Date: 2/2/19 11:40 am
From: <phawk254...> [arlingtonbirds] <arlingtonbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [Arlington Birds] Friends of Mystic River/Menotomy BIred Club Mystic Lakes Walk 2.1.19
Today's walk drew over 30 people with temps in the high 20s, sunny skies and modest SSW winds. The lakes and upper Mystic River were about 95% ice covered, with very limited open water, mainly beneath the dam, at the bubbler by the Tufts Boat House, and at the lower entrance to the Fore Bay.

There were several clear highlights. We had an adult male Bald Eagle perched on the Arlington side of the lower lake early, and then had MK, an almost 3-year old locally born Bald Eagle fly up and land in THE tree, where it observed most of the proceedings. Subsequently both eagles flew and provided spectacular views in powered flight

and soaring.

The second set of highlights was seeing three Red-tailed Hawks soaring together, with two of the Redtails then joined by a small male Sharp-shinned Hawk soaring with them. Later on two additional Redtails soared on the west side of the upper lake, providing good views

The third highlight was a spectacular view of an adult female Sharp-shinned Hawk soaring low right above the group against a brilliant blue sky. Because of its size and closeness, the bird was initially called a Cooper's Hawk, but it was soon seen to be a very large female adult Sharp-shinned. Initially I though it might be the same sharpie we had seen somewhat more distant earlier, but that bird was much smaller than this bird, so we had the unusual experience of seeing two Sharp-shinned Hawks soaring. If anyone photographed the second bird, please send me copies of the photos at the address below.

The fourth highlight was spectacular views of Common Mergansers, drakes and hens, swimming by the bubbler and occasionally flying over, like rockets shot from guns.

Spectacular is the word of the day, accurately describing the quality of some of our views of birds.

The most unusual sighting of the day came at the end of the trip, after some semi-frozen people had already departed. I saw a small, sparrow-like bird with a very pale base color fly past and land in the weeds on the south side of the dam. We hurriedly pursued it and discovered a gorgeous male Common Redpoll, my first of the season and year, accompanied by a second. Eventually, we had 7 Common Redpolls feeding in the weeds east of the dam. Only the second or third year I can recall a flock of Common Redpolls there.

Canada Goose ~80

Mute Swan 6


Common Merganser. ~25

Bald Eagle 2 (1 ad male, 1 imm female)

Sharp-shinned Hawk. 2 (1 male, 1 ad female)

Red-tailed Hawk 5

Ring-billed Gull 25

Herring Gull 10

Song Sparrow. 2

Common Redpoll 7

Thanks to everyone who attended. I regret I didn't get the chance to say "Hi" to many friends I haven't seen for a while.



Paul M. Roberts
Medford, MA
Join us on Facebook!