8 July 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Archive for October, 2012

Unexpected visitor

Sunday, October 28th, 2012
Northern shrike, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 October 2012.

Northern shrike.

A little rain early, then overcast. Just a breath of wind. Got out to do a little pre-storm stocking up, and somehow ended up at Beech Hill with my dog.

Yellow-rumped warbler, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 October 2012.

Yellow-rumped warbler.

A bunch of little kids were there for an apparently very fun excursion. Jack and I snuck up before them. Right away, I heard chickadees, a woodpecker, kinglets, and more. A small flock of white-throated sparrows was flitting about in the tangles, and a titmouse appeared out of nowhere, nibbling on some wild tree seed. Heard crows and jays and yellow-rumped warblers. Quite a few ‘rumps up there today, in fact.

Robin, flicker. We headed over the summit a ways and I discovered the top section of wooded trail had been rerouted—to avoid a notorious mudhole, I expect. The new stretch is curvy, steep, and alluring. More yellow-rumps down along the field.

Returning, I spied a lone songbird high in one of the trailside birches. It looked different from the usual suspects, so I trained my binocs on it: a northern shrike. Tried to sneak up for a photo, but it flew. Lucky for me, it flew slightly nearer—but still no awesome photo. I heard the shrike’s shrill call as it flew away.

By the time we got home a few minutes later, the sky had mostly cleared, and we had ourselves another unseasonably warm afternoon.

Birch, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 October 2012.


Tonight is cloudless, with a nervous breeze. Hm….

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

1. Black-capped chickadee**
2. Hairy woodpecker
3. White-throated sparrow
4. Golden-crowned kinglet (v)
5. Tufted titmouse
6. American crow*
7. Yellow-rumped warbler
8. Blue jay* (v)
9. American robin* (v)
10. Northern flicker (v)
11. Northern shrike


12. Red-tailed hawk
13. Herring gull
14. Rock pigeon

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

Unfathomable weather

Saturday, October 27th, 2012
American crow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 27 October 2012.

American crow.

It’s hard to fathom the weather we’ve had lately. Today started foggy—an ocean fog, with a nip to it—but the sun burned most of it away, leaving in its wake a warmth, a calm. It felt like a vacation out there.

Birch, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 27 October 2012.


Jack and I hiked Beech Hill in early afternoon. Of course, so did many other people and dogs. In fact, the Coastal Mountains Land Trust was holding its last Beech Nut open house of the year. Perfect day for it. From the summit you could see fog still cloaking the shores of the southern peninsulas, and the afternoon sun lit the remnant red of the low growth on the surrounding hillsides.

At first, I found little evidence of bird life up there—beyond assorted birds flitting about the sides of Beech Hill Road—but before long I began to hear them call, see them flit, watch them fly over. Siskins flew over. Also bluebirds. Crows, jays, and a flicker in the distance. And I heard a couple other (migrating) species I couldn’t identify.

But I could identify the juncos fluttering about the trees along the road when we got back to the pickup. I like those little joyful birds.

Tonight is calm and warm. Looks like the storm will dive in to the south of us. Thinking about my girl in NYC.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 1:45 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped chickadee**
2. American crow*
3. Yellow-rumped warbler
4. Pine siskin (v)
5. American robin*
6. Savannah sparrow
7. Eastern bluebird
8. Blue jay* (v)
9. Northern flicker (v)
10. Dark-eyed junco


11. House sparrow
12. Herring gull
13. Rock pigeon
14. European starling (v)

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

Balmy day

Friday, October 26th, 2012
Black-capped chickadee, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 26 October 2012.

Black-capped chickadee.

Hard to believe this balmy weather. More sun, temps way up in the 50s (F). I did manage to ride my bike some, which was… awesome. Did some errands, stocked up a bit in preparation for “Frankenstorm.” Then headed with Jack for Beech Hill.

Moon, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 26 October 2012.


Plenty of hikers up there on such a balmy day. Quite a few birds, too. Still yellow-rumps about. Heard a song sparrow, a raven, and a pileated woodpecker. Actually, most of the birds on my list today I didn’t see—I heard. One exception being the most unexpected sighting: a little flock of red-winged blackbirds making a beeline south above the eastern slope.

The moon is nearly full. Which, of course, is one of the ingredients of the coming perfect storm (so-called).

Tonight, though—ah. Crazy warm. I feel oddly overdressed.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 4:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American robin*
2. Black-capped chickadee**
3. American crow* (v)
4. Blue jay* (v)
5. Yellow-rumped warbler (v)
6. Song sparrow (v)
7. Red-winged blackbird
8. Common raven (v)
9. Pileated woodpecker (v)


10. House sparrow (v)
11. Herring gull

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

Blackbirds, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 26 October 2012.


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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