WIR 12/15-12/21

Wednesday 12/15: Worked my way to the doctor’s for a physical. Nothing really of note at Forte Park, the square, or Arsenal Park.

Thursday 12/16: Got to BBN too late for the geese but there was a Bufflehead on the water, patch #188! Nothing interesting at the field station or Hardy.

Friday 12/17: Dunback had a ton of Red-wings, a RC Kinglet, and a grackle but that was about it.

Saturday 12/18: Did a bit of CBC scouting. Gore was quiet beyond juncos. Peregrine at Cookson was somehow my closer than Great Meadows this year. Nothing much on the river. Decided to run over to Great Meadows after but couldn’t dig out any Cackling Geese. Did get one of the pintails at least.

Sunday 12/19: CBC, again lots of normal and not much unusual. Started in the snow at Dunback where a sapsucker was new for the section. Falzone was quiet (although the group that did the hill had a ton of White-throats and Hermit Thrushes). Hardy had a lot but all expected. Afternoon at Gore and along the Charles didn’t add much either.

Monday 12/20: Had to go into the office so went to Heard, which was quiet. At least 8 Gadwall among others at the swamp though. Hopefully was worth missing the eagle…

Tuesday 12/21: Decided not to head south unless there was an early positive report so went to Forest Grove. Usual stuff there and at the res on the way.

WIR 12/8-12/14

Wednesday 12/8: Started CBC scouting by hitting the river walk for the first time in ages. Was dark and nasty so not much anyway. Couple Ring-necks and a couple kinglets were about it there. Had plenty of time to go all the way to Prospect St. Wasn’t shocked by a Pine Warbler down that way.

Thursday 12/9: Finally got a Pileated at BBN. Also 2 Hermit Thrushes, a couple Red-wings, a few other of the should get but often a pain in winter species.

Friday 12/10: Too dark early. Quick res trip while waiting for it to brighten had mergansers but nothing else. Went to Ricci Field from there. Orange-crowned was almost the first bird seen, #180 for Lincoln. Also 2 ravens, a couple Savannahs.

Saturday 12/11: Not terribly nice so pond loop it was. Nothing at the res or Flint’s. Big flock of geese by the river at Nine Acre but the White-fronts were on Plainfield. The big flock appeared to be entirely Canada. Also a ton of turkeys. Spy Pond had an eagle and 230+ Common Mergansers. Too foggy at the Mystic Lakes and it started pouring right after.

Sunday 12/12: Fresh Pond was pretty quiet, sapsucker the most interesting. Quick stop at Blair Pond had nothing but as I was driving off I noticed an eagle sitting on a nearby rooftop. Alewife had a GW Teal and not much else.

Monday 12/13: Falzone was pretty quiet, lots of waxwings on the way out. West Meadow had a couple Rusties and a Winter Wren.

Tuesday 12/14: Bunch of Savannahs at Kaveski, couldn’t pick out the Cacklers at Meriam’s.

WIR 12/1-12/7

Wednesday 12/1: Tried to grab a couple month birds immediately with no luck. Res was quiet. Nothing but cowbirds at Nine Acre, no birds at all at School St. A few ducks at Flint’s and a few more at Hardy but nothing of any real interest.

Thursday 12/2: Tried to squeeze a Newton bird or two at Forte Park but no luck. Wood Ducks and lots of Hoodies at Cookson but not much for passerines.

Friday 12/3: Did another pond loop as it was too windy for much else, nothing particularly of note. Suspect the WF Geese were on the river but no good spot to scan.

Saturday 12/4: More Newton work for no gain. Grackles and a Winter Wren at Cold Spring were the best there. City Hall was birdy but other than waxwings nothing of interest. Bullough’s Pond and Crystal Lake didn’t have much. Chestnut Hill Reservoir had the Redhead plus both scaup, a Hairy Woodpecker, and a few other things. Hammond Pond had 4 Wood Ducks and the continuing Lesser Scaup.

