WIR 11/3-11/9

Wednesday 11/3: Tried Cambridge Res and Flint’s in the morning. Barely light and they had a layer of fog which made it really hard to see. Four goldeneye at the res were the only things I picked out. With extra time, stopped at Hardy Pond as well with 1 Bufflehead, many Ruddy, and a cormorant that appeared to be in the process of getting pulled underwater by something.

Thursday 11/4: Went to the riverwalk at lunch but the rain picked up, so I saw 15 Ring-billed Gulls.

Friday 11/5: Tried Cambridge Res again in the morning, too dark and not much. Went back to the riverwalk which was pretty quiet.

Saturday 11/6: Started with a Cambridge Res/Flint’s Pond loop. A female-type Black Scoter and an adult Bald Eagle at the res got my Waltham yearlist to 150. Flint’s had a female Surf or White-winged Scoter that was way too far out. On to Meriam’s corner which was pretty quiet (few pipits, lots of flyover robins and stuff but nothing of real interest). After lunch, I went back to Flint’s and spent 30 minutes wandering the woods before I found the scoter slightly closer and confirmed it as a Surf. Also had 9 Bufflehead, 7 Common Goldeneye, 6 Common Merganser, and 15 Hooded Merganser. Then went around the Arlington Res. Five shovelers and four coots were the only interesting things on the water. Busa was loaded with juncos and I managed a Fox (res bird #140) and White-crowned Sparrow among them.

Sunday 11/7: Went on the BBC trip to the NH coast. Stopped at Plum on the way home to finally get Cattle Egret onto my state list (not exciting enough a bird to chase and I’ve never been in the area of one until now somehow).

Cattle Egret

Monday 11/8: Somehow got out during the sunny break. Ran over to Purgatory Cove. Not much in the cove, but scanning across the river towards Edgewater Drive, I found 4 Gadwall, 3 Pied-billed Grebe, and about 5 each Ring-necked and Ruddy Ducks. John Hines had seen those and much more over the last week mostly further up the river, so it was nice to get them in Waltham.

Tuesday 11/9: Prospect Hill was pretty quiet beyond a Hairy Woodpecker destroying a tree (the falling pieces looked like they’d hurt if someone got hit). Not sure why they close the road on 10/29 for the winter.

WIR 7/13-7/19

Tuesday 7/13: Joined a survey at Hanscom this morning. Very cool to be able to walk around the runways. Lots of meadowlarks and Bobolinks plus up to 5 Grasshopper Sparrows and an Upland Sandpiper (finally for the state and county). No luck confirming either of those however.

Wednesday 7/14: Hardy Pond, watched a flock of red-wings on the field and pretty much ignored the pond.

Thursday 7/15: West Meadow (Met State Boardwalk). First Shadow Darner of the year but otherwise pretty quiet. Very overgrown, not coming back at lunch until that gets cleared up.

Friday 7/16: Duck Ponds. Juv Spotted Sandpiper and a kingfisher at the ponds. Bushwhacked past the fallen trees down below and heard wrens scolding something. Little more bushwhacking and I was looking at the Screech-Owl again! Definitely has a bit of down still, so combined with the week, I’m calling it confirmed. Got out of work early and ran back over with the camera:


Saturday 7/17: Great Meadows before it got too hot. Vegetation is a bit high too see easily but there were a few Least Sandpipers around. A Black-crowned Night-Heron flew over and a Solitary Sandpiper flew down the river. At the bittern bench a small heron popped up, but turned out to be a Green Heron. A Swift River Cruiser (there were several on the river earlier) came in and landed right next to the bench and allowed for some nice photos:


After that I stayed in and got around to a bunch of documentation that’s long overdue.

Sunday 7/18: Started at Rock Meadow. Out of my targets, only had success with Orchard Oriole (see previous post). Continued on to McLean where a Striped Hairstreak was a surprise. Finished with a quick walk along Concord Ave to check the marshes (nothing today but an early morning trip with some tapes might be an idea).


Monday 7/19: Deep in the woods at Prospect Hill, 1 deer and not much else.


Finally caught up with a Lark Sparrow in state and county, this one being found yesterday by Karsten Hartel at Danehy Park in Cambridge.

Lark Sparrow

Lark and Savannah

With a Savannah


Row of sparrows: Chipping, Savannah, Lark, Chipping (probably want to click to enlarge this one).