5 February 2023

F-f-frigid

February 4th, 2023
The dog and his shadow, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 04 February 2023.
The dog and his shadow.

The forecasts called for –15° (F) temperatures overnight last night. Captain Jack woke me up a bit early, and I checked the weather, and it was –17°. A couple hours later, it was maybe –12°—but at that point, I knew we weren’t gonna hike until afternoon, when the temperatures would be above zero, and the winds would be only (only!) 15 mph.

So that’s what we did. It was a brilliantly sunny day, which—for those in the know—tend to be the coldest winter days, but by 2 p.m. or so, the air measured about 5°, and the winds had died down some. Considering the bright sun, we headed on up the hill.

As yesterday, we were alone up there. And—despite my pessimism—I actually had three birds on my list. (No photos, though.) And the discomfort turned out to be somewhat less than yesterday morning’s, likely because of the sun’s warmth and lighter winds.

Tomorrow will be balmy by comparison.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 2:14 p.m., I hiked the main trail—and then some.

1. American Crow
2. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
3. Herring Gull

Elsewhere

4. Northern Cardinal (v)
5. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

†First-of-year

Wind Chilly

February 3rd, 2023
Black-capped Chickadee, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 03 February 2023.
Black-capped Chickadee.

We were ready for it, dog and me. I’d seen the forecast: semi-normal temps for the season to start, but they’d soon be plummeting. And accurate were those forecasts. It was 20° (F) out when I first checked, then 19°, then 18°—decided we should head out earlier than usual. Which we did.

And it was (as forecast) windy up there. Winds from the west, and gusting. I’d bundled up but still felt cold. Jack, meanwhile, didn’t seem the least miffed. Still, we hiked up the main trail in a hurry, through blowing snow.

After a quick warm-up in the hut, we continued down into the lee of the woods, and had a nice, comfortable time of it. Few birds (a robin down there), but no discomfort. Even back at the summit, the winds had died down a bit—temporarily. Turned out to be a lovely hike.

Now, tomorrow… We might have to wait until afternoon.

(Note: At 8 p.m. this evening, it’s –13° out, and gusty.)

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:22 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Black-capped Chickadee
2. American Crow** (v)
3. American Robin* (v)

Elsewhere

4. Northern Cardinal (v)

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

†First-of-year

Before the Big Chill

February 2nd, 2023
American Crow, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 02 February 2023.
American Crow.

Since tomorrow’s supposed to bring the first of two days of super-frigid temperates (and high winds), I made a point of enjoying this not-that-frigid winter hike with dog this morning. Wasn’t sure what to expect, bird-wise.

In fact—perhaps on account of the overcast—there were fewer species (and birds) than yesterday. But still a few bluebirds and yellowrumps, along with a raven.

No woodpeckers, though. I’m already trying to divine what (if any) birds I might find on my list during tommorrow’s cold and wind.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 8:33 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Black-capped Chickadee
2. Tufted Titmouse (v)
3. American Crow (v)
4. Yellow-rumped Warbler
5. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
6. Common Raven (v)
7. American Goldfinch (v)

Elsewhere

8. Herring Gull
9. Rock Pigeon

Mammals

Snowshoe Hare

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

†First-of-year

 
Bird Report is a (sometimes intermittent) record of the birds I encounter while hiking, see while driving, or spy outside my window. —Brian Willson



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