Return to Bangor City Forest

All the early morning field trips at the ABA Convention have completely kerfuzzled my internal clock, even more than usual. I woke up this morning about 3:00 A.M. even though the first workshop wasn’t till 8:30. However, at this time of year dawn starts breaking around 4:00 A.M. up here so I drove over to the Bangor City Forest, parked outside the locked gates on Kittredge Ave., and hiked in.

I swear I started with the same four birds I started with on Wednesday: Song Sparrow, American Robin, Mourning Dove, and Savannah Sparrow. I would not be at all surprised if the Savannah Sparrow was the same individual. It was certainly following the same path from reed to post to rock and back again. The fifth was the same too: America Goldfinch; but then things got more interesting. My first Northern Flicker of the trip flew across into the tree line, and then started calling. (It always reminds me of a howler monkey.)

Walking along the road, I heard a warbler in a tree. It took a little while, but it eventually flew to a location where I could see it. It turned out to be the first of several Common Yellowthroat. Allegedly, Common Yellowthroat say “Witchity Witchity Witchity” but only about 1 in 10 sounds anything like that to me.

Next up was a Red-winged Blackbird flying over the landfill. I spotted a flycatcher in the same tree where I’d seen a Willow Flycatcher on Wednesday, but this one wasn’t calling so I couldn’t identify it conclusively. Probably another Willow though. No Virginia Rail today though.

Walking into the woods, numerous hermit Thrushes were singing. A Blue Jay called. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was drumming; and an Eastern Wood-Peewee gave a single “Peeee-Weeeeee” call. White-throated Sparrows also started calling.

Golden-crowned Kinglets were singing in some small spruces. I spotted one which reminded me just how unreliable color can be. In the cloudy early morning light, it looked more like a “Chestnut-crowned Kinglet”. Across the road, I spotted a Northern Parula, which was good since I’m really bad with that song even though I’ve been taught it a whole bunch of times, including yesterday on Burn Road. However, then a Red-breasted Nuthatch called, and that one I do recognize.

I found the boardwalk, but it still wasn’t open for another 40 minutes so I circled back to the car; or at least I tried to. I got a bit lost, but I did eventually find my way back to the Arboretum and the Landfill. The marsh at the bottom of the landfill yielded up Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, and Common Grackle. Crossing the landfill I again easily flushed Bobolink. Tree Swallows were also flying across the landfill.

I got in my car an drove to the Tibbets Road Parking lot. By this time the boardwalk was open and I joined several other early risers from the ABA. The marsh across which the boardwalk passed was quite beautiful in the early morning. Not many birds though several people were standing around waiting for a calling Nashville Warbler to appear. One Palm Warbler confused the lot of us by not flipping its tail. We were thinking Lincoln’s Sparrow for a while (sounds ridiculous but the light was really bad) but eventually it moved to a point where we had a better view and started flipping its tail. It turned out we’d been inadvertently standing next to its nest, keeping it from bringing the juicy worm to its kids, and it was understandably quite perturbed. We moved along.

One unidentified call I heard a lot on the edges of the woods: Zee-Zzz-Peabody. The last three syllables were much like a White-throated Sparrow’s but faster. The first two syllables were very buzzy. Any ideas? Maybe a Nashville or a Parula?

Leave a Reply