Sunday 12/5: Did the Earhart area hoping for some of the late warblers with pretty good success. Draw Seven was pretty dead beyond a Peregrine zooming through as I was leaving. Ton of sparrows as I got out of the car at Sylvester Baxter including 20+ White-throats and 4+ Swamp. Pine Warbler was vocal and posing but chat wasn’t obvious, so I ducked under the bridge to check Shore Dr. Found the other Pine Warbler at the end but no Orange-crowned. Back at Sylvester Baxter I heard I had just missed the chat but got a kinglet. Took a good 30-40 minutes before the chat came back out, with a few good poses and lots of hiding.

Next tried Station Landing which was quiet, lot of the brush along the train tracks was removed. Over to Earhart. Started with the casino. Ended up walking all the way to near Broadway and back. Oriole popped up in the middle, clearly a Baltimore somewhat unfortunately. Heading back, a Chipping Sparrow called and then posed by Costco and a Yellow-rump was right at the dam (along with a Hermit Thrush). Debated skipping Gateway but decided to make a quick run over. Lots of White-throats were moving around at the far side and while scanning those a Black-and-white popped up! Warbler #12 for MA in December! Also a couple Carolina Wrens turned out to be new for me here.

Monday 12/6: Another pond loop given the weather. Nothing new at Hardy, the res, or Flint’s (more mergansers there). Saw a bunch of geese on Farrar so parked and walked back but nothing good with them. Nothing at Nine Acre.

Tuesday 12/7: Fox Sparrow, 8 Red-wings, Sharpie, Yellow-rump at Dunback.

WIR 11/24-11/30

Wednesday 11/24: Dunback was birdy, although mostly White-throats. Did finally get a couple Fox Sparrows for the fall plus 2 Yellow-rumps, a Winter Wren, and a cowbird.

Thursday 11/25: Started at Ricci Field. Leucistic Song Sparrow, a Killdeer, and flyover Common Mergansers weren’t bad. Walked a bit at Flint’s next, nothing much there. Stopped at the pullout and did have a few ducks although nothing particularly interesting. Saw David had a longspur at School St, so headed over there as I needed the larks too for the year. Figured it would be a bit of a challenge but the flock was close to the road and I had barely counted 10-15 before the longspur popped into view.

Friday 11/26: Res was quiet. Had been thinking about Earhart but thought better of it for Black Friday so went to Horn Pond. Usual stuff there, big flock of geese to sort through but nothing interesting. Continued to the Mystic Lakes which were quiet, as were Spy Pond and Hardy Pond.

Saturday 11/27: Too windy so went for sheltered spots. Hammond Pond (car scannable) had the Lesser Scaup and PB Grebe (and a Turkey Vulture heading home) so 100 in Newton is still possible. D. Blakely Hoar had a vulture or two and a Winter Wren. Matt Garvey’s Rufous Hummingbird came to the feeder almost immediately. Leverett Pond had a few ducks plus a creeper and other not terribly interesting passerines. Quick Norumbega to Angleside check didn’t have much.

Sunday 11/28: Decided to stay local and did a longer walk around BBN for the first time in a bit. Lots of geese, an eagle, a Rusty Blackbird, and not a ton else. Duck ponds were quiet. Blair Pond was birdy, Sharpie, two kingfishers the most interesting.

Monday 11/29: Sharpie along the way to Forest Grove. Added Great Black-backed Gull, American Tree Sparrow, and American Coot there for Newton, so up to 93 now. Lots of common stuff too. Quick River Rd loop on the way out had nothing.

Tuesday 11/30: Wanted to do the West Meadow but figured I should check the parkway pond while I was nearby. Lots of geese, 3 GW Teal, about 20 Red-wings. Winter Wren walking over, then very little at the meadow beyond White-throats.

