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 10/27-11/2

Wednesday 10/27: Tried Great Meadows again before work for Le Conte’s and Nelson’s Sparrows. No luck with those but 2 Rusty Blackbirds and another bittern were good. Hardy Pond had over 55 Ruddies at lunch.

Thursday 10/28: Beaver Brook and Waverly Oaks Marsh for a change. Not a whole lot.

Friday 10/29: Flint’s Pond before work: Blackpoll, Hooded Merganser. BBN at lunch: nothing.

Saturday 10/30: Great Meadows in the morning. No luck with any Ammodramus but a meadowlark flew over (#171 for the refuge) along with a Horned Lark (flyover, only realized after another birder asked if that’s what it was) and a Rusty Blackbird. Purgatory Cove in the afternoon was fairly quiet.


Sunday 10/31: Rock Meadow and BBN. Highlights were a flyover pipit and a BT Blue at Rock Meadow and a Peregrine at the West Meadow. Quick check of the north end of the Cambridge Res after (1 Song Sparrow, 1 Blue Jay) and then Waltham St. Fields (1 snipe, 6 flyover siskins).


Monday 11/1: Paine was quiet beyond a couple meadowhawks still around.

Tuesday 11/2: Duck Ponds were quiet. Rusty Blackbird at the end of Leitha, 2 away from 150 in Waltham for the year.

WIR 10/20-10/26

Wednesday 10/20: Started the day at Great Meadows hoping for yesterday’s martin sp without luck. Tons of sparrows and ducks. Purgatory Cove at lunch: 2 Pied-billed Grebe, 1 wigeon, 1 Blackpoll. Back to Great Meadows again: Rough-winged Swallow, Bittern, Peregrine putting on a good show, and a Greater White-fronted Goose that flew in as light disappeared (luckily it was calling and drew attention). Also had a mink running around at our feet.

Thursday 10/21: Duck ponds had nothing.

Friday 10/22: Prospect Hill was too windy but a Hermit Thrush and 7 turkeys were good.

Saturday 10/23: Started with Cambridge Res (nothing) and Flint’s Pond (4 Black Scoter). On through Nine Acre Corner to the School St. Fields in Acton where the Barnacle Goose was very obvious. Lots of pipits as well and a huge flock of grackles went over. Almost everyone there ended up at Great Meadows. Spent 4 hours there with no martin but got the Grasshopper Sparrow and 2 bitterns, including one at very close range. Quick stop at the north end of the Cambridge Res on the way home for lunch (nothing) then back to Great Meadows with parents for another couple hours. A swift and a couple swallows overhead and the mink made another pass but not much else. Pictures coming in another post sooner or later.

Sunday 10/24: Spent 3 hours wandering around Dunback. Highlights: Fox Sparrow (finally one in October), American Tree Sparrow, and another Grasshopper Sparrow. Got home and found siskins on Miriam and then ruddies, ring-necks, and hooded mergansers seeing if they were anywhere near Hardy Pond. Trying for them again later, a Merlin was perched on an antenna.

Monday 10/25: Poked around BBN, tons and tons of juncos and not a whole lot else.

Tuesday 10/26: Prospect Hill had a bluebird or two flying over and nothing else.

WIR 10/13-10/19

Wednesday 10/13: Waltham St. Fields before work had a Vesper Sparrow. BBN at lunch had an Eastern Tailed-Blue and lots of the usual.

Thursday 10/14: Community gardens were quiet. Ran over to the Arlington Res and Busa Farm after work but couldn’t turn up the Blue Grosbeak.

Friday 10/15: Hardy Pond had Ruddies and the Cambridge Res had an Osprey.

Saturday 10/16: Cambridge Res had 2 Common Mergansers, Flint’s Pond had nothing. Caught up with the Blue Grosbeaks at Arlington Res along with an Orange-crowned Warbler (and a very brief view of the Tennessee).

Sunday 10/17: Started at Danehy Park with 5 White-crowns, 2 Blue-headed Vireos, a Merlin, a Dickcissel, and another Orange-crowned. McLennan Park was quiet. Great Meadows had a Chimney Swift, 20 Tree Swallows, and 4 Pectoral Sandpipers.


