29 April 2017 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Posts Tagged ‘red-breasted nuthatch’

Finch and Phobe: A Photo Essay

Thursday, April 27th, 2017
House Finch, Rockport, Maine, 27 April 2017.

House Finch.

Eastern Phoebe, Rockport, Maine, 27 April 2017.

Eastern Phoebe.

Finch and Phoebe, Rockport, Maine, 27 April 2017.

Finch and Phoebe.

Alert, Rockport, Maine, 27 April 2017.


Attack, Rockport, Maine, 27 April 2017.


Beech Hill List
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
2. Northern Cardinal** (v)
3. Black-capped Chickadee*
4. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
5. American Crow*
6. Eastern Towhee
7. White-throated Sparrow (v)
8. Brown-headed Cowbird
9. Yellow-rumped Warbler
10. Eastern Phoebe*
11. Tree Swallow
12. Northern Flicker (v)
13. Song Sparrow**
14. American Robin*
15. Pileated Woodpecker (v)
16. Purple Finch (v)
17. American Goldfinch (v)
18. Field Sparrow (v)
19. Downy Woodpecker (v)
20. Savannah Sparrow (v)
21. Herring Gull* (v)


22. Chipping Sparrow
23. House Finch
24. Rock Pigeon
25. European Starling
26. Cedar Waxwing
27. House Sparrow
28. Double-crested Cormorant

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

A Rumination on Frustration

Monday, April 24th, 2017
Savannah Sparrow, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 24 April 2017.

Savannah Sparrow.

Early in our morning hike, dog and I encountered a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. The bird flitted just there, not a dozen feet away, in the shade, flitting, flitting. I worked to get a photo, but they move so fast, kinglets do. At last I decided to try for a video at least—and just as I was about to press the video button, the bird paused for a moment in a beam of light.

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 24 April 2017.

Yellow-rumped Warbler.

I missed the photo.

At the summit, a finch sang high in a spruce, bathed in morning sunlight, and I raised my camera, delighted at the opportunity… but the bird flew.

I missed the photo.

Soon after, as I concentrated on a Yellow-rumped Warbler hidden by webs of branches I heard a huff-huff-huff that I thought might’ve been Jack panting—because the sun was warm and the air temperature about 50 (F)—but the sound was too loud for panting, and I realized I was listening to wing beats, and I looked up to see a raven flying not 20 feet directly above us, headed away.

I missed the photo.

Down in the bayberry, yellow-rumps were flitting all about. I’ve been hoping for a video of a singing ’rump, but so far no dice—and yet here were many singers. Then one bird, by golly, popped up onto a twig and let fly a song, and just as I started the video going, Jack must’ve moved a little, and the bird flew away.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 24 April 2017.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

I missed the video (but did at least grab a photo).

At about this point I decided luck was not on my side, and I would not be getting any good photos or videos. I got to thinking about how easy it is for we humans to fall into a whirlpool of perceived bad luck, a vortex of misfortune, and how our brains lead us to believe that if a thing keeps happening it will continue to. I sought to tell myself it was all in my head, and my reward would come.

Then, rounding a corner, I froze to see a Hermit Thrush in the trail (likewise frozen) about thirty feet away, facing us, illuminated by the sun. Here was the reward. Slowly I raised my camera—and the thrush flew away.

Damn it. I gave up. Let it go.

Later, descending the open trail, I heard a faint familiar sound: the note of a Savannah Sparrow. First of the year. I found it perched not far away, and I managed a bunch of photos. And a video of it scolding us. And soon after that first sparrow, I came upon another, singing softly in a birch tree. I got more photos, more video.

All in all, a highly satisfying day.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:45 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American Robin*
2. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
3. Black-capped Chickadee** (v)
4. Eastern Towhee
5. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
6. American Crow*
7. Eastern Phoebe*
8. American Goldfinch**
9. Tufted Titmouse (v)
10. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (drumming)
11. Tree Swallow
12. Song Sparrow*
13. Field Sparrow (v)
14. Yellow-rumped Warbler
15. House Finch
16. Common Raven
17. Herring Gull*
18. Brown-headed Cowbird
19. Hermit Thrush
20. Chipping Sparrow**
21. Blue Jay (v)
22. Northern Cardinal** (v)
23. Savannah Sparrow†
24. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)


25. Osprey
26. Broad-winged Hawk

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere
†First-of-year bird



Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
House Finch, Rockport, Maine, 18 April 2017.

House Finch.

I listened to a House Finch sing this morning,
as often I do, But
I also watched it sing,

Brown-headed Cowbird (singing), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 18 April 2017.

Brown-headed Cowbird (singing).

cocking its head this way and that
as if to emphasize particular
notes and phrases.

I listened also to many other singing birds,
including two whose voices
I did not recognize.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 8 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American Robin (v)*
2. Tufted Titmouse (v)**
3. Blue Jay (v)
4. White-throated Sparrow
5. Song Sparrow**
6. Eastern Towhee
7. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
8. Brown-headed Cowbird
9. Black-capped Chickadee**
10. American Goldfinch**
11. Eastern Phoebe**
12. American Crow*
13. Northern Flicker
14. Turkey Vulture
15. Tree Swallow
16. Northern Cardinal (v)**
17. Herring Gull*
18. Field Sparrow (v)
19. Red-winged Blackbird
20. Yellow-rumped Warbler
21. White-breasted Nuthatch** (v)
22. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
23. Red-tailed Hawk
24. Purple Finch (v)


25. House Finch
26. Mourning Dove
27. European Starling
28. Rock Pigeon

v = Voice only
*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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