26 May 2022

Signs

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Eiders and gull, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 31 March 2010.

Eiders and gull.

This morning the rain let up at last. Fellow on the radio said March has been a record-breaking month around here, rain-wise. Water yet coursed down hills and turned trickling, tumbling streams to rushing falls. Within a few minutes of rising, I’d heard the cardinal, crows, chickadees, a song sparrow, and house finch, a robin.

View west from Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 31 March 2010.

View west from Beech Hill.

In late morning, I went with the dog to Beech Hill again, as has become our custom. En route, in a nice surprise, we passed a rural yard full of wild turkeys—must’ve been at least two dozen of them—with two or three males in full display. Wood frogs called at the base of the hill, and the sky showed hints of sun.

On the way up, as I stooped to clean up after the heeler, I didn’t notice my plastic bag had holes in it. This left a couple fingers soiled. Well, no problem: the clean, running water of the hills many rivulets afforded ample means for cleanup. In fact, I got to wading in inch-or-two-deep water, just because there’s still a kid in me somewhere. The dog, by contrast, stepped gingerly around. No mourning doves today, but several robins, chickadees singing fee-bee, a titmouse, a crow, a herring gull, a cardinal, and goldfinches. Mist cloaked the inland hills.

Long-tailed ducks, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 31 March 2010.

Long-tailed ducks.

A busy day at the office concluded right about the time the sun broke through. So we took a quick trip over to the breakwater. And what a spectacle. The novelty of sun brought a few other people and dogs out—but most interesting was the incredible sky. Great expanses of blue. Looming black clouds. Wisps of mist close to the water. Steam rising here and there.

I saw red-breasted mergansers, common loons, a black guillemot in winter plumage. I heard scores of long-tailed ducks, which took flight right on schedule and headed out of the harbor toward the islands. Great flocks of eiders floated on the low tide on either side. Jack got to hang out with a couple other dogs, including another red heeler—a female in heat. Got some photos of the great field of deep blue that approached from the west. This brought a few very light showers later.

A few Maine rivers are flooding. Migratory birds are stocking up on food many thousand miles away. And those who pretend to know say sun and warmth will arrive this weekend.

Black guillemot, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 31 March 2010.

Black guillemot.

Today’s List

Northern cardinal
American crow
Song sparrow
House finch
American robin
Black-capped chickadee
Mourning dove
Tufted titmouse
Wild turkey
Herring gull
American goldfinch
Blue jay
Rock pigeon
European starling
Mallard
Red-breasted merganser
Common loon
Common eider
Long-tailed duck
Black-guillemot

Rockland Harbor, Maine, 31 March 2010.

Rockland Harbor.

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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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