Patch #175, Commute #221 too.
Wednesday 1/16: Winter Wren, Barred Owl, not much else at BBN.
Thursday 1/17: Poked a bit along the river in Wayland as it was too cold to walk. RC Kinglet on River Rd was a bit of a surprise. Heard what was presumably an otter crash into the water at the Old Rt 27 bridge.
Friday 1/18: Snow didn’t happen overnight but still went to the riverwalk. Decent numbers of Bufflehead, Hoodies, a couple Ring-necks. Path to Landry was taped off, so drove over to Moody. One Song Sparrow, so ran to Cronin’s too. Usual there but the first Great Black-backed I’ve had in Waltham in a couple months. Server farm issues at work meant I got to leave early, so I went to Crane Swamp to look for the Clay-colored. Eventually found the junco flock but no sparrows with them. Did have a Peregrine buzz over, which somehow was a county bird but little else. Also buzzed Big Chauncey with no interesting gulls and School St, Flint’s, and the res all with zero birds.
Saturday 1/19: Started at Draw Seven. Lots of RB Mergs but not much else. Checked Earhart for the hawk again, no luck with that but a creeper was new for me in Everett. Continued to Belle Isle. Lots at the feeder but nothing of note. Started to walk around and heard a chip in the pine that had the Orange-crowned back on 12/8. Picked up movement and was shocked to see a Nashville instead. Which was then joined by an Orange-crown. Guessing it’s the Nashville that was across the water on the greenway side, but only about the 5th record I can find for January (one a couple weeks ago in Fairhaven though). Nothing much else there, so went to Revere Beach. Scoter flocks still around, but didn’t look like a ton of gulls and the wind was strong, so I doubled back to Deer Island. Surprisingly, the wind wasn’t bad. Four plus Iceland Gulls, 3 Razorbills, lots of eider. No luck with any grebes though. Headed home from there with a brief detour for the Barrow’s Goldeneye off Bayswater.
Sunday 1/20: Yard birding, nothing exciting.
Monday 1/21: Same
Tuesday 1/22: Same
Wednesday 1/9: Great Meadows was very quiet. Nothing but geese and swans (and a muskrat/beaver) in the impoundments, a few creepers and Swamp Sparrows near the river.
Thursday 1/10: Dunback was quiet beyond the grosbeaks.
Friday 1/11: No luck with the Rough-leg at Meriam’s. Not much of anything there.
Saturday 1/12: Once it sort of warmed up, went to Draw Seven, which was pretty quiet. Earhart had the hawk from 12/22 but I had left the camera in the car and couldn’t find it again after running back. Greater Scaup at the Mystic Lakes was about it for birds of note there.
Sunday 1/13: Chased a few county birds. Success with the Clay-colored and White-crowned sparrows at Hollyhood Cemetery in Brookline and the Cackling Goose at Jamaica Pond. No luck for a January BT Blue at Hall’s Pond though.
Monday 1/14: Tried for the Rough-leg again. No luck with that, did have a few waxwings and a ton of Tree Sparrows.
Tuesday 1/15: Started at Forest Grove. Just the area by the pumphouse was open and I picked out a female pintail pretty quickly (and then spent 15 minutes waiting for it to raise its head to confirm). Decided not to walk there and doubled back to Moody St. Usual birds there. Had time to pull in at Norumbega, nice eagle in the trees.
Wednesday 1/2: Riverwalk was extra quiet. Underpass was flooded so instead of walking to Moody, I drove down to Cronin’s and got a couple minutes there. Did get the coot and a few ducks.
Thursday 1/3: Purgatory had most of the usual ducks, couldn’t find any Gadwall and only one wigeon today. The yellowthroat that I had back at the end of November turned up again at Forest Grove, not sure where that had been hiding for a month. Believe that’s at least the 5th individual in the county this winter and there were only six or so prior winter records in eBird.
Friday 1/4: Started the year’s project (150+ in the SRV on work days) at the Wayland Community Gardens. The blackbird flock was around and a few redpolls were new for Wayland for me.
Saturday 1/5: Tried the Cohasset bit of Norfolk, but still have no clue where to actually stop and scan the water. Gave up, drove through Hull (turkeys), then Nut Island (6 Razorbill), Wollaston Beach (turnstone), and Squantum (most of the sea ducks, both loons, etc).
Sunday 1/6: Poked around the Watertown line a bit. Peregrine by Cookson, 5 Chipping Sparrows at Gore. Then did the first patch visit of the year. Started with a catbird, Winter Wren, and a few other things on the parkway. Continued onto the trails and had nothing other than a big flock of Red-wings. Looped the res after and had a Greater Scaup.
