WIR 5/22-5/28

Wednesday 5/22: Bay-breasted at Forest Grove was new for the Charles (#165), the usual otherwise.

Thursday 5/23: Tennessee and the usual at Heard Farm.

Friday 5/24: Blue-winged and Tennessee among the regulars at College Pond. Also a few odes, a Monarch, a Question Mark, and some other butterflies.

Saturday 5/25: Started with a buzz through Nine Acre. 30ish Least, 2 Semi Plovers, not too much else. Full loop of BBN next. Orchard Oriole, Tennessee & Bay-breasted, YB Cuckoo, a few other birds plus a Swamp Darner and Painted Skimmer. Continued to Hobbs Brook which had another Tennessee and Bay-breasted (both new for there) plus a likely territorial Chestnut-sided.

Sunday 5/26: Great Meadows BBC/MBC walk had perched Least Bittern, calling Virginia Rail and Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and most of the other stuff. Alder was singing when I was the only one there and a Least calling along the river was also new for me at Great Meadows. I went to Prospect Hill after, an hour and a half watching for kites didn’t find any but a decent variety of expected stuff along with first duskywing and Common Whitetails of the year.

Monday 5/27: Went to the Heald St. Orchards. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher early on, then lots of the usual. Finally got pointed to the spot with the Brewster’s Warbler. Waited outside the tangle for a bit, then decided to just follow the semi-path in. Got the warbler quickly, then heard an Alder so went towards that and flushed a Mourning Warbler. Also BB Cuckoo and Silvery Blues around. Went back to the Two Rod Trail in Carlisle after as Alan had a boghaunter the day before. Had 6-10 or so! Plus Pileateds circling a tree for 10 minutes and FOY Chalk-fronted Corporal. Decided Hayden Woods was worth a stop, still think that looks good for boghaunters. No luck yet but a decent number of birds for midafternoon.

Tuesday 5/28: First Habitat survey of the year. Fairly quiet beyond 2 Least Flycatchers. Poked around for Jonathan’s Summer Tanager after without luck but Bob found a nice Mourning Warbler by the parking lot.

WIR 5/15-5/21

Wednesday 5/15: Water level was up a bit at Arlington Res so less mud. Still 10+ Least, 3+ Spotted, 1 Solitary but no yellowlegs. Pipits still there and decent variety of warblers including my first Ovenbird and Wilson’s for the res.

Thursday 5/16: Decided it was a bit sunny for Nine Acre, started for Wayland Community Garden but decided to pull in at Sedge Meadow instead. Wasn’t overly exciting, FOY Least Flycatcher plus a Bobolink, a few warblers, etc.

Friday 5/17: Tried Great Meadows again. Didn’t expect the tern to still be there and it wasn’t but hoped for a few other things. Did get a Least and a flyover yellowlegs plus the Cliff Swallow I needed for the valley commute but fairly quiet otherwise. Did the woods too and had minimal. Wilson’s at the tower would have been nice if I hadn’t had the one earlier in the week.

Saturday 5/18: Bug day. Started in Carlisle. Quick stop at the 225 bridge had a bunch of warblers and a Fragile Forktail. Went to Two Rod Trail next where a boghaunter had been photographed recently. No luck with that but more forktails and an Aurora Damsel plus azures, more warblers, and a Black-billed Cuckoo. Over to Assabet. Fisher Loop was quite ode-y, got up to 11 species on the day with all the expected ones (including a brief detour into the Desert). Not much for birds. No boghaunters there or on the Patrol Rd. Stopped at Knox Trail on the way home for the lingering Ring-necked Duck. Got home, had a snack, then got around to looking at email to see a Worm-eating was at BBN earlier. Ran back out. No luck with that (if it doesn’t sing, it’s a real needle in a haystack) but did have Blackburnian, Blackpoll, and Canada among other things.

Sunday 5/19: Walked the patch. 72 species total highlighted by 16 warblers, Swainson’s Thrush, and Green Heron giving weird calls. Took a nap and let most of the rain pass, then chased the Cattle Egret in Dunstable. Just about a drive-by. Went to Nine Acre after, hoping for Tim and Brian’s White-rump. The rain or a Peregrine seemed to have moved the birds on but a couple nighthawks were nice.

