|Spoiler Alert: The blog post is about this bird. I saw it. Sorry to ruin the surprise.|
After a few days without reports and stormy weekend, I had assumed the bird had either moved on or passed on, but yesterday morning Massbird once again had an email with the subject line "Painted Bunting Yes." This time I had a full afternoon, and Harold and I set off on the 86 bus into the wilds of Boston.
After a surprisingly quick bus ride and a brief walk, we arrived at the cemetery, where a departing birder directed us to the bunting spot but warned that it had flown out of view recently. We had also heard that the bird was tough to find, hiding in the bushes and staying out of sight, and were prepared for a long search.
When we approached the dumpster marking the general area where the bunting had been seen, a backlit bird flew up out of the brush. Harold and I turned to each other: "Did that bird look weird to you?" "Yeah." "Did it look green?" "Yeah..."
But we hadn't seen exactly where it had landed, and weren't positive it was our target anyway. We began scanning the thickets. I hadn't been looking for 30 seconds when I noticed bright green blob perched on a foxtail a foot of the group right in the open. Got it!
|Hard to mistake this gal for anything else|
|A precarious perch|
The bird was so cooperative that we turned away from it to search the area for sparrows. The search was unsuccessful, but every time we checked back on the bunting it was still there, chowing down. After getting more than our fill, we headed down the road to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. Along the way we ran into another birder who had missed the bunting earlier in the week. We went briefly back to the dumpster, and there it was, right where we had left it.