WIR 11/14-11/20

Wednesday 11/14: 2 Fox Sparrows, 2-3 Yellow-rumps at BBN. Also got confirmation of the grosbeaks from last Monday, Waltham #216 and BBN/RM #174!

Thursday 11/15: Yellow-rump, Palm, Gadwall at Forest Grove/Purgator. Waxwings and a teal at Norumbega.

Friday 11/16: Too snowy/rainy but lots of Ruddies at Hardy.

Saturday 11/17: Did a Boston swing (after a quick check of the res, Horned Grebe and Hooded Mergansers). Started at Deer Island. No passerines of note on the hill, nothing much on the water either. Did finally get my Suffolk Snow Buntings, unfortunately a person walking flushed them to the other side of the fence before I got up for good photos. Winthrop Greenway next. Suffolk Winter Wren plus an Orange-crown and Purple Finch. Castle Island after, the trees I liked last month weren’t as good without leaves. Did have a creeper but little else. Tried to get to Jamaica Pond but parking was a pain (coot and Ruddy while looking), so pulled in at Leverett instead (Ring-necks). Decided I really should go for the Blue-winged found this morning at Habitat and it was right there as I walked up. Flew off immediately and I couldn’t find it again in an hour’s wandering.

Sunday 11/18: Started at Alewife which was pretty quiet. Thorndike Field was also quiet but Cooper’s was responsible for some of that. Fresh Pond didn’t have much in interesting ducks but Fox and White-crowned Sparrows were nice as were 1-2 Blackpolls. Continued towards the Mystic Lakes, stopping at Blair Pond (kingfisher, heron, zero ducks) and Spy Pond (lots of cormorants still). Sandy Beach was birdy, tons of robins, juncos, jays, etc. Another Blackpoll or two plus a sapsucker as well. Pied-billed Grebe at the dam, nothing much at the lower end. Did get enough town year birds to top last year’s 17-town total of 1575. I think 1600 will be doable this year, not sure if my original goal of 1700 is truly reachable.

Monday 11/19: Nothing in the rain at Arlington Res. Snow Goose and Snow Bunting at Nine Acre.

Tuesday 11/20: Harrier over Hardy (and probably the house). Nothing but Common Mergansers at Flint’s. Geese at Nine Acre had moved to Verrill, so were somewhat scannable. Snow was still there and a nice White-fronted too.

WIR 11/7-11/13

Wednesday 11/7: 6 Fox Sparrows and a Merlin at Dunback.

Thursday 11/8: Orange-crowned and Pec at Meriam’s Corner.

Friday 11/9: Chipping Sparrow, cowbird or two at the Food Project.

Saturday 11/10: Was rainier than expected in the morning, so started with res (nothing) to School St (nothing new) to Nine Acre (also nothing new). Seemed to stop so went to Mary Cummings and promptly got soaked. Did a full loop (finally getting Tree Sparrow for Burlington), then had a White-crowned and 3 Killdeer at the soccer field where I was parked. Continued to Horn Pond and got the Black-and-white Warbler that’s been hanging around but nothing else of note.

Sunday 11/11: Joined the MBC walk at Dunback, which was quiet. Sapsucker, late phoebe, bluebird about it. Continued to McClennen (Hoodies), Meadowbrook (GB Heron), and Mystic Lakes (nothing). Sandy Beach was a bit birdier, although nothing exciting until I looked at the upper lake and eventually realized the 4th bird in a flock of Bufflehead was larger. Went back for the scope and it was a Black Scoter, also visible from Medford. Got at least one of the Blackpolls that have been hanging around too on the way out.

Monday 11/12: Worked my way around Earhart. Hermit Thrush and 2 Redheads on the Everett side, then while trying for more views of them, had creeper and RC Kinglet from Station Landing. Nothing at Draw Seven. White-crowned Sparrow but little else at Magazine Beach, loon on the res.

Tuesday 11/13: Sort of a pond check, raining too hard.

WIR 10/31-11/6

Wednesday 10/31: Forest Grove wasn’t terribly exciting beyond a few PB Grebe.

Thursday 11/1: Went back to Habitat to get the tanager for the commute and November. Succeeded with that, no luck with Evening Grosbeak though.

Friday 11/2: Pond check had just short of nothing. Made another loop of the res on the way home (last time until March) and had 3 Common Mergansers and a loon.

Saturday 11/3: Did a bit of a pond check, 150 cormorants and 3-4 Ruddy at Spy Pond were the only things of any note (and just short of the only birds).

