Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
Birding Community Newsletter

Issue 2017-20 | Wednesday, November 22 2017 | 1,635 Subscribers
Shoulder to the Wind
A Fast Moving Cold Front Slips Across New England
Gale driven rain drops relentlessly pelt the creatures of the Rumney Marshes ACEC. Shoulder to the wind, raptors from a far away plain, ride the force 8 winds like a breath of fresh air. Hemmed in by the weather, those who seek, reach a gentle understanding with those who are sought after.

* Please note that the Sunday Walk schedule has changed. *
 November 19, 2017 Trip Reports
Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
Saugus, Essex County, Massachusetts, US

November 19, 2017
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Protocol: Traveling

3.0 Mile(s)

42 Bird Species
Canada Goose 20

Mallard 4

American Black Duck 20

Surf Scoter 2

scoter sp. 15

Bufflehead 19

Red-breasted Merganser 8

Wild Turkey 13

Double-crested Cormorant 20

Great Blue Heron 1

Northern Harrier 1

Red-tailed Hawk 3

Black-bellied Plover 1

Wilson's Snipe 1

shorebird sp. 10

Herring Gull 280

Great Black-backed Gull 25

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 10

Mourning Dove 50

Short-eared Owl 3

Peregrine Falcon 1

American Crow 2

Horned Lark 30

European Starling 5

American Pipit 2

Lapland Longspur 1

Snow Bunting 3

American Tree Sparrow 2

Savannah Sparrow 5

Song Sparrow 1

Eastern Meadowlark 1

House Sparrow 2
Short-eared Owl
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Hardy Souls
Black-bellied Plover
American Black Ducks
Steel Wheels traversing a 1,200 year old estuary.
Two Short-eared Owls
Snow Bunting
Northern Harrier
The edge of a leading squall line approaching the City of Boston
Short-eared Owl
The Lapland Longspur
The Bird of the Week this week goes out to the Lapland Longspur who seemed undeterred by the weather.

Big things come in small packages. This little guy has the heart of a lion.

To many it may seem foolhardy to traipse across a wide open grassland in an icy rain with gale force winds, but there are times, many times, when it is worth the price of admission. This was one of them.

The cold front on Sunday morning displaced the warm, moist air from the night before with two leading squall lines. We happened across this beautiful Lapland Longspur just as the leading edge of the first squall line approached the western limits of the City of Boston. As the near gale conditions drove the moisture out of the air, sideways mind you, this six inch visitor from the open tundra seemed right at home. Those who seek, not so much.

Perhaps it took pity on us, or maybe it was just the sort of amusement that birds feel when they see seekers uncomfortable and in places they should not, but that for which we sought, stayed, and stayed, and stayed. So close, in fact, that the seekers were able to consult the Sibley's Guide and run-through the distinguishing characteristics of a first winter Lapland Longspur as compared to a Smith's Longspur, all with the naked eye.

Eventually, like the Snow Buntings, Black Bellied Plover, and many of the other birds that behaved similarly this week, we grew bored with them before they grew bored with us.

Runner-up this week goes to the three Snow Buntings that behaved nearly as tame as the Longspur. Snow Buntings are not known for their poker faces, and this group lived up to that expectation. The sheer astonishment on their faces was priceless. "Seekers? In weather like this?"
 The Next Scheduled Nature Walks are:

Sunday, November 26 *Cancelled*
* Due to a number of accounts of Spousal Displeasure, the Sunday, November 26 walk has been cancelled to ensure that everyone's matrimonial harmony is maintained.
Sunday, December 3 at 9 a.m.
Sunday, December 10 at 9 a.m.

NOTE: The Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is open to the public for guided tours only. If you would like to visit the sanctuary, please attend one of our regularly scheduled nature walks, or contact us to arrange a private tour. Thank you.

Special thanks to Soheil, Patricia, Alfred, and everyone else who contributed pictures and support this week. Without your help, this publication could not be produced.

Additional pictures from this week:
An American Kestrel headlong into the wind.
Snow Bunting
The Wheelabrator Saugus Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is a 370-acre property abutting a 2,274-acre estuary on the outskirts of Boston, located in the heart of the Rumney Marshes ACEC. Maintained and managed grasslands, salt marshes, shrublands and maturing woodlands combine as one of the largest bird migration staging areas on the North Shore and a habitat for nearly 200 bird species, as well as other wildlife such as coyotes, foxes, raccoons and snakes. Visitors can enjoy the more than 14,000 feet of walking trails that permeate the site, a half-acre exhibit garden, and meeting and lecture areas, which are scattered throughout nine of the restored ecosystems. Situated directly behind Wheelabrator Saugus, the Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is maintained and managed by Geoff Wilson of Northeast Wetland Restoration. Follow along with us as the birds change with each passing season! 
Issue 2017-01 The Short-eared Owl
Issue 2017-02 The American Kestrel
Issue 2017-03 The Peregrine Falcon
Issue 2017-04 The Smith's Longspur
Issue 2017-05 The Smith's Longspur Cont.
Issue 2017-06 The Smith's Longspur Cont.
Issue 2017-07 The Horned Lark
Issue 2017-08 The Savannah Sparrow
Issue 2017-09 The Upland Sandpiper
Issue 2017-10 The Killdeer
Issue 2017-11 The Annual Breeding Bird Survey Part I
Issue 2017-12 The Annual Breeding Bird Survey Part II
Issue 2017-13 Salt Marshes / Sea Level Rise
Issue 2017-14 The Common Green Darner
Issue 2017-15 Birds of Prey
Issue 2017-16 The Shrublands
Issue 2017-17 The Painted Lady
Issue 2017-18 The Common Buckeye
Issue 2017-19 The Turnover