Date: 12/6/17 1:02 pm
From: 'Soheil Zendeh' <sohzendeh...> [arlingtonbirds] <arlingtonbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [Arlington Birds] Next Bear Creek, Saugus, walk on Sunday December 10 at 9 am; report for Sunday December 3

The next walk at Bear Creek Sanctuary, Saugus, is scheduled for 9 am on Sunday, December 10. Details for attending the walk are below. (There is no public walk on Sunday December 17 due to the scheduling of the Greater Boston Christmas Count.)

On the December 3 walk, we had the most fun when we saw a pale sand-colored sparrow running around barren parts of the grassland - an Ipswich Sparrow. This was considered a separate species at one time but has been lumped with Savannah Sparrow for many decades. Nevertheless it is a striking bird and quite recognizable as a separate subspecies.

Ipswich Savannah Sparrows nest on Sable Island, 100 miles east of Nova Scotia and all 2000 of them winter along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts south. Each year you have a chance to see a few if you frequent coastal locations, especially sand dunes. Evidently they are on the move this week (according to local USF&WS personnel) so if you look you might be rewarded. I wish I could share a nice photo of the one at Bear Creek with you -- maybe one will get attached to the ebird checklist below before long.

Bear Creek Sanctuary (restricted access), Essex, Massachusetts, US
Dec 3, 2017 9:21 AM - 12:21 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.89 mile(s)
36 bird species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 135
Mallard 4
American Black Duck 24
Common Eider 1
Surf Scoter 1
White-winged Scoter 3
Bufflehead 8
Wild Turkey 13
Common Loon 2
Great Blue Heron 7
Northern Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 3
Ring-billed Gull 3
Herring Gull (American) 55
Great Black-backed Gull 3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 36
Mourning Dove 43
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern) 1
American Kestrel 1
Peregrine Falcon 2
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 5
Horned Lark 88
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 600
American Pipit 36
American Tree Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 2
Savannah Sparrow 2
Savannah Sparrow (Ipswich) 1
Song Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 4
Eastern Meadowlark 3
American Goldfinch 3
House Sparrow 3

View this checklist online at

Geoff Wilson, our chaperone and the landscaper for the property, publishes a newsletter that you may find interesting:

Here are the details for attending walks at this property:

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. Please let me know you're coming so we can have a head count.

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.

Soheil Zendeh
42 Baker Ave
Lexington, MA 02421

Posted by: "Soheil Zendeh" <sohzendeh...>

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