Sunday 11/4: Started with a quick buzz of the res, Long-tailed Duck was #100 for the year there. No birds at Flint’s, and none at Fitchburg Res. A few Hoodies but nothing else at Ashby Res. Hawkwatched for a bit at Blood Hill, 7+ Bald Eagles were about it, everything distant and not much moving. Also a flock of 20 bluebirds, probable Horned Larks, a few siskins over plus a phoebe halfway up. Continued to Townsend Hill WMA which had almost as many hawks plus a Palm, Mourning Cloak, and Autumn Meadowhawk. Fitch’s Bridge Rd had a Fox Sparrow, lots of juncos, and not a ton else. School St had 7+ pintail.

Monday 11/5: BBN had a Red-shoulder and likely some Evening Grosbeaks.

Tuesday 11/6: Nothing at any of the ponds I checked (too much traffic for the res), a few teal and pintail at Nine Acre.

WIR 10/24-10/30

Wednesday 10/24: Pretty quiet at Great Meadows. Flyover sandpiper with 4 yellowlegs would have been the most interesting if I got beyond sandpiper.

Thursday 10/25: Dunback was loaded, mostly robins and common sparrows but did have first of fall American Tree among them.

Friday 10/26: Two Winter Wrens, 2 White-crowns, 3 Hermit Thrushes, lots of the usual at BBN.

Saturday 10/27: Pond loop. PB Grebe at the res, goldeneye and maybe some interesting mergansers at Flint’s. Nothing at Spy Pond or the Mystic Lakes. Rain lightened a bit so went to Draw Seven. Snow Bunting was first thing out of the car, RB Merg, not too much else.

Snow Bunting

Sunday 10/28: Started with an empty res, then a near-empty Flint’s (loon in close but that was about it). Out to School St, which was busy although the geese were in a bad spot. RB Nuthatch near the stream was new for the site. Next up was the Cranberry Bog. Lack of time out that way this season meant 6 new birds for Carlisle but since they included junco and White-throat, it wasn’t terribly exciting. After a brief stop at home, went to Habitat to chase the Summer Tanager found this morning. Once I got the Meadow right, it was putting on a decent show. Also first local siskins, 2 Winter Wrens, and what was probably a Fox Sparrow. Did a Clay Pit (gulls and cormorants), Fresh Pond (Ruddy, lots of Ring-necks in the cove), and duck ponds (Yellow-rumps) loop on the way home.

Summer Tanager

Monday 10/29: Got soaked trying the West Meadow. Lot of Purple Finches over.

Tuesday 10/30: Old 27 Bridge again. Slower than last week but not bad, although nothing terribly differnet.


WIR 10/17-10/23

Wednesday 10/17: More or less the usual at BBN. Hermit Thrush was an overdue patch year bird and ties my previous high.

Thursday 10/18: Did a pond check. Nothing exciting at Hardy. Sun was bad so skipped the res. FOF Bufflehead at Flint’s. Pipits at Nine Acre, sun bad at Heard.

Friday 10/19: Squeezed in a day off and made a brief Cape run. Pochet Island up first (well after the walk down Nauset, which had a Hairy Woodpecker among other things). Clay-colored was one of the first birds but it was fairly slow after that. Rusty Blackbird, good raptor show, a few other passerines. Back up Nauset had tons of ducks including a few GW Teal. Went to Corn Hill next, which was pretty quiet. Pilgrim Heights was also quiet, Winter Wren on the bike path the best. Wind had really picked up, headed to Head of the Meadow but missed the turn and just followed roads at the next turn to Truro’s Coast Guard Beach. Better parking area to scan from, especially once I turned around and used the hatch as a shelter. Tons and tons of scoters, a few Cory’s, a huge flock of resting Tree Swallows, and not much else.

Saturday 10/20: Waited out the rain then went to Fort Hill. YB Cuckoo, Ruddy Turnstone, and regular stuff otherwise. Wind was picked up but tried Morris Island anyway, which was a bit of a mistake. Did have a few oystercatchers but that was about it. Next stop was going to be Santuit Pond, but since I was passing Marston’s Mills Pond, I stopped there first. Big flock of wigeon and got the Wood Duck I wanted there. Santuit was pretty quiet, another Wood Duck, 4 Ruddy, and not much else until I got back to the car, where there was a bit of a mixed flock, although nothing unusual. Realized I was at 99 for the two days and debated Scusset Beach or Crane. Decided Crane was closer but then realized it was too windy and it was hunting season, so gave up and skipped. Lucked out as about 100 yards before the county line I had a flock of turkeys. Stopped at Norumbega (GW Teal) and the res (nothing) on the way home.

