30 September 2020

Archive for August, 2013


Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Three hills, from Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 28 August 2013.

Three hills.

A little change in the air today. Slightly cool early, with a fog bank or two. Not overly sunny during the middle part of the day. Crows out there exhibiting anxious, vocal behavior. I worked a lot—on writing and on type design—and didn’t feel like cycling.

But Jack and I did hike the hill (of course). Titmice and blue jays were zipping around the parking lot. That was new. More yellow-rumped warblers—evidence of fall migration.

But a lovely sky. Far clouds, near clouds, a little sun, a green, green landscape. Even a solitary, ripe blackberry.

I decided I’ll go blackberry hunting tomorrow.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped chickadee (v)
2. American goldfinch (v)
3. Downy woodpecker
4. Blue jay
5. Cedar waxwing
6. Tufted titmouse
7. American crow*
8. Yellow-rumped warbler
9. Song sparrow
10. Gray catbird (v)
11. Eastern towhee (v)


12. House finch (v)
13. Herring gull
14. Hairy woodpecker (v)
15. Red-eyed vireo (v)

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


And a road-killed crow

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
Yellow-rumped warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 27 August 2013.

Yellow-rumped warbler.

A day much like yesterday. Work, bike ride, Beech Hill hike.

Savannah sparrow  (juvie), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 27 August 2013.

Savannah sparrow (juvie).

Like yesterday, it was very quiet when Jack and I exited the pickup at the Beech Hill Road parking lot. Unlike yesterday, no little silent birds perched high in the trees around the parking lot. In fact, I didn’t notice any obvious migrants until we got about halfway up the hill, when I noticed warblers moving through the trailside birches. In particular, young black-throated green warblers.

I saw field and song sparrows, heard a pewee and catbirds and towhees. Goldfinches and cedar waxwings flew over.

Up at the summit, more yellow-rumps in the spruce grove, along with a young Savannah sparrow.

Returning, I heard blue jays and a crow.

One noteworthy sighting today: a road-killed crow, which I passed while cycling. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a road-killed crow before.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Gray catbird (v)
2. American goldfinch**
3. Eastern towhee (v)
4. Cedar waxwing**
5. Field sparrow
6. Song sparrow
7. Eastern wood-pewee (v)
8. Black-throated green warbler
9. Hairy woodpecker** (v)
10. Savannah sparrow
11. Yellow-rumped warbler
12. Blue jay** (v)
13. American crow*


14. House sparrow
15. Herring gull
16. Rock pigeon
17. Mourning dove
18. Black-capped chickadee (v)
19. Northern cardinal (v)
20. Laughing gull

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


It has begun

Monday, August 26th, 2013
Scarlet tanager (nonbreeding male), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine 26 August 2013.

Scarlet tanager (nonbreeding male).

Worked most of the day, then rode my bike, then—at the end of it—hiked Beech Hill with Jack. As we got out of the truck, I stood and just listened. The air was still, and I could hear the faint percussive sounds of some machinery working on something down South Street a quarter mile or so, but otherwise? Nothing.

Common nighthawk, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine 26 August 2013.

Common nighthawk, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine 26 August 2013.

Long seconds. Nothing. Nothing. Then the tiny peeps of a chickadee. I looked up in the general direction of the chickadee peeps and saw a bird perched high on a dead snag. But it wasn’t a chickadee.

Trained my binocs on the bird. It was a vireo. A motionless, silent, blue-headed vireo. Then I saw other birds flitting around up there, making no sound. Warblers, possibly. Then sure enough a chickadee. Then a larger, yellow bird. Trained my binocs: a nonbreeding tanager. Then I heard goldfinches. Then up beyond the tanager I saw two, no three nighthawks flapping in that distinctive lazy style of theirs, southbound. Then I heard the wheep! of a distant towhee. Then I saw black-and-white warblers and heard the sudden, rapid-fire notes of a least flycatcher.

Fall migration has begun.

Ten species before we even started up the main trail. Saw more chickadees and some smaller birds. More black-and-white warblers, and a chestnut-sided warbler. We had stopped still, and these had flitted into the branches of a little birch directly over our heads. Could not focus, alas.

Sparrows, waxwings, a catbird. And in the spruces at the summit, a little collection of yellow-rumped warblers.

Blue-headed vireo, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine 26 August 2013.

Blue-headed vireo.

I’m kind of psyched, actually. Migration has begun.

Beech Hill List

Beginning at 5:15 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped chickadee**
2. Blue-headed vireo
3. American goldfinch**
4. Common nighthawk
5. Scarlet tanager
6. Eastern towhee
7. Least flycatcher
8. Black-and-white warbler
9. Blue jay** (v)
10. White-breasted nuthatch
11. American crow* (v)
12. Cedar waxwing**
13. Common yellowthroat (v)
14. Chestnut-sided warbler
15. Field sparrow
16. Song sparrow
17. Gray catbird
18. Yellow-rumped warbler
19. Common raven (v)


20. Herring gull
21. Northern cardinal (v)
22. Wild turkey
23. Double-crested cormorant
24. Mourning dove

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


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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