Monday 10/18: Merlin at BBN.

Tuesday 10/19: Cambridge Res and Flint’s Pond before work. Res was pretty quiet although one of the ravens flew over. Loon and Bufflehead on Flint’s (but no Red-necked Grebe). Lots in the trees, pretty sure I was hearing Pine Siskin but not positive. Paine at lunch: Blue-headed Vireo and Phoebe, but more interesting was a huge flock of grackles noisily moving through the woods.


WIR 10/6-10/12

Wednesday 10/6: Checked various ponds for sea ducks before work. Found a Ruddy at Hardy Pond and not much at the Cambridge Res or Flint’s Pond.

Thursday 10/7: BBN at lunch. Pretty quiet (multiple Accipiter passes and clouds clearing 20 minutes after I got back to work didn’t help). One Red Admiral was nice.

Friday 10/8: Back side of Prospect Hill: 2 Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren.

Saturday 10/9 – Monday 10/11: Separate post

Tuesday 10/12: Purgatory Cove: 2 American Wigeon, 2 Pied-billed Grebe (on the river), only 1 Wood Duck.

WIR 9/29-10/5

Wednesday 9/29: BBN was very quiet along the parkway.

Thursday 9/30: Duck ponds were pretty quiet at lunch time. Final evening Great Meadows walk had a bunch of Chimney Swifts, a Cliff Swallow or two, and a few of the usual raptors.

Friday 10/1: Hardy Pond had more Chimney Swifts, a House Wren, and a couple warblers between rain showers.

Saturday 10/2

Sunday 10/3: Led a walk to BBN. Stayed cool and cloudy. Lots of Chipping Sparrows, robins, and Yellow-rumps and not much else. After the walk, checked Rock Meadow (nothing), McLean (Red-eyed Vireo), Waltham St (White-crowned Sparrow and Purple Finch), and Cambridge Res (Greater Yellowlegs).

Monday 10/4: Purgatory Cove had a few Chimney Swifts and way less Wood Ducks.

Tuesday 10/5: Prospect Hill finally had my first junco of the fall.

WIR 9/22-9/28

Wednesday 9/22: Checked the community gardens which were quiet.

Thursday 9/23: Prospect Hill had a Nashville, 2 Black-and-whites, first of fall Palm, a Swainson’s Thrush, and 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets.

Friday 9/24: Rock Meadow before work was pretty quiet beyond Lincoln’s and White-crowned Sparrows. At lunch, ended up at Gore Place for the first time in a long time. Lots of potential but with a truck driving around nothing much. Arlington Res after work had 10 Blue-winged Teal, 2 Shoveler, a Black-throated Blue Warbler, and 6 pipits.

Saturday 9/25: Joined the MBC walk at Horn Pond which didn’t have too much. Stopped at Waltham St on the way home, which had nothing. Cambridge Res a bit later was pretty quiet.

Sunday 9/26: Intended to start in Lincoln and then join the butterfly walk in Wayland. Luckily the emails with results on the walk came in before I went to bed, so I was aware I missed it but I continued as planned anyway. Farm Meadow had a Bobolink, couple Indigo Buntings, and lots of Savannah Sparrows but not much else. Lindentree was quiet. After wandering all over the Wayland Community Gardens, I finally found a single Bronze Copper on the way out and then had a surprise Pipevine Swallowtail back at the car.



Checked Flint’s Pond and Cambridge Res on the way home. Nothing at Flint’s, about the same as yesterday at the res (plus an egret and Greater Yellowlegs).

Monday 9/27: Purgatory Cove had about 100 Wood Ducks, a Green Heron, and a Killdeer.

Tuesday 9/28: Prospect Hill at lunch was pretty quiet.

WIR 9/15-9/21

Wednesday 9/15: Started the day with a young Broad-wing on the wires across from the driveway (yard bird #95!). Beaver Brook North before work, ended up working the parkway mostly. Three deer, a couple of the common warblers, tons of goldfinches, a Veery (#140 for the year in Waltham!), and an Oporornis that got away. Prospect Hill at lunch had another 10 Broad-wings, a Sharpie, and a few more common warblers. Two more Broad-wings over the yard in the afternoon.

