31 January 2023

Posts Tagged ‘great black-backed gull’

Christmas Count Day

Sunday, December 18th, 2022
Dunlin, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 18 December 2022.
Dunlin at the Rockland Breakwater.

Today was a special day that only happens once a year: Audubon Christmas Bird Count Day. It’d been four years since I’d participated, and I was really looking forward to it. It did not disappoint.

In fact, among the birds we spotted at the Rockland Breakwater (which I hadn’t walked since Jack’s and my return from Salt Lake City back in April) was a lifer for me: Dunlin. Fact is while heading out across the great granite blocks, I nearly stepped on the bird. (OK, it was maybe eight or ten feet away.) There were a pair that I saw (although my birding pals saw a third). Not every day you get a lifer.

Brown Creeper, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 18 December 2022.
Brown Creeper.

Many other species also (see below), and then I returned home for Jack and right away we hiked Beech Hill—albeit a little later than usual.

Notable at the hill were a posing Brown Creeper and the call of an Evening Grosbeak in overflight. Snow up there (not much here, a mile and a half away).

I kinda like the end of the year but, to me, every day is a holiday.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 10:02 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Blue Jay (v)
2. American Crow* (v)
3. Golden-crowned Kinglet (v)
4. Downy Woodpecker** (v)
5. Brown Creeper
6. Evening Grosbeak (v)
7. Black-capped Chickadee**
8. Red-breasted Nuthatch** (v)
9. Northern Flicker
10. Tufted Titmouse (v)


11. Mallard
12. Herring Gull
13. Great Black-backed Gull
14. Ring-billed Gull
15. House Sparrow
16. House Finch
17. Common Goldeneye
18. Common Loon
19. Horned Grebe
20. Long-tailed Duck
21. Black Guillemot
22. Purple Sandpiper
23. Canada Goose
24. American Wigeon
25. Surf Scoter
26. Bufflehead
27. Red-breasted Merganser
28. Dunlin‡
29. Common Eider
30. Ring-billed Gull

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere


Fun Hike

Tuesday, December 13th, 2022
Yellow-rumped Warbler (on bluebird box), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 13 December 2022.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (on bluebird box).

A morning similar to yesterday’s—low 20s (F), light winds—but nearly cloudless skies. Had few birds to start, but they started showing up eventually.

Most notable was a Ruffed Grouse we flushed, dog and me, as we ascended the upper wooded trail. But I suspected the blue sky and light wind would mean bluebirds (which it did) and yellow-rumps (also did). Two nuthatch species, chickadees and titmice.

All in all a fun hike with my ol’ dog (and best friend) Captain Jack.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 8:06 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. White-breasted Nuthatch
2. American Goldfinch
3. Tufted Titmouse (v)
4. Downy Woodpecker
5. American Crow* (v)
6. Ruffed Grouse
7. Red-breasted Nuthatch
8. Northern Flicker
9. Black-capped Chickadee**
10. Yellow-rumped Warbler
11. Eastern Bluebird


12. Great Black-backed Gull
13. Herring Gull
14. Wild Turkey


American Red Squirrel

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere


More Harrier Action

Saturday, November 5th, 2022
Northern Harrier, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 05 November 2022.
Northern Harrier.

Dog and I had a nice long hike today with our friends Joe and Amy—including a stretch of the Erickson Fields trail. Not a whole lot of birds, but enough to make things interesting.

Especially interesting was yet another harrier experience: crows mobbed the bird, which rose and dipped (as usual), and then a Merlin appeared and began zipping all over the place, chasing whatever it could. When the harrier finally decided to move on, the little falcon stuck around and began to dive bomb the crows. Was a lot of fun.

Final bird? A high-flying eagle that Joe spotted. Nice end to a nice hike with friends.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:59 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. American Crow*
2. American Robin
3. Hairy Woodpecker
4. Blue Jay**
5. Yellow-rumped Warbler
6. Tufted Titmouse**
7. Northern Cardinal
8. Black-capped Chickadee
9. Northern Flicker
10. Eastern Bluebird
11. American Goldfinch
12. Northern Harrier
13. Merlin
14. Herring Gull
15. Great Black-backed Gull
16. Common Raven
17. Bald Eagle


18. Wild Turkey

(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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