Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Squantum section of Quincy - 8/17/2014

   Seven people met at the salt pans along East Squantum St. shortly after high tide. The strategy is to be here as the tide becomes full and covers the surrounding mudflats, thereby forcing the shorebirds to these shallow pools in a more concentrated form. I've noticed over the years that the birds here do come in, some staying to feed or roost, others only staying briefly and heading for parts unknown. Greater Yellowlegs (up to 80) and Semipalmated Sandpipers (up to 300) roost here in the greatest numbers. Lesser Yellowlegs are here in good numbers as well. Shallow salt pans are the Lesser's preferred habitat and are usually actively feeding amongst the sleeping masses. Other birds in attendance this morning included a few Killdeer, Short-billed Dowitchers and Semipalmated Sandpipers. A careful scan of the saltmarsh grasses also revealed a couple Saltmarsh Sparrows which briefly 'teed-up' and dove back down into the grasses out of site.

Am. Oystercatcher
   Several other areas around Squantum were checked as the tide started to drop. American Oystercatchers were seen on the rocky/sandy spits that get exposed. Eight were seen at Orchard Beach and another 3 at the spit in front Marina Bay. Squantum is one of the best places to observe this colorful shorebird in the south shore area of Boston.

Semipalmated Sandpipers
   Squaw Rock Park is the place to check for early land bird migration. There was very little activity today in this wooded patch. The lone highlight here, and for day however, was a  young Peregrine Falcon up on the abandoned cement bunker feeding on a Northern Flicker. The only other land bird migrants were in the form of two Blue-winged Warblers at Squantum Point Park.
An enjoyable morning with mostly sunny skies, light wind, and comfortable temperatures (70sF.).

52 species

American Black Duck  12
Mallard  2
Double-crested Cormorant  70
Great Blue Heron  7
Great Egret  5
Snowy Egret  10
Black-crowned Night-Heron  1
Osprey  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Oystercatcher  11    8-Orchard Beach; 3-Marina Bay spit.
Black-bellied Plover  25
Semipalmated Plover  45
Killdeer  4
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Greater Yellowlegs  45
Lesser Yellowlegs  12
Least Sandpiper  3
Semipalmated Sandpiper  300
Short-billed Dowitcher  3
Laughing Gull  60    Estimate, typical number for location and date.
Ring-billed Gull  40
Herring Gull (American)  225
Great Black-backed Gull  6
Common Tern  10
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  8
Mourning Dove  8
Belted Kingfisher  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  2
Peregrine Falcon  1    Juvenile. On cement bunker, Squaw Rock feeding on a N. Flicker.
Eastern Phoebe  3
Blue Jay  3
American Crow  3
Tree Swallow  3
Bank Swallow  1
Barn Swallow  4
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Carolina Wren  1
American Robin  10
Gray Catbird  4
Northern Mockingbird  2
European Starling  300
Cedar Waxwing  8
Blue-winged Warbler  2    Squantum Pt. Park
Yellow Warbler  1
Saltmarsh Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  5
Northern Cardinal  5
Red-winged Blackbird  6
Common Grackle  20
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  4
House Sparrow  25

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Vin Zollo

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