WIR 12/19-12/25

Wednesday 12/19: BBN had a bunch of Rusty Blackbirds (count week!) and Red-wings plus Hermit Thrush and Barred Owl.

Thursday 12/20: Did Gore. Got the redpolls (176 for the commute year list, probably the last one this year) but couldn’t get a good look at the junco flock. Not a whole lot else.

Friday 12/21: Pond loop had an eagle at Hardy and that was about it.

Saturday 12/22: Went to Torbet McDonald for the first time. Had hoped for the Nashville Warbler reported a couple days ago but no luck with that. Did have 2 redpolls, 2 grackles, and one strange Red-tail. Draw Seven was dead. Had at least 8 of the Razorbills continuing at Castle Island before it began to pour.

Sunday 12/23: Made the trip up to Maine for the Great Black Hawk finally. Nice to see, but wasn’t exactly inspiring doing nothing but sitting in a random back yard. Checked a couple coastal spots before heading home, picked up six new birds for Maine overall.

Black Hawk

Monday 12/24: Started at Hardy which had a few ducks and a different eagle. Went a bit west from there. Hop Brook was pretty dead. Got cloudy and looked like flurries, so didn’t want to walk much from there. Hager Pond had the continuing shoveler, which was somehow a year bird, and a pair of Gadwall. Fort Meadow had a few ducks. School St was just pigeons and crows. Cambridge Res had another(?) eagle and more mergansers.

Tuesday 12/25: Dunback was somewhat birdy but no grosbeaks. Did have 2 Yellow-rumps, the catbird, and a raven or two. Afternoon loop of the res had my first mockingbird of the year there and then a coyote by Potter pond.

WIR 12/12-12/18

Wednesday 12/12: Nothing at all at the community farm. Ravens and the wigeon at Forest Grove.

Thursday 12/13: Next to nothing on the river walk.

Friday 12/14: Yellow-rump, Winter Wren, 3 Red-wings but no grosbeaks at Dunback.

Saturday 12/15: Semi-CBC scouting. Started at along the river in Watertown, which was quiet. Prospect Hill had 2 Hermit Thrushes and a Barred Owl, but I don’t think we’re climbing the hill. Coot at Moody St was surprisingly Waltham #150 for the year. Normal ducks at the res. No grosbeaks again at Dunback, maybe another Barred. Did have a vole hide poorly enough to more or less pose.

Sunday 12/16: CBC. Early owling was mostly a failure, one Barred called on its own and nothing responding. Dunback was birdy, we got the Evening Grosbeaks as a flyover and it appeared no one else saw them later in the day. Splitting here, I went to Lot 1 and had very little, then UMass where Snow Buntings came in. While we watched those, the sleet started and we bailed. I drove around a bit and saw nothing while waiting for the other group to finish before we headed to lunch. After lunch, we went to Gore (and Cookson) and had 3 redpolls, 3 Chipping Sparrows, and hundreds of starlings. We then did the river. Two Gadwall at Moody St joined the ducks I had yesterday, but little else. Even with the fair weather, we passed 50 species for the first time!

Monday 12/17: Gadwall and Wigeon at Purgatory, which is a bit too far outside the circle for the wigeon to be count week.

Tuesday 12/18: Too windy, so drove a big loop. Eagles at Saxonville Beach were the only things of note.

WIR 12/5-12/11

Wednesday 12/5: Siskin and nothing else at Prospect Hill.

Thursday 12/6: 4 Gadwall at Purgatory. Palm Warbler at Forest Grove.

Friday 12/7: Absolutely nothing at Meriam’s.

Saturday 12/8: Waited on Black Hawk news (which was a no until midafternoon), so headed to Earhart (quiet at Draw Seven and the greenway), then Belle Isle (Orange-crowned about it). Winthrop Greenway had a late Nashville, and thousands of scoters and gulls at Revere Beach (couldn’t find anything in the gulls though).

Sunday 12/9: Leucistic Song Sparrow and a Red-wing about it at Horn Pond. Cormorants and an eagle at the lakes, 2 more eagles by Spy Pond. Lots of mergs all over including Clay Pit. Interestingly, Hardy and most of the res were frozen. Presuming I’m counting town year lists correctly, the mergs at Clay Pit were #1600 in my 17 town local area this year. Don’t think my original goal of 1700 is actually reachable without not going elsewhere.


Monday 12/10: Not much at BBN. Sharpie at the top of Mackerel didn’t help. Winter Wren in the big marsh.

Tuesday 12/11: GH Owl and the usual at Lot 1.

WIR 11/28-12/4

Wednesday 11/28: Nothing terribly exciting at Lot 1.

Thursday 11/29: Eagle, Ruddies, sapsucker, Pileated at Sudbury Reservoir.

Friday 11/30: Nothing much at BBN.

