20 May 2024

Ramblin’

Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Savannah sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 June 2012.

Savannah sparrow.

Sometimes it’s a challenge putting down words every day like this. Often I fear I sound like some guy just ramblin’ around on the same trails, in the same woods and fields, on the same hill, listing all the same birds. “I hiked the hill, I heard these birds, I saw these birds.” I suppose it’s what I do, though. And I do enjoy doing it.

Hairy woodpecker (female), Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 June 2012.

Hairy woodpecker (female).

But fact is I’m a ramblin’ sort of fool just generally. In conversation with me, you’ll notice me rambling from topic to topic, recalling old times, telling (and retelling) stories. So it’s somehow fitting that I ramble routinely around one particular hill. With my dog. Listing birds.

The weather is part of it. We all pay attention to the weather. I sure do. Today’s had rain, clearing, more rain, more clearing. It’s rained every day for many days, come to think of it. Today’s rain was intermittent, broken by bright periods of warm sun. At one point this afternoon I got all set to head out on my bike, but when first I checked the weather radar, I noticed some rain coming and held off. Sure enough, it rained like crazy. Stripped of my bike gear and went back to work for a while.

But the sun came out again, I donned my bike gear again, and I went out for a really great ride. Big clouds loomed in the west, but I’d noticed the blow was coming from the northwest, and I was headed north, and I missed all but a slight patch of drizzle. I returned to we pavement, but the clouds had moved on, so Jack and I hiked Beech Hill. Again.

Song sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 June 2012.

Song sparrow.

The usual birds calling. At one point I stopped amid a cloud of mosquitoes to see if I could spy the singing redstart when I saw movement to the right of me and spied, instead, a female hairy woodpecker. Not twenty feet away, pecking at damp tree trunk, making no sound. Heard a mourning dove, spotted a song sparrow hopping along ahead of us through rain puddles.

Up top, the phoebes and Savannahs and waxwings were active. The sky had gone mostly blue, and the bay spread clear and wide to the east of us. Met a few fellow hikers up there. Also a flapping turkey vulture.

Returning, Jack alerted to something. I couldn’t see what—but a few paces later, a big ol’ turkey took off with a cluck through the trees, causing me to jump. A thrushy woodland below, with veeries and hermit thrushes and robins all singing. Plus a couple of wood-pewees.

Back home, I heard the hermit thrush that’s been singing up the hill from me again. It’s a comfort, hearing that thrush up there.

Tonight the sky is clear, and there’s a waxwing moon. Supposed to be warm tomorrow.

But I ramble.

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

1. Hermit thrush* (v)
2. Red-eyed vireo* (v)
3. Ovenbird* (v)
4. Veery* (v)
5. American crow*
6. Common yellowthroat*
7. Chestnut-sided warbler
8. American redstart* (v)
9. Hairy woodpecker
10. Mourning dove* (v)
11. Eastern towhee
12. American goldfinch* (v)
13. Black-capped chickadee*
14. Song sparrow*
15. Gray catbird* (v)
16. Cedar waxwing
17. Alder flycatcher (v)
18. Eastern phoebe
19. Savannah sparrow*
20. American robin*
21. Turkey vulture
22. Wild turkey
23. Eastern wood-pewee (v)

Elsewhere

24. Northern cardinal (v)
25. House finch
26. Herring gull
27. Osprey
28. European starling

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere

Spruce, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 28 June 2012.

Spruce.

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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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