17 April 2024

Archive for December, 2012

Old year

Monday, December 31st, 2012
Beech Nut, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 31 December 2012.

Beech Nut.

Last day of the calendar year, and a lovely one it was. Plenty of sun, fairly moderate temperatures, not a lot of wind—at least not until Jack and I found ourselves atop Beech Hill late in the day. Running around town, I saw quite a few common winter species (and heard a goldfinch). On the hill, some little birds were flitting around, and I watched a lone flicker making the rounds down the eastern slope. The recent snowfall had packed down tight enough for easy walking in snowshoes—or on dog paws.

Frozen wave, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 31 December 2012.

Frozen wave.

We met a little family on the trail, in fact, among them two kiddos climbing great drifts. The wind had carved shapes and patterns in the snow.

Tonight is pretty nippy but fairly still. The last stars of 2012 are shining.

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

1. Black-capped chickadee**
2. Northern flicker
3. White-breasted nuthatch (v)
4. Brown creeper


5. American crow
6. American goldfinch (v)
7. Herring gull
8. Rock pigeon
9. Ring-billed gull
10. Mourning dove

v = Voice only
**Voice only elsewhere

Wind chill

Sunday, December 30th, 2012
Snowy trail, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 December 2012.

Snowy trail.

Yep, it snowed. I’d guess about another eight inches or so on top of what we got a couple days ago. Hard to estimate, though, considering all the drifting. Spent about an hour and a half shoveling. Then took Jack and a pair of snowshoes to Beech Hill, where no one had hiked, apparently, except for us and a trio of men who had just started up the trail when we arrived. Without snowshoes. We caught up with them in a hurry, and I let on how impressed I was that they would trudge through such deep drifts (three and four feet in places).

Beech Nut, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 December 2012.

Beech Nut.

It was cold up there, and the wind was really blowing. No, I mean really blowing. I didn’t expect to have any birds on my list, but a solitary crow flew over, half-carried by the wind.

Tonight will be the coldest of the season so far. And the wind is still blowing. Which will induce quite a chill.

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

1. American crow*


2. Red-tailed hawk
3. American goldfinch (v)
4. Herring gull
5. Black-capped chickadee (v)

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere

Between storms

Saturday, December 29th, 2012
Anticipation, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 December 2012.


Clouded up today. Went out and chipped some ice, redirected some runoff. Came back in and edited for a while. Finally split the scene with Jack and took a hike up a snowy hill, just us two. A few birds around (bird voices mostly), and some nice overcast snow scenes. The pond seemed to be icing up down there, and I could see the leading edge of the new storm arriving in the vicinity of the Owls Head Light.

Blueberry field, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 December 2012.

Blueberry field.

Good leg exercise, trudging through snow without snowshoes. Depending on how much new white stuff arrives, I might take ’em out tomorrow.

And, oh yeah: on our return, I swung by a big box store for a light bulb and saw a house sparrow flying around in there. Smart bird.

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

1. Black-capped chickadee
2. Pine grosbeak (v)
3. White-breasted nuthatch (v)
4. Downy woodpecker (v)


5. Tufted titmouse (v)
6. American crow
7. Herring gull
8. House sparrow

v = Voice only

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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