Saturday 12/1: Nothing at Hanscom, Barrett’s Mill, Assabet, Flint’s, or the res.

Sunday 12/2: Nothing at the res or Nine Acre.

Monday 12/3: Marsh Wren and Rusties at Dunback.

Tuesday 12/4: Eagle, couple teal at Arlington Res.

WIR 11/21-11/27

Wednesday 11/21: Dunback was birdy. Highlights included 3 Horned Larks, an Evening Grosbeak, and late catbird and Lincoln’s Sparrow.

Thursday 11/22: Did a goose run and found nothing.

Friday 11/23: RN Grebe was still at Nagog Pond along with 4 other new for Acton birds. Thought about some other spots, then ended up repeating yesterday’s loop. Lots of Snow Buntings at School St, nothing much at Verrill. Continued to Waltham St, which had a decent number of Savannahs and a Turkey Vulture. Hardy Pond was frozen, wigeon at the res.

Saturday 11/24: Did a local loop. Rock Meadow had a flyover Hooded Merganser and a couple Purple Finches. More finches at BBN plus a Fox Sparrow and 4 redpolls. West Meadow was quiet other than geese flying over. Decided to try the field station for buntings and longspurs. No luck with that but a flyover siskin plus a White-crowned Sparrow made it worthwhile.

Sunday 11/25: Charles loop. Nothing at Norumbega. Gadwall from Mt. Feake, although I only noted one there and had 3 from Purgatory in the same spot. Also wigeon, pintail, creeper, etc there. Very late yellowthroat at Forest Grove but couldn’t find the pintail from the Newton side. Late catbird at Moody St, no interesting gulls. Around the res on the way home had a Red-necked Grebe.

Monday 11/26: Fox Sparrow and Pileated at College Pond although the Ring-billed Gull was actually the most interesting by location.

Tuesday 11/27: White-crowned in the yard. Marsh Wren at Great Meadows, but not much else and I should have lingered at the gull flock over Hanscom which had dispersed by the time I returned.

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 11/7-11/13

Wednesday 11/7: 6 Fox Sparrows and a Merlin at Dunback.

Thursday 11/8: Orange-crowned and Pec at Meriam’s Corner.

Friday 11/9: Chipping Sparrow, cowbird or two at the Food Project.

Saturday 11/10: Was rainier than expected in the morning, so started with res (nothing) to School St (nothing new) to Nine Acre (also nothing new). Seemed to stop so went to Mary Cummings and promptly got soaked. Did a full loop (finally getting Tree Sparrow for Burlington), then had a White-crowned and 3 Killdeer at the soccer field where I was parked. Continued to Horn Pond and got the Black-and-white Warbler that’s been hanging around but nothing else of note.

Sunday 11/11: Joined the MBC walk at Dunback, which was quiet. Sapsucker, late phoebe, bluebird about it. Continued to McClennen (Hoodies), Meadowbrook (GB Heron), and Mystic Lakes (nothing). Sandy Beach was a bit birdier, although nothing exciting until I looked at the upper lake and eventually realized the 4th bird in a flock of Bufflehead was larger. Went back for the scope and it was a Black Scoter, also visible from Medford. Got at least one of the Blackpolls that have been hanging around too on the way out.

Monday 11/12: Worked my way around Earhart. Hermit Thrush and 2 Redheads on the Everett side, then while trying for more views of them, had creeper and RC Kinglet from Station Landing. Nothing at Draw Seven. White-crowned Sparrow but little else at Magazine Beach, loon on the res.

Tuesday 11/13: Sort of a pond check, raining too hard.

WIR 10/31-11/6

Wednesday 10/31: Forest Grove wasn’t terribly exciting beyond a few PB Grebe.

Thursday 11/1: Went back to Habitat to get the tanager for the commute and November. Succeeded with that, no luck with Evening Grosbeak though.

Friday 11/2: Pond check had just short of nothing. Made another loop of the res on the way home (last time until March) and had 3 Common Mergansers and a loon.

Saturday 11/3: Did a bit of a pond check, 150 cormorants and 3-4 Ruddy at Spy Pond were the only things of any note (and just short of the only birds).

Sunday 11/4: Started with a quick buzz of the res, Long-tailed Duck was #100 for the year there. No birds at Flint’s, and none at Fitchburg Res. A few Hoodies but nothing else at Ashby Res. Hawkwatched for a bit at Blood Hill, 7+ Bald Eagles were about it, everything distant and not much moving. Also a flock of 20 bluebirds, probable Horned Larks, a few siskins over plus a phoebe halfway up. Continued to Townsend Hill WMA which had almost as many hawks plus a Palm, Mourning Cloak, and Autumn Meadowhawk. Fitch’s Bridge Rd had a Fox Sparrow, lots of juncos, and not a ton else. School St had 7+ pintail.