WIR 11/17-11/23

Wednesday 11/17: Eventually got the(?) remaining Lesser Yellowlegs at Arlington Res. Not too much else, goldfinch was still there.

Thursday 11/18: Lots of Hoodies and a few Purple Finches at Cookson. Almost no birds beyond geese east of the square.

Friday 11/19: Lots of waxwings and a catbird at Falzone and West Meadow.

Saturday 11/20: Went for the 100 in Sudbury, got 2 of 3. Water Row had Tree Sparrows, a Winter Wren, a Purple Finch or two, and not too much else. Grist Mill Pond had a Pied-billed Grebe. Looped around a bit after, ending with the WF Geese at Nine Acre.

Sunday 11/21: Deer Island had the usual water birds plus GW Teal and a Harbor Seal. Four egrets and a Surf Scoter along the Winthrop Greenway/cemetery path. Quick check of the Charles and Cambridge Res later had nothing.

Monday 11/22: Bit too rainy to walk, nothing on the res or Flint’s. Geese were at Verrill along with a big blackbird flock.Wigeon at Elm Brook, nothing different at Hardy.

Tuesday 11/23: Nothing much at Kaveski/Meriam’s.

WIR 11/10-11/16

Wednesday 11/10: Nothing at Forest Grove.

Thursday 11/11: Usual at West Meadow, nothing at Blair Pond or the duck ponds.

Friday 11/12: Nothing in the rain.

Saturday 11/13: Usual at Kaveski, nothing on the ponds.

Sunday 11/14: Started at Castle Island. Trees were empty, not much on the water, turnstones and Dunlin on the rocks. Bit windy too, so decided to head inland next. Went to Fenway but no easy parking so gave up and went to Magazine Beach, which also had an event and no parking. Gave up and just did Blair Pond (nothing) and Clay Pit (a few ducks and cormorants plus Ring-billed Gull got Belmont to 100).

Monday 11/15: Great Meadows had a Ruddy, eagle, 40+ coots, and a Snow Bunting.

Tuesday 11/16: Weston Station Pond had teal and Ring-necks and a Pine Warbler or two in the field nearby.

WIR 11/3-11/9

Wednesday 11/3: Tried for a Cattle Egret at Farm Meadow but the cows were gone. Ran over to Lindentree too, nothing exciting there. Did get GC Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, and Purple Finch between the two sites, so that’s town #7 to 100. 

Thursday 11/4: Remembered to check my monthly targets and realized Lesser Yellowlegs was on them so off to Arlington Res. Lots of ducks, a Blackpoll at the farm (and a European Goldfinch), and eventually found the yellowlegs in the corner. Got a text about scoters at Nagog, so decided rather than fight the sun, I should check the res. Got there and had 60 Black Scoter and 20 Bufflehead. Another four scoter at Flint’s later. Probably should have run out in the evening…

Friday 11/5: Stork stayed and I beat the rehabbers, so mission accomplished. Also a sapsucker, 2 Winter Wrens, a few other Woburn year birds.

Saturday 11/6: Wanted to do a Nahanton check but figured since it wouldn’t be sunny in the gardens early, starting at Millennium was a good idea. Turned out ok with a White-crowned Sparrow almost immediately out of the car (joined by a second when I got back). Also a few bluebirds, a Virginia Rail or two, and a Rusty or two. Wish the lark and Snow Bunting calls were heard a bit better. Nahanton turned out to be a bit of a bust, nothing different, meadowhawk the only thing of any note. Zipped through Norumbega on the way home and had a pair of wigeon, new to Weston and town #8 to 100. Afternoon res loop had 125 Ring-necks finally.

Sunday 11/7: Didn’t have a ton of time, so went to Dunback (fortunately the clock change means early mornings are easier for a few weeks). Started fairly quiet, but a siskin calling over the marsh was nice (although I later realized I had one here January 1st so it was pretty meaningless). Way at the end of Bacon St, I had an Orange-crowned Warbler (finally) and while waiting for better views a second popped up along with a Palm. Nothing particularly unexpected but that’s 5 warblers for the month now. Not much the rest of the way around. Waltham St. had lots of birds, although other than a single Rusty in with the Red-wings and another(?) siskin there wasn’t much of interest.

