WIR 5/12-5/18

Thursday 5/12: BBN: BT Blue, Parula, nothing too exciting.

Friday 5/13: Paine: YB Cuckoo, Nashville, probable Springtime Darner.

Saturday 5/14: Combined Birdathon/Menotomy Century Run. Ended up with 105 species ranging from Vine Brook Marsh to the Brooks Estate, Fells, Horn Pond, Horn Pond Mountain, Hanscom, Great Meadows, Lindentree Farms, Nine Acre Corner, White Pond, and the Charles.

Sunday 5/15: Led the BBC Mt. Auburn trip. It was raining for most of the time and no one showed, which didn’t bother me much. Ended up with 11 warblers and a few other things in an hour.

Monday 5/16: Duck ponds: swan was back, parula and yellowthroat were it otherwise.

Tuesday 5/17: Nothing much at Hardy Pond. Spotted Sandpiper flying across Cambridge Res. No storm-blown birds.

Wednesday 5/18: Great Meadows before work: 2 Hooded Merganser, lots of swallows including a few Cliff. Ravens at Prospect Hill (and a Fish Crow).

WIR 5/5-5/11

Thursday 5/5: Duck ponds had a few warblers, a grosbeak, and a Green Heron.

Friday 5/6: White-fronted still along the Charles, pretty quiet otherwise.

Saturday 5/7: Complete loop at Prospect Hill. Good number of warblers including Blackburnian and Northern Waterthrush. Also a sapsucker, 3 deer, Field Sparrow, many Indigo Buntings and tanagers, etc.

Sunday 5/8: Oxbow with Josh Rose and Tom Murray. Successfully found a couple Ringed Boghaunters, plus a few baskettails and a whiteface. Also a nice mix of Spring and Cherry Gall Azures, a Question Mark, and 40ish species of birds including Yellow-throated Vireo and drumming Ruffed Grouse.

Monday 5/9: Beaver Brook was very quiet (too windy?). BT Green, couple Yellow-rumps, and a Savannah Sparrow were about it.

Tuesday 5/10: Hardy Pond had 2 Ruddy and lots of swallows but they were all Tree and Barn.

Wednesday 5/11: Purgatory Cove was quiet.

WIR 4/28-5/4

Thursday 4/28: Purgatory Cove and Forest Grove were pretty quiet.

Friday 4/29: Prospect Hill was shockingly quiet but did manage first of year catbird.

Saturday 4/30: Saw something at Mt. Auburn. Plus 11 warblers and various other spring birds and an American Lady or two.

Sunday 5/1: Arlington Res: 5 Least Sandpiper, Warbler Vireos, no new warblers. Afternoon around the Charles: gnatcatcher on nest, Great Crested Flycatcher, patch tick Red-breasted Nuthatch, and returning Yellow-throated Vireo.

YT Vireo

Gnatcatcher at nest

Monday 5/2: Dodged science field trips at Paine and then even more people at Beaver Brook for a couple Yellow-rumps and a Clouded Sulphur.

Tuesday 5/3: BBN before work: Chestnut-sided, Ovenbird, 2 Parula, 2 Yellowthroat, Wood Thrush, more of the regular stuff. Prospect Hill at lunch: 3 Ovenbird, BT Green, Coyote (‘following’ me up the slope a bit).

Wednesday 5/4: Took the GPS to the gnatcatcher nest to confirm that it is in Boston South 1. Vireo was cooperative and warblers all over although I didn’t have time to sift through. Great Meadows in the evening to try for the whistling-ducks. Wet and quiet.

WIR 4/21-4/27

Thursday 4/21: Prospect Hill was windy and not very exciting. Two Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Comma were about it.

Friday 4/22: Day off, so started with Lot 1 hoping to confirm Great Horned Owl. Could only find an old pellet. Did have a House Wren and a few Palms and a Pine. Ticks all over. Arlington Res after, Yellow-rumps and Palms all over plus a Yellow and a Pine. Spotted Sandpipers were in and the Pectoral remained. Couldn’t find any snipe though even knowing there were 4 there.

Saturday 4/23: Rained out

Sunday 4/24: Photos cover it.

Monday 4/25: Duck ponds had the usual. Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the yard.

Tuesday 4/26: Decided it was too foggy before work, not sure if that was a good idea or not. Yellow-rumps all over the yard. Beaver Brook at lunch was pretty slow, thrasher and flyover Osprey were about it. Rusty Blackbird at Hardy Pond in the afternoon.

Wednesday 4/27: Rock Meadow before work. Virginia Rail didn’t cooperate but kingbird, kestrel, heard-only Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Black-and-white Warbler, along with a Field Sparrow. BBN at lunch had another Black-and-white along with a Black-throated Green and a Baltimore Oriole, plus a Juvenal’s Duskywing and several Six-spotted Tiger Beetles. Savannah Sparrows apparently in the yard while I was at work, that’s #97 for the yard list.


WIR 4/13-4/20

Wednesday 4/13: Hardy Pond in the rain was pretty quiet. Nothing at all on the Cambridge Res.