Thursday 9/16: Back side of Prospect Hill. One red-tail, 1 Sharpie, not much else.

Friday 9/17: Only had a little time at lunch, so a very quick stop at Purgatory Cove. Three Green Herons, a Solitary Sandpiper, several Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, and  the usual Wood Ducks.

Saturday 9/18: Pretty much stayed in. Couple walks around the neighborhood revealed a bunch of Blackpolls passing through and a Red-eyed Vireo flew through the yard as I got back.

Sunday 9/19: Started with Lot 1 and the West Meadow, which were fairly quiet, then Arlington Res which had a nice selection of ducks and shorebirds with a few warblers and first of year White-throated Sparrow (details posted to ArlingtonBirds).

Monday 9/20: BBN had some Golden-crowned Kinglets and a few other things of minimal interest.

Tuesday 9/21: Prospect Hill before work was quiet up until I had to leave. Few Blackpolls and White-throats, 2 Swainson’s Thrushes (I think), and then a Magnolia back at the car. Ovenbird was the only thing of note at Paine at lunch.

WIR 9/8-9/14

Wednesday 9/8: Tried to hit northern end of the Cambridge Res before work between thunderstorms. Found two Pectoral Sandpipers and then got soaked. Think there was more but it was too dark even when it wasn’t raining.

Thursday 9/9: Day off. Morning run around Dunback had a Bay-breasted, many redstarts, a couple parula, Magnolia, a Veery, and a heard only Philadelphia Vireo. Led my second evening BBC/MBC walk to Great Meadows. I had 5 species of swallow including several Cliff and 2 nighthawks, the group had 2 Osprey, a Kestrel, a Harrier, and a Great Egret.

Friday 9/10: Prospect Hill before work had a good flock at Big Prospect including my earliest fall Yellow-rump in Middlesex county and more of the same warblers I’ve been seeing all week. Paine at lunch had another Bay-breasted and more of the same.

Saturday 9/11: Hayden Woods were pretty quiet with an Ovenbird, a couple redstarts, and 2 BT Greens. Also at least 6 flickers on the field. Cambridge Res had a Baird’s (separate post). Rock Meadow was very quiet.

Sunday 9/12: Joined the Menotomy trip at Arlington Res. First of fall Nashville Warbler and both Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal among other stuff. Busa field looks real good for sparrows.

Monday 9/13: Duck ponds had a hummingbird and a slightly leucistic robin and not much else.

Tuesday 9/14: Purgatory Cove had 40+ Wood Ducks and 2 Green Herons.

WIR 9/1-9/7

Wednesday 9/1: Beaver Brook North. Only managed a redstart but pretty sure there were a few more things in there, just didn’t have the time to wait them out.

Thursday 9/2: Duck ponds had nothing different, pretty wet again. Sandpipers over the house that almost got passed off as nighthawks.

Friday 9/3: Prospect Hill early: a pewee, red-eyed vireos, bt green, 4 redstarts. Paine at lunch: 2 yellowthroat.

Saturday 9/4: Checked Cambridge Res for Earl fallout, nonexistent. A hummingbird and empid were about it. A Warbling Vireo and few more Redstarts at Arlington Res.

Sunday 9/5: Plans to go to the Quabbin area were canceled so we went to Dunback. Big flock included parulas, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Blackpolls, Black-and-whites, and Redstarts. Missed Bay-breasted and a Chat however. Also had an interesting female Somatochlora, either Clamp-tipped or Mocha (still debating). Charles midafternoon had a Cliff Swallow at Purgatory Cove.

Monday 9/6: Rock Meadow through Beaver Brook North. Rock Meadow had 2 hummers, a Veery, BT Green, Blackpoll, and Redstarts (plus an Oporornis that got away). BBN had a thrasher, Parulas, Chestnut-sideds, BT Greens, Black-and-whites, and Wilson’s.

Tuesday 9/7: Did BBN again without much of anything.