YIR 2015

Interesting year. Less time in the field, especially in winter. Ok spring and early fall and nothing for most of the fall.

January: Started with a bang with the (rejected) Prairie Falcon. That was followed with the Black-backed Woodpecker and Barn Owl and then quieted down as the snow and cold moved in.

Prairie Falcon

February: Too cold and/or snowy for most of the month but slogging around the river each weekend was good with the Rough-leg and Bohemians (plus some redpolls).



March: Quiet overall beyond the fox.


April: Started with the early Greater Yellowlegs on the 1st. An otter, Vesper Sparrow, Sora, first dragonfly, and Yellow-throated Warbler made for an ok month.

Vesper Sparrow

May: Purple Martin on the 5th, otter at the duck ponds, Arctic Skipper and dragonflies in Townsend, and picked up plus the usual migrants.

Arctic SkipperOtter

June: Early Bronze Copper and Alder Flycatchers in several locations were highlights, as was the DSA meeting.

Bronze Copper

July: Eastern Red Damsels at the Cranberry Bog were a much wanted ode, a mantispid on the door for several days, and the usual start of fall migration.

Eastern Red Damsel


August: Started with county record Variable Darner on the 1st, Snowy Egret and Purple Martins at Hobbs Brook, Zebra Clubtails in Shirley, flyover Dickcissel at Great Meadows, and the Lark Sparrow at College Pond made for a pretty good month.

Zebra Clubtail


September: The Buff-breasted over Great Meadows was the main highlight in a fairly quiet month.


October: The wheatear made for a nice start and the longspur and Long-tailed Ducks were a decent finish but there wasn’t much else.


November: MacGillivray’s and another Lark Sparrow were good early. Ground-Dove and Cave Swallows midmonth and then a nice seabird show on the Cape.

Ground-DoveCave Swallow

December: The Clay-colored and Ash-throated were the main highlights.



Totals: 245 birds (242 in MA, 205 in county), 7 (counting the Prairie Falcon) were new for the state, 3 were new for county, 4 for Waltham, 2 for the BBN/Rock Meadow patch, 6 for the Charles, and 7 for the Cambridge Res. 85 dragonflies (80 in MA, 79 in county, 3 new overall, 7 new for both MA and the county). Only 52 butterflies (48 in county, nothing elsewhere in MA) with 1 new overall and 1 for the state and county. Over 1350 local town ticks, bringing me over 2300 total.

Goals for 2016: State list to 380, county list to 300 (that’s unlikely), 1500 local town ticks and get the remaining 4 towns over 100 (and get another 4 to 150). County ode list to 100 and state butterfly list to 90.