Thursday 4/14: Lots of woodpeckers and Pine Warblers at Paine along with my first Chipping Sparrow of the year.

Friday 4/15: West Meadow was very quiet.

Saturday 4/16: Fells where we didn’t see Louisiana Waterthrush. I continued to Prospect Hill and the Cambridge Res without much.

Sunday 4/17: Led an MBC trip to Rock Meadow and BBN. Highlights: Sapsucker, Fox Sparrow, first of year Swamp Sparrows, Brown Thrasher, and a raccoon. Also first Cabbage White of the year. Arlington Res in the afternoon had a Pectoral Sandpiper among the usual stuff.


Monday 4/18: Went down to Hyannis for Yellow-legged Gull. Very strong winds didn’t help, hard to tell if they kept the gulls away or if they’ve moved on. Lots of Bonaparte’s (and possibly a Black-headed) plus first of year Laughing Gull and Piping Plover.


Tuesday 4/19: Duck ponds had lots of Yellow-rumps, a few Palms, and 4 Wood Ducks.

Wednesday 4/20 (changing the starting day again): Purgatory Cove had lots of swallows including several Rough-winged and a Bank, along with a very noisy pair of kingfishers, tons of Palms and Yellow-rumps, 3 Ring-necks, and 2 Lesser Scaup (at least the male was, presumably the female was too).

WIR 4/6-4/12

Wednesday 4/6: Hit Hardy Pond for a couple minutes on the way to work: 5 Ruddy, few mergansers, bufflehead, etc. Paine at lunch had the expected Pine Warbler along with a Hermit Thrush but not much else (half surprised no butterflies). Frogs were going strong.

Thursday 4/7: Long walk around BBN. Phoebes all over (minimum of 5) and at least one Rusty Blackbird singing from the vernal pool was an overdue patch tick. Turkey ran across the road on the way out.

Friday 4/8: Charles at lunch. WF Goose was still around. Palm and Pine Warblers by the telephone worker training area. Great Meadows after work. Finally caught up with one of the Horned Grebes and also had first of year Barn Swallow.

Horned Grebe

Saturday 4/9: Mostly in New Salem. Also had first comma of the year and a quick glimpse of the Osprey on nest at the Littleton rookery.

Sunday 4/10: Walked through Lot 1, West Meadow, and BBN. Great Horned at Lot 1, 2 Fox Sparrows and a Field Sparrow at BBN were about it for birds. Two Mourning Cloaks and several commas as well.

Monday 4/11: Forest Grove had a few Palm Warblers. Fairly quiet otherwise, but a Virginia Rail called very distantly as I was heading out.

Tuesday 4/12: Kinglets all over the base of Prospect Hill, not too much up the ski slope. Went back to Forest Grove after work and explored Flowed Meadow a bit. Lots of Palms, along with a few Yellow-rumps and a couple Palms. A rail was very loud below the bench near the landfill. At Purgatory Cove, a couple jays, titmice, and a nuthatch were going bonkers over a couple holes but I couldn’t find anything in them (go in at the gate on the right just beyond the cove, down the path that’s immediately to right are two pines on the left, the tree was next to those, easier to check from climbing up the hill a bit).


WIR 3/30-4/5

Wednesday 3/30: Purgatory Cove: 1 Common Merganser, 2 Wood Duck, 5 Ring-neck, 1 Rusty Blackbird (river tick!), 1 turtle.

Thursday 3/31: Paine: Red-breasted Nuthatch was about it.

Friday 4/1: Common Loon at the Cambridge Res but no sign of the Long-tailed Ducks and Horned Grebe that had been seen yesterday.

Saturday 4/2: Nothing much on the Cambridge Res, Flint’s Pond, or Nine Acre Corner. Pied-billed Grebe at the res was the best.

Sunday 4/3: MBC Walk at Arlington Res was highlighted by a calling snipe. Cowbirds in the yard.

Monday 4/4: Purgatory Cove: 16 Ring-necks, 2 Wood Duck. Charlesbank: 10 more Ring-neck, coot.

Tuesday 4/5: Back end of Prospect Hill: lots of trilling. Think at least one was a Pine Warbler but between the wind and Sharpie that buzzed through I couldn’t confirm. Also a phoebe way in the back.

WIR 3/23-3/29

Wednesday 3/23: John Crookes reported a Greater White-fronted Goose along the Charles yesterday, guess where I went. First bird as I pulled in was the Lesser Black-backed Gull, nice to finally get some good views. The goose was present as well (I’m not so sure it’s a wild one but #192 in Waltham for now). Bob Stymeist pulled in at the same time and we watched both for a few minutes (and Bob got some shots of them together). Merlin was nice as well as were the 2 tagged Ring-billed Gulls (one was a returning bird).

You can (barely) hear the goose squawking at the gulls in this recording, it’s the lower, faster clucking.

Update: Still waiting on Bob, but Christopher got some photos.

