WIR 9/26-10/2

Wednesday 9/26: Nashville, few Purple Finches, Red-shoulder (or two?) at Rock Meadow.

Thursday 9/27: Traffic on the way to Westborough, so not enough time. Lots of the common stuff.

Friday 9/28: Great Meadows was pretty quiet in the rain. Lots of sparrows on the path, nothing exciting among them. Only shorebirds were 2 Leasts flying over and nothing much in ducks.

Saturday 9/29: Squantum area run. Very little at Squaw Rock and the marshes. Commander Shea was busy, Northern Waterthrush and Lincoln’s Sparrow the best. Nut Island had a big but distant feeding frenzy. Passanageset Park had lots of sparrows but little else.

Sunday 9/30: Joined the MBC walk at Waltham St, which wasn’t overly exciting (few Lincoln’s about it). After we did the equally dull Dunback, I continued to Kaveski. Pec at the back, then a nice close Red-shoulder flyover. Walked down the road a bit and had a late nighthawk and a very late gnatcatcher. Ricci Fields next, Pileated and coyote about it. Had enough time to buzz the res (7 Ruddy) and Hardy Pond (1 Ruddy, 2 Greater Scaup) before the game.

Monday 10/1: BBN was pretty busy, had about 30 species on the parkway alone. Philadelphia Vireo the best, along with a few warblers and sparrows.

Tuesday 10/2: Arlington Res had a few ducks and too much rain to find much else.

WIR 9/19-9/25

Wednesday 9/19: Nothing in the yard.

Thursday 9/20: Turned the wrong way on 495 to go to Westborough so went to Waseeka instead. Very little there, but looks interesting for late May next year.

Friday 9/21: First of fall Lincoln’s and White-throated Sparrow and Blackpoll Warbler plus a couple other warblers at the Wayland Community Gardens.

Saturday 9/22: Danehy was a bust, Barn Swallow the only thing of note. Waltham St was pretty busy, added 3 birds to my list there: Cape May and BT Blue Warblers plus RB Nuthatch. Few Palms, Blackpolls, Nashvilles, and Purple Finches as well. Water up a bit at Hobbs Brooks and not much for shorebirds but a mixed flock along the road had a Philadelphia Vireo and a harrier flew over the water, numbers 169 and 170 for me here!

Sunday 9/23: Started at Nahanton. Big flock moving around when I arrived, failed to pull anything beyond Blackpoll and Parula from it (which was pretty much all others had too, so maybe failed isn’t the right word). Worked the sunny side of the gardens after the flock dispersed and added Cape May and Palm plus flyover Osprey. Moved on to Cutler Lake. No birds on the water. Wood Thrush near the river opening was good as was a singing Warbling Vireo at the end of the offices. Also finally got Blackpoll and BT Green for Norfolk. Next stop Millennium which was very quiet. Leucistic robin and the Red-shoulder calling were about it. Went to Brook Farm to try to see the hawk, succeeded with naked eye view as it flew away but did have a Nashville and Black-and-white.

Monday 9/24: Cool, cloudy, and windy at BBN. Scold tape brought in a few parulas and BT Green but pretty minimal beyond that.

Tuesday 9/25: Had to get some car stuff done, so only a brief stop at Purgatory. BH Vireo and a couple Blackpolls along the road was about it.

WIR 9/12-9/18

Wednesday 9/12: 3 Parula, BT Green, Nashville, little else at BBN.

Thursday 9/13: Farm Pond was pretty quiet. Osprey and the jays once again were working a GH Owl but not much else.

Friday 9/14: Yellow Warbler about it at Rock Meadow.

Saturday 9/15: MBC walk at BBN was fairly quiet. One big flock in awful light that moved downhill quickly so we missed more than we got. We continued to Rock Meadow, which had Purple Finches. A couple of us continued to McClennen (nothing) and Arlington Res (few shorebirds) and then I did Hobbs Brook (usual).

Sunday 9/16: Went out to Watatic. Three loons at Fitchburg Res plus a few warblers there and at Ashby Res on the way over. Cape May on the way up plus a Winter Wren just short of the summit. Stayed with the hawkwatch until late afternoon. Wasn’t a great day but just enough to keep interest up.

Monday 9/17: College Pond was pretty quiet.

