30 September 2020

Silent for a while

Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Ruby-throated hummingbird, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 July 2010.

Ruby-throated hummingbird.

It had rained. Overcast. About 70 degrees, I’d guess, so not exactly chilly. Humid.

We hit the trail, and the deer flies hit us. No problem—we walk fast.

Savannah sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 July 2010.

Savannah sparrow.

The usual early-hike birds. A red squirrel with an acorn. (Jack is always the first to see squirrels.) Then, about half-way up: the voice of a black-billed cuckoo. The cuckoo’s voice, coming from beyond the trees in a southwesterly direction, seemed to follow us up the hill. In all we heard three singing cuckoos—or fewer, singing from different locations—and for the first time I realized just how far its subtle cu-cu-cu carries. A long way.

At the top of the wooded trails, the sky showed some blue to the west. Clearing in progress. And ahead the raspy call of an alder flycatcher. At the corner, on a piece of the little split-rail fence, a catbird. And on a bare twig beyond, a female humming bird. I saw her first in flight, hovering, then lighting on the twig. She sat there as we came around the corner. I got some photos.

American goldfinch, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 July 2010.

American goldfinch.

Eventually, I listed all five common sparrows-of-the-hill. Thought I saw a veery—a ruddy thrush in the areas where veeries sang until a week or two ago—but I couldn’t be sure. I’m sure, though, of the wood thrush singing near the end of our way back down.

Families of sparrows. A family of jays. Waxwings and towhees everywhere.

The cuckoo, hummingbird, and wood thrush were noteworthy. But also a black-and-white warbler I heard. Like the veeries, they’ve been silent for a while.

Ruby-throated hummingbird, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 July 2010.

Ruby-throated hummingbird.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7 a.m., I walked all trails.

1. Red-eyed vireo
2. Black-throated green warbler
3. American crow
4. Black-capped chickadee
5. Eastern towhee
6. Gray catbird
7. Chestnut-sided warbler
8. American robin
9. White-throated sparrow
10. Common yellowthroat
11. Black-billed cuckoo
12. American goldfinch
13. Alder flycatcher
14. Hermit thrush
15. Cedar waxwing
16. Ruby-throated hummingbird
17. Song sparrow
18. Northern flicker
19. Eastern phoebe
20. Savannah sparrow
21. Blue jay
22. Yellow warbler
23. Black-and-white warbler
24. Tufted titmouse
25. Hairy woodpecker
26. Chipping sparrow
27. Field sparrow
28. Mourning dove
29. Eastern wood-pewee
30. Wood thrush


31. House sparrow
32. Herring gull
33. Rock pigeon

Red squirrel, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 July 2010.

Red squirrel.

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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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