19 September 2014 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Posts Tagged ‘sharp-shinned hawk’

Colorful day

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
Eastern Phoebe, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 11 June 2014.

Eastern Phoebe.

I didn’t go out cycling today and felt guilty about it all afternoon. Because the weather was mild, if not exactly sunny, and the wind wasn’t too bad. My body just felt a need to rest up after four days and about seventy-five miles. Instead, I did desk work until mid-afternoon, when dog and I hit the hill. Hard.

Ocellate “Maple Eyespot” Gall, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 11 June 2014.

Ocellate “Maple Eyespot” Gall.

Well, not that hard. We kind of lollygagged up the open trail, Jack sniffing posts and grass clumps, me counting birds. I had sixteen today, mostly just the usual suspects but with a nice look at a screaming Broad-winged Hawk.

Another cool diversion was my first-ever look (that I recall) at Ocellate “Maple Eyespot” Gall—a colorful phenomenon resulting from the chemicals emitted by tiny midge larvae that attach to male leaves—and also the appearance of several flashy Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies.

The fields were green, the sky a hazy blue. Then, on our way home, I spotted a dashing male Sharp-shinned Hawk, dressed in formal attire and perched on a utility line. I stopped the pickup, hit the emergency flashers, and squeezed out of my passenger door to turn and grab a photo. The bird saw me do that, though, and flew.

Come to think of it, despite the clouds and haze, this was a colorful day.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 3:15 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Ovenbird** (v)
2. Blue Jay (v)
3. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
4. American Redstart** (v)
5. American Crow*
6. Yellow Warbler**
7. American Goldfinch (v)
8. Song Sparrow**
9. House Finch
10. Chipping Sparrow**
11. Alder Flycatcher (v)
12. Eastern Towhee (v)
13. Common Yellowthroat** (v)
14. Eastern Phoebe
15. Broad-winged Hawk
16. Cedar Waxwing
17. Chestnut-sided Warbler (v)
18. Black-and-white Warbler (v)


19. House Sparrow
20. Gray Catbird (v)
21. Herring Gull
22. Northern Cardinal
23. European Starling
24. Sharp-shinned Hawk

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


Eastern Black Swallowtail, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 11 June 2014.

Eastern Black Swallowtail.

Spring hawks

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
Broad-winged Hawk, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 02 May 2014.

Broad-winged Hawk.

Fog this morning, but warmer. And by the time Jack and I got to Beech Hill, the water droplets clinging to the budding twigs were glistening in the rising sun. And I saw a Broad-winged Hawk.

Palm Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 02 May 2014.

Palm Warbler.

I was still in the truck when I saw the hawk swoop between the tree trunks and perch high in the canopy. When we got out, it flew a bit farther away, perched again. As we approached that perch, it took off again. And this pattern continued for a couple hundred feet—until I finally got a (rather distant) photo of the bird, no doubt just arrived.

I say “just arrived” because I saw another four broad-wings moving overhead during today’s early hike, one pair and two other individuals. They were issuing their impossibly high-pitched squeee! calls. I also saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

And a ton of other birds—or, at least many ounces of ’em.

Among the surprises were: two Great Blue Herons flying over (one calling); a very vocal Brown Thrasher; a madly rattling Belted Kingfisher. All first-of-year birds. Also memorable were the new waves of Palm Warblers and Yell0w-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. (A big spring for kinglets.) Still a bunch of cowbirds around, more than any year I can remember. And a solitary, singing Red-winged Blackbird perched at the tip of a tree.

Perhaps most noteworthy, though, is that I overdressed this morning. Today, for the first time in 2014, it truly felt like spring.

Beech Hill List

Beginning at 7 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Broad-winged Hawk
2. Hermit Thrush
3. Black-capped Chickadee*
4. Palm Warbler
5. Eastern Phoebe
6. Yellow-rumped Warbler
7. Northern Flicker
8. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
9. American Robin
10. Eastern Towhee
11. American Goldfinch**
12. American Crow*
13. Pileated Woodpecker (v)
14. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
15. White-throated Sparrow
16. Great Blue Heron†
17. Brown-headed Cowbird
18. Blue Jay (v)
19. Tree Swallow (v)
20. Field Sparrow (v)
21. Song Sparrow**
22. Savannah Sparrow
23. Chipping Sparrow
24. Brown Thrasher†
25. Red-winged Blackbird
26. Belted Kingfisher† (v)
27. Osprey
28. Downy Woodpecker
29. Sharp-shinned Hawk
30. Northern Cardinal** (v)
31. Tufted Titmouse (v)
32. House Finch** (v)
33. Herring Gull*
34. Mourning Dove* (v)


35. House Finch (v)
36. Double-crested Cormorant
37. European Starling
38. Rock Pigeon

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


Luxuriant November

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
White-throated sparrow, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 02 November 2013.

White-throated sparrow.

Damn, what a lovely day. I worked a little in the morning, and then I got bottles and cans and recycling material together and went to the redemption center and dump. And then Jack and I ended up at Beech Hill—hiking early.

Black-capped chickadee, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 02 November 2013.

Black-capped chickadee, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 02 November 2013.

We started in the wooded section, each wearing eye-catching orange, and saw quite a few birds—including a hermit thrush and (soon after) a sharp-shinned hawk, zipping between tree trunks. Heard and saw plenty of yellow-rumps, couple of sparrows, a surprise goldfinch, crows. Also saw tiny flying insects and a big fat dragonfly and heard crickets in the fields.

Quite a few people up there, and another dog or two. Truly gorgeous weather.

Immediately afterward, I intended to ride twenty miles on my bike, but I found out the Texas Longhorns were playing an afternoon game. I hesitated. I looked at the weather (rain and possible snow tomorrow?). I decided to go ahead and watch the game—but during half-time, I went out and gave the lawn its final mow of the year.

I see no rain tonight just yet. In fact, the stars are out still. And it’s not all that cold.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 1:15 p.m., I hiked all trails.

1. White-throated sparrow
2. Black-capped chickadee*
3. American goldfinch (v)
4. Yellow-rumped warbler
5. Hermit thrush
6. Sharp-shinned hawk
7. American crow*
8. House finch** (v)
9. Tufted titmouse
10. Downy woodpecker (v)
11. Northern flicker (v)
12. Song sparrow (v)


13. Blue jay (v)
14. Herring gull
15. House sparrow
16. Rock pigeon
17. Mallard

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

Life jacket, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 02 November 2013.

Life jacket.


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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