24 June 2024

Archive for April, 2016

Daytime Deer

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
Inbound Ferry, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 27 April 2016.

Inbound Ferry.

On my hike with dog this afternoon a raven lifted off
from behind a row of  small trees
very near dog and me,
large and black with powerful wingbeats,
carrying something like a small rodent in its beak,
to near to focus my camera.

Spring Azure, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 27 April 2016.

Spring Azure.

Some people—many people—would attribute great meaning
to the rising of the black raven, but as much as
I love ravens,
I think it too simple a symbol of portent or omen.
If I would’ve gone on to die at the end of my hike,
would the raven have foretold it?

Or would the tiny spring azure butterfly
I saw soon afterward be to blame?
Or was the butterfly
a sign that I would get no good bird photos?
Or did the raven foretell the daytime deer
that bounded through the trees?

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 1:45 p.m., I hiked all trails.

1. American Goldfinch* (v)
2. Black-capped Chickadee*
3. American Crow* (v)
4. Eastern Towhee (v)
5. Yellow-rumped Warbler
6. Song Sparrow** (v)
7. Common Raven
8. Turkey Vulture*
9. Northern Cardinal** (v)
10. House Finch** (v)
11. Eastern Phoebe* (v)
12. Savannah Sparrow


13. Blue Jay (v)
14. Mourning Dove
15. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (drumming)
16. Red-bellied Woodpecker (v)
17. American Robin
18. Herring Gull
19. House Sparrow
20. Mallard
21. Rock Pigeon

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


Robin’s Soliloquy

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
Old Blueback (Eastern Bluebird), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 26 April 2016.

Old Blueback (Eastern Bluebird).

I heard the word “snow,”
and that’s all it took to set the wheels in motion.

The wheels of morning efficiency, the ones
that dressed me hurriedly,
fed breakfast to the dog,
and carried us to Beech Hill Preserve.

American Robin, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 26 April 2016.

American Robin.

We hiked alone in near-freezing temperatures
where some early spring birds were active enough,
gathering energy food,
and others were hunkered down,
I assume.

We watched a turkey cross the trail.

I heard the chattering call of a bird
I did not recognize—
but many also that I did,
and even spent a lovely minute recording
the soliloquy of a robin.

It snowed later, a bit,
and later still, the snow melted.
Things are greening up.

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

1. Herring Gull*
2. Hermit Thrush
3. Black-capped Chickadee**
4. American Goldfinch*
5. Brown-headed Cowbird (v)
6. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
7. American Crow*
8. Eastern Towhee (v)
9. Song Sparrow
10. Yellow-rumped Warbler
11. Northern Flicker* (v)
12. Northern Cardinal** (v)
13. American Robin*
14. White-throated Sparrow (v)
15. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
16. Wild Turkey
17. White-breasted Nuthatch** (v)
18. Eastern Bluebird
19. Turkey Vulture
20. Savannah Sparrow
21. Palm Warbler
22. Downy Woodpecker**


23. Mourning Dove
24. Blue Jay (v)
25. House Finch (v)
26. Dark-eyed Junco (v)

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


A Kind of Make-Believe

Monday, April 25th, 2016
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 25 April 2016.

Yellow-rumped Warbler.

I saw a fox today, stepping out for a meal of squirrel.
“Fox”—the name we’ve given the lithe canine,
the four-legged soul that trips slyly around
caring for her kits.
Sometimes when you hear a fox bark or cry at night
it changes your life.

American Kestrel, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 25 April 2016.

American Kestrel.

We like to give names to things because
we get to pretend we are their overlords, their masters.
Because it implies that we know them and
have put them in their place,
in their genus and their species.
It’s a kind of make-believe.

Because it’s all a mirage.
Because no one owns
the bright male Yellow-rumped Warbler
that sings its trilly little song
as it hunts new flies,
and as I hope it’ll come close enough to me,
a man whose head is surrounded by little flies,
that I might grab a photo.

We call it a “Yellow-rumped Warbler”—and
I even capitalize its name—
for an obvious reason.
But no longer is it just
a small bold bird with a yellow backside.

For we have classified it, and the fox,
like pieces in a board game.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 3 p.m., I hiked all trails.

1. American Goldfinch* (v)
2. Downy Woodpecker** (v)
3. American Crow*
4. Northern Flicker*
5. Black-capped Chickadee** (v)
6. Herring Gull*
7. Yellow-rumped Warbler
8. Purple Finch (v)
9. Yellow-rumped Warbler
10. Eastern Towhee (v)
11. Turkey Vulture*
12. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (v)
13. Northern Cardinal* (v)
14. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
15. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
16. American Kestrel
17. Savannah Sparrow
18. Mourning Dove* (v)


19. Blue Jay (v)
20. Eastern Phoebe
22. Dark-eyed Junco (v)
23. Red-bellied Woodpecker (v)
24. Broad-winged Hawk
25. House Sparrow
26. House Finch

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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