20 May 2024

Irrational optimism

Saturday, May 31st, 2014
Red-eyed Vireo, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 31 May 2014.

Red-eyed Vireo.

Ahhh, what a morning. For one thing, the sun came up and the sky was blue—so blue and empty of clouds, in fact, that I got a sort of strange, uncomfortable feeling that I might somehow slip the surly bonds of Earth and float off into the cosmos. But then I forgot about it and hiked Beech Hill with Jack, my dog.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 31 May 2014.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Mallards along Rockville Street again. (Weirdos.) Plenty of singing birds, the usual suspects, sans any Black-throated Blue Warblers. Hummingbirds everywhere, what with the highbush blueberries blooming. Another Great Crested Flycatcher. The Red-bellied Woodpecker in the oak grove again. (Love those guys.) And a nice surprise: a Peregrine Falcon flapping over the summit as we approached along the wood-edge.

Forty-four species. Nice. No hawks other than the peregrine. But I got pretty close to a Nashville Warbler (backlit, unfortunately). And—thinking back to yesterday’s Bird Report—I heard four Type II warbler songs today (Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow Warbler, and what I assume was a territorial Ovenbird song that I’d never noticed before, with alternating in higher and lower pitches). Also crickets again.

This afternoon I rode twenty miles on my bicycle. Cool but sunny enough that I didn’t need long sleeves. Felt great, and I heard a bunch of birds.

Just a lovely, lovely day. Every day’s a goddamn blessing. Despite this month being the rainiest May I can remember, I guess I’m just an incurable optimist.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 6:30 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Mallard
2. Red-eyed Vireo**
3. Chestnut-sided Warbler**
4. Ovenbird**
5. Eastern Phoebe
6. Tufted Titmouse**
7. Black-throated Green Warbler** (v)
8. Common Yellowthroat**
9. Veery** (v)
10. Black-and-white Warbler
11. Eastern Towhee
12. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (v)
13. Hairy Woodpecker
14. American Goldfinch
15. Mourning Dove*
16. Blue Jay
17. Black-capped Chickadee*
18. American Redstart**
19. Nashville Warbler
20. Gray Catbird**
21. American Robin*
22. Great Crested Flycatcher (v)
23. Alder Flycatcher
24. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
25. American Crow*
26. Hermit Thrush (v)
27. Northern Flicker
28. Peregrine Falcon
29. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (drumming)
30. Song Sparrow**
31. Northern Cardinal* (v)
32. Yellow Warbler**
33. Field Sparrow (v)
34. Cedar Waxwing
35. Chipping Sparrow** (v)
36. Brown-headed Cowbird
37. Red-breasted Nuthatch
38. House Finch* (v)
39. Savannah Sparrow
40. Tree Swallow (v)
41. Black-throated Green Warbler** (v)
42. Scarlet Tanager (v)
43. Red-bellied Woodpecker
44. Pileated Woodpecker (v)

Elsewhere

45. Turkey Vulture
46. Herring Gull
47. European Starling
48. Rock Pigeon
49. House Sparrow

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

 

American Goldfinch, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 31 May 2014.

American Goldfinch, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 31 May 2014.

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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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