Monday 11/8: Hanscom was a good change. Lots of bluebirds and a shrike started chasing them (unfortunately while looking straight into the sun and then at long distance). Also a few sparrows and other little birds. Gaining Ground was pretty busy too in the few minutes it took to get over to the Massport Trail and a meadowhawk was around on the way out.

End of month update: Realized the shrike was Middlesex town tick #4800!

Tuesday 11/9: Fairly quiet at BBN, a sharpie on the way out was about it.

WIR 10/27-11/2

Wednesday 10/27: Entirety of birds at the res were 1 PB Grebe, 1 swan, and one eagle.

Thursday 10/28: Bunch of Hoodies, a couple scaup too far out, and a Ring-neck at the res. Two GW Teal and not too much else at Forest Grove. Gadwall at Norumbega.

Friday 10/29: GW Teal and a Purple Finch at BBN, 50+ Cedar Waxwings and a few more Purples at the West Meadow. Res was empty at midday.

Saturday 10/30: Wasn’t raining too much so after the res (nothing), I headed to Draw Seven. Osprey, not much else there and about the same at Station Landing. Lower end of the Mystic Lakes had both kinglets, a creeper, and a BH Vireo. Spy Pond had 7 Ring-necks.

Sunday 10/31: Decided to try Wachusett Reservoir for a change. Mergansers were in at Flint’s on the way over. Gate 40 had nothing, the North Dike/Rainbow Cove entrance had 5 loons and 2 meadowlarks. Gave up there and headed to Sudbury Res. A few Ring-necks and lots of Ruddy plus an eagle. Walking the road for better views of the ducks, I had an oriole fly across. Nothing at Heard or Hardy on the way home.

Monday 11/1: Nothing on the res. Rock Meadow had a few Purple Finches, a singing Winter Wren, a lateish Yellowthroat, my first Tree Sparrow of the fall, and a harrier.

Tuesday 11/2: BH Vireo and Blackpoll at Cookson, not much along the river.

WIR 10/20-10/26

Wednesday 10/20: Lone Tree Hill was quite birdy. Finally a Purple Finch on the ground, lots of sparrows including a Towhee, a few warblers, etc. Quick check of the duck ponds had lots of Mallards, a black duck, 3 Wood Duck, and not much else. Water level was down again, but I’m sure it’s too late for any shorebirds.

Thursday 10/21: Quick check of the res had an interesting flock way out in awful light. Sure they weren’t scoters but couldn’t say much else. Decided on Alewife instead of Danehy based on traffic. GC Kinglet and Hermit Thrush were Cambridge year birds plus a BT Green and Nashville. Winter Wren was new for Cambridge in general. Had just enough time for a quick loop of the Acorn Park side. Walking past the ponds, a guy waved me over and said “I think there’s a bittern here.” And there was!

Friday 10/22: Arlington Res for the Stilt Sandpiper for the second half of October and anything else. Sandpiper cooperated, a few yellowlegs were still around, but not much else. Gadwall was a  ‘commute’ year bird and GC Kinglets are back after being a no show last winter. The two at the farm were local combined town year list #1484, a new high for me.

Saturday 10/23: Started on Water Row. The viewpoint had a tree blocking a bit and isn’t as good in fall, plus nothing was moving. Lot of sparrows down the road so I stopped and walked a bit but didn’t find much of note. Round Hill ad a lot of Song and Swamp Sparrows in the gardens but not much else (Herring Gull was #100 for the site though). Walked through the GM headquarters trail too and added Mute Swans, a couple Purple Finches, and a Winter Wren plus 3 deer.

