WIR 5/15-5/21

Wednesday 5/15: Started for Weston Station Pond but traffic looked awful so went to Shade St and Hobbs Brook. Nothing terribly exciting at either.

Thursday 5/16: RT Loon was still on the res. Got nicer at Great Meadows, 2 Common Loons flying over and a singing Willow Flycatcher (commute #150 for the year) about it.

Friday 5/17: No early word on the Chuck-will’s-widow, so Habitat it was. Few warblers, a singing thrush that needed a longer listen, not too much else.

Saturday 5/18: Started at Magazine Beach. Waited out the rain, then gave a quick look around. Not too much, parula, redstart, Black-and-white about it. Decided that even if there had been negative reports, I should go for the Chuck. Plenty of street parking, walked over, and almost stepped on the bird. Posted, watched for a few, then moved on. Glad other people appeared to see it move a bit later in the day, did have some thoughts about whether it was alive enough to be countable.

Fresh Pond next, Orchard Oriole about the only thing of note. Realized that the chuck or the Wilson’s Warbler was #99 for the month in Suffolk, so went to Chandler Pond hoping for an easy 100th. No luck there, so went to Chestnut Hill Res where a kingbird immediately called. Ended up doing a fairly complete walk without adding much else.

Sunday 5/19: Did a walking day. Started cloudy and misty and didn’t get much better. Very few migrants too. Couple Redstarts at Falzone along with an eagle, nothing much at the West Meadow or BBN. Bobolink and a couple hummers at Rock Meadow. Hoodie on the parkway marsh on the way back, but that was about it, 61 species total.

Monday 5/20: Finally got a Common Loon for the Charles with a flyover at Auburndale Park. Magnolia, Corvus trifecta, pair of tanagers too. Turkey at the office.

Tuesday 5/21: Went to Brewster’s Woods for the returning Prothonotary. Was very distantly audible. Also a few other warblers, lots of creepers, lots of baskettails, etc.

WIR 12/13-12/19

Wednesday 12/13: Red-shoulder at the West Meadow, nothing much at Falzone.

Thursday 12/14: Grackles and a couple other blackbirds were about it at Dunback.

Friday 12/15: Walked to Hardy, about the same as it’s been. Flock of Red-wings at Graverson and the scaup the most interesting.

Saturday 12/16: Planned something of a CBC scouting trip along the Charles. Started at Watertown Square. RC Kinglet by the pool then my phone dinged with a message about Bell’s Vireo in Weymouth. Decided to finish the loop instead of turning straight around, adding a catbird and 2 cowbirds but that was about it. Zipped down to Webb SP and found that the bird had gone missing 5-10 minutes earlier. An hour and a half later, Chris Floyd found it up above where we had been staking out. Fortunately, I got a few brief views but no photos. Also had county Snow Bunting go over and a sulphur flying around. Thanks Josh, Chris, Val, Sally, etc! Quick check of Wollaston Beach, Norumbega, and the res had the usual ducks.

Sunday 12/17: CBC. Barred Owl, siskins, a Purple Finch, and a few blackbirds at Dunback. Robins, robins, robins, and a Pileated at Falzone. Lot of ducks at Hardy (all the same that have been there). Sapsucker at Gore for a six woodpecker day, a few kinglets along the Charles but it was pretty dreary by then. Way over our previous species total, just would have liked that one weird bird.

Monday 12/18: nice out

Tuesday 12/19: Nothing different at BBN.

WIR 10/4-10/10

Wednesday 10/4: Forgot my key again so got a late start at Weston Station Pond. Fortunately, parking at the other end meant I could cover the busier areas. Lots of ducks on the pond including a shoveler and bunch of Ring-necks but no BW Teal. Solar field was busy, but mostly House Finches.

Thursday 10/5: Too foggy at Arlington Res, Lincoln’s the most interesting. Decided to check the res quickly on the way home, flock of Ring-necks and a second flock of Ruddy.

Friday 10/6: Skipped the Prothonotary for Cliff’s Clay-colored at Danehy, which proved to be a good move. Took some effort but got it right before I had to go, which means 250 birds on the way to/from work in almost exactly 9 years! Sapsucker, BH Vireo about it otherwise.

Saturday 10/7: Started at the Old 27 bridge, which was overgrown and without any good viewing down the river, so moved on to Water Row quickly. Sapsucker and a bunch of common stuff to start, then quiet as it rained. Rain stopped by the time I reached the north end, but nothing exciting there. Wayland Community Gardens next, lots of Song, Swamp, and Savannah but not much else. Walking back via Cow Common had almost nothing. Nothing at Heard, a leucistic Wood Duck was it at the swamp. Gave the Prothonotary at Sandy Beach an hour but no sign of it or the Connecticut. Bunch of Blackpolls and RC Kinglets about it. Waltham St. was very quiet.

Sunday 10/8: Went down to Orleans with Alan and Diana for the state first Virginia’s Warbler. Got good views right as we arrived before it disappeared for a bit. Fortunately for those just behind us, it came back out (right next to the Blue Grosbeak that we also had been searching for). Also Nashville, Indigo, and a flyover Dickcissel for Barnstable county birds. Once we left there, we gave Fort Hill a loop, but it was windy and midday so not too much.