Sunday 10/21:  Res had Bufflehead and nothing else. Flint’s had Ruddies. Great Meadows had a ton of birds moving, mostly robins and geese but 5+ Cooper’s and 2 White-crowns. Too cold and windy though, so I went back home for a heavier jacket (18 wigeon at Elm Brook on the way). Nothing at Spy Pond, kingfisher (100 for Medford for the year), TV, Peregrine at Mystic Lakes. Scanned Horn Pond and Arlington Res from the car without anything. Afternoon loop of the res added a few geese but did have a Merlin fly over at Trapelo and Smith.

Monday 10/22: Tried the Old Rt. 27 bridge. Lots of blackbirds flying around, not a ton else. Hermit Thrush the only thing of moderate interest.

Tuesday 10/23: Hermit Thrushes, 4 Gadwall, not too much else of note at Arlington Res/Lexington Community Farm.

WIR 10/10-10/16

Wednesday 10/10: Dunback was pretty busy, Parula, Redstart, Rusty Blackbird, Red-shoulder, White-crown the best.

Thursday 10/11: Pond loop, very quiet. GW Teal at the Pelham Island Rd swamp the only thing of note.

Friday 10/12: Great Meadows was almost too dark to look at sparrows, but they were pretty much all Swamp. Did have a few GW Teal, 2 Pintail, 2 ravens, a harrier, Merlin, and 3 Cooper’s. Another Merlin landed on Bacon St on the way home.

Saturday 10/13: Started working locally in the rain. Nothing at the res or Spy Pond. Nothing on the Mystic Lakes but a sapsucker and Winter Wren in the wood lot were good. No Dickcissel at Horn Pond but lots of sparrows. Rain wasn’t stopping so I decided not to bother with Mary Cummings and went for the BH Gull/skimmer combo at Wollaston Beach instead. Detoured on the way to Draw Seven, which was quiet (although Savannah Sparrow, junco, and phoebe were all Somerville birds). Once I found the right spot at Wollaston, the two skimmers and the gull were all very obvious. Continued to Castle Island from there. Went around the fort first for some reason and kicked up a bunch of passerines in the trees. Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, a few warblers, a few kinglets, and more. Worked my way over to the causeway but wasn’t seeing much, so went back to the trees, adding BH Vireo, 5 phoebes, and a RB Nuthatch. Did have a banded RB Gull on the railing. Sent in the details and it was the first resight since being banded. At Castle Island in 2013. Not quite as exciting as I hoped. Looped through Norumbega (GW Teal) and back around the res (Common Loon) on the way home.

Sunday 10/14: Started at Hanscom. Targets were RB Nuthatch and Purple Finch. Didn’t get the nuthatch but got a bunch of other Bedford birds including Harrier, GH Owl, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and American Pipit. Went out to Fitch’s Bridge Rd next. Lots of birds, got most of the sparrows I wanted but nothing terribly exciting. Thought about another stop out that way but went to Waltham St instead, which was quiet.

Monday 10/15: Rock Meadow had a Dickcissel (finally) and lots of sparrows.

Tuesday 10/16: Round Hill had a YB Cuckoo (about time I got one considering the big influx).

WIR 10/3-10/9

Wednesday 10/3: Lots of Swamp Sparrows and not much else at Great Meadows (other than a brief flyby flock of mostly Pecs).

Thursday 10/4: Missed the Dickcissel at Rock Meadow and didn’t have too much else.

Friday 10/5: Usual at Wayland Community Gardens, Bronze Copper the best.

Saturday 10/6: Started at Danehy (planned before the WE Vireo showed up). No vireo, lots of other birds including 7(+) species of warbler, Clay-colored Sparrow(s), Warbling Vireo, and Rusty Blackbird. Spy Pond had very little, Meadowbrook had a Black-and-white and a BH Vireo. Lower end of the Mystic Lakes had a nice flock with Parula, Black-and-white, Redstart, more vireos, both kinglets, etc. Sandy Beach had Purple Finches and a sapsucker.

Sunday 10/7: Led an MBC walk at Waltham St. Started nicely except the birds refused to sit still but then died down and we had basically no birds on the normally busy edges of the back right field. Dunback was about the same. I continued to BBN (nothing around the parkway), Rock Meadow (ravens, WC Sparrow but no Dickcissel), and the duck ponds (nothing).

Monday 10/8: Great Meadows was quiet. Did have a couple Pecs and a yellowlegs on the way out plus first pipit of the season. Decided to head back to Danehy from there and refind the possibly interesting warbler from the other day. No luck with that, felt like pretty complete turnover. Nashville, White-crowned, not too much else exciting. Continued to Fresh Pond. GW Teal at the golf course, 2 Orange-crowns at Lusitania were the highlights.

