WIR 10/20-10/26

Wednesday 10/20: Lone Tree Hill was quite birdy. Finally a Purple Finch on the ground, lots of sparrows including a Towhee, a few warblers, etc. Quick check of the duck ponds had lots of Mallards, a black duck, 3 Wood Duck, and not much else. Water level was down again, but I’m sure it’s too late for any shorebirds.

Thursday 10/21: Quick check of the res had an interesting flock way out in awful light. Sure they weren’t scoters but couldn’t say much else. Decided on Alewife instead of Danehy based on traffic. GC Kinglet and Hermit Thrush were Cambridge year birds plus a BT Green and Nashville. Winter Wren was new for Cambridge in general. Had just enough time for a quick loop of the Acorn Park side. Walking past the ponds, a guy waved me over and said “I think there’s a bittern here.” And there was!

Friday 10/22: Arlington Res for the Stilt Sandpiper for the second half of October and anything else. Sandpiper cooperated, a few yellowlegs were still around, but not much else. Gadwall was a  ‘commute’ year bird and GC Kinglets are back after being a no show last winter. The two at the farm were local combined town year list #1484, a new high for me.

Saturday 10/23: Started on Water Row. The viewpoint had a tree blocking a bit and isn’t as good in fall, plus nothing was moving. Lot of sparrows down the road so I stopped and walked a bit but didn’t find much of note. Round Hill ad a lot of Song and Swamp Sparrows in the gardens but not much else (Herring Gull was #100 for the site though). Walked through the GM headquarters trail too and added Mute Swans, a couple Purple Finches, and a Winter Wren plus 3 deer.

Sunday 10/24: Worked Arlington a bit. After a check of the res (eagle trying to hold something in the water), started at McClennen. Fairly birdy around the pond and above (although too many dogs above to really check). GW Teal and Purple Finch the highlights (plus a likely siskin) but a couple phoebes and bunch of Savannah Sparrows were nice too. Spy Pond had a cormorant on the water and 10 geese on the ballfield and that was it. Started to go to Meadowbrook but decided it wasn’t worth the effort and went to Sandy Beach instead. Both kinglets, at least one sapsucker, and not too much else (good conversation though). Made a quick stop at Winter Pond after for Wood Duck and PB Grebe, which were almost the entirety of what was there.

Believe the Wood Duck was local combined town year list #1500 (see Friday). The super crazy goal when I started this idea (2014 or so) was to average 100 a town, so with 16 towns in the area, I’m 99 away. Currently at 6 over 100 plus 4 at 96 or more. Newton’s at 84 and the rest are between 54 and 71. Only need 6-7 per town from here, or get all those under 75 to 75 and those under 100 to 100 and a couple more each for those already above. There’s 18 species not in all towns that should be doable in all, plus some more ducks (and pigeon in 7 towns) and I can get there.

Monday 10/25: Flock of ducks flying around in the rain at the res appeared to be Black and Mallard. Nothing at Flint’s. Nice GWF Goose at Nine Acre, which appears to have led to others finding a second at School St.

Tuesday 10/26: Quick res/Flint’s check had nothing.

WIR 10/13-10/19

Wednesday 10/13: Cookson was quiet, although a Swamp Sparrow got me to a clean 100 in Watertown (Mt. Auburn is under Watertown in my records, so shows quite a bit higher). Very little east of the square.

Thursday 10/14: Went to Arlington Res hoping for a late shorebird like a White-rump or Dunlin. Unlike my last couple visits, the sun was out, so it was near impossible to scan from the playground side. Picked up a few things including both teal and both yellowlegs before checking the farm. A few sparrows and a warbler popped up. I expected it to be the Orange-crowned Kathy had a couple days ago, but it was a Nashville. Decided to continue towards the beach as the light would be better. Nothing much beyond a couple Semipalmated Sandpipers, so I turned to head the other way (construction makes circling hard). Back along the farm edge, I made another scan and something with the yellowlegs was rather tipped over. Looked good for a Stilt Sandpiper, so I doubled back to near the beach and got very good views. Had just enough time after that to check from the other opening by the Rindge playground and found a snipe there, but the light wasn’t good for ducks. Checking reports now, I see a couple White-rumps were reported so my original idea was good too.

Friday 10/15: BBN was moderately birdy, although without too much of interest. Kingfisher, BH Vireo about the best.

Saturday 10/16: Avoided the BBC trip at Nahanton by going to Cold Spring Park instead. Red-eyed Vireo and lots of robins and Yellow-rumps but next to nothing else. Stopped at Norumbega on the way home and had a bunch of GW Teal. Half stop at the res first had a Ruddy. Did Hobbs Brook in the afternoon with nothing. Two Rusties at Waltham St.

