20 May 2024

Hot summer day

Saturday, June 30th, 2012
Cedar waxwings, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 June 2012.

Cedar waxwings.

Sun. Warmth. Wind. Kind of a lovely summer Saturday.

Song sparrow and Savannah sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 June 2012.

Song sparrow (fledgling) and Savannah sparrow.

Dressed skimpily. Did errands. Broke out the bike. Rode eighteen sweet, sweaty miles. And then I grabbed my dog’s leash, my dog, and my camera. We had a date with Beech Hill.

No one but us on the hill this late afternoon. I’m liking the new, wide upper wooded trail. In fact, for the second straight day, I didn’t find any ticks crawling on either me or Jack. Moreover—as I kind of thought might happen—the trailside birds had returned. (Doubt they ever went anywhere, maybe just laid low after the noise of yesterday’s trail-clearing.) Redstart, chestnut-sided warbler, catbird, towhee. Their youngsters have all left the nest by now, I suspect. In fact, most all of Beech Hill’s nestlings have by now fledged. You can sort of tell by the new behavior of the adults birds—their relocation to new habitat, their nervous flitting about, their altered summertime calls. And, of course, by the appearance of the occasional fledgling.

Today’s fledgling sighting was an odd one: on the open summit trail, I noticed a couple of sparrows hopping ahead of us. Took a look and was surprised to see what looked like a young song sparrow following an adult Savannah sparrow around. The two species both nest along the trail, maybe somebody got confused.

Penobscot Bay, from Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 June 2012.

Penobscot Bay.

Plenty of waxwings still. A solitary tree swallow scouting the upper air. A crow in the periphery. No hawk or raven—in fact, no hermit thrush or pewee on the lower wooded trail. I bet they weren’t the only critters laying low on the afternoon of a nice, hot summer day.

Beech Hill List

Beginning at 4:45 p.m., I hiked the wooded trails—and then some.

1. Veery (v)
2. Ovenbird (v)
3. Red-eyed vireo (v)
4. Chestnut-sided warbler*
5. American redstart (v)
6. Gray catbird*
7. Cedar waxwing*
8. Song sparrow*
9. Common yellowthroat* (v)
10. Eastern towhee
11. Black-capped chickadee (v)
12. American goldfinch* (v)
13. Yellow warbler
14. American robin
15. Eastern phoebe
16. Savannah sparrow
17. Tree swallow
18. Blue jay (v)
19. American crow*
20. House finch*

Elsewhere

21. Northern cardinal (v)
22. Herring gull
23. House sparrow (v)
24. Chipping sparrow (v)
25. Mourning dove

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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