8 July 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Archive for May, 2013

Bug bites

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
Yellow warbler, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 May 2013.

Yellow warbler.

Sunny morning. Lovely day. Up and to the hill early with Jack. Saw and/or heard plenty of birds—including the booming of a grouse. First-of-year bird today: black-billed cuckoo.

Common yellowthroat, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 May 2013.

Common yellowthroat.

I got lost in it a few times—standing in one place, waiting for just the right bird photo opportunity, afraid to move to shoo away the black flies and mosquitos that have cropped up suddenly in the wake of all that rain. Got bit on the back of my hand and on my forehead and elsewhere, I’m pretty sure. Of course the mosquitos and black flies are food for the alder flycatcher and eastern wood-pewee and the flashing fluttering redstart. Food for the sweet phoebe at the trailhead, for the many little jewel-like warblers in the leaves.

Still, hiking down the streamlike lower wooded trail, I felt that itch on the back of my hand, and the urge to scratch it rose. But I resisted. I managed to convince my mind that it was more like a drawn-out tickle, maybe even like a not-so-petite mort. Somehow, it worked. I never scratched it, and tonight I hardly notice it’s there.

Tonight, a night after a glorious day that included a shorter-than-I’d-hoped for bike ride, thanks to a construction-style staple through my back tire. Needed a new tire anyway, so I dropped by the bike shop and got me a new tire. I also got the cat some food and the dog a new toy.

Gray catbird, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 May 2013.

Gray catbird.

Busy ol’, lovely ol’ day.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:15 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. American goldfinch
2. Ovenbird**
3. Black-and-white warbler** (v)
4. Hairy woodpecker
5. Veery**
6. Black-throated green warbler**
7. Common yellowthroat**
8. Eastern towhee
9. Red-eyed vireo
10. Eastern phoebe**
11. Chestnut-sided warbler**
12. Tufted titmouse (v)
13. Gray catbird**
14. Blackpoll warbler (v)
15. Black-capped chickadee
16. American redstart**
17. Eastern wood-pewee
18. Yellow warbler**
19. Least flycatcher (v)
20. Common raven
21. Ruffed grouse (booming)
22. Alder flycatcher
23. Yellow warbler**
24. American robin*
25. Ruby-throated hummingbird
26. American crow*
27. Northern cardinal* (v)
28. Black-billed cuckoo† (v)
29. Song sparrow**
30. Mallard
31. Blue jay
32. Field sparrow (v)
33. Savannah sparrow
34. Rose-breasted grosbeak (v)
35. Brown-headed cowbird (v)
36. White-throated sparrow (v)
37. Yellow-rumped warbler
38. Purple finch (v)
39. Nashville warbler
40. Scarlet tanager (v)
41. Hermit thrush (v)


42. House finch (v)
43. Herring gull
44. European starling
45. Common grackle
46. Laughing gull (v)
47. Osprey (v)
48. Double-crested cormorant
49. Chipping sparrow (v)

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

Glorious day

Monday, May 27th, 2013
Eastern wood-pewee, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 27 May 2013.

Eastern wood-pewee.

In honor of Memorial Day (observed), the sun returned this morning. The earth spun eastward, and no clouds hung in the way of the light from our glorious star. Pulled on my clothes, grabbed my dog, and five minutes later we started up the wooded Beech Hill trail.

Ruby-throated hummingbird, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 27 May 2013.

Ruby-throated hummingbird.

And muddy trail it was. Here and there a flowing trail. The combination of running water and warming sunlight had the black flies swarming—but I didn’t mind. Birds all over the place.

The least flycatcher is still hanging around. Heard a booming partridge. Finally snuck up on a hummingbird sipping from the flowers of  a highbush blueberry bush. A brilliant red singing cardinal showed up. Caught another raven pecking at what looked like an egg in the field near Beech Hill Road. And I tracked down another tanager—actually, I believe it was the same tanager I photographed a week or two ago. While I was walking slowly toward the tanager, a first-of-year pewee showed up suddenly and perched on a branch very near us. (Got a little video.) Also a first-of-year Blackburnian warbler high up in a pine. And behind me, a singing black-throated blue warbler.

That was fun.

