24 March 2023

Posts Tagged ‘song sparrow’

Spring Things

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
American Robin in the woods, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 21 March 2023.
American Robin in the woods.

A mostly sunny morning, calm, about freezing. First full day of spring.

I kept my ear and eye out for spring things today as dog and I headed up the wooded trail. Singers included chickadees and titmice and cardinals and Brown Creepers. Fourteen species total on the hill—but the most noteworthy bird for me today was elsewhere.

In a residential area near Clam Cove after our hike, I happened to hear a singing Song Sparrow, a first of year for me. This sparrow is a favorite, evocative of spring generally, especially when it first returns from away.

Just listening to that sparrow’s song lifted my mood, affirmed my optimism, and improved my general outlook on the world—at least for this one day.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 6:48 a.m. (7:48 stupid DST), I hiked all trails.

1. American Goldfinch (v)
2. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
3. Northern Cardinal** (v)
4. American Crow*
5. Black-capped Chickadee**
6. Downy Woodpecker (drumming)
7. White-breasted Nuthatch
8. Brown Creeper
9. American Robin
10. Northern Flicker
11. Dark-eyed Junco
12. Yellow-rumped Warbler
13. Eastern Bluebird
14. Blue Jay


15. Mourning Dove
16. Song Sparrow (v)†
17. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
18. Herring Gull

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


Possible Owl

Friday, November 11th, 2022
Pileated Woodpecker, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 11 November 2022.
Pileated Woodpecker.

I thought I saw an owl this morning. I feel pretty sure I did see an owl, in fact. A Barred Owl is my guess. But all I really saw was a hawk-sized brown bird float silently down between the (similarly brown) tree trunks along the trail I was hiking with Jack-my-dog. “Hawk!” was my first thought. But the broad-wings are gone—and at this season, what other hawk would decide to hang out among the trunks of a forested hillside?

Without a sure ID, of course, I couldn’t add the bird to my list today. Nor could I add two species with very different unfamiliar calls. I could add the woodcock we flushed, though. And a Pileated Woodpecker.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:10 a.m., I hiked all trails (and then some).

1. American Goldfinch**
2. Black-capped Chickadee
3. Blue Jay
4. American Crow*
5. Pileated Woodpecker
6. Pine Siskin (v)
7. American Woodcock
8. Song Sparrow
9. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
10. American Robin
11. Northern Flicker (v)
12. Purple Finch (v)
13. Eastern Bluebird (v)


14. Northern Cardinal (v)
15. Wild Turkey

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


Unseasonably Warm

Sunday, November 6th, 2022
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 06 November 2022.
Yellow-rumped Warbler.

This morning—our first in Standard Time—we hiked the trails at the usual hour, dog and I. Except the clock called it 7 o’clock instead of 8. [Don’t get me started on my feelings about ridiculously stupid DST!] The air was unseasonably warm and a little muggy, and the wind was high.

Few other folks up there at such an “early” hour. Few birds, too—thanks, I figure, to the winds. However, I managed a few photos and a dozen species on my list.

No harriers today, though.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:14 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Tufted Titmouse (v)
2. Black-capped Chickadee**
3. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
4. Purple Finch (v)
5. American Crow*
6. Yellow-rumped Warbler
7. Dark-eyed Junco
8. White-throated Sparrow
9. Blue Jay (v)
10. American Robin
11. Common Raven (v)
12. Song Sparrow


13. Herring Gull
14. Ring-billed Gull
15. Hairy Woodpecker

(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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