A bright, chilly morning with a breeze. Upper 40s (F) to start, so I wore my birding hoodie—a smooth move. Wild birds, however, seemed relatively undaunted by the fact that the breeze was northeasterly, and dog and I had a nice hike.
That said, I had relatively few photo opportunities for much of our nature walk, which was a tad frustrating. Then, during our return, a long dark bird flitted across the hedgy trail ahead of us. It turned out to be my first Black-billed Cuckoo of the year. And the cuckoo stayed at its perch long enough for me to sneak up and get a few close photos of this handsome bird’s upper half.
Also noteworthy: a flushed woodcock, a vocal Least Flycatcher, and—at home—a fox carrying a deceased gray squirrel across the lawn.
Beech Hill List Beginning at 6:11 p.m. sun time (7:11 DST), I hiked all trails.
1. Red-eyed Vireo** (v) 2. Ovenbird** 3. Chestnut-sided Warbler 4. American Redstart** 5. Eastern Phoebe** 6. Blue Jay (v) 7. Black-throated Green Warbler (v) 8. Hermit Thrush (v) 9. American Goldfinch 10. Gray Catbird** 11. Black-capped Chickadee (v) 12. Black-and-white Warbler (v) 13. Eastern Towhee 14. Common Yellowthroat (v) 15. Ruby-throated Hummingbird 16. American Woodcock 17. Veery 18. Song Sparrow** 19. American Crow* 20. Yellow Warbler (v) 21. Field Sparrow 22. Least Flycatcher (v) 23. American Robin 24. Alder Flycatcher (v) 25. Scarlet Tanager (v) 26. Chipping Sparrow 27. Purple Finch (v) 28. Eastern Bluebird 29. Herring Gull* 30. Tufted Titmouse (v) 31. Brown-headed Cowbird 32. Northern Parula (v) 33. Red-winged Blackbird (v) 34. Black-billed Cuckoo† 35. Broad-winged Hawk (v) 36. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (v) 37. Wood Thrush (v)
38. Pine Warbler (v) 39. European Starling
Eastern Gray Squirrel (live one) Red Fox
(v) Voice only *Also elsewhere **Voice only elsewhere †First-of-year
Cool and clear, as yesterday, but breezier this morning. Dog and I met up with dog and human friends for our hike, which was a fun thing. I might not have paid as close attention to the birds as usual, but I did end up with a lot of species on my list—and got a nice close photo of a Chipping Sparrow.
Chippies nest at the summit and down by Beech Hill Road. They’re one of a half-dozen sparrows I encounter regularly on the hill, but they don’t seem as bothered by humans as most. (Although Savannah Sparrows will come near once they’ve got an active nest.) They’re wee little birds, and I like ’em a lot.
Another noteworthy occurrence: I watched a catbird chase a red squirrel down from a tree trunk. Never seen that before. But every day I see things I’ve never seen before.
Rain overnight. We shall see how that changes things in the morning.
Beech Hill List Beginning at 6:18 p.m. sun time (7:18 DST), I hiked all trails.
1. White-breasted Nuthatch** 2. Red-eyed Vireo 3. Ovenbird** 4. Black-throated Green Warbler (v) 5. American Redstart** (v) 6. Blue Jay 7. Gray Catbird** 8. Black-capped Chickadee (v) 9. Black-and-white Warbler (v) 10. Brown Creeper 11. Veery 12. Eastern Towhee 13. Wood Thrush (v) 14. Hairy Woodpecker (v) 15. American Goldfinch (v) 16. Tufted Titmouse (v) 17. Chestnut-sided Warbler** 18. Scarlet Tanager (v) 19. Eastern Wood-pewee (v) 20. Common Yellowthroat (v) 21. Yellow Warbler (v) 22. Field Sparrow (v) 23. Song Sparrow** 24. American Robin (v) 25. Chipping Sparrow 26. American Crow* 27. Red-winged Blackbird (v) 28. Northern Cardinal (v) 29. Eastern Bluebird 30. Tree Swallow 31. Eastern Phoebe