WIR 4/24-4/30

Wednesday 4/24: Savannah Sparrows and not much else at Rock Meadow, cormorant over the house.

Thursday 4/25: Morning at Beaver Brook was slow enough that I covered the marsh too. Snapping Turtle beat out any of the birds. West Meadow at lunch had a gnatcatcher and nothing else.

Friday 4/26: Tried Purgatory Cove again. No sign of the warbler but first of year Northern Parula.

Saturday 4/27: Finally caught up with the Clay-colored at Arlington Res. Also had a Field Sparrow next to it and Warbling Vireo and Eastern Kingbird around the res. No boghaunter at AGM, but one Brown Elfin and Brown Thrasher and some towhees weren’t bad. Hayden Woods had a singing Winter Wren in a very quick check. Surprise Red-shoulded Hawk flyover late afternoon was a somewhat unexpected yardbird.


Sunday 4/28: Mt. Auburn was quiet, couple Parula, couple Black-and-white, 3+ Blue-headed Vireo was about it. Purgatory Cove and Forest Grove were fairly quiet too, more of the same plus first Eastern Forktails of the year.

Monday 4/29: BBN was very quiet, few birds and few butterflies. Chimney Swifts overhead were yard bird #50 for the year.

Tuesday 4/30: Dunback before work was close to dead. Did get first of year catbirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and Yellow Warbler. Nothing good at the duck ponds either.

WIR 2/13-2/19

Wednesday 2/13: Forest Grove: river almost frozen, little bit open by the pump house had 10 coots and 200+ common waterfowl. Walking down to the playground added several Red-bellied Woodpeckers and not much else of note.

Thursday 2/14: River walk again. Great Cormorant was nice, as were 4 Bufflehead and the continuing Lesser Scaup (no sign of the unidentified one though).

Friday 2/15: Duck ponds looked like no one had walked around since the storm. Very little wildlife too, although two Hooded Mergansers and a muskrat sharing a hole in the ice about the size of a sink was odd.

Saturday 2/16: Started at Cambridge Res where it was too snowy to check. On to Meriam’s Corner and Kaveski Farm where I joined the crowd in not seeing the Le Conte’s Sparrow. Did manage the shrike on the way back and some flyover redpolls and a probable Rusty Blackbird. Decided to take the wild shot at another Le Conte’s and checked Bacon St at Dunback without much of anything (and nothing in the pines).

Sunday 2/17: Stared out the window during the storm. Added scaup sp to the yard list.

Monday 2/18: Stared out the window as it was too windy to go out and saw nothing different.

Tuesday 2/19: Sharpie in the yard first thing. Forest Grove had a few Red-winged Blackbirds flying over and another Swamp Sparrow.


Better than a new Waltham bird, yard bird #100 was found this afternoon in the spruce tree next door.

Yard #100!

Coming back from a walk around the block, barely even needed to look at this Merlin before I ran (first to the yard, then into the house for the camera). Snapped this from the bedroom (through the window and screen). Unfortunately it took off in the time it took to run back down and get outside again.

Third time I’ve seen one in the neighborhood, so about time I got it on the yard list. Surprisingly, not on my list of picks for #100, although if I adjusted for the later season it probably would have been.


There was a Warbling Vireo in the tree across the street this afternoon, which became yard bird #99. Time to look back at this post and take a guess at 100.

Since that post, we’ve had Wild Turkey, Bald Eagle, and Warbling Vireo. Added to the street and Hardy Pond lists were White-winged Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, and Least Tern. Not expecting any of those from the yard, so it’s either something previously mentioned or something totally unexpected.

My top pick at the moment is Black-crowned Night-Heron. They’re regular on Hardy Pond and it’s just a matter of time before one lands in sight of the yard or flies over. Raven’s probably #2 and pewee and phoebe tie for #3. Anyone else want to guess?

Good time in the yard after the vireo, almost immediately I watched an Osprey go over (4th yard record) then snapped some photos of dragonflies and got a Clamp-tipped Emerald, which is #26 for the yard.

WIR 2/8-2/14

Wednesday 2/8: Ended up at Lone Tree Hill in Belmont, nothing interesting.

Thursday 2/9: Purgatory Cove: 14 swans, 3 coot, the Lesser Black-back.

Friday 2/10: West Meadow had lots of robins, white-throats, and woodpeckers.

Saturday 2/11: MBC trip to Horn Pond was pretty quiet. Stopped for the Red-throated Loon on the Mystic Lakes on the way home. Nothing at Spy Pond or the Cambridge Res.

Sunday 2/12: Cold and windy, stayed in.

Monday 2/13: Lyman Pond was frozen (50 geese, assorted feeder birds). Had a few minutes, so ran over to Hardy Pond and immediately had an eagle flying around (in  a spot that was visible from the house). Looked again in the afternoon with no luck, but 3 wigeon were around.


(Click to watch)

Tuesday 2/14: River walk had the usual. One (four) Fish Crows finally though.

WIR 8/17-8/23

Wednesday 8/17: Rock Meadow was pretty quiet. Hummer, family of mockingbirds, and not much else.

Thursday 8/18: BBN before work was pretty quiet. Bunch of pewees, a hummingbird (site tick), a redstart, and a couple orioles. Duck ponds at lunch were dead. Big flight of robins and grackles over the house at night (robins south, grackles northwest) plus a single nighthawk and 2 shorebirds (snipe?). Bad note was a dead screech-owl on Miriam.

Friday 8/19: Paine was pretty quiet at lunch other than a Turkey Vulture in the trees by the vernal pool. Got out of work a little early and came home to find a family of turkeys on the neighbor’s lawn, yard bird #97!

Saturday 8/20: Dunback had a quick run of the same warblers (Chestnut-sided, Redstart, Canada) plus an Olive-sided Flycatcher, a Northern Waterthrush, and a Broad-winged Hawk. Waltham St. Fields had nothing.



Sunday 8/21: BBN in the morning: long walk for a redstart and waterthrush. Green Heron down the street in the afternoon.

Monday 8/22: Purgatory Cove had about the same. Pewee with the kingbirds down the street.

Tuesday 8/23: Duck ponds in the morning: Black-and-white, redstart, hummingbird. Prospect Hill at lunch: hummingbird, Gray Hairstreak. One nighthawk at night (and I apparently missed two more).

Upcoming Yardbirds

Meant to post something like this at 95 but not long after 96 will do as well.

What will be yard birds #97-100?

Some background: yard is pretty standard suburban-sized lot. Back yard is surrounded b spruces and has lots of feeders and a big raspberry patch. Front yard is grass with some bushes and an apple tree. Side street ends at a marshy spot about 1/4 of a mile away. I can see a sliver of Hardy Pond as well. I count anything seen or heard from, in, or over the yard.

My picks:
1. Common Raven
2. Bald Eagle
3. Blue-headed Vireo
4. American Coot

Anyone else want to guess? (full list plus candidates from nearby after the jump)
Continue reading Upcoming Yardbirds