22 July 2024

Overcast woodland world

Sunday, June 13th, 2010
Savannah sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 13 June 2010.

Savannah sparrow.

Up early for a bicycle ride with some bike-riding pals. The line on the weather was for a slight chance of rain—but we had no rain over the course of four-plus hours. Overcast, a little hazy sun, some fog, but no rain. Notably, my back tire went flat twice (likely my own fault for not finding the source of the first flat), and I ended up walking the last couple miles. Happy to say that was after 42-some-odd miles ridden through northern Knox and southern Waldo County. It was a good time.

Common yellowthroat, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 13 June 2010.

Common yellowthroat.

Plus, I listed more than a bird species a mile. It’s cool to ride through assorted wooded landscapes—some hardwoods, some mixed-growth, some coniferous—with their resident, singing wood warblers, and then pant up a long hill to a wide, open field, with bobolinks, cowbirds, and grackles. Beyond birds, we passed: many chipmunks crossing the road, just missing our front tires; a handsome fox standing on a side road, watching us ride by; a good-sized snapping turtle on the edge of a quiet lane, having apparently just crossed and then decided to pause there and contemplate the lush late-spring greenery it was about to dive into. Or, more likely, she was simply looking for a place to lay her eggs.

I like riding my bike alone—and, interestingly, actually enjoy riding with a few like-minded cyclists even more.

Then Jack and I walked Beech Hill. Late morning. Overcast. Mosquitos and deerflies on the wooded trail. Also the more common warblers, sparrows, and flycatchers. I brought my digital recorder today in hopes of catching the calls of cuckoos, but no cuckoos today. I did hear a cardinal and see a herring gull. Thirty species heard or seen in all.

And again, many were feeding their youngsters. The savannah sparrows, in fact, were pissed when we walked near their nests on the open trails. They came near, they chipped angrily, I took a few photos, then we left them alone. Yellowthroats, too, were antic as we passed.

Along the wooded trails, thrushes sang their mystical, echoey songs. In the distance I heard an eastern wood-pewee. Ovenbirds and red-eyed vireos, of course. And a solitary black-and-white warbler added its voice to the moody, luscious, overcast woodland world.

Chestnut-sided warbler, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 13 June 2010.

Chestnut-sided warbler.

Bike Ride List
Beginning at 6 a.m., I rode 42 miles through two counties.
(Not in order of sighting.)

1. Ovenbird (voice)
2. Chestnut-sided warbler (voice)
3. Yellow warbler (voice)
4. Common yellowthroat (voice)
5. American redstart (voice)
6. Black-throated green warbler (voice)
7. Black-throated blue warbler (voice)
8. Northern parula (voice)
9. Black-and-white warbler (voice)
10. Nashville warbler (voice)
11. Blackburnian warbler (voice)
12. House sparrow
13. Song sparrow
14. Chipping sparrow (voice)
15. White-throated sparrow (voice)
16. Eastern towhee (voice)
17. American goldfinch
18. Purple finch (voice)
19. Rose-breasted grosbeak (voice)
20. Northern cardinal (voice)
21. Red-eyed vireo (voice)
22. Veery (voice)
23. Wood thrush (voice)
24. Hermit thrush (voice)
25. American robin
26. Blue jay (voice)
27. Tufted titmouse (voice)
28. Black-capped chickadee
29. Canada goose
30. Gray catbird
31. Alder flycatcher (voice)
32. Eastern phoebe (voice)
33. Great crested flycatcher (voice)
34. Eastern wood-pewee (voice)
35. Northern oriole
36. Red-winged blackbird
37. Common grackle
38. Brown-headed cowbird (voice)
39. European starling
40. Bobolink
41. American crow
42. Mourning dove
43. Rock pigeon
44. Cedar waxwing
45. Tree swallow
46. Chimney swift (voice)
47. Kestrel

Savannah sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 13 June 2010.

Savannah sparrow.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 11:15 a.m., I walked all trails.

Red-eyed vireo (voice)
Ovenbird (voice)
Chestnut-sided warbler
American robin
Gray catbird
Eastern towhee
Cedar waxwing
American goldfinch
American redstart (voice)
Common yellowthroat
Veery (voice)
American crow
Tree swallow
Song sparrow
Alder flycatcher (voice)
Mourning dove
48. Savannah sparrow
49. Herring gull
Yellow warbler (voice)
Rose-breasted grosbeak (voice)
White-throated sparrow (voice)
Chipping sparrow (voice)
Eastern phoebe (voice)
Northern cardinal (voice)
Blue jay (voice)
Great crested flycatcher (voice)
Hermit thrush (voice)
Eastern wood-pewee (voice)
Black-capped chickadee (voice)
Black-and-white warbler (voice)

Elsewhere

50. House finch (voice)

Mourning dove, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 13 June 2010.

Mourning dove atop Beech Nut.

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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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