24 March 2023

Archive for September, 2015

Solitary harrier

Sunday, September 27th, 2015
Northern Harrier, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 27 September 2015.

Northern Harrier.

Two dogs again at Beech Hill today. Coolish but short-sleeves were fine in the sun. The highlight bird was a harrier I happened to see sail low over the summit slope then dip down into the lower fields to the east. Watched it veer around after a small bird of some kind but come up empty.

Near-total lunar eclipse, from near Clam Cove, Rockport, Maine, 27 September 2015.

Near-total lunar eclipse.

Tonight I tried for a photo of the super blood moon and, despite my inferior camera, kind of caught the magical look of our lovely natural satellite. I kind of have a thing for the moon.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 2:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Yellow-rumped Warbler
2. Eastern Towhee (v)
3. Downy Woodpecker (v)
4. Black-capped Chickadee
5. Northern Flicker
6. Northern Harrier
7. White-throated Sparrow (v)
8. Tufted Titmouse


9. American Crow
10. Herring Gull
11. Turkey Vulture
12. Rock Pigeon

v = Voice Only

Back to the routine

Saturday, September 26th, 2015
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 26 September 2015.

Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Back on the hill again today, but this time with a bandaged hand and another dog in tow. We’re watching maple for a day or two so her mom and pop can work the Common Ground Fair.

Saddle and Mark, from Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 26 September 2015.

Saddle and Mark.

Nothing too outlandish this afternoon at Beech Hill—but quite a little flight of yellow-rumps in the spruce grove at the summit, zipping up to nab flies. The natives seem restless, as they should be at this busy, important, stocking-up time of year.

A nippy night tonight. A nice tomorrow expected. Plus a lunar eclipse late tomorrow evening.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 2:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Blue Jay
2. Tufted Titmouse (v)
3. White-breasted Nuthatch** (v)
4. American Robin (v)
5. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
6. Black-and-white Warbler
7. Eastern Towhee
8. Yellow-rumped Warbler
9. Gray Catbird**
10. American Crow*
11. Cedar Waxwing


12. Herring Gull

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

Return from Monhegan

Friday, September 25th, 2015
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (juvenile), Monhegan Island, Maine, 25 September 2015.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (juvenile).

Another wonderful (almost-)week on Monhegan at the end of September—incredibly, my seventh in a row. I’ll see if I can remember all the species I saw or heard and list them out below. (Probably miss one or two, since I never write them down.) So nice to have the daughter with me. She’s not exactly a birder, but is quick to say, “I like birds.” Plus, she can spot ’em, if not ID ’em, which has proved really helpful.

Fringed Gentian, Monhegan Island, Maine, 25 September 2015.

Fringed Gentian.

Not a load of birds this year. The slowest ever for me, frankly—and the first I return from without having spotted a “lifer”—but that’s OK. There’s a whole lot more to this island than birds. Rare plants (e.g., Fringed Gentian), amazing trails, good people and great friends, even a fine little brewery. Also lovely equinoctial weather: today was the coolest of our stay, I think. Most days I wore shorts and sandals, at least during midday.

As we left the harbor with a horde of island kids (back from what I gather is an annual get-together), jumpers plunged off the dock into the chilly water, an island tradition. The boat ride home was fine.

Great to see Jack-my-dog, who was well cared for in my absence, and of course I took him straight up Beech Hill. Crazily, I happened to trip over a protruding stone, pitch forward, catch myself with my hands, once of which I lacerated on (I guess) a sharp rock. I happened to have a couple Monhegan napkins in my pocket and so squeezed those until we finished our hike, then it was off to the emergency room for six stitches.

Leaving Monhegan Island, Maine, 25 September 2015.

Leaving Monhegan.

But all’s well that ends well. And there’s more to come—e.g., Sunday’s total eclipse of the “supermoon.”

Monhegan List
From midday Sunday, 20 September, to midday Friday, 25 September, I traipsed around the island.
(I list them alphabetically.)

1. American Crow
2. American Redstart
3. American Robin
4. Bald Eagle
5. Baltimore Oriole
6. Belted Kingfisher
7. Black Guillemot
8. Black-and-white Warbler
9. Black-capped Chickadee
10. Black-throated Green Warbler
11. Blackpoll Warbler
12. Blue Jay
13. Cape May Warbler
14. Cedar Waxwing
15. Chipping Sparrow
16. Common Eider
17. Common Grackle
18. Common Raven
19. Common Yellowthroat
20. Dickcissel
21. Double-crested Cormorant
22. Downy Woodpecker
23. Eastern Kingbird
24. Eastern Phoebe
25. Eastern Wood-pewee
26. European Starling
27. Golden-crowned Kinglet
28. Gray Catbird
29. Great Black-backed Gull
30. Great Cormorant
31. Greater Yellowlegs
32. Herring Gull
33. Mallard
34. Merlin
35. Mourning Dove
36. Nashville Warbler
37. Northern Cardinal
38. Northern Flicker
39. Northern Gannet
40. Northern Harrier
41. Northern Parula
42. Osprey
43. Palm Warbler
44. Peregrine Falcon
45. Philadelphia Vireo
46. Red-breasted Nuthatch
47. Red-eyed Vireo
48. Red-winged Blackbird
49. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
50. Sharp-shinned Hawk
51. Song Sparrow
52. Spotted Sandpiper
53. Swamp Sparrow
54. White-throated Sparrow
55. Wilson’s Warbler
56. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
57. Yellow-crowned Night Heron
58. Yellow-rumped Warbler
59. Yellow Warbler

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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