Sunday 10/17: Not much at the res. Fresh Pond was pretty quiet, got the Ring-necks and Nashville I needed but not much else. Checked the Earhart area for the first time in a couple months. Tide was wrong so no spot for any shorebirds, usual gulls and cormorants, no ducks, and not much for landbirds.

Monday 10/18: College Pond was birdy, got 6 Weston year birds including a Red-shoulder finally for the ‘commute’ and a couple flyover Purple Finch. Quick check of the res on the way home had a bigger flock of Ring-necks (10 but more than 3) and a couple Ruddy.

Tuesday 10/19: Great Meadows was pretty quiet, a few wigeon and GW Teal, another couple Purple flyovers and that was about it. Quick afternoon check of Flint’s had 7 Black Scoter and a few Ruddy plus a Horned Grebe on the res. Kinglet in the yard too.

WIR 10/6-10/12

Wednesday 10/6: Rock Meadow was birdy. No Blue Grosbeak but lots of sparrows, a few Indigo, 5 species of warbler, etc.

Thursday 10/7: Usual at Forest Grove/Purgatory other than a lack of ducks.

Friday 10/8: Finally got a Virginia Rail at the West Meadow. Also late tanager, BT Green.

Saturday 10/9: A flock of GW Teal at the res were odd. Lindentree had the usual, clouded over so not much at Farm Meadow. Afternoon check of Waltham St and Dunback didn’t have much.

Sunday 10/10: Nothing on a quick res scan. Two herons and 2 mallards were it at Heard Pond. Lots of Black Ducks at the swamp plus a couple wigeon and a Cooper’s. Gardens were busy, lots of kinglets got me to 100 for the year in Wayland. Late Parula at the back, then a Clay-colored towards the front. No luck with the Orange-crowned that had been report though and didn’t have time to go elsewhere.

Monday 10/11: Danehy had a White-crowned but not much else. BT Green at Alewife and a slightly interesting flycatcher that got away. Nothing at Blair Pond or the Beaver Brook ponds.

Tuesday 10/12: Weston Station Pond had most of the woodpeckers (including sapsucker and Pileated) plus a big flock of Rusties.

WIR 9/29-10/5

Wednesday 9/29: Cookson had a Swainson’s Thrush, BH Vireo, and BT Green plus a junco. Gore had nothing much beyond a possible sapsucker.

Thursday 9/30: Lot at Danehy but not too much of interest. Sapsucker, Lincoln’s, Peregrine, etc.

Friday 10/1: Did a loop at Great Meadows hoping for a Nelson’s. No luck with that or much else but a decent way to start the month.

Saturday 10/2: Planned a loop of Kaveski and Meriam’s to start. Started well with 30+ species just along Shadyside including a Lincoln’s, some pipits, and a Nashville. Turkeys in the field at Kaveski, a Swainson’s Thrush by the stream crossing, and more in the back fields. Took a few hours to search those(…) so I skipped Meriam’s and my planned Sudbury swing and just hit Waltham St. A Clay-colored was as obvious as they get but not too much else. Eagle over on the way home.

Clay colored

Sunday 10/3: Started at the Ricci fields where there were lots of sparrows and 3 kestrels. No birds obvious on Flint’s, so I went to Round Hill. Plenty of sparrows in the gardens including a White-crowned. Went through the woods to the Pantry Brook overlook and had an Ovenbird on the way (month bird!). Decided to check the res instead of the hill or Great Meadows headquarters which wasn’t worth it.

Monday 10/4: Pond loop had nothing.

Tuesday 10/5: Got the Golden-Plover I was hoping for at Great Meadows plus a Semipalmated too. Also wigeon, PB Grebe, more coots.

WIR 9/22-9/28

Wednesday 9/22: Rock Meadow, no Clay-colored or Dickcissel but a bunch of White-throats and Red-eyed Vireos, a late hummingbird, a Nashville, a Lincoln’s, etc.

Thursday 9/23: Had to get some car work, so stopped at Mary Cummings first. Lincoln’s, couple ravens, BH Vireo, BT Green, not too much else.

Friday 9/24: Great Meadows was a waste beyond the coots.

Saturday 9/25: Not a ton at Heard Farm, couple Wayland year birds plus a Pileated or two and a Great Egret. Nothing at all on Heard Pond. Geese, cormorants, swans, and Mallards were it on the res.

Sunday 9/26: Started with a quick check of the res since it rained overnight, but nothing different. Squantum next. Squaw Rock started very quiet (clouds were still clearing). Eventually had a few parulas and Blackpolls but not much else and nothing on the water. Squantum Point Park next, also quiet. Finally got directions to the better spot for the Night-Herons on the way out (thanks Jeff!). No luck with those but a Red-shoulder was nice and poking around I found a bunch of forktails that included county record Rambur’s and more Citrine than I’ve seen before! Quick check of Commander Shea had a Hooded Merganser but not much else.

