23 October 2020


Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
American goldfinch, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2012.

American goldfinch.

I keep missing that perfect woodcock photo. I keep reminding myself to sneak up on the soggy stretches of trail—there are plenty—because that’s where I keep flushing the little ground birds. And I keep forgetting that one particular place. This late afternoon, it was the muddy curve just beneath the Beech Hill summit. By then Jack and I were ready to reach the top, and we came around the first turn, and the woodcock flew, and I got a great look at the chestnut brown of its back feathers in the slanting sunlight.

Yellow warbler, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2012.

Yellow warbler.

Oh, well.

Then we met three nice folks from Florida who were exploring Beech Nut. We got to talking birds, and I learned that they’d already spotted turkeys with hatchlings not far away, where they’d been staying. This got me thinking I should pay more attention to the undergrowth instead of gazing up into the now-fully-leafed-out trees. After all, in past hikes up there I’ve come upon all the local ground fowl—turkeys, woodcocks, and grouse—with little fuzzy chicks. Usually, of course, the mama will wail and mew and cause a loud distraction, which draws my attention away from the young’uns. (Never mind that I know that’s their trick: it always works.) But I’ve occasionally managed to find ’em anyway.

Meanwhile, the songbirds aren’t calling so much anymore. Oh, they were calling more in the evening sun than they were in yesterday’s dreary conditions, but you can tell there’s some serious nesting going on. The alder flycatchers’ song has changed. The yellowthroats and chestnut-sided warblers flit about nervously. I spotted a yellow warbler carrying a large fly off into the bushes somewhere. I’d be surprised if they already had nestlings, but I suppose it’s possible.

Didn’t hear the pewee today. Did hear singing thrushes. Did see the Beech Nut phoebe attending to its nest. And the woodcock. I got a nice glimpse of the woodcock.

Tiger swallowtail, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2012.

Tiger swallowtail.

Still looking for that photo, though.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 5:15 p.m., I hiked the wooded trails.

1. Ovenbird* (v)
2. Red-eyed vireo* (v)
3. Common yellowthroat* (v)
4. Northern flicker (v)
5. Chestnut-sided warbler
6. American redstart* (v)
7. American robin*
8. American goldfinch*
9. American crow*
10. Eastern towhee
11. Black-and-white warbler (v)
12. Gray catbird* (v)
13. Yellow warbler*
14. Tufted titmouse (v)
15. Alder flycatcher (v)
16. Song sparrow*
17. Hermit thrush (v)
18. Veery (v)
19. Black-throated green warbler (v)
20. American woodcock
21. Eastern phoebe
22. Northern cardinal* (v)
23. Downy woodpecker (v)
24. Black-capped chickadee
25. White-breasted nuthatch (v)


26. House finch (v)
27. Herring gull
28. Mallard
29. Mourning dove
30. Common grackle
31. House sparrow

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere

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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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