Tuesday 9/18: Checked ponds for any storm-related stuff, didn’t find anything better than a few Hooded Mergansers at Flint’s.

WIR 9/5-9/11

Wednesday 9/5: GH Owl but not much else at BBN.

Thursday 9/6: Bunch of Semi Plovers finally at Hobbs Brook plus a few teal.

Friday 9/7: First of fall Magnolia among six warblers at Prospect Hill.

Saturday 9/8: Did a Squantum run. Squaw Rock was pretty quiet, eventually dug out a Magnolia at the tip, then had a Red-shoulder and a Prairie on the way back out. Nothing much at the marshes. Decided to head inland a bit. Milton Landing had an eagle and Osprey but no night-herons. Surprised to find the Caspian Terns still at Great Pond, although they did appear to move off. Quick scan of the gulls had me thinking one looked like a Lesser Black-back in flight, but it landed and was the same color as the adjacent bird. Further down, I watched a presumed scaup sp fly to the gulls flock and then disappear. Basically no land birds at the far end, so started back. Managed to sort of scope the Snowy Egret down by Oak St, then noticed 3 gulls on the rocks. All dark mantled and with yellow legs. Took some time to convince myself, but 3 Lesser Black-backs they were. Nothing else of note on the way out and nothing new at Hobbs Brook in a quick check (and no teal).

Lesser Black backs

Sunday 9/9: Lexington loop. Dunback was tough work but managed 40+ species including Wilson’s Warbler, earlyish Palm Warbler, and 4 Purple Finch. Waltham St had an early Yellow-rump. Same at Hobbs Brook. Finished with 60 species and with a few easy ones missing, I wouldn’t be surprised if 80 was possible (if I didn’t go home to watch the game).

Monday 9/10: Heard Farm had water level higher than I expected and no shorebirds. Did have a calling Red-shoulder right there, which was new to Wayland (4th town with all 4 ‘expected’ Buteos). Pulled over at the pond on the way home for 10 seconds and had Bank and Rough-winged Swallows.

Tuesday 9/11: Got rained on and wasn’t finding anything new at Hobbs Brook, so went to Pelham Island Rd. First wigeon of the fall and 3+ Indigo Buntings were good.

WIR 8/29-9/4

Wednesday 8/29: Forest Grove had a RB Nuthatch and a couple other more expected Charles year birds.

Thursday 8/30: Not a whole lot at Rock Meadow. No sandpipers in a quick run around the duck ponds but a waterthrush popped up across the pond on my last scan.

Friday 8/31: Very litlte at Nobscot, 2 RB Nuthatches, 3 Kingbirds, 2 Redstarts, and a Pileated about it. Stopped on Pelham Island Rd on the way home, Solitary and 2 Spotted got Wayland to 100 for the year.

Saturday 9/1: Cambridge was quiet, essentially nothing of note at Danehy. Kingbird at Alewife was about it there. Thorndike field was a complete waste. Blair Pond had 2 Least and a Spotted then 6 Killdeer flew in. Unfortunately what sounded like a Semipalmated Plover overhead didn’t call clearly enough. Raven did though. Meadowbrook had a Scarlet Tanager. Hobbs Brook was starting to show some mud, nothing terribly exciting. Good raptor show at Waltham St with a Broad-wing, Red-shoulder, Sharpie, TV or two, and 4+ Red-tails.

Sunday 9/2: Walked from home to the duck ponds. Ovenbird at Lot 1, RB Nuthatch at West Meadow, 2 BT Green at BBN, and that was about it.

Monday 9/3: Wandered a bit west. Bolton Flats had a Virginia Rail, a couple Bobolink, a redstart, and a Pileated. The farm pond just down the road had a few shorebirds next to it. Nothing at Sterling Peat. Stopped at Hobbs Brook on the way home and had both yellowlegs and a few peep.

Tuesday 9/4: Indigo Bunting, waterthrush, 2 Least plus all the shorebirds from the other day on Pelham Island Rd. Nothing at Heard Pond.

WIR 8/22-8/28

Wednesday 8/22: Too rainy. Gave Norumbega a 2 minute check without anything.

Thursday 8/23: Nobscot again was pretty quiet. Kestrel, one flock of kingbirds about it.

Friday 8/24: Chestnut-sided, B&W, Redstart at Prospect Hill.