This afternoon I rode my bike for the first time in what seemed like a fortnight but was only eleven days. Glorious ride. Glorious star. Glorious day for all who remember.

Scarlet tanager, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 27 May 2013.

Scarlet tanager.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:45 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Chestnut-sided warbler**
2. Black-throated green warbler**
3. American goldfinch
4. Eastern phoebe**
5. Black-and-white warbler (v)
6. Common yellowthroat**
7. Ovenbird**
8. Veery**
9. Eastern towhee
10. American robin*
11. Tufted titmouse (v)
12. Black-capped chickadee
13. American crow*
14. Gray catbird (v)
15. Least flycatcher (v)
16. American redstart**
17. Yellow warbler**
18. Mourning dove* (v)
19. Ruffed grouse (booming)
20. Nashville warbler (v)
21. Ruby-throated hummingbird
22. Northern cardinal**
23. Alder flycatcher
24. Blue jay
25. Song sparrow**
26. Savannah sparrow
27. Turkey vulture
28. Common raven
29. Tree swallow
30. Brown-headed cowbird (v)
31. Purple finch (v)
32. Hermit thrush (v)
33. Red-eyed vireo
34. Scarlet tanager
35. Eastern wood-pewee
36. Black-throated blue warbler (v)
37. Blackburnian warbler


38. European starling
39. Herring gull
40. Rock pigeon
41. House sparrow (v)
42. Chipping sparrow (v)
43. Northern parula (v)

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

Seeing stars

Sunday, May 26th, 2013
Chestnut-sided warbler, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 26 May 2013.

Chestnut-sided warbler.

I awoke just at dawn to steady rain. Went back to sleep. Awoke sometime later to mere drizzle. Chillier, windier than yesterday. Soggier, too. Worked in here where it was warm and more or less dry. When it looked like the rain had let up a bit, Jack and I went out for a hike. And it had let up a bit—not completely, but a bit.

Bald eagle, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 26 May 2013.

Bald eagle.

The wooded Beech Hill trails were streams. Not many birds at first—even they seemed rather daunted by these last several gathered days of liquidity at our particular corner of the water planet. The wind would rock the branches of the hardwoods whose new leaves would send down a spray.

For the third straight day, though, I found myself surrounded by zipping, fairy-like hummingbirds. I’d hear their tiny, two-note alarm calls, stare in the direction of the bell-like highbush blueberry blooms, and see no hummingbirds at all. I did see some wheel around the bushes and away—and one that was hovering, feeding, but for only a split second, because then it saw me and vanished behind the sodden greenery.

Another highlight was the sudden appearance of two eagles: an immature bird and an adult. The first flew slowly over, the second flew more quickly, as the crows had noticed its passage.

In the wood I heard a least flycatcher and a scarlet tanager and a wood thrush. And as we drove way back from the hill, a large, handsome coyote loped across the road in front of us and away over a field. I stopped the car, it stopped and looked back, but it started loping again before I could grab a photo.

Still life, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 26 May 2013.

Still life.

By the time we got home, the sun was shining and I could see blue sky.

And just a minute ago I saw stars.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 4 p.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Eastern phoebe
2. Black-and-white warbler (v)
3. Common yellowthroat
4. Veery (v)
5. Ovenbird** (v)
6. Chestnut-sided warbler
7. Black-and-white warbler (v)
8. Eastern towhee
9. American crow*
10. Black-capped chickadee
11. Gray catbird**
12. Ruby-throated hummingbird
13. Field sparrow (v)
14. Blue jay (v)
15. Herring gull*
16. Broad-winged hawk
17. Savannah sparrow
18. Song sparrow**
19. Black-throated green warbler (v)
20. American goldfinch (v)
21. Bald eagle
22. Yellow warbler (v)
23. American redstart (v)
24. Yellow-rumped warbler
25. Northern cardinal** (v)
26. Wood thrush (v)
27. Common raven
28. American robin*
29. Hairy woodpecker (v)
30. Least flycatcher (v)
31. Scarlet tanager (v)
32. Red-eyed vireo
33. Mourning dove*


34. Common grackle
35. European starling
36. Rock pigeon
37. Laughing gull
38. Great black-backed gull

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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