Slept really late. Not sure why Jack didn’t wake me earlier—but we headed right up to Beech Hill and didn’t arrive until 9:15. Already pockets of heat and swirls of humidity had gathered in the moist, green hollows of the eastern slope, by now well lit by yellow sunlight.
Headed to the pickup, I heard—then saw—a small family of red-eyed vireos in the trees out back. Quay! one of them was saying. And coming up the hill, the second species I counted (after crow) was a red-eyed vireo (not unusual), but this one was singing a typical vireo song. Then came a chickadee, then a yellowthroat. Then the voice of the cuckoo that must’ve nested down on that side of the hill this year. Several times I’ve heard it there lately.
A raven croaked during our ascent. And between the tops of trees I caught sight of a large dark bird flapping east across the brilliant blue. Dark, with some white patches. An eagle? An osprey? I didn’t get a good enough look and so will never know.
At one point chickadees alerted me to a small gang of wood-warblers flitting about the warming canopy. Least shy was a young yellow-rump. There were also young chestnut-sideds there.
It being late, and fairly hot, not a lot of birds jumped out around the open trail. Came back over ahead of a good-sized group of hikers, and it was nice to dive into the cool shade of the wooded slope past Beech Nut. Heard a pewee and a nuthatch and a pileated woodpecker. Watched a pair of hairy woodpeckers tapping about in neighboring oaks.
Speaking of the oaks, dog and I passed through a little shower of acorns down there—they’ve been falling for a few weeks, but even with very little wind this morning they fell, and several landed fairly near us. One day I will get beaned.
Cicadas sang. Frogs. Crickets. No doubt it is still summer.
Beech Hill List
Beginning at 9:15 a.m., I hiked all trails.
1. American crow (voice)
2. Red-eyed vireo
3. Black-capped chickadee
4. Common yellowthroat
5. Black-billed cuckoo (voice)
6. Eastern towhee (voice)
7. Common raven (voice)
8. Gray catbird
9. Yellow-rumped warbler
10. Chestnut-sided warbler
11. Cedar waxwing
12. Hairy woodpecker
13. American goldfinch (voice)
14. White-throated sparrow
15. Song sparrow
16. Savannah sparrow
17. Northern flicker (voice)
18. Blue jay
19. Eastern wood-pewee (voice)
20. White-breasted nuthatch (voice)
21. Pileated woodpecker (voice)
22. Herring gull
23. House sparrow
Tags: American crow, American goldfinch, black-billed cuckoo, black-capped chickadee, blue jay, Cedar waxwing, chestnut-sided warbler, common raven, common yellowthroat, eastern towhee, eastern wood-pewee, gray catbird, hairy woodpecker, herring gull, house sparrow, northern flicker, pileated woodpecker, red-eyed vireo, savannah sparrow, song sparrow, white-breasted nuthatch, white-throated sparrow, yellow-rumped warbler