2 April 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Summery day

Monday, May 30th, 2011
Yellow warbler, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2011.

Yellow warbler.

They said it would be a warm one, and the morning sure enough felt a little steamy. The pavement was still wet from the lively thundershower that moved through sometime overnight. The randy redstart continues his incessant singing, accompanied by the talkative house finch and the intermittent declarations of crows. Figuring it’d get wicked steamy as the day progressed, I decided a morning hike up Beech Hill was in the cards for dog and me.

Eastern towhee, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2011.

Eastern towhee.

That the parking lot was empty on our arrival proved a mild surprise—but not the warm, humid air. I’d worn jeans and hiking boots to ward off the tick hordes, but a short-sleeved shirt was the only protection I had from black flies and mosquitos. It all worked out.

The great crested flycatcher was calling again beyond the sugarbush, and I thought it might be nice to get a photo and/or video of this typically hard-to-see species, so we started off through the maples. A few yards in I happened to notice we were standing in a bed of small poison ivy plants, though, and we high-tailed it out of there.

May is a momentous month: at its beginning, the hardwoods have barely begun to bud; at its end, we’ve got full foliage. The trails seemed lush, the ferns tall. And the birds that sing are the ones that live here. Eight resident warblers today, three resident thrushes, four (of six) resident sparrows. Alder flycatchers were singing all over the place, and I had multiple waxwing sightings—one of them being a small flock hurrying through the trees. Towhees, of course. Crows. (But, oddly, this was the second straight day I had no herring gulls on my list.)

Plenty of humans on the trails, too, taking advantage of the summery weather. The Beech Hill Road lot was full, in fact, and the trails were crowded with people (and dogs) of all ages (and breeds).

Flowering, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2011.


Back home, the nesting phoebes were particularly active. The nesting nuthatches were zipping about secretively. And I spotted a small flock of grackles in a treetop across the road.

Tonight is starry and cool and quiet, with wood frogs singing in the periphery.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 10:30 a.m., I hiked all trails.

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


31. House finch
32. Laughing gull
33. House sparrow
34. White-breasted nuthatch
35. Northern cardinal
36. Common grackle

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Bird Report is an intermittent record of what's outside my window in Rockport, Maine, USA (44°08'N latitude, 69°06'W longitude), and vicinity. —Brian Willson

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