Low-20s (F) this morning, but calm as a lazy summer day. And cloudless: not a single cloud in the sky that I could see—not even out over the bay. And quiet, so quiet. Other than a Downy Woodpecker tapping on a tree near the trailhead, the first few birds I didn’t see, I heard. And then came the bunch of chattering chickadees.
They sounded a little upset, the chickadees, and I saw some flitting through the tree trunks, so I trained my binocs in that direction, and I saw it. A Barred Owl, clearly visible in the morning sunlight. Excitedly, I raised my camera—and the owl had left its perch.
But oh, well. I’m used to dipping on photos. Sure, an owl pic is a rare pic (for me, at least), but I felt sure I’d get others this calm day. And I did, on my return with dog up and over the hill, when I good-sized flock of bluebirds appeared.
Beech Hill List Beginning at 7:34 a.m., I hiked all trails.
Rained early, but it moved on, so dog and I hit the trailhead by about mid-morning. Drippy about 60° (F), with plenty of mosquitoes (which, interestingly, have seemed most successful in biting me on the neck).
More birds than I imagined—including a first-of-year Barred Owl letting go with a brief but unmistakable hoot from down on the southern wood edge. Also a raven. A sapsucker down in the trees. And in perhaps the funnest moment, the discovery of a couple of blue flag irises—first of year.
Should be clearing up tomorrow, election day. Will hike early then ride my bicycle up to the town office to vote.
Beech Hill List Beginning at 9:39 a.m., I hiked most trails.
1. Ovenbird 2. Red-eyed Vireo 3. Eastern Phoebe 4. Black-throated Green Warbler 5. Common Yellowthroat 6. Veery 7. American Goldfinch 8. American Redstart 9. Gray Catbird 10. Chestnut-sided Warbler 11. Alder Flycatcher 12. Tufted Titmouse 13. Eastern Towhee 14. Yellow Warbler 15. Song Sparrow 16. American Crow 17. Prairie Warbler 18. Purple Finch 19. Cedar Waxwing 20. Tree Swallow 21. Common Raven 22. American Robin 23. House Wren 24. Blue Jay 25. Field Sparrow 26. Barred Owl† 27. Pileated Woodpecker 28. Black-capped Chickadee 29. Hermit Thrush 30. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (v)
31. Northern Parula (v) 32. European Starling 33. Herring Gull
(v) Voice only *Also elsewhere **Voice only elsewhere †First-of-year