28 February 2024

Shrike on patrol

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Northern shrike, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 13 February 2013.

Northern shrike.

About half the snow is gone from Saturday’s big storm. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true, but the drifts are about half as tall as they were, although much denser with all the rain and thaw—as I can attest for having shoveled the front walk this midday. Sun and clouds again, a lovely sky, warm enough that I actually toyed with the idea of riding my bicycle until I remembered about the great roadside puddles.

The Beech Hill trail was a trough of crunchy slush when Jack and I ascended in late afternoon. Saw a robin. Heard chickadees and nuthatches and crows. At the summit, we ran into my friend Mark, who had come up by the wooded trail. As we chatted, we both happened to spot a solitary shrike—perhaps the same bird I’ve been seeing up there since late October—which zipped between low perches, scanning the darkening fields.

Tonight feels warm still. Still above freezing. Quiet. Peaceful. Still.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 3:45 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American robin
2. Black-capped chickadee** (v)
3. White-breasted nuthatch (v)
4. American crow* (v)
5. Northern shrike


6. House sparrow (v)
7. Herring gull
8. Rock pigeon
9. Northern cardinal

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only 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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