24 June 2024

Swainson’s

Friday, September 15th, 2023
Swainson’s Thrush, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 15 September 2023.
Swainson’s Thrush.

The temperature dipped into the 50s (F) overnight, and a stout breeze was blowing when dog and I headed up the wooded trail. Very few birds made themselves known at first—my list had only five or six species by the time we reached the summit—but one of them (I found out later) proved to be rather exciting.

Not until I looked at my photo of the Swainson’s Thrush did I recognize it. (I’d assumed it was a Hermit Thrush, one of which I’d seen shortly before.) I’ve encountered only a handful of the species at Beech Hill—usually, it seems, at about this season. This one turned out to be today’s highlight.

Tomorrow—for the first time in I cannot remember how long—we might not go hiking in the morning. There’s a tropical storm warning: We’re in the path of Hurricane Lee. Gonna be very wet and very windy. We shall see!

Beech Hill List
Starting at 7:14 a.m. EST (8:14 DST), I hiked all trails.

1. Eastern Wood-pewee (v)
2. Tufted Titmouse (v)
3. Hermit Thrush
4. Swainson’s Thrush
5. American Crow*
6. Black-capped Chickadee**
7. Common Yellowthroat (v)
8. Eastern Towhee (v)
9. Song Sparrow**
10. Red-breasted Nuthatch
11. Turkey Vulture
12. American Goldfinch
13. American Robin (v)
14. Blue Jay** (v)

Elsewhere

15. Carolina Wren (v)
16. House Finch (v)
17. House Sparrow (v)
18. Herring Gull
19. Osprey
20. Rock Pigeon
21. Mallard

(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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