Tuesday Tune: Hermit Thrush

 photograph by Brian Willson

Hermit Thrush (Beech Hill Preserve, 12 October 2014).

Hermit Thrushes arrive early around here, and leave late. I hadn’t seen any since fledgling season—at which point they grow quiet and even more secretive than usual—until today. In our mid-afternoon hike up the hill this glorious fall day (along with about three dozen other people and a half a dozen dogs), I spooked one near the summit, just down over the wooded trail. It perched in the sun and posed, raising and lowering its tail.

Hermit Thrushes don’t go very far—mostly just to the southern states. Haven’t heard their ethereal music since spring.

Another first-in-a-while bird today: Dark-eyed Junco. A pair of ’em skittered away from the spruce grove as dog and I snuck through. Otherwise, a bunch more yellow-rumps, and many, many White-throated Sparrows. Today the most abundant species on the hill.

Last night was cold enough for me to run the heat for a little while, but today felt warm in the sun. Tonight, though, I ran the heater for a little while again. A taste of things to come.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 2:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Yellow-rumped Warbler
2. White-throated Sparrow**
3. Black-capped Chickadee**
4. Pileated Woodpecker (v)
5. Song Sparrow
6. Dark-eyed Junco
7. Eastern Towhee (v)
8. Hermit Thrush
9. Turkey Vulture
10. American Crow*


11. House Sparrow (v)
12. Blue Jay (v)
13. Herring Gull
14. Mourning Dove

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

Blue Hill.