WIR 8/24-8/31

Tuesday 8/24: Checked Cambridge Res before work. At least 2 terns were still around. Ran over to the north side as well, found the Red-shouldered but nothing else.

Wednesday 8/25: Hardy Pond in the rain without anything of note.

Thursday 8/26: Prospect Hill at lunch had a redstart. Led a BBC/MBC walk at Great Meadows in the evening. Had about 150 very distant nighthawks and tons of swallows but shorebirds were nonexistent.

Friday 8/27: Paine at lunch had a small flock of warblers including Redstart, Magnolia, Pine, and Black-and-white. Ran over to Mystic Lakes after work where we found the Laughing Gull (county bird #3 of the week) but couldn’t find the Bonaparte’s. Stopped at Dunback on the way home without much of anything (no Golden-wing).

Laugher

Weekend 8/28-8/29: BBC Pelagic, separate post tomorrow. It was good.

Monday 8/30: Paine had a single Black-and-white.

Tuesday 8/31: Prospect Hill had a Gray Hairstreak.

WIR 8/17-8/23

Tuesday 8/17: Paine had a couple Red-breasted Nuthatches and not much else.

Wednesday 8/18: Dunback before work was pretty quiet. Two Brown Thrashers, 2 Warbling Vireos, 1 kingbird on the move, and a ton of flickers were about it. Prospect Hill was dead at lunch. Surprise yard bird at night when several Least Sandpipers flew over.

Thursday 8/19: Duck ponds had sandpipers finally: 4 Solitary (3 juv), 1 Spotted, 1 Least (juv), 1 Semipalmated (juv). Also two redstarts, assuming migrants but still wondering after the one in early July.

Friday 8/20: Cambridge Res before work had a good variety of shorebirds and two BC Night-Herons. BB North had an Indigo Bunting at lunch.

Saturday 8/21: Plum with Menotomy. Most of the usual stuff (guess I’m too late for Purple Martin and Willet this year, oops) plus a Forster’s Tern. Unfortunately no one was looking up when a Buff-breasted Sandpiper flew over our heads and miscommunication caused us to miss a Hudsonian Godwit.

Sunday 8/22: Started with a quick check of Arlington Res. Not sure how the water is so high, but 2 Spotted Sandpipers were out in the vegetation. On to Horn Pond, where there’s been a terrific shorebird show lately. Tons of Semipalmated (both plover and sandpiper) and a Snowy Egret were highlights. Beaver Brook ponds were quiet on the return. Thought it was too rainy to go out again but I made one more trip.

Monday 8/23: Rained all day so didn’t expect much. Transformer outside work caught fire and they had to cut power to fix it, so everyone was sent home at 11. We were supposed to check in around 12:30 to see if things were back but I called every few minutes and never got an answer. At 2, I decided to run over and see. No lights and no staff cars, so I headed to Hardy Pond. Almost immediately, I found a bunch of Black Terns in with the swallows. Unfortunately it was raining heavily and blowing right in from the pond so it wasn’t pleasant to view. I ran home and we walked over from the other side (so on the nonmotorized list but couldn’t get them from the house).

That was good enough, but John Hines stopped by again. This time he had a Sterna tern on the Cambridge Res and wanted some help (and a scope) to confirm it. We ran over and immediately found three. We were fairly sure they were Commons but it took quite some time to get good enough views to feel confident. Yet another county bird!

WIR 8/10-8/16

Tuesday 8/10: Phoebe at the end of the street in the morning was nice. Prospect Hill was still quiet.

Wednesday 8/11: Duck ponds had about the same with the addition of a Turkey Vulture.

Thursday 8/12: Lyman Pond was pretty quiet. Big miss of the day was at home, where a hummingbird made several passes (once when I was at work and once when I was upstairs, probably saw it flying off but not enough to be sure).

Friday to Sunday (8/13-15): Went to New York for the weekend. Few minutes in the Cloisters Friday and Sunday had a few butterflies but didn’t get time for much of anything else. Spent some time watching the Hudson from my cousin’s apartment but nothing beyond gulls went by.

Monday 8/16: Purgatory Cove was loaded with Barn Swallows, Chimney Swifts, and Wood Ducks. Also a Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, and Killdeer (and probably more had I taken the scope).

WIR 8/3-8/9

Tuesday 8/3: Charles had no merganser and not much else.

Wednesday 8/4: Prospect Hill was pretty quiet but a Black-shouldered Spinylegs was nice.

