24 June 2024

Birds and butterflies

Sunday, April 29th, 2012
Mourning dove, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 April 2012.

Mourning dove.

I think I’m getting the hang of the new camera. For a while, I thought it was defective—the zoom kept backtracking on me when I didn’t want it to. But then I discovered the “zoom framing assist” feature that’s activated by a small button on the back of the camera, right where I tend to press my right thumb. Ah-ha! Now that I’m learning to hold the thing differently, everything is copacetic. And that zoom-framing feature is actually kind of useful.

American lady, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 April 2012.

American lady.

Dog and I hit the trails in the morning for a change. Figured we’d best get used to an early hike—we’ll be heading up at 6:30 or 7 soon enough, what with the impending arrival of warblers and their fondness for early morning activity. It also being Sunday, we hiked all trails. Got a pair of mourning doves on the way up. Then the voice (which I’ve just learned), plus a glimpse, of a sapsucker. Savannah sparrows coming down the open trail. The song of a first-of-year field sparrow down toward Beech Hill Road. I guess I should update my annual species lists, which are stuck sometime in 2011.

Another really chilly day, if again also brilliantly sunny. Eventually it’ll warm up, but still. On the other hand, a little cold wind won’t stop us any more than ticks will. We’re gonna hike up there every day.

No hawks today. I miss hawks. An eagle or raven might be nice. Or some rare vagrant. But I got a look at three species of butterfly: red admiral, American lady, and silvery blue. In fact, the silvery blue I took a photo of took wing and was at once intercepted by another of its species, and the two of them engaged in a tight, swirling, antic dance down the trail ahead of us.

Red admiral, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 April 2012.

Red admiral.

Worked-played for the rest of the day. Just finished watching Game of Thrones. And a minute ago I noticed, out in the astonishingly quiet night, no song of spring peepers at all.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 10:30 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Black-capped chickadee*
2. American goldfinch*
3. Mourning dove*
4. American robin*
5. Herring gull*
6. Eastern towhee (v)
7. White-breasted nuthatch (v)
8. Yellow-bellied sapsucker
9. American crow*
10. Savannah sparrow
11. Field sparrow** (v)
12. Tufted titmouse (v)


13. House finch (v)
13. Song sparrow (v)
15. Northern cardinal (v)

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

Savannah sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 April 2012.

Savannah sparrow.

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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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