Tuesday 10/9: Lindentree had extra electric fences, 3 pipits, and not a ton else.

WIR 9/26-10/2

Wednesday 9/26: Nashville, few Purple Finches, Red-shoulder (or two?) at Rock Meadow.

Thursday 9/27: Traffic on the way to Westborough, so not enough time. Lots of the common stuff.

Friday 9/28: Great Meadows was pretty quiet in the rain. Lots of sparrows on the path, nothing exciting among them. Only shorebirds were 2 Leasts flying over and nothing much in ducks.

Saturday 9/29: Squantum area run. Very little at Squaw Rock and the marshes. Commander Shea was busy, Northern Waterthrush and Lincoln’s Sparrow the best. Nut Island had a big but distant feeding frenzy. Passanageset Park had lots of sparrows but little else.

Sunday 9/30: Joined the MBC walk at Waltham St, which wasn’t overly exciting (few Lincoln’s about it). After we did the equally dull Dunback, I continued to Kaveski. Pec at the back, then a nice close Red-shoulder flyover. Walked down the road a bit and had a late nighthawk and a very late gnatcatcher. Ricci Fields next, Pileated and coyote about it. Had enough time to buzz the res (7 Ruddy) and Hardy Pond (1 Ruddy, 2 Greater Scaup) before the game.

Monday 10/1: BBN was pretty busy, had about 30 species on the parkway alone. Philadelphia Vireo the best, along with a few warblers and sparrows.

Tuesday 10/2: Arlington Res had a few ducks and too much rain to find much else.

WIR 9/19-9/25

Wednesday 9/19: Nothing in the yard.

Thursday 9/20: Turned the wrong way on 495 to go to Westborough so went to Waseeka instead. Very little there, but looks interesting for late May next year.

Friday 9/21: First of fall Lincoln’s and White-throated Sparrow and Blackpoll Warbler plus a couple other warblers at the Wayland Community Gardens.

Saturday 9/22: Danehy was a bust, Barn Swallow the only thing of note. Waltham St was pretty busy, added 3 birds to my list there: Cape May and BT Blue Warblers plus RB Nuthatch. Few Palms, Blackpolls, Nashvilles, and Purple Finches as well. Water up a bit at Hobbs Brooks and not much for shorebirds but a mixed flock along the road had a Philadelphia Vireo and a harrier flew over the water, numbers 169 and 170 for me here!

Sunday 9/23: Started at Nahanton. Big flock moving around when I arrived, failed to pull anything beyond Blackpoll and Parula from it (which was pretty much all others had too, so maybe failed isn’t the right word). Worked the sunny side of the gardens after the flock dispersed and added Cape May and Palm plus flyover Osprey. Moved on to Cutler Lake. No birds on the water. Wood Thrush near the river opening was good as was a singing Warbling Vireo at the end of the offices. Also finally got Blackpoll and BT Green for Norfolk. Next stop Millennium which was very quiet. Leucistic robin and the Red-shoulder calling were about it. Went to Brook Farm to try to see the hawk, succeeded with naked eye view as it flew away but did have a Nashville and Black-and-white.

Monday 9/24: Cool, cloudy, and windy at BBN. Scold tape brought in a few parulas and BT Green but pretty minimal beyond that.

Tuesday 9/25: Had to get some car stuff done, so only a brief stop at Purgatory. BH Vireo and a couple Blackpolls along the road was about it.

WIR 9/12-9/18

Wednesday 9/12: 3 Parula, BT Green, Nashville, little else at BBN.

Thursday 9/13: Farm Pond was pretty quiet. Osprey and the jays once again were working a GH Owl but not much else.

Friday 9/14: Yellow Warbler about it at Rock Meadow.

Saturday 9/15: MBC walk at BBN was fairly quiet. One big flock in awful light that moved downhill quickly so we missed more than we got. We continued to Rock Meadow, which had Purple Finches. A couple of us continued to McClennen (nothing) and Arlington Res (few shorebirds) and then I did Hobbs Brook (usual).

Sunday 9/16: Went out to Watatic. Three loons at Fitchburg Res plus a few warblers there and at Ashby Res on the way over. Cape May on the way up plus a Winter Wren just short of the summit. Stayed with the hawkwatch until late afternoon. Wasn’t a great day but just enough to keep interest up.

Monday 9/17: College Pond was pretty quiet.

Tuesday 9/18: Checked ponds for any storm-related stuff, didn’t find anything better than a few Hooded Mergansers at Flint’s.