Monday 11/5: BBN had a Red-shoulder and likely some Evening Grosbeaks.

Tuesday 11/6: Nothing at any of the ponds I checked (too much traffic for the res), a few teal and pintail at Nine Acre.

WIR 10/24-10/30

Wednesday 10/24: Pretty quiet at Great Meadows. Flyover sandpiper with 4 yellowlegs would have been the most interesting if I got beyond sandpiper.

Thursday 10/25: Dunback was loaded, mostly robins and common sparrows but did have first of fall American Tree among them.

Friday 10/26: Two Winter Wrens, 2 White-crowns, 3 Hermit Thrushes, lots of the usual at BBN.

Saturday 10/27: Pond loop. PB Grebe at the res, goldeneye and maybe some interesting mergansers at Flint’s. Nothing at Spy Pond or the Mystic Lakes. Rain lightened a bit so went to Draw Seven. Snow Bunting was first thing out of the car, RB Merg, not too much else.

Snow Bunting

Sunday 10/28: Started with an empty res, then a near-empty Flint’s (loon in close but that was about it). Out to School St, which was busy although the geese were in a bad spot. RB Nuthatch near the stream was new for the site. Next up was the Cranberry Bog. Lack of time out that way this season meant 6 new birds for Carlisle but since they included junco and White-throat, it wasn’t terribly exciting. After a brief stop at home, went to Habitat to chase the Summer Tanager found this morning. Once I got the Meadow right, it was putting on a decent show. Also first local siskins, 2 Winter Wrens, and what was probably a Fox Sparrow. Did a Clay Pit (gulls and cormorants), Fresh Pond (Ruddy, lots of Ring-necks in the cove), and duck ponds (Yellow-rumps) loop on the way home.

Summer Tanager

Monday 10/29: Got soaked trying the West Meadow. Lot of Purple Finches over.

Tuesday 10/30: Old 27 Bridge again. Slower than last week but not bad, although nothing terribly differnet.


WIR 10/17-10/23

Wednesday 10/17: More or less the usual at BBN. Hermit Thrush was an overdue patch year bird and ties my previous high.

Thursday 10/18: Did a pond check. Nothing exciting at Hardy. Sun was bad so skipped the res. FOF Bufflehead at Flint’s. Pipits at Nine Acre, sun bad at Heard.

Friday 10/19: Squeezed in a day off and made a brief Cape run. Pochet Island up first (well after the walk down Nauset, which had a Hairy Woodpecker among other things). Clay-colored was one of the first birds but it was fairly slow after that. Rusty Blackbird, good raptor show, a few other passerines. Back up Nauset had tons of ducks including a few GW Teal. Went to Corn Hill next, which was pretty quiet. Pilgrim Heights was also quiet, Winter Wren on the bike path the best. Wind had really picked up, headed to Head of the Meadow but missed the turn and just followed roads at the next turn to Truro’s Coast Guard Beach. Better parking area to scan from, especially once I turned around and used the hatch as a shelter. Tons and tons of scoters, a few Cory’s, a huge flock of resting Tree Swallows, and not much else.

Saturday 10/20: Waited out the rain then went to Fort Hill. YB Cuckoo, Ruddy Turnstone, and regular stuff otherwise. Wind was picked up but tried Morris Island anyway, which was a bit of a mistake. Did have a few oystercatchers but that was about it. Next stop was going to be Santuit Pond, but since I was passing Marston’s Mills Pond, I stopped there first. Big flock of wigeon and got the Wood Duck I wanted there. Santuit was pretty quiet, another Wood Duck, 4 Ruddy, and not much else until I got back to the car, where there was a bit of a mixed flock, although nothing unusual. Realized I was at 99 for the two days and debated Scusset Beach or Crane. Decided Crane was closer but then realized it was too windy and it was hunting season, so gave up and skipped. Lucked out as about 100 yards before the county line I had a flock of turkeys. Stopped at Norumbega (GW Teal) and the res (nothing) on the way home.

Sunday 10/21:  Res had Bufflehead and nothing else. Flint’s had Ruddies. Great Meadows had a ton of birds moving, mostly robins and geese but 5+ Cooper’s and 2 White-crowns. Too cold and windy though, so I went back home for a heavier jacket (18 wigeon at Elm Brook on the way). Nothing at Spy Pond, kingfisher (100 for Medford for the year), TV, Peregrine at Mystic Lakes. Scanned Horn Pond and Arlington Res from the car without anything. Afternoon loop of the res added a few geese but did have a Merlin fly over at Trapelo and Smith.

Monday 10/22: Tried the Old Rt. 27 bridge. Lots of blackbirds flying around, not a ton else. Hermit Thrush the only thing of moderate interest.

Tuesday 10/23: Hermit Thrushes, 4 Gadwall, not too much else of note at Arlington Res/Lexington Community Farm.