20 May 2024

Posts Tagged ‘common nighthawk’


Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
Monarch caterpillar, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 04 September 2018.

Monarch caterpillar.

The most thrilling part of this day—birdwise or otherwise—was this warm early afternoon when, upon exiting Good Tern Coop in Rockland, I saw a Common Nighthawk winging its way over the parking lot. I got so excited I walked back in to tell the clerks what I’d seen.

I remember in the old days when nighthawks nested on the roofs of the Rockland business block, but until today I hadn’t seen a single one in town in probably 20 years. Last one I’ve seen was flying above Beech Hill a few years ago.

Speaking of: not a single decent bird pic from my hike with dog today today. But I did get a pic of a Monarch caterpillar.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:30 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Red-eyed Vireo (v)
2. Blue Jay
3. Black-capped Chickadee**
4. American Crow*
5. American Goldfinch**
6. Song Sparrow
7. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
8. Yellow-rumped Warbler
9. Gray Catbird (v)
10. Turkey Vulture*
11. Tufted Titmouse (v)
12. Eastern Towhee (v)


13. Northern Cardinal
14. White-breasted Nuthatch
15. Wild Turkey
16. Rock Pigeon
17. Herring Gull
18. Common Nighthawk

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere



Monday, May 30th, 2016
Yellow Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2016.

Yellow Warbler.

Solitude can teach you things
you’ll never learn in any other way,
such as the gentle peeps an Alder Flycatcher will make
around its favored nesting site
or where to look for hummingbirds
at just this time of year.

Ghost of catbird, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 30 May 2016.

Ghost of catbird.

Spared of human influence,
your senses can be free to open wide
enough to learn the Earth—its sound, its feel, its shadow worlds,
its subtle change from day to day,
the hour of owl, the hour of deer.
You’ll read the minds of crows.

Yet you bring your dog along,
because a dog instinctively knows how
to tune distractions out—you wait for him, he waits for you,
together you explore the wood
as heavy fog drips from new leaves.
You’re not really alone.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:15 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American Crow*
2. Chestnut-sided Warbler (v)
3. Ovenbird** (v)
4. American Redstart
5. Black-and-white Warbler (v)
6. Red-eyed Vireo (v)
7. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
8. Veery
9. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (v)
10. Eastern Towhee
11. Common Yellowthroat
12. Alder Flycatcher
13. Gray Catbird*
14. American Goldfinch**
15. Field Sparrow
16. Song Sparrow
17. Yellow Warbler
18. Cedar Waxwing (v)
19. Tree Swallow
20. Chipping Sparrow
21. Savannah Sparrow (v)
22. Northern Cardinal* (v)
23. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
24. Black-throated Green Warbler** (v)
25. Eastern Wood-pewee (v)


26. American Robin
27. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
28. Pileated Woodpecker (v)
29. Osprey (v)
30. Common Grackle
31. Herring Gull
32. Common Loon (v)
33. Common Nighthawk†

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere
†First-of-year bird

It has begun

Monday, August 26th, 2013
Scarlet tanager (nonbreeding male), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine 26 August 2013.

Scarlet tanager (nonbreeding male).

Worked most of the day, then rode my bike, then—at the end of it—hiked Beech Hill with Jack. As we got out of the truck, I stood and just listened. The air was still, and I could hear the faint percussive sounds of some machinery working on something down South Street a quarter mile or so, but otherwise? Nothing.

Common nighthawk, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine 26 August 2013.

Common nighthawk, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine 26 August 2013.

Long seconds. Nothing. Nothing. Then the tiny peeps of a chickadee. I looked up in the general direction of the chickadee peeps and saw a bird perched high on a dead snag. But it wasn’t a chickadee.

Trained my binocs on the bird. It was a vireo. A motionless, silent, blue-headed vireo. Then I saw other birds flitting around up there, making no sound. Warblers, possibly. Then sure enough a chickadee. Then a larger, yellow bird. Trained my binocs: a nonbreeding tanager. Then I heard goldfinches. Then up beyond the tanager I saw two, no three nighthawks flapping in that distinctive lazy style of theirs, southbound. Then I heard the wheep! of a distant towhee. Then I saw black-and-white warblers and heard the sudden, rapid-fire notes of a least flycatcher.

Fall migration has begun.

Ten species before we even started up the main trail. Saw more chickadees and some smaller birds. More black-and-white warblers, and a chestnut-sided warbler. We had stopped still, and these had flitted into the branches of a little birch directly over our heads. Could not focus, alas.

Sparrows, waxwings, a catbird. And in the spruces at the summit, a little collection of yellow-rumped warblers.

Blue-headed vireo, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine 26 August 2013.

Blue-headed vireo.

I’m kind of psyched, actually. Migration has begun.

Beech Hill List

Beginning at 5:15 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped chickadee**
2. Blue-headed vireo
3. American goldfinch**
4. Common nighthawk
5. Scarlet tanager
6. Eastern towhee
7. Least flycatcher
8. Black-and-white warbler
9. Blue jay** (v)
10. White-breasted nuthatch
11. American crow* (v)
12. Cedar waxwing**
13. Common yellowthroat (v)
14. Chestnut-sided warbler
15. Field sparrow
16. Song sparrow
17. Gray catbird
18. Yellow-rumped warbler
19. Common raven (v)


20. Herring gull
21. Northern cardinal (v)
22. Wild turkey
23. Double-crested cormorant
24. Mourning dove

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere


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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