22 July 2024

Archive for March, 2014

Red breast

Monday, March 31st, 2014
American robin, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 31 March 2014.

American robin.

Wintry day today. Hard wind from the north, light sleet and spitting snow and drizzle and fog. Made it up to Beech Hill late with dog. Saw only a flock of robins up there.

I sometimes think of the familiar phrase “robin redbreast” and wonder how many of us on this continent assume it refers to our sturdy American thrush, when of course it doesn’t. It refers to the little Old World Robin, an insect-eating chat.

Still, on raw weather like today, it’s nice to see our robins fluttering around.

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

1. American Robin


2. American Crow
3. Herring Gull

*Also elsewhere



Sunday, March 30th, 2014
Black-capped Chickadee, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 30 March 2014.

Black-capped Chickadee.

Man, did it rain last night. And blow. Awoke to a dark, wet, wind-whipped world.

And it rained pretty much all day. Great rivers of water flowed down the hill out back and gushed onto Route 1, prompting at least one road crew to roll out the orange cones. At Beech Hill—where Jack and I ended up toward late afternoon, after the rain had turned to light drizzle (but the wind hadn’t much let up)—wide pools stood in the parking lot and slush lined the trail. Slush and mud, rivulets and runoff. Saw some chickadees at trailside and a solitary gull overhead.

Tonight is wet still. Although I’m not sure it’s still raining, I can hear the rush of car tires. And there’s still some wind out there.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 3:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Downy Woodpecker (v)
2. Black-capped Chickadee**
3. Herring Gull*


4. American Crow
5. House Sparrow
6. Song Sparrow
7. American Robin

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


Luscious spring day

Saturday, March 29th, 2014
Northern shrike, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 29 March 2014.

Northern shrike.

Warmth. I could feel it before I got out of bed. Also sun (albeit hazy, what with all the water vapor in the air) and calm. And birds.

Wild turkey, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 29 March 2014.

Wild turkey.

Singing cardinals and song sparrows and house finches. A pair of mallards zipped over. Singing mourning dove and chickadees. Crows, of course. I managed to get dressed and make coffee and a quick breakfast, but then dog and I had to get outside.

Up in the 40s already by the time we got to the still-snowy wooded Beech Hill trail. Not really all that slushy, either, being mostly on the shady side—so we got the benefit of warm air and firm footing. Some pretty icy slopes, though, true. We came upon some robins, heard a pileated woodpecker, and flushed a partridge. Jack, as usual, was the first to spot the turkey. And again on the open hillsides, I caught sight of a lone northern shrike.

Not many people or dogs in the morning up there, but what a luscious spring day it was.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 8:45 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Black-capped Chickadee**
2. Pileated Woodpecker (v)
3. American Crow*
4. American Robin
5. Mourning Dove* (v)
6. Ruffed Grouse
7. Wild Turkey
8. Northern Flicker
9. Northern Shrike
10. Herring Gull
11. Northern Cardinal** (v)
12. Tufted Titmouse (v)


13. Mallard
14. House Finch (v)
15. Song Sparrow (v)
16. House Sparrow (v)

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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