Warmer than yesterday morning, and less windy. Also clearer. Twenty degrees (F) to start, with calm air in the woods. Icy trails, angling sun, a few woodland birds (including a random sharpie fly-by). And, at the summit, bluebirds.
First pair of bluebirds appeared just as dog and I were headed down the open hillside. Heard a yellow-rump there also. The sky was blue, blue.
On our return ascent, the pair of bluebirds had somehow multiplied into at least twenty birds. They were everywhere. Late December, sun, blue sky, temps in the twenties—another bluebird day. (Also a few goldfinches and ’rumps.)
A final fillip on our final decent: a solitary, croaking raven, circling in the blue, blue sky.
Beech Hill List Beginning at 8:13 a.m., I hiked all trails.
1. White-breasted Nuthatch (v) 2. Pine Siskin (v) 3. Sharp-shinned Hawk 4. Black-capped Chickadee 5. Eastern Bluebird 6. American Crow (v) 7. Yellow-rumped Warbler 8. Tufted Titmouse (v) 9. American Goldfinch 10. Common Raven
The sun shone this morning. Fog and rain and clouds had dispersed—well, most of ’em—and the brightness of our star rendered the landscape bright and colorful and squint-worthy. Birds were about, too—but, oddly, fewer sparrows. (Perhaps the recent socked-in days brought them down to browse for food.)
Two hawks, two corvids, two finches, two thrushes, two woodpeckers. A kinglet, a creeper, still quite a few yellow-rumps.
Most notable, perhaps, were the bluebirds fluttering around the spruce grove at the summit. Those, and the kinglets. And the promise of more birds to come.
Beech Hill List Beginning at 8:05 a.m., I hiked all trails.
1. American Crow 2. Yellow-rumped Warbler 3. Blue Jay 4. Hairy Woodpecker 5. American Robin 6. Hermit Thrush 7. Black-capped Chickadee 8. American Goldfinch 9. Eastern Bluebird 10. Northern Flicker 11. White-throated Sparrow 12. Purple Finch 13. Song Sparrow 14. Herring Gull 15. Sharp-shinned Hawk 16. Cooper’s Hawk 17. Brown Creeper 18. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
19. Northern Cardinal
(v) Voice only *Also elsewhere **Voice only elsewhere †First-of-year
I call ’em “big birds”—hawks and vultures and gulls and ravens and other large species that I see in the sky overhead. This morning’s fun hike with an old pal, for me and Jack, was a long but fun one. And it included several big birds.