Thursday 8/5: Duck ponds had 2 Solitary Sandpipers and a Green Heron (site tick).

Friday 8/6: Lyman Pond had lots of Wood Duck but no shorebirds.

Saturday 8/7: Started at Dunback. Lots around including a Brown Thrasher, several Baltimore Orioles and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, many hummingbirds, and a bluebird. Moved on to Purgatory Cove where there was a Cooper’s Hawk and several Least Sandpipers. Green Heron was new to my Charles list, as was the pewee singing near the little building. Drove out to Water Row afterwards but didn’t see anything worth stopping for. Walking down Moody St. after dinner, had a Black-crowned Night-Heron below the dam (and a mallard feeding in the middle of the waterfall).

Sunday 8/8: Rock Meadow had an Ovenbird, 2 hummingbirds, 3 Indigo Buntings, and 2 Orchard Orioles. Cambridge Res was about the same. Stood around the tower at Great Meadows for 45 minutes without anything of note.

Color

Monday 8/9: Charles had a couple Wood Ducks but nothing else different.

WIR 7/27-8/2

Tuesday 7/27: Lyman Pond for the first time in a few months. Should stop more often: 5 Wood Duck, 4 Great Blue Heron, 3 Green Heron, 3 Killdeer, 2 Spotted Sandpiper, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs. Peck’s Skipper in the yard,¬†first one this year.

Wednesday 7/28: Prospect Hill was as quiet as I’ve ever seen it at lunch. Turkey Vulture and Osprey up the street after I got home were nice.

Thursday 7/29: River Walk had the first night-heron I’ve seen there in some time, which also brought my Waltham year list to equal my 2nd highest total (note that it’s still July). Otherwise pretty quiet.

Friday 7/30: Paine had a Red-breasted Nuthatch and a Wood Thrush and next to nothing else.

Saturday 7/31: Cambridge Res had a Green Heron, 2 Great Blues, a Great Egret, 2 Spotted Sandpiper, 2 kingfisher, several Least Sandpiper, and 2 Killdeer. Great Meadows had less than that plus a Black-crowned Night-Heron and Lesser Yellowlegs. Went searching for the Common Merganser that’s been hanging out on the Charles for the last week in the afternoon. Walked from the Stop in Shop in Watertown down to Watertown Square and then found it right at the Shaw’s. Very little otherwise.

Merg

Sunday 8/1: Helped with an insect survey in Saugus for most of the morning. Highlights here. Also 3 pheasants, 4 kestrels, etc. Quick Cambridge Res stop had 2 kingfishers beating fish against their perches.

Monday 8/2: Wandered the trail down to the YMCA. Pretty quiet but there are mudflats on Chesterbrook now. Only a killdeer on them however (one flew over the yard too). Big flocks of grackles and house sparrows flying around at night.

WIR 7/20-7/26

Tuesday 7/20: Back side of Prospect Hill was very quiet. Finally got around to checking out the vernal pool, leaning that way for the Spatterdock but will hopefully find out for sure next June.

Wednesday 7/21: Hanscom again. Very successful, we confirmed Upland Sandpiper and Grasshopper Sparrow. Fox running around was also nice. Trail behind the high school at lunch was extremely quiet.

Thursday 7/22: Paine at lunch was quiet. First of year Autumn Meadowhawk was about it.

Friday 7/23: BBN had a couple surprises. Up the hill, I found a family of towhees. Not a new confirmation for the block, but I had no idea they were in this spot. Down in the middle, I found a presumed family group of Great Crested Flycatchers, which should be a confirmation for the block. Otherwise, 1 Scarlet Tanager and many pewees. Too cloudy for bugs.

Saturday 7/24: Long walk around Great Meadows had first of year Great Egrets and a site tick Indigo Bunting along with Red-breasted Nuthatches. Very few shorebirds. A quick stop at the Cambridge Res had 4 Least Sandpipers.

Sunday 7/25: Lazed around but eventually rechecked the Cambridge Res, which had pretty much the same as yesterday. Also checked out Cranberry Hill in Lexington. Didn’t explore much but a Field Sparrow with food was nice.

Monday 7/26: Duck Ponds: Solitary Sandpiper, Lance-tipped Darner, not much else.

WIR 7/13-7/19

Tuesday 7/13: Joined a survey at Hanscom this morning. Very cool to be able to walk around the runways. Lots of meadowlarks and Bobolinks plus up to 5 Grasshopper Sparrows and an Upland Sandpiper (finally for the state and county). No luck confirming either of those however.

