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RFI Boston area

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Old Saturday 27th July 2013, 15:51   #1
Lerxst
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RFI Boston area

Hello:

I will be in Boston for a couple days in late August. Won't be able to do any really serious birding, as I will have my kids in tow, but I am interested in taking a ferry out to some of the islands. Specifically I would like to improve my odds of seeing any and all types of seabirds. Any suggestions on a half-day trip?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Sunday 28th July 2013, 08:01   #2
Ian Bennell
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Hi Lerxst. I too will be in Boston from 20-23rd August. I've booked myself on a 3 hour whale watching cruise in the hope of seeing whales and seabirds on the 21st. Just google it and its easy to find. $62 for me and gf. Or there is Boston harbour cruise which I think takes you too the islands but more info at the kiosk. I'm also hoping to go to Beacon Common for parkland species and maybe a heron or egret on the pond. Few other site which sound promising but like you it's not really a birding holiday and anywhere I go will be on public transport. Good luck.
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Old Sunday 28th July 2013, 16:26   #3
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Thanks Ian. I'll be using public transportation as well. Hopefully in a future trip I can do the Maine coast and beyond. For now I'll be happy with some common eiders.
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Old Monday 29th July 2013, 20:55   #4
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Your biggest problem will be getting away from crowds. A whale watch is a good idea. Besides whales, dolphins and seals, you should see plenty of gulls and cormorants with a chance at things like eiders and scoters.

Most of the harbor islands constitute a park, but there is limited boat shuttle service. You'll probably get a better view of the islands on a whale watch.

Don't count on seeing any herons or egrets in Boston Garden. If you get there *really* early in the morning you might get really lucky, but it's just too crowded most of the time. Mallards, geese, swans. (Also city birds like sparrows, starlings, pigeons, etc., and passing songbirds - maybe an oriole if you're lucky.)

There are several other ponds and marshes quite close to the city where you might find a heron, but public transit is a bit of a pain if you've only got half a day. (Much better than most US cities, but that's not saying much. You'll need this: http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/system_map/ )

There are a couple of spots on both the harbor and the Charles River where you can rent a kayak, though most of the best habitat is not within easy reach.

edit to add: a number of parks landscaped by Olmsted are popular with birders. This includes not only the Common and the Garden and the Arnold Arboretum (on the Orange Line, Forest Hills stop) but also Mt Auburn Cemetery (near Harvard Square, on the Red Line) [Note the Orange Line is a bit... scruffy.]

further added: If you've got two hours devoted to experiencing downtown, do it on a tour with Boston by Foot. If you've got the least interest in history or architecture, these tours are absolutely top-notch. Some are kid-friendly.
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Old Monday 29th July 2013, 23:09   #5
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Thanks for the info!
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