WIR 5/30-6/5

Wednesday 5/30: First Habitat survey of the season was fairly quiet. Ran to Horn Pond after work but couldn’t find the Cattle Egret.

Thursday 5/31: Rock Meadow survey was also quiet. Stupidly went to West Meadow (Green Heron) and BBN instead of Horn Pond.

Friday 6/1: No egret at Horn Pond.

Saturday 6/2: Ode walk at the Cranberry Bog. Worked my way over via the Great Meadows Billerica trails (nothing exciting) and then Fawn Lake (presumed Spatterdock Darner, Lilypad Clubtail, etc). Decent at the bog although I would have liked to have seen the Arrowhead Spiketail.

Sunday 6/3: Nothing of note at Hayden Woods then a bunch of us went out to the ABNC walk in Royalston. Dave found us the Ebony Boghaunters we were all after and we had some other good stuff too (Arctic Skippers, sapsuckers working on a nest, etc). We continued for another couple stops that were a bit quieter but still had stuff of interest. Waiting on pictures but pretty sure I caught a Uhler’s Sundragon, which would be my second most wanted ode for the state (after the boghaunter).

Monday 6/4: Nothing in drizzle at Great Meadows and even less when it started pouring on my way back out.

Tuesday 6/5: Orange-variant House Finch was the most exciting thing between Codman and Farm Meadow.

Orange House Finch

WIR 5/23-5/29

Wednesday 5/23: Went to Dunback, pretty quiet. Missed Karsten’s Yellow-bellied and the presumed Alder was a bit too far off to be sure. Couple parula and a Magnolia were ok.

Thursday 5/24: Finally got Swainson’s Thrush on the Charles with 3 at Forest Grove plus Osprey, most of the flycatchers, etc.

Friday 5/25: YB Cuckoo the highlight at Heard Farm, otherwise pretty much summer residents.

Saturday 5/26: Did a slightly western loop. Hop Brook had the expected birds, lots of baskettails, a couple Cicindela formosa, etc. Clouded up a bit at Assabet so the odes died down but still had 12ish species. Desert had more of the same, Veery and YB Cuckoo new for Marlborough.



Sunday 5/27: BBC/MBC walk at Great Meadows wasn’t too bad considering the weather (would have been very good if the dowitchers hung around another 5 minutes). Brief view of Least Bittern, 2 calling Virginia Rails, nice scope views of most of the other ‘specialties’. Since it’s been over a year for a life and state bird, wandered to Charlton for the Trumpeter Swan. Spent about as much time waving people to the other road as I did actually looking at the bird before I headed to Wachusett Res, which had very little. Checked Heard and the res on the way home without anything and nothing on the res or Hardy in the evening.


Monday 5/28: Quick loop of the res had nothing, so headed to Great Meadows. Simon had beat me by a couple minutes. We spent about 4 hours on the platform and got a loon for our effort. Half-checked Flint’s from there, then went to Draw Seven (Common Tern plus a few expected Somerville birds), then Belle Isle (nothing exciting), Pico (Least Tern), then Winthrop Beach (100+ Least Terns), and finally Revere Beach (3 Manx Shearwater, lots of Surf Scoter).

Tuesday 5/29: BBN had the usual breeding stuff. Spotted Sandpiper was the most interesting. 

WIR 5/16-5/22

Wednesday 5/16: Nobscot was fairly slow, FOY hummer finally along with a Tennessee and a few other warblers but not much else.

Thursday 5/17: Too birdy at BBN, needed another two hours as I only covered the parkway and down to the cemetery. Sixteen warblers, Bobolinks, another YT Vireo, etc for 50 species (first time in ages I’ve hit that on the way to work).

Friday 5/18: Rock Meadow had a flyover loon, a Broad-wing, a few warblers, etc. A few minutes at the duck ponds added a Cape May among others.

Saturday 5/19: Supposed to be crappy but woke up to sun. Nothing exciting at Hobbs Brook. Foss Farm had FOY baskettails (finally) but no birds of interest. Quick stop at the river crossing had a parula. Still semi-nice but went to Great Meadows anyway. Did get Swainson’s Thrush (#196 there) but no storm birds. Mid-afternoon loop of the res in the rain had lots of swallows but no hoped-for terns. Magnolia in the yard in the morning, turkey in the evening.

