Monday, January 7, 2013

No Yellow-breasted Chat, but a Swan and a Cooper's bring my year list to 44 species

On Sunday afternoon I only had a little time to look for birds, so I decided to stop off at the Kohl's parking lot in Burlington. Massachusetts. to see if I could find the continuing Yellow-breasted Chat which people have been posting about on various birding list serves. Before we got on the highway, however, my girlfriend Joanna and I spotted two Mute Swans in an open section of water in the Charles River, across from the Charles River Canoe and Kayak rental location in Newton.  We pulled over for a few minutes and I took a good look at the swans through my binoculars. The Swans were species #43 for the year, and while  there we also counted a number of Canada Geese, Ring-billed Gulls and Mallards, along with one solitary Rock Pigeon.

Two mute swans swim on the Charles River while Mallards venture onto shore in the foreground. Image copyright Joanna Barker 2013.
Back on the road we saw three Red-tailed hawks perched along the highway, and when we got to the Kohl's parking lot there there were already a few birders there searching for the chat. We spent about 25 minutes peering into the brush and trees beside the parking lot, but the chat failed to make an appearance. I would be very curious to know if anyone else saw it tyesterday.

We did see several American Robins while searching for the chat and I was happy to add bird #44 for the year, a gorgeous Cooper's Hawk which I got an excellent look at as it flew over the marsh behind the parking lot. At first I wasn't sure if it might be a Sharp-shinned, but it had a very obviously rounded tail and seemed larger than the Sharp-Shinned hawks I have seen before.

So, sadly, no Yellow-breasted Chat for me this weekend. I plan to keep an eye on the list serves though, and if it pops again I will defintely try to see it.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.

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