17 April 2024

Archive for May, 2016

Miracles and Mysteries

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016


Chestnut-sided Warbler (female, gathering nest fluff), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 31 May 2016.

Chestnut-sided Warbler (female, gathering nest fluff).

Today I watched a pair
of Chestnut-sided Warblers—
a male, above, with fluffed side-feathers and raised tail
diving at the female, below,
the two of them engaging in a swift chase,
then the female, collecting tent-caterpillar silk
to use as nest fluff.

Horny male Chestnut-sided Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 31 May 2016.

Horny male Chestnut-sided Warbler.

Too, I watched a bright male Scarlet Tanager
sing for a while in the green canopy.

And I listened to my favorite high-season
music of the bottomlands:
an Eastern Wood-pewee’s slow, slurred pronouncements,
the miraculous fountains of a Hermit Thrush,
and the subtle buzzy voice of a Black-throated Blue.

Also, I came upon the fresh carcass of
a Woodland Jumping Mouse—
the third dead small rodent
I’ve found
on the trail
in a week.

Life is made of miracles and mysteries.

Scarlet Tanager, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 31 May 2016.

Scarlet Tanager.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Black-throated Green Warbler** (v)
2. Ovenbird** (v)
3. American Redstart**
4. Common Yellowthroat
5. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
6. Red-eyed Vireo**
7. Chestnut-sided Warbler
8. Veery
9. Black-and-white Warbler (v)
10. Eastern Towhee
11. Northern Cardinal*
12. Alder Flycatcher
13. Eastern Wood-pewee (v)
14. Gray Catbird*
15. American Goldfinch*
16. Yellow Warbler
17. Hermit Thrush (v)
18. Cedar Waxwing (v)
19. Nashville Warbler (v)
20. Field Sparrow
21. Song Sparrow
22. Eastern Phoebe
23. Savannah Sparrow
24. Purple Finch
25. American Crow*
26. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (v)
27. American Robin*
28. Tree Swallow
29. Chipping Sparrow**
30. Black-throated Blue Warbler (v)
31. White-breasted Nuthatch* (v)
32. Scarlet Tanager

Woodland Jumping Mouse (deceased), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 31 May 2016.

Woodland Jumping Mouse (deceased).


33. Blue Jay
34. Rock Pigeon
35. Common Grackle
36. Herring Gull

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


Monday, May 30th, 2016
Yellow Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2016.

Yellow Warbler.

Solitude can teach you things
you’ll never learn in any other way,
such as the gentle peeps an Alder Flycatcher will make
around its favored nesting site
or where to look for hummingbirds
at just this time of year.

Ghost of catbird, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2016.

Ghost of catbird.

Spared of human influence,
your senses can be free to open wide
enough to learn the Earth—its sound, its feel, its shadow worlds,
its subtle change from day to day,
the hour of owl, the hour of deer.
You’ll read the minds of crows.

Yet you bring your dog along,
because a dog instinctively knows how
to tune distractions out—you wait for him, he waits for you,
together you explore the wood
as heavy fog drips from new leaves.
You’re not really alone.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:15 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American Crow*
2. Chestnut-sided Warbler (v)
3. Ovenbird** (v)
4. American Redstart
5. Black-and-white Warbler (v)
6. Red-eyed Vireo (v)
7. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
8. Veery
9. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (v)
10. Eastern Towhee
11. Common Yellowthroat
12. Alder Flycatcher
13. Gray Catbird*
14. American Goldfinch**
15. Field Sparrow
16. Song Sparrow
17. Yellow Warbler
18. Cedar Waxwing (v)
19. Tree Swallow
20. Chipping Sparrow
21. Savannah Sparrow (v)
22. Northern Cardinal* (v)
23. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
24. Black-throated Green Warbler** (v)
25. Eastern Wood-pewee (v)


26. American Robin
27. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
28. Pileated Woodpecker (v)
29. Osprey (v)
30. Common Grackle
31. Herring Gull
32. Common Loon (v)
33. Common Nighthawk†

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere
†First-of-year bird

Catbird and Jay

Sunday, May 29th, 2016
Gray Catbird, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine 29 May 2016.

Gray Catbird.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 6:45 a.m., I hiked all trails.

Blue Jay, near Mount Battie, Camden, Maine 29 May 2016.

Blue Jay.

1. Common Yellowthroat
2. Ovenbird (v)
3. American Redstart
4. Red-eyed Vireo** (v)
5. American Crow*
6. Chestnut-sided Warbler
7. Black-capped Chickadee** (v)
8. Veery (v)
9. Northern Cardinal* (v)
10. Black-and-white Warbler
11. Alder Flycatcher
12. Hermit Thrush** (v)
13. Eastern Towhee
14. Gray Catbird*
15. Yellow Warbler (v)
16. Eastern Wood-pewee
17. American Goldfinch*
18. Yellow Warbler
19. Field Sparrow (v)
20. Song Sparrow
21. Savannah Sparrow
22. American Robin*
23. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (v)
24. Black-throated Green Warbler (v)
25. White-throated Sparrow (v)
26. Chipping Sparrow** (v)
27. Eastern Phoebe* (v)
28. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
29. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
30. Mourning Dove* (v)
31. Purple Finch (v)
32. Tree Swallow


33. Herring Gull
34. European Starling
35. White-breasted Nuthatch

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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