30 June 2022

Archive for February, 2014

February day

Monday, February 24th, 2014
Weskeag Marsh, South Thomaston, Maine, 24 February 2014.

Weskeag Marsh.

The two dogs and I spent a quiet morning working and/or napping, but by midday we were getting antsy, so we took a little ride.

Winter bay from Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 24 February 2014.

Winter bay.

First, to Beech Hill, where a pair of ravens were swooping around the summit. The trail was icy and uneven and really rather treacherous for a guy wearing worn out hiking boots, but I never fell down. At the top, I spotted a flicker in flight. Also some gulls in flight down toward Route 1. Then I saw one of the ravens with something in its beak. And heard some crows.

After Beech Hill, we ran a few errands, one of which took us near the Thomaston town line, so I swung down Buttermilk Lane just to take a peek at Weskeag Marsh in winter. Thought I might see a hawk or a snowy owl, but all I saw were a line of crows way out in the ice. In a short couple months, this wetland will be crawling with migrating shorebirds—well, not crawling exactly, but you know what I mean.

The rest of the day passed quietly and with mixed sun and clouds above. A pretty lovely February day, all things considered.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 12:45 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Common Raven
2. Northern flicker
3. Herring Gull*
4. American Crow*


5. House Finch (v)
6. Tufted Titmouse (v)
7. Black-capped Chickadee
8. American Robin

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere



Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
Turkey Vulture, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 23 February 2014.

Turkey Vulture.

Got an early jump on things again this warmish, overcast morning—a morning with two or three cardinals singing from trees around my place. One likely reason for the early jump was the fact that there’s a second dog here this weekend, and I was eager to give the two of them some exercise. Also, though, I like to hike Beech Hill solo, and it’s Sunday.

Morning trail, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 23 February 2014.

Morning trail.

Encountered a bunch of the usual small birds around the parking lot. A crow somewhere. No snowy owls on the slopes—but some lovely dark skies with morning sun rays flaring through. True, the trail proved a challenge, what with refrozen slush marked by deep footprints from what certainly must’ve been a busy, beautiful Saturday up there. This meant looking down at my feet more than usual.

But on the return trip with the dogs, I happened to glance up and see a Turkey Vulture slapping across the gray sky. A Turkey Vulture! In February?

Welcome to the Anthropocene.

Then, a minute or two later, a flock of robins appeared out of nowhere and lit in a couple of small birch trees beside the trail. They sat there for about thirty seconds before one of them gave a cry and they all flapped away.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 9:15 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped Chickadee**
2. Tufted Titmouse
3. American Crow* (v)
4. Turkey Vulture†
5. American Robin*


6. Northern Cardinal
7. House Finch (v)
8. Herring Gull
9. Mallard (v)

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

American robins, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 23 February 2014.

American robins.


Two dogs

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
Black-capped Chickadee, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 22 February 2014.

Black-capped Chickadee.

Boone is visiting this weekend, and Jack and I took him with us to Beech Hill early. Already the snowy landscape had been sun-warmed to the lower-40s (F), and there was just a touch of a breeze, so I figured it might be nice to get up there before the Saturday throngs.

Mush, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 22 February 2014.


Didn’t see many birds, but heard quite a few—including buntings, a raven, a goldfinch, a pair of singing titmice. In fact, the only bird I saw was a solitary chickadee.

Elsewhere, I heard a singing cardinal, a singing house finch, and a gang of house sparrows.

Otherwise, just a day spent with a couple good Australian cattle dogs.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 8:45 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped Chickadee
2. American Goldfinch (v)
3. Tufted Titmouse (v)
4. American Crow* (v)
5. Snow Bunting (v)
6. Common Raven (v)


7. House Sparrow (v)
8. Northern Cardinal (v)
9. Herring Gull
10. House Finch (v)

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere

Lunar surface, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 22 February 2014.

Lunar surface.

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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