Stretching Rambur s

Monday 9/27: Quieter than I hoped at BBN. Lots of Yellow-rumps, a few Blackpolls, couple Parula, the BW Teal, and that was about it.

Tuesday 9/28: Decent shorebird show at Arlington Res although I couldn’t get the Pec I wanted for the commute. Both teal, first of fall Rusty Blackbird, as well and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the back of the farm was a new one for me there.

WIR 9/15-9/21

Wednesday 9/15: Pretty quiet at the Wayland Community Gardens. Had time to check Heard Pond and finally had a ‘commute’ Great Egret for the year.

Thursday 9/16: Quick check of Arlington Res had 9 species of shorebirds including a snipe and pec plus a Yellow-rump.

Friday 9/17: Just enough time at Mt. Auburn to get the White-eyed Vireo (‘commute’ #241). Robins everywhere but little else.

Saturday 9/18: Started at Sandy Beach, which was fairly quiet. Light was awful too, so hard to pick out anything up in the treetops. Meadowbrook next, too wet and quiet. Spy Pond parking was full. Started for the res but headed to the greenhouse side of Waltham St. instead. Indigo, first Savannahs of the fall, not too much else.

Sunday 9/19: Planned on Groton but with overnight rain figured the res should be checked first. Good decision as there were 2 Red-necked Grebes. Also had a few Yellow-rumps and a Yellow Palm. Did Flint’s too on the way, just the loon and a couple cormorants. Fitch’s Bridge was a bit quieter than I hoped, but first of fall pipits, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and White-throated Sparrow plus more Palms, a Swainson’s Thrush, and a Red-shoulder. Rocky Hill next, scolding every chickadee flock worked reasonably well with Blackpolls, Parulas, a Magnolia, a Pine, a few Black-and-whites and Yellow-rumps plus a Scarlet Tanager.

Monday 9/20: Blackpolls, redstart, RE Vireo, night-heron at Cookson, nothing much along the river (Spotted and White-throat right at the end). Had a few minutes in Arsenal Park midday and found absolutely nothing.

Tuesday 9/21: Didn’t get out, nothing of note in the yard.

WIR 9/8-9/14

Wednesday 9/8: Redstart was the only migrant at Weston Station Pond. Lot of Wood Ducks, a Green Heron, and a raven about it otherwise. Field was being mowed so I didn’t check that or the nice sunny edge.

Thursday 9/9: Hummingbird at Cookson, nothing along the river.

Friday 9/10: Pine Warbler and hummingbird about it at Danehy. (Note for Bryan: it only took 5 years after you said I should replace my camera strap immediately for it to break)

Saturday 9/11: Tried for a morning flight at the North Bridge again, think it’s time to give up on the idea. Did have 2-3 Pileated, 17 GW Teal, and a few other things (wish the presumed Tennessee had sat longer or posed slightly better). Continued to the Cambridge Turnpike marsh which had a Sharpie, another Pileated, and lots of Bobolinks overhead. Nothing much at Hobbs Brook. Quick check of Shade St had a Swainson’s Thrush or two.

Sunday 9/12: Out to Westborough. Missed all targets (Connecticut, Dickcissel, Sora, etc). Did get what must have been a Carolina Saddlebags and a presumed Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. 

Monday 9/13: Wanted to go to Wayland but figured with the rain overnight Arlington Res was a better bet. Fortunately, still cloudy when I arrived, so the shorebirds were visible. Lots of Semipalmated Sandpipers, a few Least, Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs around. Walked over to the farm, Blackpoll among a pile of sparrows and one other possibly interesting warbler. Went back to the spillway without much (Solitary visible). Wandered back and made one last scan and picked up a Semipalmated Plover and more yellowlegs, not sure where they all came from.

Tuesday 9/14: Lincoln’s Sparrow, BW Teal, Cape May, and a few other warblers at BBN.

WIR 9/1-9/7

Wednesday 9/1: As expected since it’s September, a small flock of warblers at BBN, Black-and-white, 2 parula, Nashville, Magnolia, and a few Redstarts among them. Not too much else though.

Thursday 9/2: Gave the res a quick check for anything storm-related, same eagles, geese, swans, and cormorants. Nothing in Watertown.

Friday 9/3: Hanscom, not quite as many migrants as I hoped but a few including a couple new for Bedford (Least Flycatcher, Magnolia Warbler). Had time in the afternoon for a quick walk around Dunback but other than a calling Veery, it was quiet.

Saturday 9/4: Went out west. Started at High Ridge WMA, which looked pretty nice, looks especially good for emeralds. Got 4 county birds, Magnolia Warbler being the commonest bird I still needed plus Philadelphia Vireo, Cape May Warbler, and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. Tried for some bog after but the road ended a mile short, so I went to Lake Wampanoag instead. Another Maggie but not much else. Swung by Fitchburg Res on the way home, 3 loons, a bunch of raptors (2 eagles, 4 vultures, a few others), and the first Mottled Darner I’ve seen in 15 years.

