24 June 2024

Posts Tagged ‘pied-billed grebe’

Gallery: Christmas Bird Count, Plus One

Sunday, December 17th, 2017
Intrepid bird counters, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 16 December 2017.

Intrepid bird counters.

Purple Sandpiper, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 16 December 2017.

Purple Sandpiper.

Purple Sandpiper, Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine, 16 December 2017.

Purple Sandpiper.

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Rockport, Maine, 16 December 2017.

Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Pileated Woodpecker, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 16 December 2017.

Pileated Woodpecker.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 1:45 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Black-capped Chickadee*
2. American Crow*
3. White-breasted Nuthatch** (v)
4. Pileated Woodpecker

Elsewhere (all on Christmas Bird Count list)

5. Canada Goose
6. American Black Duck
7. Mallard
8. Common Eider
9. Long-tailed Duck
10. Common Goldeneye
11. Bufflehead
12. Hooded Merganser
13. Common Merganser
14. Red-breasted Merganser
15. American Wigeon
16. Ring-necked Duck
17. Common Loon
18. Red-necked Grebe
19. Horned Grebe
20. Pied-billed Grebe
21. Bald Eagle
22. Northern Harrier
23. Sharp-shinned Hawk
24. American Coot
25. Purple Sandpiper
26. Bonaparte’s Gull
27. Ring-billed Gull
28. Herring Gull
29. Great Black-backed Gull
30. Black Guillemot
31. Downy Woodpecker
32. Blue Jay
33. Golden-crowned Kinglet
34. European Starling
35. Northern Cardinal
36. House Sparrow

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


November thaw

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
Savannah Sparrow, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 05 November 2014.

Savannah Sparrow, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 05 November 2014.

Today started off cloudy and drizzly but kind of warm. In fact, the whole of last night was kind of warm—warm enough to have caused a load of snowmelt. And all that snowmelt has revealed a crazy layer of fallen green leaves. Green and yellow carpets on the parking lot and in the side yard and other places where limbs fell in our recent early snowstorm.

Northern Flicker, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 05 November 2014.

Northern Flicker.

On the way to work, great curtains of steam rose from the fields of snow, obscuring the wood fringe. Juncos and sparrows flitted along the roadsides.

At midday, the sun began to emerge, and by the time Jack and I took our Beech Hill break, the sun was fairly bright. I never checked a thermometer, but it must’ve been at least 50 degrees (F), and I really didn’t need that hooded sweatshirt, and the trail was full of slush and rivulets and puddles. Another contrast from yesterday: hardly any birds.

Nothing at all around the parking lot. Finally I spotted a single silent flicker. At the summit, I heard a distant chickadee. On the way down, I encountered a pair of yellow-rumps. And there, hopping along the trail-edge, was a Savannah Sparrow. We stopped, and I aimed the camera, and the bird hopped over to a puddle and began to take a bath.

If you pay close enough attention, you’ll notice cool stuff like that. Attention is a giving thing.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 1:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Northern Flicker
2. Black-capped Chickadee* (v)
3. Yellow-rumped Warbler
4. Savannah Sparrow
5. American Goldfinch (v)


6. American Crow
7. House Sparrow (v)
8. Herring Gull
9. Pied-billed Grebe
10. Rock Pigeon
11. Canada Goose
12. Dark-eyed Junco

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere


Shine on

Saturday, October 9th, 2010
Palm warbler, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 09 October 2010.

Palm warbler.

Sunlight came softly through my window today. OK, I take that back—it came kind of brashly. Bright and insistent. “Shine on,” I thought, in honor of John Lennon’s 70th birthday. And so the sun roused me, which pleased Jack, who stretched and paused for a quick breakfast before we headed up to Beech Hill.

Yellow-rumped warbler, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 09 October 2010.

Yellow-rumped warbler.

Figured we’d do the whole circuit, despite the Fall Tick Influx. And the wind rushed through the dwindling leaves of the hardwoods, and their leaves sprung loose, and the wood smelled great, and I heard the tseet! of a white-throated sparrow.

As opposed to the past couple days—when we hiked the open trail only—I had plenty of species coming up the hill. More yell0w-rumps, of course (hundreds of them) chipping from everywhere. A solitary palm warbler among the yell0w-rumps. A solitary catbird mewing. A flicker calling. A robin’s squee! The voices of a subcommittee of crows—and a single raven.

A couple times we stopped to pick off ticks. Probably picked eight or ten off me, a dozen or so off Jack, as ‘rumps chipped and chased around us.

Nearing the top, the upper wooded trail suddenly vanished in front of us. It was discombobulating: I didn’t recognize things. Then I noticed a tree had blown over, its crown falling directly in the center of the trail. It took a little effort to fore ourselves through.

Sharp-shinned hawk, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 09 October 2010.

Sharp-shinned hawk.

At the open fields the wind really began to whip around, and I realized my hands were stinging. I’m not sure the temperature had yet reached 50 degrees (F). But what a lovely blue sky above a typical multi-colored fall landscape in Northern New England. A single small red tree stood before Beech Nut on the hill. Then a sharp-shinned hawk sped by on the wind and began to circle.

Returning up the open trail gave me a chance to warm up a bit—the morning sun in my face and the brisk wind behind me. Not long after beginning our descent of the lower wooded trail, Jack and I stopped, looked, and listened for about fifteen minutes, if not more. Yell0w-rumps everywhere. Chickadees. Brown creepers. I thought I heard the high, squeak of a black-throated blue. Also the tittering of a junco. But I couldn’t confirm those IDs—as I could the ruffed grouse that exploded from the pungent fall undergrowth as we passed.

Later today I swung by the Samoset Resort on word that wigeons and grebes were visiting one of the golf course ponds. A brilliant afternoon. Sure enough, a pair of pied-billed grebes preened and dove amid the mallards in the big pond. (No wigeons that I could see.) I even drove down the Breakwater road thinking I might scan the shore—but it held scores of cars, and more arriving, as my hardy neighbors pooh-poohed the chill for a Saturday walk out into Rockland Harbor.

In general, I like my hardy neighbors.


Palm warbler, Beech Hill, Rockport, Maine, 09 October 2010.

Palm warbler.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:45 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. White-throated sparrow (voice)
2. Black-capped chickadee
3. Yellow-rumped warbler
4. American robin (voice)
5. American crow
6. Common raven
7. American goldfinch (voice)
8. Gray catbird (voice)
9. Northern flicker (voice)
10. Palm warbler
11. Tufted titmouse (voice)
12. Sharp-shinned hawk
13. Blue jay
14. White-breasted nuthatch
15. Brown creeper (voice)
16. Hairy woodpecker (voice)
17. Ruffed grouse


18. Herring gull
19. Rock pigeon
20. Ring-billed gull
21. Mallard
22. Pied-billed grebe

Pied-billed grebe, Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine, 09 October 2010.

Pied-billed grebe.

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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