I decided to go back for the Mountain Bluebird Saturday. Took the long way, with a stop in Hopkinton for what is likely the first Lesser Yellowlegs in New England away from the coast in January.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Reached Crane, found it almost as windy. Walked out this time and the bird was in the juniper as expected. Got decent scope views thanks to John and Audrey and Bobbie before it flew over our heads. I wandered back after it, but a photographer leaving said it was returning to the juniper every 20 minutes or so, so I went back and waited. Close to 45 minutes later, I gave up and went back to the car. The bird promptly dropped into the depression by the parking lot.

Mountain Bluebird

At this point, I debated going out towards Race Point, but decided that Plymouth to Quincy sounded better. First stop Scusset Beach. Parked, pulled out phone, checked email, read Hammond’s Flycatcher Fairhaven, turned car back on. Forty five minutes or so later, I had distant views. The bird dropped out of sight and an hour and a half later I decided to head for lunch. Came back, and it popped up and came in much closer, giving the views I wanted for a lifer.

Hammond's Flycatcher

Continued to Fort Phoenix, picking up one of the Barrow’s (probably had the second but it was too windy for the scope).

Nice day out.

WIR 11/18-11/24

Wednesday 11/18: Race Point at dawn had tons of birds including Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers, another(?) Little Gull, and an overdue Common Murre. Pilgrim Heights was birdy but nothing terribly exciting. Checked a couple ponds without anything of note and then ran into too many hunters, so headed to Burrage WMA to try for the Townsend’s Solitaire. Not sure I ever found the right spot and not much around (other than meadowhawks). Raven at the Whitman/Brockton line on the way home was nice.

Thursday 11/19: BBN loop was fairly quiet, 2 Fox Sparrows were the main excitement. A few Ring-billed Gulls were actually a year bird for the patch.

Friday 11/20: Great Meadows was quiet other than about 100 Herring Gulls moving through. Caught up with one of the Fox Sparrows on the way out, which was new for me there. School St had geese, crows, and common gulls. Nothing worth noting in a quick scan of the res.

Saturday 11/21: Looped both parts of Waltham St and Dunback without anything beyond a cowbird and a few waxwings. 350ish Ring-necks on the res along with a few goldeneye and an eagle down by the gate.

Sunday 11/22: Nothing exciting at the res or Flint’s. One Redhead was still on the Mystic. Nothing at Sandy Beach, the Mystic Lakes, or Spy Pond.

Monday 11/23: A few Bufflehead and Ring-necks but little else at Purgatory and Forest Grove.

Tuesday 11/24: Nothing interesting at the res or Flint’s. Started for Heard but decided Nine Acre instead. Hopefully a good choice as 3 Cackling Geese were in the field at Willow Guzzle (fairly certain they are the ones from School St last month).

Cackling Geese


Amazing work by Suzanne Sullivan.


The one standing at the back center does look a bit different but I’m sure 99% of us would have gone right past it.

Common Ringed Plover

Bigger breast band, bigger supercilium, longer and more orange bill.

Common Ringed Plover

And the toes.

Worth the Sand

Some shots of the Mew (Common) Gull at King’s Beach on the Lynn/Swampscott line on Sunday:

Mew Gull

Gull lineup

Flying off after 20 minutes (by which point almost everyone else had left):

Mew Gull

Mew Gull from below

Even hiding beside the steps, the wind was blasting sand all over. Still cleaning it out of everything.


Lapwing 1

Lapwing 1

Lapwing 2

Easy chase Monday made better when a second was found 15 minutes away. Both distant and I didn’t get the flight views I wanted but no complaints.

Which photo was taken with the phone and scope and which came from the dslr?

Wood Sand

Finally got down to Rhode Island for the Wood Sandpiper today (after thinking about it both days last weekend and yesterday). Ride down was easy, and walk out was easy (although muddy and we started in the wrong direction). The bird couldn’t have been easier to see (50 feet away at most and by itself).

Wood Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper