WIR 8/25-8/31

Wednesday 8/25: Broad-wing was sitting on a flagpole at BBN as I arrived. Not too much else, lots of orioles, an adult male-looking Yellow Warbler, and a restart about it, plus a deer. Finally got a nighthawk at home in the evening plus what was almost certainly my first phoebe for the yard along with a hummingbird.

Thursday 8/26: Nothing much at Cookson or east of the square.

Friday 8/27: Nothing too exciting at Rock Meadow, finally got GC and Willow Flycatchers for the year for Belmont plus a redstart. Water at the duck ponds was still up, kingfisher the only bit of interest.

Saturday 8/28: Went out to Nobscot. Very little there, Herring Gulls about the most interesting. Stopped at Sedge Meadow, other than a quick chat nothing there either.

Sunday 8/29: Started at Deer Island, which was quiet. Spent some time trying to scope shorebirds at Winthrop Beach but too far for anything but oystercatchers. Saw Bob’s report of a Buff-breasted, so actually stopped there next. Only shorebirds were a couple Semipalmated Plovers, a Spotted Sandpiper or two, and a flyover dowitcher. Did a Belle Isle loop next. Cooper’s and a kestrel at the Key probably limited the shorebirds there. Virginia Rail squealing at the side platform was an overdue county bird as were the Blue-winged Teal that flew into the main pan. Mosquitos got brutal away from that edge, so went to Lawn Ave. Walking in, something flushed from the trees. Big chunky bill and long legs meant I couldn’t make it into anything but a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, county bird #3. And out at the platform, the Stilt Sandpiper was visible for #4.

Monday 8/30: Not much at Forest Grove. Solitary perched on the tree in the middle of the cove with a kingfisher beside it had me confused for a few.

Tuesday 8/31: Broad-wing, 3 Redstarts, 3 Black-and-white at Falzone, nothing at West Meadow. Waterthrush popped up for 10 seconds at lunchtime, new yard bird!

WIR 5/13-5/19

Wednesday 5/13: Lincoln’s Sparrow and Least Flycatcher were all that was new at Dunback. As many sparrows as warblers.

Thursday 5/14: Green Heron, Veery, Wilson’s Warbler among others at Lot 1, plus a Fish Crow.

Friday 5/15: Storm was a bit of a bust. Great Meadows had a few swallows including a Bank, a YT Vireo, and a couple likely Least Sandpipers. A few warblers included Palm, Nashville, and Wilson’s, probably should have spent more time in the woods.

Saturday 5/16: Birdathon, unfortunately under carbon free rules, would have been an incredible day if we did the normal route. Falzone, especially Brookhaven, was hopping. Second bird in was a Bay-breasted, joined by a Blackpoll and about a dozen other warblers. West Meadow added Solitary Sandpiper and a couple other things. Beaver Brook North had similar diversity to Falzone (Red-eyed Vireo and Magnolia finally among them). Rock Meadow was crowded but had a Nashville. The duck ponds had 5+ Solitaries and a Spotted Sandpiper, but were otherwise too crowded. The loop back was fairly quiet until I got back to Brookhaven where I had a tanager, Canada Warbler, and better views of several of the ones from before. Afternoon loop of Hardy Pond and Graverson had nothing until I was passing Miriam and the eagles flew over, #77 on the day.

Sunday 5/17: Woke up to a Black-billed Cuckoo, yard #116. Res was very quiet, as was Nine Acre in a very quick scan. Heard Pond had less than I expected, Wilson’s Warbler and Least Flycatcher the best. Was a bit cool and cloudy but went to Assabet anyway. Fisher loop didn’t have much beyond a Prairie Warbler. Quick pass through the Desert had a Canada Warbler but no bugs of interest. Checked the Patrol Rd too before leaving, nothing there. Afternoon pass of the res had an eagle and a nasty looking fox.

Monday 5/18: Arlington Res had a bunch of warblers including showy Blackpolls, a Bay-breasted, a couple Wilson’s, a Chestnut-sided, and a Blackburnian plus Least Sandpiper, Least Flycatcher, and Swainson’s Thrush.

Tuesday 5/19: FOY Pewee and Willow Flycatcher at Forest Grove but not a lot else.

WIR 5/6-5/12

Wednesday 5/6: FOY tanager, GC Flycatcher, House Wren at Hayden Woods plus 3 Rusties, a few warblers, etc.

Thursday 5/7: Found Francis’s Western Palm at BBN plus Broad-wing, Great Egret, Orchard Oriole, and a decent variety of other warblers among 50 species.

Friday 5/8: Solitary Sandpipers and finally a prework Turkey Vulture at a very crowded Arlington Res. Stopped at the duck ponds for 10 minutes after and had both there too. Also the young eagle flew right over the house as I was leaving.

Saturday 5/9: Loon at Flint’s was the only thing at all interesting in a quick loop after the snow.

Sunday 5/10: Couldn’t find the RH Woodpecker for May, but did have 50 other species between the two ponds. Oxbow had a few more birds I needed for Ayer (23 total on the day), and a turkey crossing the railroad tracks in Shirley rounded things out. Afternoon ride probably had the Ring-neck at the res but it wasn’t in a spot where I could stop.

Monday 5/11: Went to Hanscom to get Field Sparrow and towhee on the prework list. Got those and a Sharpie plus BT Green, lots of Black-and-white and Blue-winged, a Prairie, etc. While taking a snack break late morning, I saw a warbler pop up outside the window. Went out to get a better look and found an Ovenbird walking under the bushes, yard bird #115! The warbler turned out to be a yellowthroat. Also House Wren and Barn Swallow were yard FOY, finally over 50.

Tuesday 5/12: WC Sparrow, BT Blue, hummer, a few more warblers at BBN. Four+ Solitaries at the duck ponds.

WIR 4/26-5/2

Wednesday 4/26: Eagle and 20 Ruddy but nothing storm-related at the res. Gadwall at Hardy.

Thursday 4/27: Usual at College Pond plus brief views of an otter.

Friday 4/28: 2-3 beavers at Arlington Res plus FOY Baltimore Orioles, Warbling Vireo, and Chimney Swift.

Saturday 4/29: Started at Nobscot. Grosbeak singing as I got out of the car, then a GC Flycatcher started. Black-and-whites and Ovenbirds all over, and a Least Flycatcher as I was ready to leave. Continued on to Hop Brook, which had a waterthrush, yellowthroat, and freshly emerged baskettail. Fairly quiet at Assabet, Springtime Darner and Broad-wing about it. Desert had 3 species of tiger beetle.

Sunday 4/30: Plan was to hit the coast a bit, but started at Mt. Auburn. Good number of warblers plus a Scarlet Tanager and my first Hooded Merganser and raven for the cemetery. Finally wandered off to Belle Isle and immediately had a call from Bob asking if I knew about the Summer Tanager. Made a quick loop (it was too windy anyway) with a Snowy Egret about it before heading straight back. Quiet at the tanager location, but it eventually popped up, along with a redstart. Started raining so I didn’t spend time looking for any of the thrushes seen.

Monday 5/1: Orchard Oriole singing in the front yard first thing. Great Meadows was pretty quiet, FOY kingbird about it.

Tuesday 5/2: Lots of new stuff at Purgatory and Forest Grove. Prairie was new for the Charles (162), but the best was a late American Wigeon.

Prairie Warbler

WIR 8/20-8/26

Wednesday 8/20: Least Flycatcher at Rock Meadow. Patch tick Lesser Yellowlegs at the duck ponds on the way home.

Thursday 8/21: Horn Pond and Horn Pond Mountain. Nothing particularly exciting at either.

Friday 8/22: Great Meadows midday was as dead as I’ve seen it. Nothing different at Knox Trail.

Saturday 8/23: BT Green, an Empid, and a towhee were the only new arrivals at BBN (plus a pile more redstarts). Gnatcatcher from the yard was #110 and some nighthawks rounded off the evening.

Sunday 8/24: BT Blue and Wilson’s Warblers among others at Nobscot. Pileated, GH Owl, RB Nuthatch, etc at Round Hill. And then something interesting.

Monday 8/25: Magnolia, B+W, Redstart, Least Flycatcher, and Broad-wing at Dunback. Nothing at Hayden Woods. Hooded Mergansers at Hobbs Brook.

Tuesday 8/26: Nothing at Great Meadows or the duck ponds.

WIR 7/23-7/29

Wednesday 7/23: Monarchs at Rock Meadow, Least and Solitary Sandpipers at the ponds. Something in the afternoon. Also finally found the area of Townsend State Forest I’ve been to with a group for odes before but haven’t found again myself.

Thursday 7/24: Cat Rock Park and College Pond were both fairly dull (although if I had a view of the sky when the yellowlegs-ish call drifted down…).

Friday 7/25: Wandered a bit in Lincoln midafternoon. Kingfisher and a couple Solitaries were about it.

Saturday 7/26: BBN had 5+ Blue-wings. Nothing different at West Meadow or the ponds.

Sunday 7/27: Started at Great Meadows. No shorebirds on view and I was pretty discouraged on my way back from the river (needed to mow the lawn before it started raining and could have been using the time better). Then two odd shapes appeared in the path.


Wasn’t the best light, but when a walker came by, I zipped to the other side. The adult came back out and posed nicely.


Continuing on, I found the American Bittern right at the edge by the benches. Unfortunately, it saw me even before I had the scope down and took off up and over well before I could lift the camera.

On to Knox Trail, which had lower numbers but most of the same shorebirds.

Monday 7/28: Late morning check of the duck ponds, nothing of interest and to flooded for sandpipers. Sitting outside in the afternoon, a Peregrine passed over twice, which is the last expected raptor for the yard list.

Tuesday 7/29: Heard Pond and the Pelham Island Rd swamp had nothing terribly exciting.

WIR 7/9-7/15

Wednesday 7/9: Mt. Misery was mostly quiet. Willow Flycatchers, Dragonhunter, couple other little things.

Thursday 7/10: Nothing exciting along the Charles in Watertown. Went to the duck ponds late morning. Kingfisher was about it there but a/the Broad-wing flew across Trapelo on the other side of Lexington St. Also finally heard a raven from the yard.

Friday 7/11: Long day. Started at Great Meadows with 6+ Least Sandpiper, 1 Spotted, 1 Solitary, and 1 Yellowlegs. On to Assabet, which was dead (hundreds of Blue Dashers and a Clamp-tipped Emerald). Finally met up with Alan and Soheil at Great Brook Farm. ‘A couple hours’ turned out to mean 3.5. Nothing too exciting but lots of photo ops of common stuff.


Saturday 7/12: Concord butterfly count. Decent variety but low numbers.

Sunday 7/13: Lone Tree Hill was fairly quiet, no luck with any hairstreaks. Stopped at the duck ponds on the way home, no shorebird arrivals but a Brush-tipped Emerald was a nice surprise.


Monday 7/14: West Meadow and BBN were quiet.

Tuesday 7/15: Wasted a bunch of time waiting for a phone call, so finally got to Great Meadows midafternoon. Had it to myself but nothing more than a couple Least and tons of herons.

WIR 1/22-1/28

Wednesday 1/22: Nothing

Thursday 1/23: 3 Lesser Scaup on the Charles, nothing else new.

Scaup 3

Friday 1/24: Nothing

Saturday 1/25: Wandered up to Lowell to look for Glaucous Gulls. No luck with those but at least 4 Icelands included an adult. Decided to check Moody St on the way home and since I was already on the highway, started at Norumbega. That was frozen, but heading down River Rd I noticed a bunch of Ring-necks at the little pond on the other side of the road. Doubled back after checking the frozen Charlesbank to count them and had a male pintail in among them! Finally reaching Moody St, a Merlin flew over as I walked out to Cronin’s but nothing of interest from there.

Iceland 4


Sunday 1/26: Too cold and windy. Checked the res quickly and was quite surprised by 5 Greater Scaup. Also surprised by a Great Horned calling around 11:30 PM.

Monday 1/27: Watertown Charles fairly early: 3 Bufflehead, 1 Lesser Scaup. Then got rained on. Rain cleared early afternoon so went back to Lowell. Only the adult Iceland at the boat club when I arrived and not too many other gulls. Moved on to Sheehy and finally picked out a Glaucous (hopefully now that I’ve got a county one, I’ll be tripping over them locally). Tried down by the ballpark again but didn’t want to walk so went back to the boat club. Two Glaucous and three more Iceland at least.