Monday 10/9: Tried Westborough and Wachusett Res. Wigeon, eagle, Field Sparrow were all new for me at Westborough but nothing terribly exciting. Wind was bad at Wachusett and other than a pipit and a few meadowlarks there wasn’t much. No luck with longspur or Dickcissel.

Tuesday 10/10: Flyover siskin, pipit, ton of Savannah and Swamp at Kaveski.



After a pretty quiet morning Sunday, I made one last stop at the greenhouse side of the Waltham St. fields. The back corner has been good for Connecticut Warbler in the past, so I made a bit of a beeline there. Just a House Wren and a couple phoebes in the veggies. Working the back side, I saw one of the farm workers pull in. Waved hello, said hi to the dog, and worked my way to the front.

Still wasn’t seeing much of anything as I worked my way out when a hawk flew up from the ground in the plowed section. It seemed a bit odd shapewise and looked pretty dark, so I went for the camera and started firing away. It went up and circled a bit before drifting off.

Swainson s

Looked down at the photos and it was pretty clearly not something I was expecting around here. I quickly checked Sibley, the HWI app, and a few Macaulay photos and found nothing to go against Swainson’s. Still not believing, I sent a back of camera photo out (should have captioned “talk me down” instead of just “thoughts?”).

No immediate response and with the bird apparently having drifted off, I decided going home and looking at photos on screen was the best thing. Got the first confirmation back before I got to the computer and that was enough to send out the messages and emails.

Unfortunately the weather deteriorated and despite people spread out, it didn’t reappear.

WIR 7/19-7/25

Wednesday 7/19: October Farm and Brewster’s Woods had Fish Crows, Autumn Meadowhawks, and mosquitoes.

Thursday 7/20: Night-Heron at Cookson, 2 RB Grosbeaks at the square.

Friday 7/21: Barred Owl, Hoodie, and a redstart at BBN.

Saturday 7/22: Did a walking day instead of going to the Cape. Virginia Rail, woodcock, and Osprey were new for the on foot year list, so still ahead of my target pace, fairly quiet otherwise. Nothing much for bugs, sleeping raccoon was ok though.

Sunday 7/23: Down to the Cape for the first time in a couple years with Alan and Brendan. Mountain Plover was cooperative, Purple Martin was nice too. Went to Myles Standish to get ahead of returning traffic and had all the later season coastal plain stuff, although nothing actually unusual.

Monday 7/24: Virginia Rail was about it at Forest Grove.

Tuesday 7/25: Very little at Great Meadows.

WIR 11/3-11/9

Wednesday 11/3: Tried for a Cattle Egret at Farm Meadow but the cows were gone. Ran over to Lindentree too, nothing exciting there. Did get GC Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, and Purple Finch between the two sites, so that’s town #7 to 100. 

Thursday 11/4: Remembered to check my monthly targets and realized Lesser Yellowlegs was on them so off to Arlington Res. Lots of ducks, a Blackpoll at the farm (and a European Goldfinch), and eventually found the yellowlegs in the corner. Got a text about scoters at Nagog, so decided rather than fight the sun, I should check the res. Got there and had 60 Black Scoter and 20 Bufflehead. Another four scoter at Flint’s later. Probably should have run out in the evening…

Friday 11/5: Stork stayed and I beat the rehabbers, so mission accomplished. Also a sapsucker, 2 Winter Wrens, a few other Woburn year birds.

Saturday 11/6: Wanted to do a Nahanton check but figured since it wouldn’t be sunny in the gardens early, starting at Millennium was a good idea. Turned out ok with a White-crowned Sparrow almost immediately out of the car (joined by a second when I got back). Also a few bluebirds, a Virginia Rail or two, and a Rusty or two. Wish the lark and Snow Bunting calls were heard a bit better. Nahanton turned out to be a bit of a bust, nothing different, meadowhawk the only thing of any note. Zipped through Norumbega on the way home and had a pair of wigeon, new to Weston and town #8 to 100. Afternoon res loop had 125 Ring-necks finally.

Sunday 11/7: Didn’t have a ton of time, so went to Dunback (fortunately the clock change means early mornings are easier for a few weeks). Started fairly quiet, but a siskin calling over the marsh was nice (although I later realized I had one here January 1st so it was pretty meaningless). Way at the end of Bacon St, I had an Orange-crowned Warbler (finally) and while waiting for better views a second popped up along with a Palm. Nothing particularly unexpected but that’s 5 warblers for the month now. Not much the rest of the way around. Waltham St. had lots of birds, although other than a single Rusty in with the Red-wings and another(?) siskin there wasn’t much of interest.

Monday 11/8: Hanscom was a good change. Lots of bluebirds and a shrike started chasing them (unfortunately while looking straight into the sun and then at long distance). Also a few sparrows and other little birds. Gaining Ground was pretty busy too in the few minutes it took to get over to the Massport Trail and a meadowhawk was around on the way out.

End of month update: Realized the shrike was Middlesex town tick #4800!

Tuesday 11/9: Fairly quiet at BBN, a sharpie on the way out was about it.