566/382

Smith'sSmith's

Was nice enough to hang around this year.

Smith's

Wasn’t quite nice enough to pose on the ground though (brief scope view wasn’t bad, glad I lugged it).

 

Side note: last year was good, 6 state birds and 3 lifers by now.

WIR 6/22-6/28

Wednesday 6/22: Red-bellied Tiger Beetle at Prospect Hill along with a Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Thursday 6/23: Nothing exciting in Lincoln.

Friday 6/24: Rough-winged Swallows and a Redstart at Lot 1 plus FOY Black Saddlebags.

Saturday 6/25: Wandered down to Fairhaven for the Clapper Rail(s) that have been reported regularly. One was calling for pretty much the entire hour and a half I was there, but never got a view. Pretty birdy otherwise, nothing too exciting. Continued to West Island, which padded out the Bristol county list a bit, highlighted by a pair of Oystercatchers. Started for Freetown State Forest but decided on Myles Standish instead. Bad move, some sort of bike ride going on and I didn’t want to stop along the road (ponds were way low too, would have been tough to access many). Stopped at the river walk briefly, BC Night-Heron below the waterfall but no Blue-fronted Dancers or anything else of note.

Sunday 6/26: Started with the Little Blue Heron at Knox Trail (first adult in the county in years(?)). On to Hugh Cargill, which had a few Bog Coppers but no Elfin Skimmers. Cranberry Bog had the usual, first meadowhawks, amberwings, and Skimming Bluets of the year but no Lilypad Clubtails. Continued to Horn Pond where the kestrels were showing off but not much else.

Monday 6/27: Took a chance on another Little Blue reported in Lexington. No luck (and likely wasn’t), but first time at Parker Meadow. Looked good for butterflies at least.

Tuesday 6/28: Tower at Great Meadows was fairly quiet.

557/375

Couple photos of the incredible Yellow-billed Loon from Race Point last weekend:

That's quite the bill

LoonsCenter with Common on the left, Red-throated on the right.

 

And a couple of the Common Gull:

Gulls

Common Gull

372 and 373/556

Catching up a bit. Was hoping for 372/556 back on the 31st with the Smith’s Longspur at Bear Creek, but no bird found. Nice Short-eared and Kestrel made it worth the effort at least. With the afternoon free and halfway to the north shore, I zipped up to Gloucester. Awful sun or big crowds had me moving to Andrew’s fairly quickly. After a few minutes at the end of the driveway, I moved to the end of the road. A couple other birders were there and I overheard some muttering about puffin. A few minutes later, there was a gray-faced alcid with a bright looking bill in my scope. A bit far, took a little while to feel totally confident after the fact, but state #372. Other than one brief look a couple minutes later, it disappeared. Fortunately, the Common Murre in close at the other side was nice for all.

The following weekend was the first BBC winter pelagic. I got talked into signing up midweek and even with storms on either side, the weekend was good. The trip ran Sunday to let the seas die down and the roads to clear. Prebright and early, I drove down. After a bit of a late start (get better Ida!), we headed out on totally flat seas. It didn’t take long for lots of scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, and kittiwakes to be seen.

Scoters

Long-tails

Kittiwake

Razorbills started soon after.

Razorbills

We got further out and a few Common Murres appeared, a couple came close enough for good photos.

Murre

Along with some gannets.

Gannet

Gannet

We passed a trawler and got a good number of gulls including Iceland and Lesser Black-backed.

Iceland Gull

Sometime around this, what was technically bird of the day flew by: Sooty Shearwater. Distant views, but very good for the season.

Sooty Shearwater

As we were ready to head back, a shout of Fulmar went up. It took almost 15 minutes to chase down, but eventually we got excellent views (and apparently a second bird buzzed through as well). My target for the trip, and about the most overdue bird I had in the northeast (12th tubenose in state, after Barolo Shearwater, Black-capped Petrel, and a dozen White-faced Storm-Petrels among others).

Fulmar

Fulmar

We also had an interesting Iceland Gull around here, still debating a nominate.

Iceland Gull

On the way back, we made another stop for a puffin (poor views earlier), which helped me feel confident about the Andrews bird.

Puffin

Back to shore, we stopped off Monomoy for a few minutes to take in the huge flocks of ducks (mostly eider) and the seals on the beach.

Ducks

Seals

And back to the dock in time to drive home in the light. Great day.