill and went to the res instead, which was quiet. Wasn’t as bad so I went to Rock Meadow, which was moderately birdy but nothing new (and no hummingbird or Cape May or anything).

Sunday 10/2: Thought trying Deer Island with NE winds would be a good idea. They turned out to be a bit strong, although I did find a somewhat sheltered spot partway around. A few ducks, one presumed shearwater, and lots of Laughing Gulls were about it. Went to Earhart next, still too windy but had a nice flock of Yellow-rumps and Blackpolls that included a parula and Cape May.

Monday 10/3: Tried Rock Meadow ago, still windy and the sun was staying away so it was pretty quiet. Three loons going over were about it, so I bailed and checked the res but no ducks had dropped in.

Tuesday 10/4: Blue-headed Vireo (first of fall finally) and a parula were about it at Dunback.

WIR 9/21-9/27

Wednesday 9/21: BT Green, Nashville, Lincoln’s, oriole or two at Rock Meadow.

Thursday 9/22: Too dark and eventually rainy to see anything.

Friday 9/23: 2 Lincoln’s, 2 redstart, Black-and-white, Palm, not much else at Dunback.

Saturday 9/24: Led my first MBC walk in ages at BBN. Best day of the fall although a lot wasn’t really cooperative. Ten species of warblers including Tennessee and Bay-breasted plus a few raptors, 4 GW Teal, etc. Went to Rock Meadow after where I didn’t see the Prothonotary, did add a few more including a tanager. Tried again late afternoon with no luck beyond a White-crowned Sparrow.

Sunday 9/25: Decided to continue with my original plan of the Wayland Community Garden and wait on Rock Meadow. Gardens started good with a male harrier and a Dickcissel at Cow Common. Clouded over and got a bit quiet, but I did get a Blackburnian in the woods (SRV bird!) although a possible Bay-breasted got away. Gardens themselves weren’t terribly active. Decided on a quick check of Heard Pond, which was good with 3 species of swallows and a Ring-neck. Rock Meadow was birdy off and on but no Prothonotary again. No luck with the Orange-crowned either but did have 2 tanagers, a Chestnut-sided, Parula, BT Green, and Nashville plus a mantis. 

Monday 9/26: One more try at Rock Meadow. Just about everything from the previous few days was around except for the Prothonotary. Prairie, tanager, Black-and-white, possible Orange-crowned were the highlights.

Tuesday 9/27: Still a few peep and Semipalmated Plovers at Hobbs Brook but nothing better. Walked the hillside a bit but the cloud cover and highway noise made it quite tough.