28 October 2020

Archive for March, 2016

Backyard birds

Monday, March 28th, 2016
Red-bellied Woodpecker, near Mount Battie, Camden, Maine, 28 March 2016.

Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Got up kind of early. The sky was gray and the temperature was a degree or two (F) above freezing. When I took Jack out, I could tell it was going to be a backyard bird kind of day.

Dark-eyed Junco, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 28 March 2016.

Dark-eyed Junco.

The juncos, for one thing. Maybe half a dozen Dark-eyed Juncos flitting about and singing their little sibilant trills from branches here and there. Also the usual chickadees, titmice, jays, mourning doves. Suddenly I heard a tapping, as of someone gently rapping—the Pileated Woodpecker had returned to the (now large) hole near the broken top of a dead hardwood across the brook. I watched as it wrapped up work, climbed a few feet to the tip of the snag, and let out its declarative, echoing call.

Later, from my upstairs window, I spotted more birds—Mourning Doves heading over to the brook to bathe, Song Sparrows poking about in the grass. On one trip downstairs, I caught sight of a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

American Robin, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 28 March 2016.

American Robin.

When I remembered there’d been rain in the forecast, I checked the weather radar and saw a big patch of green approaching, so Jack and I headed out at midday. Along the way, a fine mist began fogging up the windshield. Beech Hill itself was cloaked in fog.

It was also cloaked in robins. And was nice to hear the joyful little song of a Brown Creeper. It always is.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 12:15 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Brown Creeper (v)
2. White-breasted Nuthatch* (v)
3. Northern Cardinal** (v)
4. Black-capped Chickadee*
5. Song Sparrow*
6. American Robin (v)
7. American Crow* (v)
8. Herring Gull* (v)
9. Tufted Titmouse** (v)


10. Dark-eyed Junco
11. Blue Jay
12. Pileated Woodpecker
13. Red-bellied Woodpecker
14. Downy Woodpecker
15. Rock Pigeon

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


Long hike

Sunday, March 27th, 2016
American Robin, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 27 March 2016.

American Robin.

Got up, ate an egg, grabbed Jack, headed for Beech Hill. We got there right at 9.

Quite a few birds around—also people and dogs, out for an early Easter hike. We headed over the summit and down into the woods and walked all trails today. Flushed three Ruffed Grouse, spotted a gray ghost, worked up a sweat. The only bummer happened later, when for some reason about half my GoPro footage got deleted for some reason.

Gray ghost, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 27 March 2016.

Gray ghost.

Oh, well.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 9 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Northern Cardinal* (v)
2. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
3. Mourning Dove* (v)
4. American Robin*
5. Black-capped Chickadee** (v)
6. Song Sparrow
7. American Crow*
8. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
9. Ruffed Grouse
10. Herring Gull*
11. Downy Woodpecker (v)
12. Hairy Woodpecker (v)
13. Northern Harrier
14. Pileated Woodpecker (v)
15. House Finch** (v)


16. American Goldfinch
17. Rock Pigeon

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


Good breathing weather

Saturday, March 26th, 2016
Pileated Woodpecker, near Mount Battie, Camden, Maine, 26 March 2016.

Pileated Woodpecker.

Sub-freezing and overcast this morning, but the solid cloud cover soon gave way to intermittent blue. Decided to hit the hill early—after the dump and post office. Surprised to find no one there.

Plenty of little birds hanging about Beech Hill today. [Here I think of the little House Finch that lit on Bernie Sanders’s podium during his rally yesterday, igniting the big room.] But the big ones were elsewhere—including a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers out back of my place that might or might not be contemplating a nest out back. Got a photo of the male, whose calls resounded up the wooded hillside.

A lovely, fresh spring day full of clean, pure, chilly air. Good breathing weather this time of year.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 10 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped Chickadee*
2. Northern Cardinal** (v)
3. American Robin* (v)
4. American Goldfinch* (v)
5. American Crow*
6. Downy Woodpecker** (v)
7. Tufted Titmouse* (v)
8. House Finch (v)
9. Song Sparrow


10. Blue Jay
11. Mourning Dove
12. Herring Gull
13. Rock Pigeon
14. Pileated Woodpecker

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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