WIR 7/29-8/4

Wednesday 7/29: Had to stop by Habitat so walked around a bit. RB Nuthatch along the road and the goats were about it. Solitary at the duck ponds after.

Thursday 7/30: White-throat was a real surprise at Dunback, my first in July.

Friday 7/31: Nothing at Falzone, which left enough time to check Hardy (nothing) and the res (PB Grebe was back, which means 140 up for the Cambridge region pre-work list).

Saturday 8/1: Quick check of the parkway marsh at BBN had a few sandpipers. Draw Seven was quiet. Debated skipping Earhart but decided it was right there, so pulled in. Headed towards the casino side and noticed a whiter-looking gull where the mud would be if it wasn’t high tide. Worked around to get a better angle and it looked pretty good for a white-winger and Glaucous on size. Eventually flew over the dam (more or less got flight shots). Doubled back pretty quickly and got some much better views. First “inland” summer record for the state as far as I can tell (and there’s only one other nationally with a quick eyeball of the ebird map). Continued to Belle Isle, which was a waste (less so than looping Winthrop and Revere Beaches and finding no parking first).

Sunday 8/2: Finally got the central-ish MA swing in. Whitehall Res had one loon but no chicks visible. Hummingbird and eagle the other birds of note. Next was the Cedar Swamp in Holliston. Trail cleared a bit since I was last here. Too cloudy for odes unfortunately, Lilypad Forktail the most interesting (so not very). A few birds, nothing much there either. Looked for a spot in Ashland to stop but didn’t find anything worthwhile, so continued to Pelham Island Rd. Single Spotted and Solitary on the river was about it.

Monday 8/3: Quick check of Watertown Square was extremely quiet.

Tuesday 8/4: Regular shorebirds at BBN, nothing much else. All the Sooty Tern reports came in just as I finished work for the day so ran over to Cambridge Res. No terns but 3 yellowlegs and 3 dowitchers were nice (dowitchers especially since they were res #178 and Waltham #221).

Dowitchers

220!

Can’t believe I didn’t wait for better sun this morning, but they didn’t go anywhere thankfully.

Laughing Gulls

Also res #175 (surprisingly not on my expected list in hindsight), commute #226.

WIR 10/2-10/8

Wednesday 10/2: Fairly quiet at Great Meadows, wasn’t quite nice or lousy enough. Did have a close Pileated and a flyover Rusty plus a couple Bronze Coppers.

Thursday 10/3: 2 Solitary, RE Vireo, BT Green, 40+ waxwings about it at BBN.

Friday 10/4: Green Heron at Pelham Island Rd bridge, then a very early Common Merganser at Heard Farm. Thought that would be a good day, but got an interesting text at work.

Saturday 10/5: Not much at Danehy (FOF White-crown), tanager at Thorndike Field. Had been debating Oxbow and Fitch’s Bridge Rd but went to Arlington Res instead. Got the Pec plus a Gadwall and a few other things. Continued to Ricci Fields which had a coyote, a few butterflies, a couple Palms, and that was about it. Stopped at Hobbs Brook on the way home, 5 deer were trying to get through a panicking flock of ducks which included a Ring-necked and a Hooded Merganser was further out. Water level was down enough to check the other section, just Killdeer and an Osprey.

Sunday 10/6: Led the MBC walk at Waltham St. Really tough getting cooperative birds, but I think most people got on the Field Sparrow and White-crowned and eventually one of the Dickcissels. Most of us continued to Beaver Brook where the godwit was still being cooperative. It eventually flew to the other pond (crossing into Waltham airspace, #219!) and then back. I moved on to Kaveski which was pretty quiet and then the res which had an eagle and nothing else.

Monday 10/7: Vesper Sparrow at Rock Meadow, godwit became #225 on the commute list (in exactly 5 years on the job).

Tuesday 10/8: Weather cleared just enough and wind didn’t pick up any, so went to BBN. Nothing on the marsh, so I decided to run to the West Meadow. Usual stuff there. Did have 3 Chimney Swifts circle over when I got back to the car. Two Ring-necks on the res on the way home.

WIR 5/29-6/4

Wednesday 5/29: Rock Meadow survey. Alder Flycatcher or two, not a whole lot else but the weather didn’t exactly help. Stopped at Lot 1 on the way home and had a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher almost immediately. Waltham #218 and patch #179. Continued around and had an Alder and then heard two more Yellow-bellieds. Debated going back after stopping at home to change and get them for the commute, but odds should be good for one in the next couple days.

