14 April 2024

Archive for February, 2016


Friday, February 26th, 2016
Late afternoon, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 26 February 2016.

Late afternoon.

Nippy this morning, below freezing. Also windy as all get-out. And bright. Dawn came a bit earlier than yesterday.

Not many birds to be heard, though, because of the rush of the wind. My cold is about over with, but I had a bunch of desk work to attend to, and I got in The Zone, and I didn’t get out with Jack until late.

Icicles, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 26 February 2016.


Only chickadees on the hill today. A lovely light, though. Icicles at Beech Nut. A couple other brave souls hiking in the high wind.

Tonight, the temperature is dipping down into the teens.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 4:15 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped Chickadee (v)


2. Blue Jay (v)
3. Tufted Titmouse (v)
4. American Crow
5. Herring Gull

v = Voice only


Anthropogenic atmosphere

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
Canada Geese, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 25 February 2016.

Canada Geese.

I was awakened in the wee hours by hard rain and wind, then near lightning strikes and rolling thunder. Few thunderstorms blow through up here on the 44th parallel anyway—far fewer than my old hometown of Austin, Texas—but I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered such a phenomenon in February. When daylight revealed a dim overcast and I checked the outdoor thermometer, it showed 50-something degrees (F).

Torrent, near Mount Battie, Camden, Maine, 25 February 2016.


The stream out back was tumbling, roiling. Birds were singing, flitting, anxious.

By mid-afternoon, when Jack and I headed up to muddy Beech Hill, the clouds had gone, the sky was blue, and a haze hung over everything. I saw a flock of northbound geese. And later, back at my desk, I found a deer tick crawling across the back of my hand.

It’s still February, according to my calendar. I can’t fathom how anyone can doubt that ours is now an anthropogenic atmosphere.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 3:15 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. White-breasted Nuthatch**
2. Black-capped Chickadee*
3. Downy Woodpecker (v)
4. Yellow-rumped Warbler (v)
5. Canada Goose
6. Tufted Titmouse (v)


7. Blue Jay (v)
8. American Goldfinch
9. American Crow
10. Herring Gull
11. House Sparrow

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


Rain delay

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
American Tree Sparrow, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 24 February 2016.

American Tree Sparrow.

About an inch of fresh snow out there when first I looked. Already, though, it had warmed to the point of liquid drizzle instead.

Sweet rain, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 24 February 2016.

Sweet rain, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 24 February 2016.

Had to get an inspection sticker in early afternoon, so I told Jack, “I’ll be right back,” and ended up in a waiting room for two and a half hours. Not so bad, really, since I can work anywhere—but there wasn’t a lot of daylight left for our hike on my return. Plus, there had begun a steady, light rain.

So we got wet. But we din’t care.

Big weather elsewhere on the continent. Crazy weather. Anthropogenic weather.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 4:45 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American Tree Sparrow


2. Tufted Titmouse (v)
3. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
4. American Crow
5. American Goldfinch (v)
6. Brown Creeper
7. Herring Gull
8. Mallard

v = Voice only


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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