Monday 1/7: Too windy to hit Heard Farm like I wanted, so looped Nine Acre (1 heron, 20 geese, 4 robins) up to Heard Pond (kingfisher on Pelham Island Rd).
Tuesday 1/8: Was between the snow and the rain, so made it to Heard Farm. Just about the first bird out of the car was a Barred Owl. Further down, the chickadees seemed agitated (again). I walked a bit closer and a shrike flew by (commute #220!). Eagle by the pond, then the shrike perched up. Continued around and noticed a cormorant sitting, which was pretty far down on the list of expected birds today. Maybe only the second January record for the Sudbury River Valley. Too many dogs on the other side, but a big flock of blackbirds contained at least three species.
Wednesday 12/26: Started at Horn Pond, which was pretty quiet. Continued to Silver Lake, which was birdless, then Martin’s Brook. The Tufted Duck was still present and a scaup was new there. Spent a good bit of time with them and finally got the wing views I wanted. Back to Silver Lake, which now had a bunch of gulls. Closest bird on the beach was an Iceland but the rest looked like Herring and Ring-billed. Barely had 20 minutes with them before an eagle flew over and they all took off.
Thursday 12/27: Chipping Sparrows at Mt. Auburn, loon at Fresh Pond.
Friday 12/28: Quick Spy Pond/Mystic Lake loop didn’t have anything exciting.
Saturday 12/29: Went for the Painted Bunting. Got distant but good views after about an hour and a half, which was about as much as I could take. Continued to Chandler, Lost, and Hammond Ponds without anything of note.
Sunday 12/30: Concord CBC. Pretty quiet. Barred Owl at Minuteman the best.
Monday 12/31: Did a quick loop of Rock Meadow, Clay Pit, etc without anything before spending the rest of the day not holding down food.
Tuesday 1/1: Felt enough better to go out for the morning. Nothing at any of the ponds but finally got the grosbeaks on the ground at Dunback along with the Marsh Wren (where’d that been?), the Yellow-rump, and a few other things.
Slow year, basically no travel.
January: Started with a lot of the lingering rarities but nothing too exciting.
February: Missed the Slaty-back, did get a patch White-front. Subspecies lifer with a Northern Common Eider in Rockport at the end of the month.
March: Another semi-lifer with a Goldeneye x Hooded Merganser hybrid was about it. Bug season started on the 31st with a Comma in Townsend.
April: Early Cliff Swallow on the 10th (which was the only one I managed for the year), a few good gulls in Needham, and ended the month with the Blue Grosbeak at Arlington Res.
May: Got my 200th Suffolk county bird on the 5th, wandered up to NH for Golden-winged Warbler(ish?) on the 20th, and generally had a decent migration. Chased the Trumpeter Swan at the end of the month, only state bird for the year.
June: Went out to Royalston to start the month with Ebony Boghaunters. Did the usual surveys. A few good bugs as well, mostly out west.
July: Patch Lawrence’s Warbler, a nice Bristol county run midmonth, a couple early migrant warbles at the end of the month, and that was about it.
August: Started with the DSA meeting. Got a few target odes (Tiger Spiketail the best) plus a Common Tern. Quiet otherwise.
September: Pretty typical fall migration minus a shorebird show. Three Lesser Black-backs at Great Pond the best.
October: Quiet beyond a couple days on the Cape, which wasn’t overly exciting. Summer Tanager at the end of the month was quite nice.
November: Evening Grosbeaks on patch, Snow and White-fronted Geese at Nine Acre, and that was about it.
December: Quiet start. CBC had more species than before, although redpolls and the Dunback grosbeaks were the only birds of note. Finally chased the Great Black Hawk on the 23rd, lifer #2 for the year. Finished the month with Tufted Duck, Painted Bunting, and a quiet Concord CBC.
Total of 245 species (2 out of state), 205 in county. One state bird (Trumpeter Swan), one county bird (shhh), and two life birds (swan and Great Black Hawk). Still converting bug records from AviSys to Scythebill, so don’t have those handy, but new dragonflies were Ebony Boghaunter, Uhler’s Sundragon, Riverine Clubtail, Tiger Spiketail, Ocellated Darner, and maybe one more. Also finally got Superb Jewelwing for MA, nothing new for the county. No new butterflies anywhere. Mammal highlights were a few porcupines.
Goals for 2019: travel! DSA is in Texas, so that’s planned, hopefully a few other spots as well. Locally, work towards 300 in the 2 towns from the WalLex line area (5 away), and push the state list past 390. Bugwise, find something new.
Wednesday 12/19: BBN had a bunch of Rusty Blackbirds (count week!) and Red-wings plus Hermit Thrush and Barred Owl.
Thursday 12/20: Did Gore. Got the redpolls (176 for the commute year list, probably the last one this year) but couldn’t get a good look at the junco flock. Not a whole lot else.