Sunday 9/5: Started at Horn Pond. Warblers included a Canada and a Yellow-rump plus a few other things. Had time for a quick loop of Mary Cummings where I had a Magnolia, Yellow, a bunch of vireos, and a tanager.

Monday 9/6: Gave the res a quick check while deciding where to actually go, nothing there. Ended up at Nahanton, gnatcatcher, Parula, and Redstart about it. Continued to Kendrick Pond, which started with an egret then a flyover nighthawk (first in Norfolk not Carolina Wren-ruled). On the ridge, I came across a large mixed flock of jays and warblers that were quite upset at something but I have no idea what. Got home and an almost immediate text from Cliff about 2(!) Golden-wings at Hayden Woods, so right back out. Took a lot of wandering but eventually got one of them. Stopped at Waltham St. briefly to see if the night-heron was still there, settled for a harrier. Nighthawk watch from the yard had 12 plus an Osprey and 2 Tree Swallows (and an interesting warbler zooming over).

Tuesday 9/7: Not a ton at Habitat, Veery, bunch of redstarts, Black-and-whites, couple Parula, probably a Bay-breasted.

WIR 8/25-8/31

Wednesday 8/25: Broad-wing was sitting on a flagpole at BBN as I arrived. Not too much else, lots of orioles, an adult male-looking Yellow Warbler, and a restart about it, plus a deer. Finally got a nighthawk at home in the evening plus what was almost certainly my first phoebe for the yard along with a hummingbird.

Thursday 8/26: Nothing much at Cookson or east of the square.

Friday 8/27: Nothing too exciting at Rock Meadow, finally got GC and Willow Flycatchers for the year for Belmont plus a redstart. Water at the duck ponds was still up, kingfisher the only bit of interest.

Saturday 8/28: Went out to Nobscot. Very little there, Herring Gulls about the most interesting. Stopped at Sedge Meadow, other than a quick chat nothing there either.

Sunday 8/29: Started at Deer Island, which was quiet. Spent some time trying to scope shorebirds at Winthrop Beach but too far for anything but oystercatchers. Saw Bob’s report of a Buff-breasted, so actually stopped there next. Only shorebirds were a couple Semipalmated Plovers, a Spotted Sandpiper or two, and a flyover dowitcher. Did a Belle Isle loop next. Cooper’s and a kestrel at the Key probably limited the shorebirds there. Virginia Rail squealing at the side platform was an overdue county bird as were the Blue-winged Teal that flew into the main pan. Mosquitos got brutal away from that edge, so went to Lawn Ave. Walking in, something flushed from the trees. Big chunky bill and long legs meant I couldn’t make it into anything but a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, county bird #3. And out at the platform, the Stilt Sandpiper was visible for #4.

Monday 8/30: Not much at Forest Grove. Solitary perched on the tree in the middle of the cove with a kingfisher beside it had me confused for a few.

Tuesday 8/31: Broad-wing, 3 Redstarts, 3 Black-and-white at Falzone, nothing at West Meadow. Waterthrush popped up for 10 seconds at lunchtime, new yard bird!

WIR 8/18-8/24

Wednesday 8/18: Osprey and a young Milk Snake at Weston Station Pond. Glad I skipped out for the ibis yesterday…

Thursday 8/19: Got to the duck ponds just as the rain started. Four Solitaries, a Least, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs. Did a res and Hardy loop after, eagle at the res about it.

Friday 8/20: Res had nothing. Meriam’s/Kaveski had a couple Leasts and a Solitary or two but that was about it.

Saturday 8/21: Started at Sandy Beach, which was pretty quiet. Continued to Fresh Pond where the main goal was checking on the Argia to see if the possible Blue-tipped photographed the other day was around. Found lots of weird Blue-fronted which is likely what the other was too. No state record but interesting. Not much for birds, Least Flycatcher the only thing of note.

Sunday 8/22: Res had nothing. Forgot to turn for Draw Seven so went to Earhart. Got Semi Plover and Sandpiper before it started raining too heavily, no storm birds though. Tried Mystic Lakes but couldn’t see anything through the rain (more joggers than birds!). Afternoon check was res (nothing), School St (3 snipe, 3-4 Solitary, 17 Least), Flint’s (nothing), and Hardy (nothing).

Monday 8/23: Did what I should have done yesterday as soon as it was obvious there was nothing on the ponds and camped out for a couple hours on the platform at Great Meadows. Wasn’t great (no flocks of godwits like out west) but a Peregrine or two, a Merlin, a yellowlegs, and a few swallows made it worthwhile.

Tuesday 8/24: Tried Meriam’s for shorebirds again. Ton of Killdeer, one Least. Plus a ton of robins and finches.