20 May 2024

Posts Tagged ‘American wigeon’

Cooling trend

Sunday, March 21st, 2010
The bay (from Beech Hill, Rockport, 21 March 2010).

The bay.

The temperature when first I checked this morning hovered about thirty degrees colder than yesterday’s high—mid- to upper-30s (F). The sky wore gray. But dog and I split for Beech Hill early anyway.

Old warbler nest, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 21 March 2010.

Old warbler nest.

A woman leaving as we arrived saw my camera and told me I would get some lovely photos, because the view was beautiful this morning. She was right about that. Just as we crested the final rise, the sky began to spit snow, and I saw the edge of the squall to the northeast, beyond and to the south of which the morning sun splashed against the far bay. The sky above and the water below the dark lumps of the islands glowed with miraculous striations. The wind was cold.

Heard and/or saw five birds from the hill today: goldfinch, titmouse, crow, chickadee, herring gull. Also noticed a small nest in the brush, likely belonging to one of last year’s common yellowthroat families. On the way home from the hill, many brown sparrows flitted amid roadside brush nearly exactly the same color as their feathers.

Then in afternoon I went with my birding friend Kristen to Weskeag Marsh to see what was up. I asked her what we might see.

“Ducks or herons,” was her reply.

She was right about that. We saw both: black ducks, mallards, a raft of green-winged teals—and a pair of great blue herons stalking the edges. I heard sandpiper sounds.

“Sandpiper sounds,” says I.

“Probably killdeers,” says Kristen.

She was right again: we ended up seeing maybe a half dozen individuals of the species poking around here and there.

Great blue heron, Weskeag Marsh, South Thomaston, Maine, 21 March 2010.

Great blue heron.

Then who should drive up but Don Reimer, local birder extraordinaire, and we ended up chatting for a half-hour, at least, while simultaneously scanning the watery expanse. At one point, I spotted a large bird soaring above the far side of the basin—an adult bald eagle—and Don pointed out a couple red-tailed hawks, possibly the marsh’s nesting pair, rising from nowhere to accost it. Kristen kept us posted as the hawks herded the eagle well away from there.

Don had come from Owls Head Harbor, where he reported the winter gulls had left but a wigeon was hanging around. So Kristen and I headed there next, and sure enough found the wigeon. We also found a number of spring yard birds hanging around a nearby feeder—jays, cardinals, and more than one species of blackbird.

And on this partly cloudy night, among the bare oak branches, hung the waxing crescent moon.

Killdeers, Weskeag Marsh, South Thomaston, Maine, 21 March 2010.


Today’s List

Northern cardinal
American crow
Tufted titmouse
House finch
Mourning dove
American goldfinch
Song sparrow
Black-capped chickadee
Herring gull
Common grackle
Black duck
Great blue heron
Green-winged teal
Bald eagle
Red-tailed hawk
Common loon
American wigeon
Rock dove
Blue jay
Red-winged blackbird
European starling

Snow squall, from Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 21 March 2010.

Snow squall.

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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