Thursday 3/24: Prospect Hill had nothing and halfway up I realized I should have gone to the back side.

Friday 3/25: BBN was pretty quiet. Thought I was hearing Wood Frogs but didn’t get close enough to be sure.

Saturday 3/26: Started at Great Meadows hoping for Horned Grebe. No luck with that, but Bald Eagle, 45 goldeneye, 75 Ring-necks, and a Tree Swallow weren’t too bad. Prison fields and School St fields didn’t have much so on to Nine Acre Corner for another Horned Grebe. No luck with that one either but first Pied-billed of the year was there. Also picked out the Eurasian Teal and at least one of the intergrades among the Green-wings and had a Northern Harrier drop in and sit for a few minutes. Cambridge Res was quiet. Arlington Res in the afternoon was pretty quiet, few Killdeer and wigeon was about it. Groundhog ran through the neighbor’s yard.


Sunday 3/27: Started at Dunback with 2 Fox Sparrows. Crossed to Waltham St Fields (3 American Tree Sparrows at the corner of Brookside) where there were at least 6 Wilson’s Snipe flying around. Walked through Hayden Woods as well, hearing a Rusty Blackbird and then had a Red-breasted Nuthatch in one of the spruces on Valleyfield St.


Monday 3/28: Duck ponds: Fox Sparrow and 3 Wood Duck.

Tuesday 3/29: Lot 1: Hermit Thrush in almost the same location as the one on the CBC. Flushed a woodcock as well. Wood Frogs were out in force and some early bees were out (Colletes or Andrena).

WIR 3/16-3/22

Wednesday 3/16: Rained heavily. Hardy Pond still mostly frozen. I saw about 10 gulls and 3 swans.

Thursday 3/17: Poked around BBN. Path to the West Meadow was flooded. Not much of interest but everything around was singing. Couple black ducks in the flooded marsh on Concord Ave, need to keep checking it.

Friday 3/18: Paine. Robins, robins, and robins. Surprised no butterflies. Walked to end of the street at night hoping for woodcock. No luck there but at least 4 peepers were singing.

Saturday 3/19: Started at Rock Meadow. Singing Fox Sparrow and nest-building bluebirds were quite nice. Continued to BBN where 2 Killdeer flew over. West Meadow was pretty quiet (and windy). Walked back down Concord Ave. The marsh had more black ducks but nothing else. Back at Rock Meadow, a Double-crested Cormorant flew over (looked falconlike to the naked eye, took a second with binoculars). Continued on, but that’s posted elsewhere. Also good number of Fish Crows at Shopper’s World.




[audio:http://www.brewsterslinnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/fox.mp3|titles=Fox Sparrow] Fox Sparrow Audio (does the audio player work for anyone?)

Sunday 3/20: Afternoon loop: presumed Green-winged Teal at northern end of Cambridge Res, Bald Eagle over Crosby’s Corner, nothing at the School St fields, 80 Ring-necks, 1 Bufflehead, 2 Wood Duck, 1 Common Merganser, 30ish Tree Swallows, 1 Eastern Phoebe along Water Row. No geese at Waltham St. Very good evening show of woodcocks at Lot 1 with at least 5 calling and several close flights. Do wish the mallard had shut up though.

Monday 3/21: Hardy Pond. Cold and hard to see through the snow but about 12 Common Mergansers and 3 Ring-necks.

Tuesday 3/22: Duck ponds had a swan, which is a patch tick for the Beaver Brook/Rock Meadow reduced patch (141 now that I’ve rechecked things and added the stuff from Concord Ave), but not exactly exciting. Bufflehead on Hardy Pond from the house later.

WIR 3/9-3/15

Wednesday 3/9: Started to walk at Prospect Hill but it was windy and nasty so drove around the Cambridge Res instead (frozen, but Turkey Vulture over 128) and then Hardy Pond (also frozen).

Thursday 3/10: Wigeon on the Charles (just after the railroad bridge), nothing else new.

Friday 3/11: Nothing

Saturday 3/12: Started the day with a Hairy at the feeder, then joined the Menotomy walk at Horn Pond. Too crowded but Saw-whet was nice as were first of year Killdeer, Brown-headed Cowbird, and White-crowned Sparrow. Went to look at the big redpoll flock in Concord in the afternoon. Couldn’t find any Hoaries but nice views of lots of Commons. Also had a stonefly.


Sunday 3/13: Tried the redpolls again. Flock was up towards 200 and included at least one siskin. Several good candidates for Hoary but none sat still long enough to go over all the marks (which is exactly what people we were with posted although others reported 1 both days).

Monday 3/14: Purgatory Cove: 1 Gadwall, 40ish Ring-neck, 2 Wood Duck, 12+ Common Merganser, 1 Double-crested Cormorant, 1 Great Cormorant (in the same tree!), and the Lesser Black-backed Gull finally reappeared.

Tuesday 3/15: Rock Meadow had 2-3 bluebirds (pair in the trees by Concord Ave and a female checking out the closest nest box to the trail towards the back) but not much else.