24 June 2024


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


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


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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