The duck walk meant that I was unable to join the BBC gull workshop field trip Sunday. That turned out to be a very good thing (in addition to all the stuff on the walk) as I headed out midafternoon to poke around the Waltham St. Fields and check on the Lark Sparrow. Parking at the tennis courts by Dunback, I walked down the street and spent a few minutes checking the flock of robins and other stuff near the corner.
The robins started crossing over, so I followed and started down the path. Lots of sparrows were flying back and forth and I slowed down to work through them. Above the water on the right, some movement caught my attention. Probably a cardinal but I put the bins on it and ooh that’s a rusty looking head and er that’s a lot of spots on the chest. Grab the camera quickly.
Wood Thrush was not exactly on the list of birds I expected. I knew it was very rare, but had no clue as to how rare.
The bird moved, so I continued on. I picked it up again on the ground and almost managed another shot:
After it disappeared, I finally reached the fields. Walking around, I found next to nothing and on the way out, there were no birds along the edge. Right place, right time.
After a quick, almost birdless walk through Dunback, I went home and immediately grabbed Birds of Massachusetts. Somewhere in the Concord CBC circle from December 26, 1971-January 6, 1972 was the only January record (and only 2 other December records). The book is almost 20 years old at this point, so I figured there may be another one or two, but went to watch the football game before digging through Bird Observers. Fortunately, I didn’t have to make the effort as within 10 minutes of posting it, Marj replied that there was only one more. It was from the 2007 Superbowl of Birding at Halibut Point (and happened to be found by my friends Mark, Laura, and Christopher).
So do I set my sights lower on Varied Thrush or higher on Redwing next?