Sunday 10/24: Worked Arlington a bit. After a check of the res (eagle trying to hold something in the water), started at McClennen. Fairly birdy around the pond and above (although too many dogs above to really check). GW Teal and Purple Finch the highlights (plus a likely siskin) but a couple phoebes and bunch of Savannah Sparrows were nice too. Spy Pond had a cormorant on the water and 10 geese on the ballfield and that was it. Started to go to Meadowbrook but decided it wasn’t worth the effort and went to Sandy Beach instead. Both kinglets, at least one sapsucker, and not too much else (good conversation though). Made a quick stop at Winter Pond after for Wood Duck and PB Grebe, which were almost the entirety of what was there.

Believe the Wood Duck was local combined town year list #1500 (see Friday). The super crazy goal when I started this idea (2014 or so) was to average 100 a town, so with 16 towns in the area, I’m 99 away. Currently at 6 over 100 plus 4 at 96 or more. Newton’s at 84 and the rest are between 54 and 71. Only need 6-7 per town from here, or get all those under 75 to 75 and those under 100 to 100 and a couple more each for those already above. There’s 18 species not in all towns that should be doable in all, plus some more ducks (and pigeon in 7 towns) and I can get there.

Monday 10/25: Flock of ducks flying around in the rain at the res appeared to be Black and Mallard. Nothing at Flint’s. Nice GWF Goose at Nine Acre, which appears to have led to others finding a second at School St.

Tuesday 10/26: Quick res/Flint’s check had nothing.

WIR 10/13-10/19

Wednesday 10/13: Cookson was quiet, although a Swamp Sparrow got me to a clean 100 in Watertown (Mt. Auburn is under Watertown in my records, so shows quite a bit higher). Very little east of the square.

Thursday 10/14: Went to Arlington Res hoping for a late shorebird like a White-rump or Dunlin. Unlike my last couple visits, the sun was out, so it was near impossible to scan from the playground side. Picked up a few things including both teal and both yellowlegs before checking the farm. A few sparrows and a warbler popped up. I expected it to be the Orange-crowned Kathy had a couple days ago, but it was a Nashville. Decided to continue towards the beach as the light would be better. Nothing much beyond a couple Semipalmated Sandpipers, so I turned to head the other way (construction makes circling hard). Back along the farm edge, I made another scan and something with the yellowlegs was rather tipped over. Looked good for a Stilt Sandpiper, so I doubled back to near the beach and got very good views. Had just enough time after that to check from the other opening by the Rindge playground and found a snipe there, but the light wasn’t good for ducks. Checking reports now, I see a couple White-rumps were reported so my original idea was good too.

Friday 10/15: BBN was moderately birdy, although without too much of interest. Kingfisher, BH Vireo about the best.

Saturday 10/16: Avoided the BBC trip at Nahanton by going to Cold Spring Park instead. Red-eyed Vireo and lots of robins and Yellow-rumps but next to nothing else. Stopped at Norumbega on the way home and had a bunch of GW Teal. Half stop at the res first had a Ruddy. Did Hobbs Brook in the afternoon with nothing. Two Rusties at Waltham St.

Sunday 10/17: Not much at the res. Fresh Pond was pretty quiet, got the Ring-necks and Nashville I needed but not much else. Checked the Earhart area for the first time in a couple months. Tide was wrong so no spot for any shorebirds, usual gulls and cormorants, no ducks, and not much for landbirds.

Monday 10/18: College Pond was birdy, got 6 Weston year birds including a Red-shoulder finally for the ‘commute’ and a couple flyover Purple Finch. Quick check of the res on the way home had a bigger flock of Ring-necks (10 but more than 3) and a couple Ruddy.

Tuesday 10/19: Great Meadows was pretty quiet, a few wigeon and GW Teal, another couple Purple flyovers and that was about it. Quick afternoon check of Flint’s had 7 Black Scoter and a few Ruddy plus a Horned Grebe on the res. Kinglet in the yard too.