Tuesday 1/28: Cold.

WIR 9/11-9/17

Wednesday 9/11: Nothing at Rock Meadow or the duck ponds.

Thursday 9/12: Couple Osprey at Great Meadows. Probable White-rump at Cambridge Res.

Friday 9/13: Duck pond refilled from rain. More of the same at Cambridge Res (eagles at the south end).

Saturday 9/14: Added BT Green and Cape May to the yard list and had yet another Broad-wing.

Sunday 9/15: Lots of warblers and vireos at BBN, including my first Philadelphia in Waltham. More of the same at Cambridge Res.


Monday 9/16: Would have been a very good day at Prospect Hill if the light was better and it didn’t start to rain. Even so, 10 species of warblers including a Tennessee and a Cape May and a good number of vireos and flycatchers plus my first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the fall. Quick stop at Cambridge Res had a single eagle. Hardy Pond had a big swift flock that I searched through and came up with a Cliff Swallow eventually (and while watching that a Blue-winged Teal flew across). Afternoon trip to Dunback was quiet, Parula, Magnolia, few redstarts, White-throat.

Tuesday 9/17: Started scouting Farm Meadow for an MBC walk this weekend. Wasn’t hopping but a bright Philadelphia Vireo made it worthwhile. Handful of warblers and many pewees besides. Quick walk around Lindentree had a Lincoln’s Sparrow and my first Palm Warbler of the fall. Stopped at Heard Pond on the way home, where there was a large flock of swallows, all distant. After multiple scans through those (only able to pick up Barn and Rough-winged), I noticed an adult Bald Eagle sitting in the treetops right where the flock was hanging around!


WIR 5/1-5/7

Wednesday 5/1: Towhee was a third yard record to start the day. Yellow Warblers and Warbling Vireos all along the Charles plus a Hermit Thrush and a few Yellow-rumps.

Thursday 5/2: Juvenal’s Duskywing and not much else at Hayden Woods, think I can give up on that being a potential boghaunter site.

Friday 5/3: Left the house a couple minutes early and picked up a Common Loon flying over as I stepped out of the door for another new yard bird. Prospect Hill had first tiger swallowtail and whiteface sp (probably Hudsonian).

Saturday 5/4: Plan was to find some boghaunters today. Since it wouldn’t be warm enough early, I headed to Heard Pond to check for birds first. Nothing too exciting (a handful of Rusty Blackbirds, a Parula, etc), so I moved on to the Wayland Community Gardens. A House Wren (one back home too), a Henry’s Elfin, a raccoon, and a Common Yellowthroat made up most of the good stuff here.

Getting warm, so I headed to Assabet River. Ovenbirds and towhees calling all over and a Northern Waterthrush was vocal but hidden. No boghaunters by the end of the Patrol Road, so I took the first wooded trail back. I had a quick view of a Beaverpond (presumably) Baskettail and was debating running to Oxbow as I reached the short trail that cuts back to the road. Halfway down, there was a bit of movement and I quickly saw rings. Wasn’t a great spot for photos, but I think this one came out pretty good:


Back on the road, I worked my way out (and saw a second boghaunter and baskettail and heard another waterthrush).

With no need to go further west, I decided to head to the Charles. Lots of swallows opposite Purgatory Cove and some Fish Crows flew over (finally). A Great Crested Flycatcher and a Gray Catbird were calling near the Knob at Flowed Meadow, but otherwise it was fairly quiet. A Wood Duck apparently at a nest hole was interesting though.

Wood Duck

Sunday 5/5: Started with a long walk at BBN. Blue-winged Warbler was in, as were orioles but fairly quiet otherwise. Went to Great Meadows with parents after, nothing exciting but too nice out to complain.

Monday 5/6: Awake early, so I went to Beaver Brook in the fog. Just about nothing there and I have no idea why I went out (although it worked out last time). Duck ponds at lunch had a Rough-winged Swallow and out-of-place Pine Warbler among other things.

Tuesday 5/7: River walk was fairly quiet, single Yellow-rump and Palm were the only nonbreeders.