Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mass Bird 255: Monk Parakeet

A couple of Monk Parakeets(Quaker Parrots) have taken up residence in Allston. They are in the process of building a nest and have made quite a bit of progress in the last 72 hours. It took me three trips to see these guys. Well worth it. I really love this bird. I think because its so fun to see a tropical looking bird in the City: Seemingly out of place but so well adapted. 

The locals tell me that they started building a nest in the same spot last year but abandoned it at some point. A friendly gentleman named Larry showed me a house a block away that has another next in one of the eaves(see photo below). I wonder if this is the successful next from last year? The whole neighborhood seems to know about these two and they are now local celebrities thanks to MassBird and eBird.

Good birding!

Old Nest?

Random Photo of  BCNH

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Today in Concord: A BOBCAT!!

I've spent a lot of my life outdoors. I have never seen a bobcat. Until today! What an awesome sighting in Concord. The cat was skulking across the field at Kaveski Farm. At first I thought it was a coyote but once I got it in the scope I knew it was a cat. For a split second I thought it was a Mountain Lion because of its size but I quickly snapped to when I saw that tail. Here are my poor record photos. I was too excited to focus my camera!

After Kaveski it was on to Great Meadows. The highlight here was a huge gathering of swallows. They were congregating on the boardwalk. Barn, Tree, Bank, and Cliff were all together. It was like swallow ID school. Really cool to see them up close. Scope views were filled with a Cliff Swallow image. Other highlights were a Purple Martin, Yellow-throated Vireo, FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Virginia Rails, and Willow Flycatchers.  Jeffrey Offerman spotted an unidentified Empid in the parking lot area. See below of photos of this bird.
Swallow ID Practice

Cliff Swallow 
I've been practicing my Flycatcher calls and felt pretty good about my ID of the Alder, Willow, and Eastern Pewee. Here are the best photos I have of the Empid in question. Jeff heard it calling but I did not.  Please email your ID ideas to me at  Thanks in advance for the input! 
Unknown Empid

Unknown Empid

Unknown Empid
Unknown Empid

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Life Bird #314: Prothonotary Warbler

Travis and I bagged life bird #314 for me today. It is the Prothonotary Warbler and it was found earlier today at Nahanton Park in Newton, MA. Its a gorgeous little guy but extremely difficult to photograph. He was constantly flitting about rarely stopping for more than a second or two. I lucked out with this one. Many had been hunting him for several hours with no more than a fleeting glimpse. I happened to be in the right place at the right time and got these shots. Good Birding!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Three Life Birds

A great week of birding continues with three lifers this week. All great birds with the winner being a Bicknell's Thrush. To be perfectly honest I would have missed this bird(and probably did) but thanks to Jeremiah, Ryan, Jeff, and Bob who spent the time to photograph the bird, record its song and positively ID it as the Bicknell's. That said, the Fork-tailed Flycatcher was is MEGA Rarity but the bird looked like it had been through hell(undoubtably fighting strong winds) and had lost its beautiful signature tail feathers. Regardless, a great bird and a great find in Watertown(Mt. Auburn).
The excitement continues!

Bicknell's Thrush 
Cape May Warbler 
Fork-tailed Flycatcher

Year Birds, Life Birds, and Rarities

The amazing migrant show continues at Mount Auburn Cemetery. It has been truly amazing and very exciting. Below are more of my favorite photos. Enjoy and if you haven't been out to the Cemetery, go tomorrow!  My target birds are Yellow-throated Vireo, Tennessee Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
Wilson's Warbler 
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-billed Cuckoo
Blackburnian Warbler
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Baltimore Oriole butt
Spotted Sandpiper
White-crowned Sparrow 
Cedar Waxwing
Scarlet Tanager

Common Yellowthroat 
Swamp Sparrow
Black-and-white Warbler
Great-crested Flycatcher

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Unbelievable Weekend!

I spent Mother's Day in Westchester NY and birded my favorite spot, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. It was completely loaded with migrants on both Saturday and Sunday. Below are some of my favorite photos. Mount Auburn also had a huge number of migrants today and I was lucky enough to see a few once I arrived back in town. In total I saw 84 species in two days at three locations. This includes no shorebirds. Unreal for me.
Blue-winged Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Brown Thrashers Sparring

Black-and-white Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Eastern Bluebird

Indigo Bunting

Pileated Woodpecker

Scarlet Tanager

Nashville Warbler

Canada Warbler


Magnolia Warbler

Rose-breasted Gosbeak

Blackburnian Warbler