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I missed a Bonaparte’s Gull at Great Meadows yesterday (see WIR eventually). However, one of the eBird comments mentioned something about it possibly having been around for a few days, so I figured I’d head over this morning before the rain started.

I decided to bird my way over, checking the Cambridge Res and Flint’s Pond on the way. The southern end of the Cambridge Res was busy (although I initially drove by and decided to double back) with a couple Common Mergansers and some Wood Ducks. Rounding the bend, I pulled over to scan in the usual spot and saw enough to get out the scope (it had starting spitting a bit, so I did hesitate). First thing in the scope were four birds together. Three were quite dark and one showed some white. The odd one out stopped rolling over and looked like the rest. Yellowy ‘horns’ were also visible, a group of Horned Grebe! ┬áThis is among the high counts for Middlesex county (ties the highest in eBird).

Panning around, things got much better when two small gulls came into view. An adult and a young Bonaparte’s! ┬áMuch better to find my own. Called home, sent out a quick email, and then spent 10 minutes attempting to get photos. They were too far out, but this video is almost passable (believe you have to click through to play):

Grebes and Gulls

Note that they all lined up. My parents pulled up and the birds all drifted off to the right, which made for a tense minute or two before I refound them.

On to Flint’s where a Common Loon was among the swallows (and almost nothing else).

Walking in at Great Meadows, I ran into Linda Ferraresso who immediately said that there was a Bonaparte’s Gull on one of the boxes. Third of the day, not bad for a county bird. Also not the one seen the day before (which was an immature).

Bonaparte's

Not exactly a high quality photo, but you do better with a phone in the rain.

I walked down to the river and heard a couple rails. Being patient, I waited around until one actually stepped into the open (if I figure out how to trim video I may post eventually). On the way back, my first Warbling Vireo of the year was singing.

From here, I headed off for a quick run through some of the other local ponds. Red-necked Grebe continued at Horn Pond but no fallout birds there or at the Mystic Lakes, Spy Pond, or Hardy Pond. And Arlington Res was as dead as I’ve seen it, not even a swallow flock.