Monday 5/20: Gave Nine Acre a quick pass. Too much traffic to want to scan from the road, but a couple Semipalmated Plovers. Continued up to Heard Pond. Alder singing, a few warblers, etc.

Tuesday 5/21: Mt. Auburn again. Not overly busy, 3 Swainson’s Thrushes, a pewee, Bay-breasted and Canada Warblers about it.

WIR 5/8-5/14

Wednesday 5/8: Out to Westborough WMA for a change. Needed another couple hours as I only got .75 miles from the parking lot along the edge of Big Chauncy. Blackburnian, BT Blue, Redstart, tons of Yellow-rumps and Yellows, a few other warblers, YT and RE Vireos, a Veery, etc.

Thursday 5/9: BBN had 10 species of warblers, Magnolia the most interesting. Also a Sharpie mobbing a Cooper’s, Pearl Crescent, Question Mark, etc.

Friday 5/10: Mt. Auburn, almost the first bird out of the car was an Orange-crowned. Also Cape May, hummingbird, etc. Couldn’t find the Worm-eating though.

Saturday 5/11: Birdathon. Rails to start, warblers all over the place at Brooks and the Fells, hit most of the afternoon targets, lots of shorebirds at Arlington Res and Nine Acre. Still ended up on 107, so no new record yet. Also first odes of the year, presumed green darner and some Eastern Forktails.

Sunday 5/12: Mt. Auburn walk #2. Too dark to start, then too rainy after an hour or two. In between, Tennessee, Cape May, most of the common warblers. Stopped at Fresh Pond and Cambridge Res on the way home and finally got a Cliff Swallow for the res. Also heard a redstart in the yard before I closed the window.

Monday 5/13: White-crowned on the deck when I got up. Started towards Arlington Res but with construction and stuff I stopped at BBN instead. Broke 50 species including 15 warblers.

Tuesday 5/14: Hoped the rain would bring something to Great Meadows but other than one yellowlegs-ish call, nothing doing (Bonaparte’s was seen later though). Walked the rail trail a short distance and had a Wilson’s at least.

WIR 5/1-5/7

Wednesday 5/1: Cool and dark so decided Dunback for grosbeaks was better than trying for migrants. Good idea as they were there (unseen but noisy) so top target for the county for the month already taken care of. Continued around and had a snipe winnowing overhead, which was probably the first time I’ve heard that in years.

Thursday 5/2: Not much at Purgatory. Thrasher by Flowed Meadow was a new bird for me on the Charles. Afternoon buzz of the res didn’t have much.

Friday 5/3: Good morning at BBN. Started with a pair of BW Teal. FOY Parula up the hill, then a loon flyover. Pair of Nashvilles on the way back to the car. Odd sparrow song just as I got back to the parkway, couldn’t find the source but suspected Vesper. Drove out that way and got the bird as it flew a few feet and then posed. Also had a flyover Solitary in between.

Saturday 5/4: Tried the same idea as last year’s eBird big day but Norfolk instead of Suffolk. Higher species total, less county birds. Started (after an oriole in the yard) at Squaw Rock Park which had a singing thrasher and moderate mixed flock including 3 BH Vireos, 2 BT Greens, and a few other things. Marshes had lots of scoters behind the hummock plus 2 Horned Grebe and 2 gannet. The actual pans had a few yellowlegs and Willet along with both egrets. Nut Island next, more gannets, LT Ducks, and a few other things. Annoyingly, a nice flock of sandpipers was way out. Suspect Purple but any of the possibilities would have been county birds. Broad Meadow Marsh was quiet and had people camping right on the bridge. Nothing at Wollaston. Tried Lake Massapoag but there was a sailing event going on so I skipped over to McCarthy Park. Added BW Warbler, kestrel, Field Sparrow, plus a few other things (FOY hummingbird among them). Stopped at Kendrick Lake to pad out the list and got to 83 (plus Red-tail along the road), 6 of which were new for Norfolk.

