Date: 2/2/19 1:18 pm
From: Eric Smith <esmithphoto...> [arlingtonbirds] <arlingtonbirds-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [Arlington Birds] Friends of Mystic River/Menotomy BIred Club Mystic Lakes Walk 2.1.19
Hey Paul.
I want to be clear about where the red polls. I've had them along the side
of the main public parking lot , between the brick building and the
platform where people observe the lakes from. In the past there has been
long grasses there that they hop up and get seeds from.
I think the grass has been mowed the last few years, and I haven't seen the
grass or red polls. So where are they hanging out now?


On Sat, Feb 2, 2019 at 2:40 PM <phawk254...> [arlingtonbirds] <
<arlingtonbirds-noreply...> wrote:

> 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
> Mallard
> 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.
> Best,
> Paul
> Paul M. Roberts
> Medford, MA
> <phawk254...>

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