290!

Goal for the weekend was 200 for the year and hopefully finally get a longspur in the county. Potentially got to 200 with a goose in the morning (more later) but by the time I left Dunback, I didn’t feel like searching for longspurs.

A few hours later, while sitting at home my phone rang. Very odd call. Marj: “I’ve got a bird on the Mystic Lakes and I have no clue what it is.” And something about storm-petrel. Out the door and on the way (except for missing the turn for Rt. 2).

Leach's Storm-Petrel

Good crowd and it took quite a while to get better views than that and get the ID figured out (although Leach’s was the pretty obvious pick).

Eventually a boater went by and it flew a couple feet, which didn’t help much. But then a gull came in and gave a couple swipes, which got a lengthy flight. I went straight for the camera and filled the buffer a couple times.

Leach's

Leach'sLeach's

Nothing to go against Leach’s and everyone was happy.

288

Well that was unexpected. I spent most of the morning in Sudbury, picking up a few new migrants and a couple other things. On the way home, I debated a stop in Lincoln but decided to check the Hobbs Brook end of the Cambridge Res instead. Got there at about 11:35 and a couple Killdeer and a Spotted Sandpiper visible from the road were enough to say park and walk out.

Leaving the underpass, I pulled out my phone for a quick email check. 11:30 message subject Whimbrel in Lincoln?. Continue walking out while calling Marj. Did you check your email? What’s Norm’s number? Why did I leave my bag with notepad and pencil in the car? What’s that number again? Sorry, traffic noise is too much, what was that? Hi Norm, where’s the bird? On the way.

I did stop to scope the little bit of mud quickly (I think there were more Killdeer and a few waterfowl) before jogging back to the car and backtracking to the commuter rail station. Quick run down to Farm Meadow and no bird.

Norm appeared and started down the other side, so I went back to join him. Marj got there at about the same time and we started out along the edge of the field. No obvious Whimbrel. Halfway out, with most of the field visible, we were beginning to think that it had moved on. We continued around, but mostly talking.

Barely paying attention, we just about reached the farthest corner. And something flushed. And everyone was happy.

Whimbrel

Including the Whimbrel, which was catching lots and lots of stuff (grasshoppers and crickets presumably).

Great show as it ran around feeding and flew in closer at one point.

Although I did expect to see one in the county at some point, it certainly wasn’t on one of the nicest days of the year. In a freshly cut Farm Meadow wasn’t the place either, although it has been pointed out that the habitat isn’t quite as crazy as it seemed originally (and does anyone check the Hanscom runways?).

WIR 1/22-1/28

Wednesday 1/22: Nothing

Thursday 1/23: 3 Lesser Scaup on the Charles, nothing else new.

Scaup 3

Friday 1/24: Nothing

Saturday 1/25: Wandered up to Lowell to look for Glaucous Gulls. No luck with those but at least 4 Icelands included an adult. Decided to check Moody St on the way home and since I was already on the highway, started at Norumbega. That was frozen, but heading down River Rd I noticed a bunch of Ring-necks at the little pond on the other side of the road. Doubled back after checking the frozen Charlesbank to count them and had a male pintail in among them! Finally reaching Moody St, a Merlin flew over as I walked out to Cronin’s but nothing of interest from there.

Iceland 4

Pintail

Sunday 1/26: Too cold and windy. Checked the res quickly and was quite surprised by 5 Greater Scaup. Also surprised by a Great Horned calling around 11:30 PM.

Monday 1/27: Watertown Charles fairly early: 3 Bufflehead, 1 Lesser Scaup. Then got rained on. Rain cleared early afternoon so went back to Lowell. Only the adult Iceland at the boat club when I arrived and not too many other gulls. Moved on to Sheehy and finally picked out a Glaucous (hopefully now that I’ve got a county one, I’ll be tripping over them locally). Tried down by the ballpark again but didn’t want to walk so went back to the boat club. Two Glaucous and three more Iceland at least.

Tuesday 1/28: Cold.

WIR 11/27-12/3

Wednesday 11/27: Owl

Thursday 11/28: No outdoors time and nothing incidental in Otis.

Friday 11/29: Started at BBN, where I managed a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Hermit Thrush. Nothing at the West Meadow. Continued on to Hanscom where one Snowy was way, way out. School St. was quiet. Common Loon and the usual ducks at Flint’s. Thought that was it for the day, but a late afternoon phone call had me running back to Hanscom where Simon had found a Short-eared Owl. About as far as the morning’s Snowy, but fortunately it eventually started hunting in the field on the other side of Virginia Rd (and flew over our heads).

Saturday 11/30: Family stuff in NYC.

Sunday 12/1: Spent most of the day stuck in traffic but an eagle flew across the Hudson before we left.

Monday 12/2: River walk was quiet, except for a Nashville Warbler! Continued to Prospect St without much, then Purgatory Cove and Norumbega (2 shovelers). Lots of mergansers on the res and lots of ice at Hardy Pond.

Nashville Warbler

Tuesday 12/3: Not much.

Snowy

With the rain today, wasn’t expecting to go out (had debated circling the res but didn’t bother). A 3:15 call from Marj was a nice surprise then.

Snowy

Glad someone was out and about, thanks Simon!