Saturday 8/25: Central sweep. Loons in close at Fitchburg Res. Pretty quiet at Blood Hill, BT Green, Yellow-rump, Ovenbird, Chestnut-sided, B&W in one flock and a few RB Nuthatches at the summit about it. Cormorant in the little farm pond on the way to Watatic was #100 for Ashby (town #18 to hit 100). Watatic itself was very quiet. Ruffed Grouse and Purple Finch were the interesting birds and a porcupine was quite nice. Fitch’s Bridge Rd had a bunch of interesting bugs, 5-7 Solitary Sandpipers, and little else.



Sunday 8/26: Joined the MBC walk at Horn Pond. Broad-wing there finally plus a few Redstarts and Black-and-whites. Continued to Sandy Beach where I had a Canada Warbler and Renee’s waterthrush. South end of the lakes had 3 Cooper’s, 4 ravens, and an eagle. Draw Seven had some Semipalmated Sandpipers.

Monday 8/27: Turkey Vulture on the water tower, Red-shoulder along the parkway at BBN.

Tuesday 8/28: Least Flycatcher, waterthrush, etc at Dunback.

WIR 8/15-8/21

Wednesday 8/15: Nothing much at BBN. Lot of odes flying around, but nothing landing.

Thursday 8/16: College Pond had 3+ Indigo Buntings, a redstart, a Chestnut-sided Warbler (finally for Weston), and a good number of other things.

Friday 8/17: No Olive-sided at Nobscot but 25+ kingbirds, a redstart, and a Black-and-white among others.

Saturday 8/18: Last Cranberry Bog ode walk of the season. Went to Nashoba Brook first, hoping to get the Westford list from 0 to 20 or 30. Barely managed 10 in steamy conditions. Cleared up as the walk started although we didn’t have anything exciting.

Sunday 8/19: Started at Draw Seven but the tide was still way up. Bobolink flying around was nice. Went over to Station Landing as I realized I still needed Common Tern for Medford. Got that, plus Great Egret and about 30 in total. Continued to Belle Isle, which was pretty quiet beyond some fly by GW Teal. The Key did have shorebirds including my first White-rumped Sandpipers for Suffolk. Revere Beach had a few Bonaparte’s Gulls but it was too windy to find anything on the water. Returned to Earhart where one interesting shorebird flew by but little else. Rechecked Draw Seven and only had 2 distant peep. Blair Pond had one Least, 30 waxwings but no shorebirds at Beaver Brook, and nothing at BBN.

Monday 8/20: RB Nuthatch and about nothing else at BBN.

Tuesday 8/21: Not much at Lot 1. Enough time to walk down to the West Meadow boardwalk. Quiet there but a Least Flycatcher popped up on the way back.

WIR 8/8-8/14

Wednesday 8/8: 3 Least, 1 Solitary, 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper at Blair Pond. Two more Least at BBN were overdue there (hopefully to be followed by a few other shorebirds this year).

Thursday 8/9: Solitary at BBN, but less of the rest (Cooper’s moving around didn’t help). Woods were 99% mosquitos.

Friday 8/10: Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary, not a whole lot else at Hobbs Brook.

Saturday 8/11: Beat the rain at Horn Pond. Nothing terribly exciting, Hooded Merganser and BC Night-Heron about it. Tried for any storm birds at Great Meadows but the rain didn’t make it there for a good hour even though it was pouring on 128 on the way over. Three Pileateds about it. Nothing at Flint’s, the res, or Hardy.

Sunday 8/12: Attempted Squantum. Very foggy, so started at Squaw Rock Park. Got about 30 feet and it started pouring, so retreated to the car. Eventually it stopped enough to loop around, nothing of interest. Marshes next, lots of peep including a White-rump off the hummock. Fog started to roll in again and I barely checked the pans (and now see that I missed a Stilt Sandpiper…). Decided to try Great Pond instead hoping that inland would have better visibility. It did, although it was a bit rainy. Ovenbird was a pretty nice bird for the spot, nothing else terribly exciting. Got halfway across the causeway and got a text about a Black Tern in Concord. Didn’t run back but didn’t continue either. An hour later and the tern was showing well, if distantly. None at the res and water level was back up a bit at Hobbs Brook.

Monday 8/13: Gnatcatcher and fog at Dunback.