Sunday 5/20: Initial plan was to check Great Meadows for storm-related stuff but decided to swing around the res first. Nothing much there but a ton of song as I reached Trapelo. Combining that with the clearing sky, and I decided to skip GM and head straight to the Heald St. Orchard in Pepperell. Wasn’t totally hopping but 6+ Tennessee, 2 Bay-breasted, 2 Broad-wings, and a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher made it worthwhile. Realized that the Golden-wings in NH were only 20 minutes away, so headed that way next. Stopped at a random wetland on the way as I had rolled down the windows and a Louisiana Waterthrush was singing loudly. Added a few more things before reaching the NH site. Took a good bit of effort but eventually did see one. Not totally thrilled as it had pretty distinct, whitish wing bars and a hint of yellow under the throat, but not sure how much better they get locally*. Also a Blue-winged, YB Cuckoo, and some commoner stuff that I still needed for NH and an interesting warbler song that sounded like a BT Blue singing a BT Green song.


Stopped at Brooks on the way home in case Marj’s Kentucky was still singing. Once the rain stopped, I found out it wasn’t but had another YB Flycatcher, so worth the effort.

*I scrolled through a few hundred Macaulay library images and could pick every one of this bird out from the thumbnails with very few false positives (and all of those were from Maine or Vermont).

Monday 5/21: BBN had Alder Flycatcher, Bay-breasted, Canada, and Tennessee Warblers, and more of the usual (51!).

Tuesday 5/22: Tried Cutler Lake to fill a few Norfolk gaps (which includes most warblers). Not overly successful, got 6 to hit 149). Tennessee Warbler was the most interesting (and a Bank Swallow).

WIR 5/9-5/15

Wednesday 5/9: Blackburnians at Prospect Hill plus FOY Black Swallowtail.

Thursday 5/10: More of the same at College Pond, BT Blue was new for Weston.

Friday 5/11: Pair of GW Teal and a YT Vireo at BBN. Pileated flew over 128 on the way to work.

Saturday 5/12: Bird-a-thon. Lousy weather, got about 93. Highlights included Cerulean in Medford, Cape May in Winchester, and the usual.

Sunday 5/13: Led the Mt. Auburn trip. Still lousy weather, more Cape Mays and the like but hard work. Wandered to Earhart after and had 10 warblers there. Quick stop at the Mystic Lakes didn’t turn up much and Meadowbrook had a parula and too many people visiting graves.

Monday 5/14: House Wren in the yard, eagle, turkey, a few warblers, etc at Forest Grove.

Tuesday 5/15: Had to renew my license, so got a few hours in at Mt. Auburn first. Twenty warblers (missing yellowthroat(!)) including 2 Cape Mays, a few Bay-breasted, a Tennessee, etc. Missed Olive-sided and a few other things but not bad at all.

WIR 5/2-5/8

Wednesday 5/2: Went back to Arlington Res to get the grosbeak for May and for the commute. Took more effort than I had hoped but I did get it. Also FOY Baltimore Orioles and Green Heron plus a ton of Yellow-rumps. Sitting outside in the evening had an Osprey go over.

Thursday 5/3: Got up early to go to Nobscot but a text from Tim as I was leaving saying it was slow had me head to BBN instead. Good decision, lots of yearbirds including catbird, parula, Black-and-white, RB Grosbeak, Blue-winged, and my first spring Orange-crowned. 

Friday 5/4: Drizzled enough that I abandoned plans for Prospect Hill and went to Heard Pond instead. Early Blackpoll, GC Flycatcher, etc.

Saturday 5/5: Suffolk county run. Goal was to hit 200 (starting at 191). Deer Island was hopping (finally), 12 warblers (Waterthrush, BT Blue, Prairie, Wilson’s all targets), plus gnatcatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, oystercatchers, tons of sparrows, and more. Piping Plover and nothing else at Winthrop Beach. Greenway had another waterthrush and a calling Least Flycatcher plus FOY Common Green Darner (presumably). Belle Isle was pretty dead. Did get a Veery and FOY Chimney Swift. Missed the Hooded Warbler in Mission Hill but did get a thrasher (199) plus Blue-winged and a few other things. Made up for that at Millennium. Not a whole lot else there but did get to 80 on the day.

Sunday 5/6: Swainson’s Thrush was 168 for the res on the new trail at Hobbs Brook. Also redstart and Prairie, FOY Scarlet Tanager and Spotted Sandpiper, and a few other things. Wasn’t quite lousy enough at Great Meadows but did have a couple yellowlegs and Least Sandpipers go over. Solitary and Spotted along the river plus another Blackpoll and most of the usual residents. White-crowned in the yard late in the day was the first in 10 years.

