20 May 2024

Posts Tagged ‘pine grosbeak’

Just Around the Corner

Monday, February 27th, 2023
Turkey Vulture (first of year), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 27 February 2023.
Turkey Vulture (first of year).

Chilly again—single digits early, but 10° or 11° by the time dog and I hit the trailhead. Blue, blue sky, and not too much breeze. A couple inches of snow fell overnight, so I didn’t need my grips. We were the first up the wooded trail, and right away I detected a bunch of bird activity.

Chickadees, robins, Pine Grosbeaks (sixteen!), raven, yellow-rump, nuthatches, titmouse, brown creepers, woodpeckers, and—perhaps most notably—a Turkey Vulture. First of year.

In all, thirteen species—most in a while—and, despite the wintry landscape, I had the distinct feeling that spring is just around the corner.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:42 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Black-capped Chickadee**
2. American Robin
3. Pine Grosbeak
4. American Crow*
5. Brown Creeper
6. Yellow-rumped Warbler (v)
7. Common Raven (v)
8. White-breasted Nuthatch** (v)
9. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
10. Turkey Vulture†
11. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
12. Hairy Woodpecker
13. Downy Woodpecker

Elsewhere

14. Herring Gull
15. Rock Pigeon
16. Mallard

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

†First-of-year

Early Hike

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022
Pine Grosbeak (first-of-year), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 08 November 2022.
Pine Grosbeak (first-of-year).

Jack-my-dog and I rose at about 5 a.m. this much-chillier-and-breezier morning, because I had the idea that we could rush over to Beech Hill and see the total lunar eclipse just before dawn. Got to the (crowded) main parking a little before 6 a.m., but it soon became apparent that we’d missed the eclipse. Many folks coming down with camera and video gear. “How was it?” I asked one. “Pretty good,” he replied (or something like that).

But never mind. I got photos of the pre-dawn sky. I had a bunch of early birds. Then we hurried over to the wooded trailhead and on the upper section of the lower trail, I spied some Pine Grosbeaks. Four of ’em. Heard them first (a very sweet but not very familiar voice), then spied the birds. Was the highlight of our hike.

A dozen birds again. Later, it being election day, I did my traditional last-of-year bicycle ride to the Town Office to vote. Nice. Fun. Appropriate.

I’ve dearly loved this day.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 5:58 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. American Crow
2. Black-capped Chickadee
3. American Goldfinch
4. Dark-eyed Junco
5. American Robin
6. Yellow-rumped Warbler
7. White-throated Sparrow
8. Eastern Bluebird
9. Pine Siskin
10. Pine Grosbeak
11. Purple Finch
12. Northern Cardinal

Elsewhere

13. Wild Turkey

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

†First-of-year

Day of Mixed Blessings

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
American Black Ducks, Rockport Harbor, Maine, 22 January 2019.
American Black Ducks.

Zero degrees (F) to start the day, with a pretty stout wind, to boot. Waited until late morning to hike with dog—mostly thinking of dog—and all was fine in the brilliant sun. Encountered no birds on the hill.

Birds at the harbor and elsewhere, though. Then, toward the end of the day, ol’ Jack apparently pulled a muscle roughhousing. Emergency vet, pills—and no hikes for at least five days. (Ack.)

A day of mixed blessings, this day.

Beech Hill List
No birds seen or heard on the hill today.

Elsewhere

1. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
2. Tufted Titmouse
3. Herring Gull
4. American Crow
5. Rock Pigeon
6. American Black Duck
7. Mallard (v)
8. Common Loon
9. Pine Grosbeak (v)
10. Cooper’s Hawk

v = Voice only

 
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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