26 May 2022

Here comes the sun

Sunday, May 29th, 2011
Gray catbird, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 May 2011.

Gray catbird.

This day began a little soggy still, which was not exactly surprising. The air felt warmer, though. A house finch and a redstart sang.

Got more desk work done this morning, then about midday—perhaps a little after—I looked out to see a partly blue sky, and sun, and shadows. I managed to resist the urge until mid-afternoon or so when, with the sun still fading in and out, Jack and I jumped in the pickup with our daily Beech Hill hike in mind.

Savannah sparrow, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 May 2011.

Savannah sparrow.

It must’ve been 70 degrees (F). A benign breeze blew. Ours was the only vehicle in the parking lot when we arrived. Not a lot of birds right away—although one of them was a great crested flycatcher. But we walked slowly along the upper trail, and they began to sing. Goldfinch, vireo, veery, towhee. Heard ovenbirds, yellowthroats, a black-and-white warbler. At the fields, catbirds, song sparrows, yellow warblers. At two points along the trails, I heard cedar waxwings—only the second time I’ve heard them up there this year (I’m pretty sure), whereas in past years they’ve been on my list nearly ever day in season. (Maybe they’re just late.)

Climbing through the little wooded area before the summit, I thought sure I heard a red-bellied woodpecker, but in two or three other places I heard the calls of gray treefrogs and began to second-guess my woodpecker “sighting.” Just in case, I decided not to include it on today’s list.

By the time we’d reached Beech Nut, the day had mostly cleared. If not for ticks, I could’ve worn shorts and a T-shirt. Tree swallows sailed gracefully over the reddening blueberry barrens, and I heard alder flycatchers here and there. Also got close to a singing savannah sparrow for a change. (They haven’t had many of the kind of sunny days they seem to prefer.) Met several people on the trails—birding friends, old acquaintances—and had some nice conversations. A rare lovely afternoon seems to put everyone in a good mood.

Eastern phoebe, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 May 2011.

Eastern phoebe.

Coming back down along the lower wooded trail, where mosquitos rivaled black flies in the bloodsucking department, I heard—then saw—an osprey in overflight. The twenty-sixth and last species of the day. Not bad for siesta time.

Later, back home, I watched the nuthatches tend there cavity nest and got a distant photo of the redstart. A cardinal chipped from the shrubbery. And after sunset, I heard the peent! of a nighthawk flying by.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 3:45 p.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Black-capped chickadee
2. Chestnut-sided warbler (voice)
3. Great crested flycatcher (voice)
4. American goldfinch (voice)
5. Red-eyed vireo (voice)
6. Veery
7. Eastern towhee (voice)
8. Ovenbird (voice)
9. Common yellowthroat
10. Gray catbird
11. Cedar waxwing (voice)
12. Black-and-white warbler (voice)
13. Yellow warbler (voice)
14. Alder flycatcher (voice)
15. American crow
16. Song sparrow
17. Eastern phoebe
18. Savannah sparrow
19. Tree swallow
20. American redstart (voice)
21. Rose-breasted grosbeak (voice)
22. Chipping sparrow (voice)
23. American robin (voice)
24. Northern parula (voice)
25. Hermit thrush
26. Osprey


27. House finch
28. Mourning dove
29. White-breasted nuthatch
30. Black-throated green warbler
31. Northern cardinal
32. Common nighthawk

Eastern chipmunk, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 29 May 2011.

Eastern chipmunk.

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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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