YIR 2019

Kind of a strange year, not much for migrants, especially in fall, but lots of rarities.

January: Finch show continued with grosbeaks being a bit more consistent at Dunback and Red Crossbills on patch. Shrike at Heard Pond was the first nice local bird of the year that others chased (although the DC Cormorant was probably rarer). Nashville at Belle Isle midmonth was quite good

February: Chased the Trumpeter Swan for the commute list but that and the roosting Long-ears in Boston were about it for the month.

March: Good flock of crossbills at Dunback, then an early night-heron in Watertown and a good morning at Bolton Flats to end the month was about it.

April: Added Ring-neck and Virginia Rail to the patch list, then Blue-winged Teal a week later. Lots of early Spotted Sandpipers, a moderate day in Bristol County, got a few new warblers for the month at the very end.

May: Decent migration. Grosbeaks stayed at Dunback through the first. Started a run of 4 or 5 straight visits to the Charles with a new patch bird. Dragonfly season finally started on the 11th. Birthday county bird with a Cattle Egret. Ended the month with Yellow-bellied Flycatchers everywhere.

June: Lots of survey work, a cool robber fly at Horn Pond Mountain, first Tropical Kingbird of the year, and a few interesting odes.

July: Walden BioBlitz was a fun start.Texas trip was great for odes plus the 2 expected life birds. Comet Darners and Carolina Saddlebags by the res, then the NE DSA meeting.

August: Martha’s Pennants on Watatic, start of a shorebird show on patch and some other migrants.

September: Slow migration.

October: Birds of the year both turned up on patch with Hudsonian Godwit and Tropical Kingbird. Laughing Gull fallout midmonth, Purple Gallinule in Milton, Ipswich Sparrow in Framingham.

November: Started with the Pacific-slope Flycatcher in Hadley (plus a nice flock of Brant at Quabbin), then finished with the Franklin’s Gull in Quincy/Milton.

December: Fairly quiet, windy CBC, not much else.

So overall 3 life birds (the 2 central TX specialties and the PS Flycatcher), 3 state birds (Purple Gallinule, PS Flycatcher, Franklin’s Gull), and 3 county birds (Cattle Egret, Hudsonian Godwit, Tropical Kingbird), 4 Waltham birds (Red Crossbill, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Hudsonian Godwit, and Laughing Gull), 8 BBN/RM patch birds (Red Crossbill, Ring-necked Duck, Virginia Rail, Blue-winged Teal, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, godwit, kingbird, and Bald Eagle), 5 Cambridge Res birds (Cliff Swallow, Tennessee and Bay-breasted Warblers, American Woodcock, and Laughing Gull), and 5 Charles birds (Brown Thrasher, Bay-breasted Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Eastern Screech-Owl, Blue-winged Warbler). Decent amount of other county birds, got to 2000 total ticks in MA. Barely hit the easy goal of 150 workday SRV birds.

Haven’t added up the bugs yet, but several new for the county (Comet Darner, Carolina Saddlebags, Martha’s Pennant) along with all the Texas lifers (24ish). No clue about butterflies. Started looking at Syrphids (12 species this year) and slowly learning Asilids.

Goals for 2020: 600 ABA, 390 MA, 306 Middlesex, get Norfolk to 200, Hampden, Hampshire, and/or Berkshire to 100. Middlesex town ticks to 4400 and get at least 5 more over the 100 mark. Continue pushing month lists along (got at least one new bird for state and county every month this year). Try for 165 Cambridge region commute birds. No specific bug goals.