20 May 2024

Cuckoo

Thursday, May 25th, 2023
Black-billed Cuckoo, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 25 May 2023.
Black-billed Cuckoo (first of year).

A bright, chilly morning with a breeze. Upper 40s (F) to start, so I wore my birding hoodie—a smooth move. Wild birds, however, seemed relatively undaunted by the fact that the breeze was northeasterly, and dog and I had a nice hike.

That said, I had relatively few photo opportunities for much of our nature walk, which was a tad frustrating. Then, during our return, a long dark bird flitted across the hedgy trail ahead of us. It turned out to be my first Black-billed Cuckoo of the year. And the cuckoo stayed at its perch long enough for me to sneak up and get a few close photos of this handsome bird’s upper half.

Also noteworthy: a flushed woodcock, a vocal Least Flycatcher, and—at home—a fox carrying a deceased gray squirrel across the lawn.

Ah, spring!

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 6:11 a.m. sun time (7:11 DST), I hiked all trails.

1. Red-eyed Vireo** (v)
2. Ovenbird**
3. Chestnut-sided Warbler
4. American Redstart**
5. Eastern Phoebe**
6. Blue Jay (v)
7. Black-throated Green Warbler (v)
8. Hermit Thrush (v)
9. American Goldfinch
10. Gray Catbird**
11. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
12. Black-and-white Warbler (v)
13. Eastern Towhee
14. Common Yellowthroat (v)
15. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
16. American Woodcock
17. Veery
18. Song Sparrow**
19. American Crow*
20. Yellow Warbler (v)
21. Field Sparrow
22. Least Flycatcher (v)
23. American Robin
24. Alder Flycatcher (v)
25. Scarlet Tanager (v)
26. Chipping Sparrow
27. Purple Finch (v)
28. Eastern Bluebird
29. Herring Gull*
30. Tufted Titmouse (v)
31. Brown-headed Cowbird
32. Northern Parula (v)
33. Red-winged Blackbird (v)
34. Black-billed Cuckoo†
35. Broad-winged Hawk (v)
36. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (v)
37. Wood Thrush (v)

Elsewhere

38. Pine Warbler (v)
39. European Starling

Mammals

Eastern Gray Squirrel (live one)
Red Fox

(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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