Thursday 5/30: Went to Pod Meadow in Wayland for something a bit different. Got the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher I was hoping for (commute and SRV bird!) along with a kestrel, BB Cuckoo, and late(ish) Tennessee Warbler. Didn’t enjoy the text about the turnstone at Great Meadows though (half hour to get there, an hour before work, and gas light was on…).

Friday 5/31: Meriam’s/Brook Village. A Mourning Warbler was singing as I started, whether it was the one that had been present or not I’m not sure. Not a ton else, Blue-wing and Alder Flycatcher the most interesting.

Saturday 6/1: Started at Forest Grove while waiting to see if the interesting plover at Bolton Flats turned back up. Think that’s three straight visits with a new bird for the Charles with an Olive-sided today. Continued to Winthrop Greenway, where an Alder Flycatcher was new for Suffolk. Magnolia was more interesting. Foggy at Winthrop Beach, family of Killdeer, a few plovers, a bunch of Semipalmated Sandpipers. Back to Belle Isle, a few more Semis at the Key, a Kestrel over the main area but not much else. Tern and the usual at Earhart on the way back.

Sunday 6/2: Quick run to Great Meadows had nothing of note (Least Bittern that may or may not have been survey tape). The Ring-neck was still at Knox Trail. Then out to Athol for an ode trip. Bit too cloudy, so the first couple stops weren’t exciting. Third stop (Spectacle Ponds) had Elfin Skimmers. Tom’s Swamp had a couple Ebony Boghaunters. Nothing terribly exciting among the birds or butterflies either but still a good day.

Monday 6/3: Nothing much at Wayland Community Garden.

Tuesday 6/4: Habitat survey was quiet again. Stopped at BBN on the way home, FOY Peck’s Skipper about the most exciting thing.

WIR 11/14-11/20

Wednesday 11/14: 2 Fox Sparrows, 2-3 Yellow-rumps at BBN. Also got confirmation of the grosbeaks from last Monday, Waltham #216 and BBN/RM #174!

Thursday 11/15: Yellow-rump, Palm, Gadwall at Forest Grove/Purgator. Waxwings and a teal at Norumbega.

Friday 11/16: Too snowy/rainy but lots of Ruddies at Hardy.

Saturday 11/17: Did a Boston swing (after a quick check of the res, Horned Grebe and Hooded Mergansers). Started at Deer Island. No passerines of note on the hill, nothing much on the water either. Did finally get my Suffolk Snow Buntings, unfortunately a person walking flushed them to the other side of the fence before I got up for good photos. Winthrop Greenway next. Suffolk Winter Wren plus an Orange-crown and Purple Finch. Castle Island after, the trees I liked last month weren’t as good without leaves. Did have a creeper but little else. Tried to get to Jamaica Pond but parking was a pain (coot and Ruddy while looking), so pulled in at Leverett instead (Ring-necks). Decided I really should go for the Blue-winged found this morning at Habitat and it was right there as I walked up. Flew off immediately and I couldn’t find it again in an hour’s wandering.

Sunday 11/18: Started at Alewife which was pretty quiet. Thorndike Field was also quiet but Cooper’s was responsible for some of that. Fresh Pond didn’t have much in interesting ducks but Fox and White-crowned Sparrows were nice as were 1-2 Blackpolls. Continued towards the Mystic Lakes, stopping at Blair Pond (kingfisher, heron, zero ducks) and Spy Pond (lots of cormorants still). Sandy Beach was birdy, tons of robins, juncos, jays, etc. Another Blackpoll or two plus a sapsucker as well. Pied-billed Grebe at the dam, nothing much at the lower end. Did get enough town year birds to top last year’s 17-town total of 1575. I think 1600 will be doable this year, not sure if my original goal of 1700 is truly reachable.

Monday 11/19: Nothing in the rain at Arlington Res. Snow Goose and Snow Bunting at Nine Acre.

Tuesday 11/20: Harrier over Hardy (and probably the house). Nothing but Common Mergansers at Flint’s. Geese at Nine Acre had moved to Verrill, so were somewhat scannable. Snow was still there and a nice White-fronted too.

WIR 12/6-12/12

Wednesday 12/6: Nothing at the res, Flint’s, or Nine Acre. Probably had the Osprey at Heard but bad angle.

