Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Squantum section of Quincy - 8/26/2012

7 people gathered together in Squantum on a beautiful, sunny morning. Wind was light and temps were comfortable (70sF). Squantum is a somewhat isolated patch of land, on one side bordered by Wollaston Beach, and the other by Quincy Bay/Boston Harbor and the terminus of the Neponset River. Squantum is seperated from Quincy proper by couple of smallish patches of salt marsh.

  Tide dictated our birding plans, so we started at the salt pans along E. Squantum St. These pans often attract many of the shorebirds and egrets in the area during high tide.  The main feature in these pools is Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. There were 50+ Greater Yellowlegs and a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs. There were also Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers and a couple of Saltmarsh Sparrows flitting around in the saltmarsh grass.

  There are several spits/sandbars in the area that are exposed; but the only one with any real estate during high tide is the one between Squaw Rock Park and Thompson's Island. Several gulls were out on the spit with about 50 Black-bellied Plovers and 6 Ruddy Turnstones. Squaw Rock Park can also be a place for migrant land birds, being a classic "boom or bust" type of place during the spring and fall. The only migrant Warbler that we could find was a Northern Parula.  
  Our next stop was Orchard Beach, which is a good place to check for terns and shorebirds. The highlight here were 2 American Oystercatchers. In addition this spot typically has good numbers of Laughing Gulls in late summer (not breeders in the immediate area), on the large rocks if your looking to your right. This area has been reliable for Caspian Tern at this time year, but  not today!
  The tide was starting to fall so we checked addition spits/sandbars along E. Squantum St. (east side of Marina Bay) and the ones at the end of Squantum Point Park. We saw an additional 5 American Oystercatchers including a family group of 2 adults and 2 juveniles (their bills were black tipped).
 Our last stop was Mosswettussett Hummock to check the exposed mudflats on the falling tide. There were about 150 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 20 or so Semipalmated Plovers. We could not find any White-rumped Sandpipers or other "goodies" among them. The hummock is also worth a check for migrant land birds, but it wasn't happening today!

Complete list:
51 species

American Black Duck  6
Mallard  2
Double-crested Cormorant  90
Great Blue Heron  4
Great Egret  9
Snowy Egret  7
Osprey  3
Cooper's Hawk  1    Flushed out of small quarry @ Squaw Rock Park
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Black-bellied Plover  59    Majority on spit between Squaw Rock & Thompson's Island
Semipalmated Plover  48
Killdeer  3
American Oystercatcher  7    2-Orchard Beach, 1-Spit along E. Squantum St. (Marina Bay side), 4-Squantum Point Park
Greater Yellowlegs  54
Willet  1    In flight
Lesser Yellowlegs  3
Ruddy Turnstone  6
Semipalmated Sandpiper  205
Least Sandpiper  8
Laughing Gull  63    Majority @ Orchard Beach.
Ring-billed Gull  60
Herring Gull (American)  165
Great Black-backed Gull  9
Common Tern  6
Rock Pigeon  15
Mourning Dove  6
Downy Woodpecker  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Blue Jay  3
American Crow  3
Tree Swallow  8
Bank Swallow  1    On wire near main pan on E. Squantum St.
Barn Swallow  8
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  1
Carolina Wren  3
American Robin  2
Gray Catbird  5
Northern Mockingbird  6
European Starling  90
Cedar Waxwing  1
Northern Parula  1    Squaw Rock Park.
Yellow Warbler  1
Saltmarsh Sparrow  4    Quick, short flights over saltmarsh grass.
Song Sparrow  9
Northern Cardinal  8
Red-winged Blackbird  2
Common Grackle  1
House Finch  6
American Goldfinch  9
House Sparrow  80

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Vin Zollo

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