20 May 2024

Firsts-of-Year

Saturday, March 18th, 2023
Northern Cardinal, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 18 March 2023.
Northern Cardinal.

Know how I can tell spring is near? Well, first of all, before dog and I had hiked a hundred feet up the main Beech Hill trail, I’d heard several vocalizing bird species—including a flock of first-of-year Red-winged Blackbirds (whose flock flew over us soon afterward, heading north).

I also heard singing doves, chickadees, titmice, cardinals, a junco, a Brown Creeper, and bluebirds. And I spied a small flock of geese and a first-of-year Killdeer in northward flight.

Nuthatches, bluebirds, yellow-rumps—a wonderful range of bird species.

Oh, yeah, and the temperature never dipped below freezing last night, meaning the trails were clearer and the woods were muddy and watery.

Sure, we could get spring snowstorm, but I dearly love this sweet transitional time of year.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:11 a.m. (8:11 stupid DST), I hiked all trails.

1. Blue Jay (v)
2. American Crow*
3. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
4. Black-capped Chickadee*
5. Red-winged Blackbird†
6. Mourning Dove* (v)
7. White-breasted Nuthatch** (v)
8. Pileated Woodpecker (v, drumming)
9. Dark-eyed Junco
10. Eastern Bluebird
11. American Goldfinch (v)
12. American Robin
13. Northern Cardinal**
14. Brown Creeper (v)
15. Canada Goose
16. Killdeer†
17. Yellow-rumped Warbler
18. Red-breasted Nuthatch

Elsewhere

19. Herring Gull

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

†First-of-year

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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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