Monday 5/7: Another Swainson’s, this time at Lot 1 plus probably a pair of Broad-wings.

Tuesday 5/8: Made the drive out to Westborough for a little change. Nothing overly exciting, filled the White-crowned Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, and Orchard Oriole gaps in Worcester county.

WIR 4/25-5/1

Wednesday 4/25: Nothing in the rain at the res, Flint’s, Nine Acre, or Heard.

Thursday 4/26: Thrasher (new for Lincoln) and House Wren at Lindentree.

Friday 4/27: Warbling Vireo, not a lot else at Farm Pond. Turkey running around at work.

Saturday 4/28: Too sunny at the res (couldn’t look at the water), nothing at McClennen. Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, 2 thrashers in addition at Arlington Res. Nothing at Meadowbrook, 1 Mourning Cloak but no elfins or azures at Arlington Great Meadows.

Sunday 4/29: BBC Mt. Auburn trip had GH Owl, turkeys, and not much else. Great Meadows was a waste beyond FOY Marsh Wren and BH Vireo (in a downpour). Nothing at the res.

Monday 4/30: Chased a reported Audubon’s (that wasn’t) at Sudbury Great Meadows. FOY Ovenbird and a few other things.

Tuesday 5/1: BH Vireo and not much more at Forest Grove.

An Odd Duo

Nice surprise at Arlington Res today. Did have a brief Hammond’s flashback when it flew away from the farm and disappeared before anyone else arrived but fortunately it went to the edge of the res and spent the day there. Guessing there aren’t too many photos of this combo (or with a Mallard which I also have).


Blue Grosbeak


And much better views when first found

Blue Grosbeak

WIR 4/18-4/24

Wednesday 4/18: Lot 1 had a Field Sparrow.

Thursday 4/19: Too snowy(!). Palm and some cormorants were about all I could see at the res. Did finally get a Rough-winged Swallow at Heard Pond on the way home.

Friday 4/20: Nobscot had a sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, couple towhees, etc.

Saturday 4/21: Joined the MBC walk at Horn Pond, which was quiet beyond the kinglets. Drove a bunch of loops around Ipswich not seeing White-faced Ibis. Did run to Gloucester in between and had a sapsucker and Merlin.

Sunday 4/22: Looped Hanscom which wasn’t too bad. First Sharpie for Bedford plus 4 or more kestrels, a meadowlark (singing just slightly out of place which had me baffled for a minute), lots of Hermit Thrushes, etc. Full loop of Great Meadows had a loon (first one I’ve had on the water there I think), PB Grebe, and plenty of the usual. Brief run around the duck ponds had FOY Cabbage White. Kinglet singing in the yard early was nice.

Monday 4/23: Field Sparrow, Kestrel, etc at Heard.

Tuesday 4/24: Winter Wren(s), Barn Swallow, Gnatcatcher, Mourning Cloak, not much else new at BBN.

WIR 4/11-4/17

Wednesday 4/11: PB Grebe about it at Forest Grove.

Thursday 4/12: Palm Warblers and Chipping Sparrows were in at BBN and finally got a Fish Crow there.

Friday 4/13: FOY kingfisher and a somewhat surprising gnatcatcher at College Pond.

Saturday 4/14: Chipping Sparrow and little rabbit in the yard. Menotomy walk at BBN had 25-30 Palms, a Pine, a few Yellow-rumps, a sapsucker, 2 GW Teal, a Solitary Sandpiper, and more. Got the BW Teal and Greater Yellowlegs at Arlington Res but no gulls or other shorebirds. More of the same at the duck ponds and nothing at Cambridge Res or Hardy Pond.

Sunday 4/15: Quick res loop had a chickadee and a Hermit Thrush. Palms and a Ring-neck down by Rt. 2 then a Barn Swallow among the Trees at Hobbs Brook. Kestrel by Hanscom, nothing elsewhere.

Monday 4/16: Awful weather. Looped Hardy (nothing), the res (nothing), Mystic Lakes (4 Great Cormorants), Arlington Res (nothing), then went for a haircut and looped the res again. This time 3 Bonaparte’s Gulls dropped in but didn’t stay long enough for anyone else.

Tuesday 4/17: 28 GW Teal, 4+ Snipe, a kestrel, and 18+ Savannah Sparrows at Meriam’s Corner.