20 May 2024

Blanket of clouds

Friday, October 29th, 2010
Penobscot Bay, from Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 October 2010.

Penobscot Bay.

Sun streamed through the windows first thing, but by the time Jack and I pulled into the Beech Hill Road parking lot, a blanket of clouds had moved in, and all the world seemed muted. Much cooler—at least 15 degrees (F) colder than yesterday morning. Still very damp, with puddles still covering sections of trail. Still many juncos flitting and tittering in nervous bunches.

Dark-eyed junco, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 October 2010.

Dark-eyed junco.

Kinglets again in the little spruces. The tseet! of a white-throat somewhere nearby. By the time we left the parking lot, I’d seen and/or heard seven species. Robins around, also yellow-rumps. Still low on the hill, a small cluster of sparrows—maybe three or four—flitted up into one of the trailside birches. I got a pretty good look that, combined with the sound of their notes, told me these were savannahs. Which surprised me. I’m still learning the migration patterns of savannahs. Surely these were far-northern birds, because the many resident savannahs are long gone.

While taking another picture of the photogenic birch, I heard a sound and looked up to see a flicker flying over. Later, I heard what must’ve been a second flicker. Chickadees and song sparrows were also hanging around.

At the summit, I saw a gang of song sparrows and heard a jay.

Descending, I heard a peculiar, sliding, two-note call and watched a small bird flutter over, westbound. I didn’t recognize the call. I couldn’t get a good look at the bird. I have no idea what it was.

On the way home, many small plain passerines flitted about the roadsides, and I spotted a mourning dove on a power line. Later, out riding my bike, I heard the chips of cardinals in two separate neighborhoods. I also learned that two out of three crows will flee a fast bicycle (this happened twice, as I passed three roadside crows).

This evening, at about sunset, the sky grew lowery and some rain came. It didn’t last long, though, and now I’m seeing stars.

Song sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 October 2010.

Song sparrow at Beech Nut.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 8:15 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Dark-eyed junco
2. Golden-crowned kinglet (voice)
3. White-throated sparrow
4. American robin
5. American crow
6. Black-capped chickadee (voice)
7. Yellow-rumped warbler
8. Savannah sparrow
9. Northern flicker
10. Song sparrow
11. Blue jay (voice)


12. Herring gull
13. Mourning dove
14. Northern cardinal

Young maple, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 October 2010.

Young maple.

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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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