Saturday started with a walk through Lot 1 with hopes of White-winged Crossbills and other birds that would be new for Waltham (or at least my half-hearted bigby list). That didn’t work out, but I still got some CBC scouting in. Lots of sparrows along the edges and a few woodpeckers were the extent of things.
After an hour at Lot 1, I got in the car and headed over to Met State. Not that exciting either, but a few good pockets of birds. One started with a chickadee and Carolina Wren and then ended up containing 3 Brown Creepers, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, several nuthatches, woodpeckers, goldfinches, and titmice. Checking the pines, the Great Horned was in the usual spot, which is definitely good for the CBC:
I had approached from a slightly different angle and this time I noticed some sticks higher up in the tree. This was the tree that I was told was the nest tree and the pile of sticks looked a lot like this. Think I can mark that as confirmed (UN – used nest) but I’ll probably just check back in a couple months. The rest of the walk was pretty birdless, although a Golden-crowned Kinglet taunted me into attempting so photos that didn’t come out.
Even though the weather today was much worse, the birds were better. Steve Moore and Barbara Volkle reported a lingering Semipalmated Plover at the Arlington Res, so I headed there to sneak it onto my county year list. I got a quick view flying across the water and then was able to watch it running along the mud flats for quite a while. I’m not fully sure, but it’s among the latest inland records for Massachusetts if not the latest. Hopefully it will make it through the sleet and will be a December record.
Other birds around included 3 Killdeer, 4 Shovelers and many Gadwall and Wigeon. I took a few pictures of the ducks but since it was dark and they all happened to have their heads in the water, I’m not going to show any.
After leaving, I hopped on Rt. 2 and then 128 and made a quick circle around the Cambridge Res. Passing on 128, I noticed lots and lots of geese but couldn’t find them from the other side. I settled for about 60 Common Merganser and a few Hooded. A spin through the office parks didn’t have anything interesting, so I continued on to Flint’s Pond.
Driving up to Flint’s, I could see ducks in close. Walking down the road, I kept finding more and more at each different viewpoint. The majority were Hoodies, but there were plenty of Common Mergansers and a few Bufflehead, Ring-necks, Common Goldeneye, and Ruddies mixed in. Two Great Blue Herons were along the shore as well. Not too bad.
And in perfect timing, I headed home and was putting the lens cap on the camera in the driveway when I noticed the window was wet. Two minutes later and there was a nice sleet/rain mix coming down that I had missed entirely.