I saw my first Wilson’s Snipe of the year on Sunday. It was pouring out, so I was without camera. Here’s one from the same spot a couple years ago in seemingly similar conditions. It actually was quite nice out that day and the effect is just from shooting through some vegetation.
Hopefully this isn’t the most exciting bird on the WLT Duck Walk this Sunday.
While leading a Menotomy walk along the Charles yesterday, someone walking by stopped to tell us about a hawk he saw take a gull in midair by the Moody St. Bridge recently. I can’t see that being anything other than a Peregrine, so after seeing nothing much elsewhere today, I headed over to that stretch of the river to see if I could find it.
Starting at the Prospect St. end, I quickly picked up a flock of Ring-necked Ducks, which is probably the group that hasn’t been around the other stretch lately. A bit further down a flock of Cedar Waxwings took off. I continued along, scanning through the gulls and ducks hoping for something a bit different when I came across this:
A gull with pale wing tips! The light was pretty bad here and I was having a hard time judging the size of the bird. Fortunately it was almost at Moody St. so I quickly crossed the bridge and got a better angle. The gull apparently took off while I did so as I couldn’t find it immediately. But a few seconds later, it came flying in.
It landed and sat for a few minutes giving some nice views. A family started throwing bread from the other side and it eventually flew over to join the frenzy. It appeared to have grabbed something quickly and moved back to the same spot where it sat until I moved on.
My second for Waltham and just a slightly better sighting than the first.
Just back from Texas, so lots of photos to go through. This one’s a Clay-colored Thrush (formerly Robin) at Santa Ana NWR and might be the dullest-looking bird possible.
More bird photos:
One from the archives: a vagrant Sage Thrasher in York, Maine, November 2001.
Might be enjoying these by this time next week.
And for the people, note that the goldeneye from last week has a follow up and appears to actually be a Barrow’s!
Today, after doing some scouting for the Concord CBC (which is now on hold after finding my territory all ice and deep water), I headed over to the Charles for a few minutes. It was on the quiet side (no mergansers, only 1 ring-neck) but the first goldeneye of the winter had arrived. Interestingly, the female had an entirely pale bill. With a bunch of Barrow’s reported lately (including one at Fresh Pond), I got excited for a couple seconds, but it was shaped more like a Common.
Note that the head is slicked down a bit in the first photo.
Another update: I’ve posted 3 more photos, with a second bird for comparison.
Interestingly, I had a very similar bird here a couple years ago (January 2005). Two photos of that one are below.
The previous one seems a bit more intermediate in shape, although I’m not sure whether that means anything. If you have any feedback on these birds, I’d like to hear it.