18 October 2017 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Archive for October, 2012

Leaflessness

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Blueberry barren, from Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 31 October 2012.

Blueberry barren.

The big wind a couple nights ago really did strip most trees bare around here. I noticed this while hiking Beech Hill with Jack at the end of today—a partly rainy, party hazy one. One shower this morning pelted down like a Great Plains storm or something. Merely damp when we got to hiking, though. And still oddly warm.

Young oak, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 31 October 2012.

Young oak.

I noticed, specifically, when I got a look at a particularly fine oak tree on the western slope as we ascended—a tree whose crown was cloaked in yellow-orange just last weekend. Today it had a measly dozen or two leaves clinging to the bare branches up there.

Birds still about, but I only noticed because I have ears. The one species I actually caught sight of today was a yellow-rumped warbler flitting about in a copse of young trees down on the southern hillside. There’s not as much cover as there used to be.

Still a nice hike, though. Just us and a couple other hikers. And one dog.

And a few remnant bronze and russet leaves.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 4:15 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American crow* (v)
2. Black-capped chickadee** (v)
3. Hairy woodpecker (v)
4. Yellow-rumped warbler
5. American robin (v)
6. Northern flicker (v)
7. Blue jay (v)
8. Dark-eyed junco (v)
9. Golden-crowned kinglet (v)

Elsewhere

10. Herring gull
11. Mallard

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

In the wake

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
American robin, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 October 2012.

American robin.

Stayed up late last night listening to the wind howl. No trees toppled over or lost limbs, and when the howl seemed to diminish a bit in the wee hours, I decided to head for my bed beneath the gigantic oak tree and take my chances. Woke up again this morning, as usual.

Birches, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 October 2012.

Birches.

Still a little windy, but not bad. A little rainy, too. Also not bad. Followed a bit of news about what Superstorm Sandy left in her wake, then worked a while. The rain let up for a while, and then a line of thundershowers blew through. Checked the weather radar and saw what looked like a rain-free patch approaching, so Jack and I lit out for Beech Hill.

No other hikers today. No surprise. Pretty thick fog on the hill. Cleared a couple small branches off the trail. Heard the voices of a few birds. It was impressively calm after last night’s big blow—which, by the way, removed a lot of leaves from the local trees.

About half way up, exactly where we surprised them yesterday, a pair of robins fluttered out of a trailside bush. I noticed the bush had a bunch of red berries. No wonder. The robins turned out to be the only birds I actually got a look at up there.

Then rain began to fall out of the fog—a pretty heavy burst of it. Dog and I began to lope along, which was fun. The rain stopped after maybe a minute, but it was enough to soak the front of me.

Did I mention how mild it was? Really mild—upper-50s (F), I’d guess. And it’s not supposed to get cold for a while yet. Weird.

Into the fog, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 October 2012.

Into the fog.

I like weird.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 2 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped chickadee** (v)
2. Tufted titmouse (v)
3. American crow* (v)
4. American goldfinch (v)
5. Yellow-rumped warbler (v)
6. American robin
7. Blue jay (v)
8. Golden-crowned kinglet (v)

Elsewhere

9. Herring gull

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

Big wind

Monday, October 29th, 2012
Black-capped chickadee, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 October 2012.

Black-capped chickadee.

Started out overcast, with a touch of rain and a good little wind. And the little wind grew as the day progressed. All the storm news from south of here got me thinking it might be a good idea to shut things down early here, so that’s what I did. When Jack and I arrived at Beech Hill, the wind had picked up quite a bit.

Golden-crowned kinglet, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 October 2012.

Golden-crowned kinglet.

But we didn’t have to travel far for me to get a mess o’ birds: five of our common small species were flitting about in the trees above the parking lot. Creeper, chickadee, g-c kinglet, w-b nuthatch, and titmouse. Got great looks at all of them as they bounced around more or less frantically. It really did look like they were stocking up, knowing somehow that after a while it might be a little difficult to take wing.

On up the slope, crows. A few of them lurking around in the patches of sumac down the protected southwest slope. Also, we startled two or three robins from a bush right alongside the trail there. Nothing but wind and swaying grass at the summit. Whitecaps in the bay.

Returning, I heard—then saw—a couple of yellow-rumps fluttering down the trail ahead of us. And nearing the parking lot again, where titmice and chickadees were still active, a white-throated sparrow appeared out of nowhere.

During afternoon, the wind increased and got insistent. And just now, in early evening, it’s a big wind. Still got power, though.

White-throated sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 October 2012.

White-throated sparrow.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 1:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Brown creeper
2. Black-capped chickadee**
3. Golden-crowned kinglet
4. White-breasted nuthatch
5. Tufted titmouse
6. American crow*
7. American robin*
8. Yellow-rumped warbler
9. White-throated sparrow

Elsewhere

10. Herring gull

*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

 
Bird Report is an intermittent record of what's outside my window in Rockport, Maine, USA (44°08'N latitude, 69°06'W longitude), and vicinity. —Brian Willson



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