24 June 2024

Posts Tagged ‘surf scoter’

Christmas Count Day

Sunday, December 18th, 2022
Dunlin, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 18 December 2022.
Dunlin at the Rockland Breakwater.

Today was a special day that only happens once a year: Audubon Christmas Bird Count Day. It’d been four years since I’d participated, and I was really looking forward to it. It did not disappoint.

In fact, among the birds we spotted at the Rockland Breakwater (which I hadn’t walked since Jack’s and my return from Salt Lake City back in April) was a lifer for me: Dunlin. Fact is while heading out across the great granite blocks, I nearly stepped on the bird. (OK, it was maybe eight or ten feet away.) There were a pair that I saw (although my birding pals saw a third). Not every day you get a lifer.

Brown Creeper, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 18 December 2022.
Brown Creeper.

Many other species also (see below), and then I returned home for Jack and right away we hiked Beech Hill—albeit a little later than usual.

Notable at the hill were a posing Brown Creeper and the call of an Evening Grosbeak in overflight. Snow up there (not much here, a mile and a half away).

I kinda like the end of the year but, to me, every day is a holiday.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 10:02 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Blue Jay (v)
2. American Crow* (v)
3. Golden-crowned Kinglet (v)
4. Downy Woodpecker** (v)
5. Brown Creeper
6. Evening Grosbeak (v)
7. Black-capped Chickadee**
8. Red-breasted Nuthatch** (v)
9. Northern Flicker
10. Tufted Titmouse (v)

Elsewhere

11. Mallard
12. Herring Gull
13. Great Black-backed Gull
14. Ring-billed Gull
15. House Sparrow
16. House Finch
17. Common Goldeneye
18. Common Loon
19. Horned Grebe
20. Long-tailed Duck
21. Black Guillemot
22. Purple Sandpiper
23. Canada Goose
24. American Wigeon
25. Surf Scoter
26. Bufflehead
27. Red-breasted Merganser
28. Dunlin‡
29. Common Eider
30. Ring-billed Gull

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

†First-of-year
‡Lifer

Sea Birds

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019
Black Guillemot (non-breeding plumage), Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 15 February 2019.
Black Guillemot (non-breeding plumage).

Warm day. Fifties (F), seems like (though I forgot to check for sure). Rained early, and I had a dentist appointment, so dog and I didn’t hit the hill until early afternoon. Nothing much up there then, so we also hiked the breakwater.

Plenty of seabirds out. Guillemots, grebe, scoter, eiders, gulls, long-tailed ducks, etc. Spotted a couple sunning seals also.

Odd, perhaps, but winter is my favorite season to hike the breakwater in.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 1:15 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

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

Elsewhere

5. Herring Gull
6. Great Black-backed Gull
7. Common Goldeneye
8. Common Eider
9. Black Guillemot
10. Long-tailed Duck
11. Surf Scoter
12. Horned Grebe
13. Ring-billed Gull
14. Mallard

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

Balmy Winter’s Day

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Surf Scoter (first winter male), Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 29 December 2018.

Surf Scoter (first winter male).

Some rain early, so dog and I waited until it’d passed to do our daily hike. Windy, but temps up in the 40s. The birds on the hill were shy, however, and since I had my designs on a photo, we took a second hike out to the end of the Rockland Breakwater—where it seems a bunch of other folks had the same idea.

Low tide this time, with a brisk wind and plenty of waves. Was hoping for Purple Sandpipers, saw none, and settled for a few diving ducks—including a good-looking young Surf Scoter.

Supposed to get a lot colder now.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 9:30 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Herring Gull*
2. Downy Woodpecker (v)
3. Black-capped Chickadee** (v)

Elsewhere

4. American Crow
5. Rock Pigeon
6. Mallard
7. Common Eider
8. Black Guillemot
9. Surf Scoter
10. House Sparrow

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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