Thursday 12/7: Scouting Lot 1. A flash of yellow about 50 feet from the parking lot turned out to be a Yellow-breasted Chat, #215 in Waltham. I barely saw the head, but Bob got a decent performance later. Usual the rest of the loop.

Friday 12/8: Not much at Purgatory or Forest Grove.

Saturday 12/9: Did a bit of CBC scouting. Nothing exciting at the West Meadow or BBN proper, usual sparrows at the field station, tons of mergs at the res but nothing much else, a Red-wing at Waltham St, and  nothing at Hardy (at least that I could see through the snow).

Sunday 12/10: Walked to Lot 1, no chat or much of anything. Nothing at Hardy either.

Monday 12/11: Weather balloon or something being inflated at School St, nothing at Nine Acre, lots of Canadas at Farrar, nothing at Heard.

Tuesday 12/12: Red-wing in the yard then nothing at Hardy, Cambridge Res, or Heard.

Patch Birds

Thought I was going to be satisfied with the warbler along the Charles this morning:

Orange-crowned

Although the Nashville on the way back was actually a better bird…

Then this on the res:

Pink-foot

Presuming new in and I didn’t miss it yesterday when the geese were hiding. Thanks Cliff!

WIR 10/12-10/18

Wednesday 10/12: Home all day, very little in the yard.

Thursday 10/13: West Meadow had a nice male Purple Finch, a slightly odd Red-tail, and the usual sparrows. Still don’t understand why the abandoned area by the parking lot is better, but practically the first bird out of the car was a Vesper Sparrow, Waltham #213!

Vesper

Friday 10/14: Field and 2 White-crowns at Great Meadows but no Nelson’s.

Saturday 10/15: Led the MBC walk at Waltham St. Sparrows generally didn’t cooperate for the group but we had most of the regulars plus a few Rusties. Arlington Res after had a late Green Heron and Hobbs Brook had lingering Leasts and Semipalmated Plovers plus another Rusty (my first for the res!).

Sunday 10/16: Tried heading a bit south for a change. Nahanton was pretty dead, couldn’t find any sparrows beyond Song and White-throat (and junco, keeping the warbler count from topping the sparrow count). Only thing of interest at Millennium was a DeKay’s Brownsnake. Well, that and a call from Norm about a Black-bellied Plover at Flint’s. Plover was apparently gone by the time I got there, but an early Common Merganser was nice.

DeKay's

Monday 10/17: Rock Meadow was quiet for most of the time, but Field and Lincoln’s Sparrows in quick succession were quite nice. Since they were mowing or something, I only checked the gardens and then ran over to the duck ponds. Nice little pocket at the bridge included 2 BH and a Red-eyed Vireo, a Blackpoll, and a few Yellow-rumps.

Tuesday 10/18: Little tough getting around. Nothing new at Hardy, Pileated and both kinglets at Flint’s, Ruddies at Heard.

WIR 10/5-10/11

Wednesday 10/5: First of fall Ruby-crowned Kinglets and the usual at BBN. Quick scan of the res on the way home had 50ish GW Teal.

Thursday 10/6: Kaveski had a harrier, a late oriole, lots of Red-wings, and lots of the normal sparrows.

Friday 10/7: 50+ GW Teal and the usual at Lindentree.

Saturday 10/8: Started with 400+ grackles flying through the yard. First actual stop was at Waltham St with a White-crowned, Lincoln’s, and couple of Rusties. Other end had a late tanager and BH Vireo. On to Dunback, which had a Winter Wren, another Lincoln’s, and a few other things of mild interest. Hobbs Brook had 1 Semi, 4 Leasts, and 4 Pectorals. Peregrine and the usual at the res, and nothing on Old County.

Sunday 10/9: Thought the rain wasn’t going to be so bad so went to Great Meadows. Nothing there and getting soaked, so a quick drive out to School St (400 geese, 100 cowbirds), then a loop of some of the ponds without anything.

Monday 10/10: Started at Danehy. Bit windy, but a Rose-breasted Grosbeak was calling. Seemed to be little else around but Karsten and I turned up a towhee and a raven, so not a bad trip. Spy Pond was quiet. Hanscom Trails were fairly quiet, flyover Rusty was good. Fawn Lake was also quiet and there was nothing at Flint’s. Afternoon loop of the res had 4 Pecs and a late Semipalmated Plover, which surprisingly turned out to be new for Waltham (212).

Tuesday 10/11: Wayland Community Gardens had the usual, 1-5 Rusties being the highlight.