Tuesday 8/14: More fog. Tried the Old Rt. 27 bridge, nothing much moving there and it’s a bit grown up for a good view right now. Had time, so ran over to Heard. A few yellowlegs flew around, an Osprey hunted, and a harrier passed over.

DSA 2018

All the way to Ludlow.

Thursday 8/2: Left the house around 8, was at the Longmeadow sand bar just after 9:30. About the second bird I saw was a juvenile tern, so doubled back for the scope. It appeared to be a Common (first one this year in the county). Decent bit of other stuff including an egret, a few other herons, a peep, etc. On to Fannie Stebbins. Hot and steamy plus wet trails made for a quiet walk. Tried Bondi’s Island next but I wasn’t up for dealing with the dump and moved on.Common TernCommon Tern


After a brief stop at Big Y for water, toothpaste, and lunch, I headed to Mt. Tekoa. Very quiet midafternoon and the distances in the directions didn’t line up (it said 1.1 miles to the reservoir, I went there and back and don’t think I hit one mile). Sapsucker was about the best thing. Made a couple stops along the river on Rt. 20 after but it was high and nothing was seen.

Got to the hotel a little after 4, went out with the group for dinner (forget the name of the place, decent chicken parm), and then got ready for the real meeting.

Friday 8/3: Started with a quick run to Walmart for the long-sleeved shirt I forgot. Drove with Dave, Shelley, and Lenore to the Wilbraham Cedar Swamp. Bit disappointing, we couldn’t find a way actually into the swamp and it was even hotter. Got lots of the usual odes, nothing exciting.

After lunch (forget where again, but good fish sandwich), we decided not to do the long walk at Conant Brook and just worked up the rivers a bit. All 3 dancers, a cooperative spinylegs, and a Swamp Spreadwing or two were the highlights. Got back to the hotel just ahead of a downpour. Later learned that the group that went to the dam had a large darner swarm right where they parked and no rain. Oh well.

Blue fronted DancerBlack shouldered Spinylegs

Swamp Spreadwing


Saturday 8/4: Rode with Glenn, Lenore, and Meena to Facing Rock WMA. Still cloudy (we were delayed an hour or two because of downpours) and nothing exciting here (ovipositing Shadow Darner below).

Ovipositing Shadow Darner

After a lunch stop (decent chicken wrap), we went to where Josh had found Tiger Spiketail last year. He forgot which street the trailhead was on and we ended up at a dead end. A dead end with a Tiger Spiketail flying around! After enjoying that, we found the right spot. I spotted another spiketail and a nymph was dug up.

Tiger Spiketail

Tiger viewing


We continued to a nearby river access where two Zebra Clubtails were flying around. The river was way too high however, and it quickly clouded up. Then started pouring. We bailed and headed towards the hotel but it cleared along the way, so we pulled in at Camp White. Big swarm of darners but all up high except for one Green-striped. Eventually gave up and got back to a car before an even heavier downpour started.

Green striped Darner

After getting back to the hotel, I checked in with Josh and found they had avoided the downpour. We met back up at Camp White but the rain apparently had ended the flight for the night. Stopped at Randall’s for ice cream instead of dinner.

Sunday 8/5: We started the day at Stebbins. It was fairly quiet again, but I did net a Brush-tipped Emerald. We eventually gave up and moved to the river. Turns out there was another access point. No luck with anything right at the river but Michael found a perched Riverine Clubtail and then I found a pair.Riverine ClubtailsRiverine Clubtail


It was pretty hot, so a few of us decided to head up into the hills. Glenn led us to the Keystone Arches Rail Trail. We had a presumed Ocellated Darner immediately but it wouldn’t cooperate. Moving further up the river, we found a bunch of clubtails. Most were Eastern Least but there was a Dragonhunter and 2 (still) unidentified Snaketails along with a Superb Jewelwing. Up the trail, we found a porcupine but no darner swarm. Back where we started, one Ocellated was  flying a regular enough pattern to net and confirm. And then I drove the 2.5 hours home.TetrigidOcellated Darner
Superb JewelwingDragonhunterLeast ClubtailSnaketails


WIR 8/1-8/7

Wednesday 8/1: Usual at Lot 1.

Thursday 8/2-Sunday 8/5: DSA regional meeting, separate post soon

Monday 8/6: Juv Towhee at BBN.

Tuesday 8/7: Nothing at the duck ponds.