Sunday 5/5: After yesterday’s forecasted sun never appeared, today’s forecasted rain didn’t either. Went to Great Meadows hoping for the tern show from earlier in the week to continue but with no rain, that wasn’t likely. Did have a few Cliff Swallows, some flyover yellowlegs, a Broad-wing, a kestrel, and heard a Sora. Simon and I eventually came to the conclusion that the rain was staying south and headed to Nine Acre. Two yellowlegs on the flooded edges, an eagle over, a pair of Fish Crows, and FOY Bobolinks plus 150ish Chimney Swift. We next picked up Peter and went to School St. One Killdeer and not much else. Pulled into the fields behind Warner’s Pond almost on a whim and we had an adult eagle drop in. Got out to walk a bit and 23 pipits flew around. Very quick check of Hobbs Brook on the way home didn’t have any swallows.

Monday 5/6: GC Flycatcher was about the only thing new at Heard Pond.

Tuesday 5/7: Nobscot had a few migrants. FOY Ovenbirds, Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush plus BW Warbler, Parula, etc. And a singing waterthrush was my first for the valley Louisiana finally, which was also #100 on my valley workday year list. Also Eastern Pine Elfin and Six-spotted Tiger Beetle.

Six spot

WIR 4/24-4/30

Wednesday 4/24: Tons of Yellow-rumps at Arlington Res but a kingbird was the only other thing of interest. Another kingbird just up the street on the way home.

Thursday 4/25: Quiet walk around BBN until I was almost back to the car when I had a Black-and-white and Blue-winged plus a bunch of common stuff that I didn’t see the rest of the way. Also a Spring Azure and Henry’s Elfin.

Friday 4/26: Nothing at Great Meadows beyond a Marsh Wren and nothing but swallows on the res later.

Saturday 4/27: The most common bird I needed for April in state (and county) was Louisiana Waterthrush, so with the Little Egret probably moving north I headed a bit west. First was a check of the res (2 Common Mergs, 3 species of swallow). Flint’s had nothing, so on to Nagog. More swallows and a few ducks plus an eagle was new for Acton. Tried the Keyes/Parker land in Pepperell first. Unfortunately rain the last couple days meant any stream was a river, so no luck. Continued (with a turkey on the way) to Lawrence St where I had one last year. Probably heard one singing but it was in an odd spot so didn’t count it. Kingfisher and creepers the best of what was there. Continued to Bertozzi. Sun started to poke through but the river was raging. FOY Broad-wing and Blue-headed Vireo heard plus a singing Winter Wren but not too much else. Gave up at that point and went to Willard Brook. The river was roaring to the point where I couldn’t hear anything and the path was mostly underwater. Surprisingly I picked up a waterthrush on the way back and then heard another from the parking lot. Gave Ashby Res (Common Merganser) a quick check then pulled in at Fitchburg Res. Could see a few smaller birds on the water, so got the scope out and was nicely surprised by 4 Long-tailed Ducks. Unfortunately way out and I couldn’t find them from the other side.

Sunday 4/28: Led the BBC Mt. Auburn trip. Thought we were going to have a single warbler on the day, which fortunately was an Orange-crowned but we had a Pine almost back to the entrance. Also FOY orioles, House Wren, and Warbling Vireo plus RB Nuthatch, BH Vireo, etc. Went to Belle Isle after. RB Grosbeak on the feeders and then got the Willets I was looking for along with a banded oystercatcher. Checked the greenway next, which had more of the same. Winthrop Beach had several gannets and 3 Piping Plover plus a banded oystercatcher. Gave Fisherman’s Bend a quick scan, which had similar.

Monday 4/29: Tried Great Meadows in Sudbury for a change. River Otter, kingbird, catbird, not too much else.

Tuesday 4/30: Distant thrasher plus Yellow Warbler and Common Yellowthroat at Heard, along with most of the expected swallows.

WIR 4/17-4/23

Wednesday 4/17: Got to Nobscot for the first time this year, not sure it was worth the effort. Couple Winter Wrens, 3 towhees, Fox Sparrow, and not much else.

