14 July 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Burnt orange

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
Northern Harrier, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 November 2011.

Northern Harrier.

Overnight, rain came. But not a cold rain, as you might expect on the last day of November in Maine. I enjoyed being indoors, working on stuff. A bunch of crows enjoyed flapping around outside, cawing. When I took Jack out, the family of house finches that live in the hedges and under awnings across the road were making a lot of noise. Gulls flew by.

Beech Nut, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 November 2011.

Beech Nut.

About midday, the sun came out. The kind of brilliant, angular sun you’d expect on the last day of November in Maine. I began go get antsy, being indoors.

Finally, dog and I got out in it. I drove him around, doing errands. I picked up the mail. At last, I hied us over to Beech Hill, where the late-afternoon sun against the newly dormant landscape made it glow burnt orange. Titmice in the trees at the parking lot—lots of ’em. Also chickadees. That’s two species more than on yesterday’s list. Then, coming up the last rise before the summit, I saw it: a northern harrier, floating low above the hillside in the orange rays of the setting sun. Harriers are difficult to photograph, I my experience, but I got a couple. Not great, but proof nonetheless.

By the time we descended, the sun had sunk below the Rockville Ridge, and now it was the western sky that glowed burnt orange.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 3:45 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Tufted titmouse
2. Black-capped chickadee (voice)
3. Northern harrier


4. American crow
5. House sparrow
6. Herring gull
7. Mourning dove

Sunset, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 30 November 2011.


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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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