Friday 12/21: Pond loop had an eagle at Hardy and that was about it.
Saturday 12/22: Went to Torbet McDonald for the first time. Had hoped for the Nashville Warbler reported a couple days ago but no luck with that. Did have 2 redpolls, 2 grackles, and one strange Red-tail. Draw Seven was dead. Had at least 8 of the Razorbills continuing at Castle Island before it began to pour.
Sunday 12/23: Made the trip up to Maine for the Great Black Hawk finally. Nice to see, but wasn’t exactly inspiring doing nothing but sitting in a random back yard. Checked a couple coastal spots before heading home, picked up six new birds for Maine overall.
Monday 12/24: Started at Hardy which had a few ducks and a different eagle. Went a bit west from there. Hop Brook was pretty dead. Got cloudy and looked like flurries, so didn’t want to walk much from there. Hager Pond had the continuing shoveler, which was somehow a year bird, and a pair of Gadwall. Fort Meadow had a few ducks. School St was just pigeons and crows. Cambridge Res had another(?) eagle and more mergansers.
Tuesday 12/25: Dunback was somewhat birdy but no grosbeaks. Did have 2 Yellow-rumps, the catbird, and a raven or two. Afternoon loop of the res had my first mockingbird of the year there and then a coyote by Potter pond.
Wednesday 12/12: Nothing at all at the community farm. Ravens and the wigeon at Forest Grove.
Thursday 12/13: Next to nothing on the river walk.
Friday 12/14: Yellow-rump, Winter Wren, 3 Red-wings but no grosbeaks at Dunback.
Saturday 12/15: Semi-CBC scouting. Started at along the river in Watertown, which was quiet. Prospect Hill had 2 Hermit Thrushes and a Barred Owl, but I don’t think we’re climbing the hill. Coot at Moody St was surprisingly Waltham #150 for the year. Normal ducks at the res. No grosbeaks again at Dunback, maybe another Barred. Did have a vole hide poorly enough to more or less pose.
Sunday 12/16: CBC. Early owling was mostly a failure, one Barred called on its own and nothing responding. Dunback was birdy, we got the Evening Grosbeaks as a flyover and it appeared no one else saw them later in the day. Splitting here, I went to Lot 1 and had very little, then UMass where Snow Buntings came in. While we watched those, the sleet started and we bailed. I drove around a bit and saw nothing while waiting for the other group to finish before we headed to lunch. After lunch, we went to Gore (and Cookson) and had 3 redpolls, 3 Chipping Sparrows, and hundreds of starlings. We then did the river. Two Gadwall at Moody St joined the ducks I had yesterday, but little else. Even with the fair weather, we passed 50 species for the first time!
Monday 12/17: Gadwall and Wigeon at Purgatory, which is a bit too far outside the circle for the wigeon to be count week.
Tuesday 12/18: Too windy, so drove a big loop. Eagles at Saxonville Beach were the only things of note.
Wednesday 12/5: Siskin and nothing else at Prospect Hill.
Thursday 12/6: 4 Gadwall at Purgatory. Palm Warbler at Forest Grove.
Friday 12/7: Absolutely nothing at Meriam’s.
Saturday 12/8: Waited on Black Hawk news (which was a no until midafternoon), so headed to Earhart (quiet at Draw Seven and the greenway), then Belle Isle (Orange-crowned about it). Winthrop Greenway had a late Nashville, and thousands of scoters and gulls at Revere Beach (couldn’t find anything in the gulls though).
Sunday 12/9: Leucistic Song Sparrow and a Red-wing about it at Horn Pond. Cormorants and an eagle at the lakes, 2 more eagles by Spy Pond. Lots of mergs all over including Clay Pit. Interestingly, Hardy and most of the res were frozen. Presuming I’m counting town year lists correctly, the mergs at Clay Pit were #1600 in my 17 town local area this year. Don’t think my original goal of 1700 is actually reachable without not going elsewhere.
Monday 12/10: Not much at BBN. Sharpie at the top of Mackerel didn’t help. Winter Wren in the big marsh.
Tuesday 12/11: GH Owl and the usual at Lot 1.
Wednesday 11/28: Nothing terribly exciting at Lot 1.
Thursday 11/29: Eagle, Ruddies, sapsucker, Pileated at Sudbury Reservoir.
Friday 11/30: Nothing much at BBN.
Saturday 12/1: Nothing at Hanscom, Barrett’s Mill, Assabet, Flint’s, or the res.
Sunday 12/2: Nothing at the res or Nine Acre.
Monday 12/3: Marsh Wren and Rusties at Dunback.
Tuesday 12/4: Eagle, couple teal at Arlington Res.