Thursday 4/18: Fox Sparrow, gnatcatcher about it at BBN.

Friday 4/19: Day off, so went down to Westport. Knew it would be windy but hoped that would have things moving. Scoters were, not much else. Started at Gooseberry, where I had a couple Dunlin and Sanderling then watched scoter flocks go by for an hour. Also finally got gannet for Bristol. Moved to Allen’s Pond, which was quiet (and I only managed the road side of the beach trail as it was too windy on the beach side). Got county #2 on the day with Black Vulture by the pig farm. Poked around a bit, then stopped for lunch. Egypt Lane was next. Flock of Brant was ok as was a kestrel. Continued to West Island. Walked a lot of the trails and couldn’t find anything. Turkey along the road on the way out was #60 on the day.

Saturday 4/20: Got up for the Menotomy walk (thanks mockingbird right outside the window) but decided a pond check was a better idea in the rain. Loon on the res, loon on Flint’s. Continued to Great Meadows as it started to clear. Couple Bank Swallows mixed in and a yellowlegs or two overhead. Looped the woods and it started pouring again. Tried School St but too heavy to scan. Rain slowed again, so towards Arlington Res. Usual there, 2 Spotted Sandpipers the best. Gave McClennen a quick check, nothing, and nothing at Spy Pond.

Sunday 4/21: Started at BBN. Patch FOY towhee, yellow-rump, and Savannah Sparrow plus another Virginia Rail, a Purple Finch, etc. West Meadow was more of the same, as was the duck ponds. Decided to try Kendrick Lake in the drizzle, found next to nothing. Loon still at the res on the way home, not a whole lot else.

Monday 4/22: Heard Pond was pretty quiet, pair of bluebirds the most interesting.

Tuesday 4/23: Bit rainy. Too much traffic for the res, street sweeper in the way by Flint’s. Nine Acre had 2 teal still in a quick scan. Heard Pond was dead. Waxwings, FOY Chimney Swift, lots of swallows at the Pelham Island Rd bridge.

WIR 4/10-4/16

Wednesday 4/10: Pine, Palm, and Yellow-rumps at Great Meadows but not a ton else.

Thursday 4/11: Usual at BBN.

Friday 4/12: GW Teal and Ring-necks were new for me at the Wayland Community Gardens but no Blue-winged and little else. Nothing nearby either. Did have an Osprey over the office.

Saturday 4/13: Led an MBC walk at BBN. Only one person braved the rain, which tapered off quickly. Fox Sparrow, 6+ Rusties, and a patch tick. After that, I wandered Concord Ave hoping the teal dropped in. No luck with that but did have a Virginia Rail, snipe (both new for Belmont), and a few warblers. I continued to Arlington Res, where the early Spotted Sandpiper was still around. Revere Beach was next, Manx Shearwaters were easy but no shorebirds. Continued up to Lynn Beach but no luck there either. Stopped at Station Landing on the way home, an American Lady was my first butterfly of the year.

Sunday 4/14: Decided it was sunny enough to look for butterflies at Assabet. More or less clouded up by the time I got there but 2 azures and a Mourning Cloak plus 2 sapsuckers, singing Hermit Thrushes, etc. Stopped at Flint’s (loon) and Waltham St (kestrel and Savannah Sparrows plus a snapping turtle) on the way home.

Monday 4/15: Started with a check of the res and Flint’s after the rain stopped. Nothing at either, probably should have gotten out an hour earlier. Since it was nice, I headed to Mt. Auburn and figured if it got crappy I’d check Fresh Pond. Tons of kinglets and Hermit Thrushes and a few sapsuckers plus an Osprey. It stayed nice, so went to look for the RB Mergs by the Watertown dam. No luck with those but had a Spotted Sandpiper. East of the dam had a Pine Warbler but not much else. Absolutely nothing at the duck ponds. Since there was another storm, checked the res again and had 4 Red-necked Grebes.

Tuesday 4/16: Gnatcatcher and Barn Swallow among the arrivals at College Pond plus first for Weston Fish Crow.

