Date: 3/20/17 1:47 pm
From: <s2ary...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary Wednesday March 22 at 10 a.m.

Hi Folks,

Sunday’s quest for the Smith’s Longspur was incredible. There were great raptors, including a light phase Rough-legged Hawk, perhaps one of the prettiest hawks of all, and we hardly took notice of them… and for good reason. Jeremiah heard and quickly located the Smith’s Longspur. After that, nothing else mattered.

As long as there is interest, we are adding additional tour dates on Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. Also, rumor has it that, like last year, Wheelabrator will be providing light refreshments after the Wednesday walks. In order to anticipate how many people will be attending each walk, please drop me a note at <s2ary39...> if you have not already signed up for Wednesday the 22nd.

Thanks Geoff

The next walk at Bear Creek, Saugus, is scheduled for 10 am on Wednesday, March 22. Details below.

Soheil will not be able to attend for the next few weeks. Geoff Wilson, will continue to post trip announcements to Massbird and has started an online newsletter in which he announces Bear Creek walks and other issues important to Bear Creek enthusiasts. To subscribe to the Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary newsletter, text BEARCREEK to the number 22828. Alternatively, drop an email to <s2ary39...> and ask to be included in the mailings.

Big thanks to Neil for submitting the Massbird report, for Alan and Jeremiah who filed the ebird lists for us, and everyone who shared their fabulous photos on the eBird:

Bear Creek Sanctuary (restricted access), Essex, Massachusetts, US
Mar 5, 2017 9:24 AM - 12:01 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.5 mile(s)
35 species

Bear Creek Sanctuary (restricted access), Essex, Massachusetts, US
Mar 19, 2017 8:33 AM - 12:13 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.1 mile(s)
Comments: 54 on walk;

39 species

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) 4 3 adults; 1 immature; continuing;
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 312
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) 3
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 10
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) 4
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 8
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) 1
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 3
Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) 2 Unusual: one lighter bird; one dark; photos; light bird tussled with SEOW for a few minutes.
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 3
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 20
Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) 196
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 27
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) 32
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 14
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) 1 Perched on top of landfill
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) 1 One fighting with RLHA;
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern) (Picoides pubescens pubescens/medianus) 2
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 7
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 8
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) 39
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 6
White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern) (Sitta carolinensis carolinensis) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 12
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 125
Smith's Longspur (Calcarius pictus) 1 Mega; originally found Wednesday and photographed very well on Thursday for confirmation by Geoff Wilson; audio and images obtained today; fed very secretively in short grass along roadsides though originally encountered today on upper part of cap in shorter grass areas;
American Tree Sparrow (Spizelloides arborea) 36
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis/carolinensis) 2
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) 5
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) 6
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 18
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 5
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 360
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 146
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 4
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 65

View this checklist online at

If you want to join the walk on Wednesday March 22 at 10 a.m. here are the details:

Bear Creek is an upland sanctuary built on the Wheelabrator (formerly RESCO) landfill at the northern end of Rumney Marsh in Saugus and Revere. Access information is below. Wear good walking shoes and be prepared to hike 3 – 4 miles. The property is mostly very open, so be prepared for sun, wind and weather.

This walk is free and open to the public, but also note that this property is accessible by invitation only and visitors need to be chaperoned at all times. Please allow roughly 4 hours for this field trip. The actual length of the trip depends on conditions and the birds present. It's usually difficult to break up the party if you need to be somewhere in the early afternoon. Come prepared to stay with the group.

Wheelabrator company has graciously stocked up on some extra pairs of binoculars, so if you or someone you know wants to learn about birds and birding, come on down.

Bear Creek sanctuary access is via the Wheelabrator plant, 100 Salem Turnpike (Rte 107), Saugus. The rotary at the intersection of Rtes 60 and 107 is about 1½ miles southwest of the plant and about 1 mile east of Rte 1 exit on Rte 60. When traveling northeast on 107, if you go over the Ballard Street bridge (just after a set of lights) you’ve gone too far—turn back. Here is a link to google maps:

When you arrive, drive through the plant gates, park in the parking lot immediately and wait for the group. Please do not drive farther into the property without an escort.

Geoff Wilson



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