26 May 2022

Dudsville

Sunday, October 30th, 2011
Jack, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 October 2011.‘t

Jack.

It didn’t live up to its billing. With the wind high but not hurricane force, I went ahead and slept where I usually do, in a bed in a room that the gigantic oak would crush were it to topple in a storm. It didn’t topple. It hardly even snowed—or at least accumulated. A few sparse, thin patches of slush are all I encountered when Jack and I headed out first thing. Crows about. I noticed. Didn’t notice any other birds.

Little maple, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 October 2011.

Little maple.

Swing and a miss.

Much of the rest of the day I spent working to fix this fidgety computin’ machine. The trackpad keeps thinking I mean to click when I don’t. Annoying.

But I got a little done, too. And after a while the sun came out. So dog and I took a little drive.

It was quite a little snowier just a couple miles inland: a couple or three inches had fallen on Beech Hill. Interestingly, we found a car parked in the lot—and at least a dozen human tracks headed up and down the open trail. Caught sight of a chickadee right away and heard the distinctive chip note of a white-throated sparrow. As we headed up, we beheld slopes white with wet snow. That was a switch, what with fall leaves still poking through. No yellow-rumps for a change. No crows that I could see (or hear). No jays.

But it was a nice, brisk hike. Wintry. I stopped to check for coots at the lake, and there they were again.

The trail, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 October 2011.

The trail.

At the summit we met a couple with a dog named Alice, but we didn’t linger. Headed back down. Briskly, into an insistent westerly wind. No sparrows along the trailsides, just a lovely view of the hills. I moved a few wind-fallen limbs and cleared off the boardwalks.

Turning out of the lot, I spotted a small bird flitting away from the road. Sparrow? Junco? I couldn’t tell. Swing and a miss.

And coming down Route 1 near home, I caught sight of a water bird flapping crazily away in the still-blue sky. Black duck? Cormorant? Too far away to say.

Swing and a miss. Strike three.

Tonight the wind’s still high. The temperature’s in the 30s (F). And the stars are winking brightly in a wintry-seeming sky.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 4:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped chickadee
2. White-throated sparrow
3. American coot

Elsewhere

4. American crow
5. Herring gull

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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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