WIR 4/3-4/9

Wednesday 4/3: Not so nice out, Greater Scaup, a few mergs, and that was about it at the res. Gave the egret another pass and it was very obvious even without stopping again. Nothing at Heard.

Thursday 4/4: Rusty Blackbirds besides the patch additions at BBN.

Friday 4/5: 6 Evening Grosbeaks at Dunback plus a Red-shoulder.

Saturday 4/6: Hanscom had 3 Field Sparrows, a kestrel, and a meadowlark. Decided to look for Black Vulture from Prospect Hill with no luck but did have 3 Pine Warblers hiking back down.

Sunday 4/7: Started at Alewife, which was quiet beyond a Palm Warbler at Thorndike. Continued to Torbert MacDonald, which had a kestrel (finally for Medford) and Draw Seven which was a waste. Back to Sandy Beach, which was quiet. Lower end of the lakes had 4 Red-breasted Mergansers. Nothing at Meadowbrook or Hobbs Brook.

Monday 4/8: Too rainy. Usual at Hardy, snipe at Nine Acre, 2 scaup at Heard would have been good if they were close enough to ID.

Tuesday 4/9: Couple Virginia Rails at Forest Grove but not much else.

WIR 3/27-4/2

Wednesday 3/27: Purple Finches at Lot 1, Rusty over the West Meadow.

Thursday 3/28: Snipe at Kaveski but missed the Gadwall and a meadowlark at Elm Brook.

Friday 3/29: PB Grebe plus first for Framingham Bufflehead at Farm Pond.

Saturday 3/30: Decided to do a Worcester county swing. Got 5/16 targets, which was pretty good considering several were only reported nowhere near where I actually went. First stop was Bolton Flats. Ran into Neil walking out, who had just had a shrike. No luck with that, but we stood there for a good 3 hours. Unfortunately most things were in flight but we had thousands of blackbirds, hundreds of ducks, one of the Sandhill Cranes (which I figured were long gone), a meadowlark (saved me a trip elsewhere), and some snipe. It eventually slowed down, so I moved on to Wachusett Res where the Surf Scoter was obvious. Tick and run to Sterling Peat. Wasn’t a whole lot there but a Pine Warbler was foraging above the car as I was read to leave, so I got 5 warblers in state before April.

Sunday 3/31: FOY Harrier and Virginia Rail at Great Meadows. Early afternoon check of Arlington Res had an early Rough-winged Swallow but little else. That was #99 for the year, so I checked Waltham St., Hardy Pond, and the res without finding #100.

Monday 4/1: #100 was the Ospreys at the nest at Knox Trail. Raven there, nothing at School St. Too windy everywhere.

Tuesday 4/2: Buzzed Elm Brook again and got the Gadwall finally. Gave the Old Rt. 27 bridge a few minutes and saw next to nothing. Drove off and thought I saw an egret on the pond on the other side of the golf course. Doubled back and didn’t see it, but since it was there Wednesday I’m calling it. Nice early date.

WIR 3/20-3/26

Wednesday 3/20: Fish Crows and a few ducks at Great Meadows.

Thursday 3/21: Bluebird and Fox Sparrow at BBN, although the technical highlight was a pair of Mute Swans.

Friday 3/22: Did a bit of a pond loop, other than Tree Swallows at Heard, nothing of note.

Saturday 3/23: Bit too windy. Nothing on the res. Went to Hobbs Brook and walked around for a change, saw just short of nothing. Ruddy at Hardy among the other regulars. Decided that it wasn’t too bad out of the wind so gave the duck ponds a quick check. They were pretty empty.

Sunday 3/24: Early BC Night-Heron on the Charles by Watertown Square while running errands. Once clear, went to Fowl Meadow (Rusty Blackbird, Purple Finch, Winter Wren) and Great Pond (Lesser Scaup, probable Ruddy).

Monday 3/25: Phoebe was the most exciting thing at Heard Farm.

Tuesday 3/26: Few ducks at Elm Brook, no Gadwall. Nothing at Great Meadows.