Wednesday 7/14: Hardy Pond, watched a flock of red-wings on the field and pretty much ignored the pond.

Thursday 7/15: West Meadow (Met State Boardwalk). First Shadow Darner of the year but otherwise pretty quiet. Very overgrown, not coming back at lunch until that gets cleared up.

Friday 7/16: Duck Ponds. Juv Spotted Sandpiper and a kingfisher at the ponds. Bushwhacked past the fallen trees down below and heard wrens scolding something. Little more bushwhacking and I was looking at the Screech-Owl again! Definitely has a bit of down still, so combined with the week, I’m calling it confirmed. Got out of work early and ran back over with the camera:

Screech

Saturday 7/17: Great Meadows before it got too hot. Vegetation is a bit high too see easily but there were a few Least Sandpipers around. A Black-crowned Night-Heron flew over and a Solitary Sandpiper flew down the river. At the bittern bench a small heron popped up, but turned out to be a Green Heron. A Swift River Cruiser (there were several on the river earlier) came in and landed right next to the bench and allowed for some nice photos:

Cruiser

After that I stayed in and got around to a bunch of documentation that’s long overdue.

Sunday 7/18: Started at Rock Meadow. Out of my targets, only had success with Orchard Oriole (see previous post). Continued on to McLean where a Striped Hairstreak was a surprise. Finished with a quick walk along Concord Ave to check the marshes (nothing today but an early morning trip with some tapes might be an idea).

Striped

Monday 7/19: Deep in the woods at Prospect Hill, 1 deer and not much else.

WIR 7/6-7/12

Back to Tuesdays apparently.

Tuesday 7/6: Didn’t get out (way too hot) but a Band-winged Meadowhawk in the yard was first of year.

Wednesday 7/7: Hardy Pond in the heat. Seemed to be common stuff around but didn’t spend much time looking.

Thursday 7/8: River walk was hotter than I realized. Most of the usual birds were around and I counted about 50 Blue-fronted Dancers between Shaw’s and Elm St.

Friday 7/9: Duck Ponds. Ponds were quiet (although a Great Blue and Killdeer eventually popped up at the lower one). Downhill, I had to bushwhack to the bridge (and couldn’t reach the second one). A whole bunch of birds sounded annoyed, with a redstart among them. After a few minutes scanning, I finally picked up a young Eastern Screech-Owl sitting on a branch. Patch tick!

Saturday 7/10: Joined the Concord Butterfly Count. I’d say separate post but there were very few butterflies in the hot and dry and then we got rained out in the afternoon. My Broad-winged Skippers turned out to be the best thing on the day. Still fun though.

Sunday 7/11: Tried to refind a couple things and generally found nothing. Checked the duck ponds for the owl and redstart, then Prospect Hill for saddlebags. Finally stopped at Woerd Ave as I had the camera and have wanted some Lilypad Forktail shots for awhile but couldn’t find any of those even.

Monday 7/12: Paine had the regular birds and some Somatochloras but not much else.

WIR 6/28-7/5

Monday 6/28-Tuesday 6/29: DSA Postmeeting in Jackman, ME.

Wednesday 6/30: Prospect Hill had an Indigo Bunting and a few marginally interesting dragonflies.

Thursday 7/1: Paine had a few butterflies and a good number of dragonflies although all fairly common.

Friday 7/2: Purgatory Cove was pretty quiet at lunch.

Saturday 7/3: Out to Otis for the night. Ovenbird walking next to me was about the best thing.

Sunday 7/4: Spinylegs and two uncaught Somatochloras to start the morning in Otis. On to New Salem where Ethan’s yard was quiet but I found a pair of Evening Grosbeaks up the hill.

Monday 7/5: 3 Broad-wings over Ethan’s were the best of the morning. Failed to catch the couple of Somatochloras.

WIR 6/21-6/27

Monday 6/21: Paine, not too much exciting. Couple interesting darners stayed too high to ID.

Tuesday 6/22: Didn’t get out.

Wednesday 6/23: Charles at lunch. Very few odes (few bluets, 1 baskettail, 1 slaty skimmer) but an Orchard Oriole was a nice surprise. Very early migrant or overlooked here? Also a family of mallards was running around the neighborhood in the afternoon, hope they made it across Trapelo safely.

Thursday 6/24 to Sunday 6/27: At the Dragonfly Society of the Americas annual meeting. Separate post sooner or later but highlights included getting a nemesis bird on the way up, 6 species of Ophiogomphus and 2 Neurocordulia plus various butterflies and a moose.