Friday, August 21, 2015

Birding Quoddy Head State Park

1. West Quoddy head SP 5-30-15 West Quoddy Head Lighthouse 5-30-15

May 30, 2015 was a foggy day at Quoddy Head State Park. My friend, Donna and I and her son Juan walked to see the light house first, then followed a misty trail to the beach before heading off into the fog shrouded forest to look for birds. We found little stone sculptures someone had made all along the trail. Trees dripped with water, moss and lichen. On the trail to the bog we came to a spot that was dripping with warblers! Donna and I stood still for several moments as the little bird zipped by us and landed on the path, unafraid! It was amazing! While we hoped we might see a Boreal chickadee or a Spruce Grouse we were out of luck. Still, this place was so magical in the fog that we were utterly delighted and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

2. knotty tree-kab I loved this knotty tree!

 

3. foggy coastline-kab 

4. wracked rocks-kab 

5. the path to the bog 5-30-15 

6. rock turtle-kab 

6. turtle in the woods-kab 

7. bearded moss-kab 

8. bearded moss close up-kab 

9. BTGW-kab Black-throated Green Warbler 5-30-15

 

10. BTGW-kab 

11. YRWA-kab Yellow-rumped Warbler 5-30-15

 

12. the boardwalk 5-30-15 Boardwalk to bog

13. birding in the bog 5-30-15 Juan and Donna

14. foggy trails at West Quoddy head sp 5-30-15 

15.West Quoddy Head Light-cell pic

 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Birding Washington County

1. Cormorants in river DSC_0032 The East Machias River, Washington County, ME 5-30-15

Ever since moving back to Maine I have been trying to submit at least one checklist to eBird in every county in Maine. Last year I was able to add Oxford, Knox, and Lincoln Counties to my list of Maine Counties. Earlier in May I added Piscataquis County when I followed In the Footsteps of My Grandfather. Of the 16 counties in Maine, I only had Washington County left to count birds in, and May 30, 2015 was the day for me to conquer that county! As my friend Donna and I drove towards Quoddy Head State Park we passed through East Machias. The road ran close to the river there and as we drove I saw dozens of cormorants in the river. I quickly pulled onto a side street, parked, and jumped out to get my very first Washington County, Maine bird list!

2. parked on the edge of the road-kab Here I am parked on the side of the road. Donna is in the car but she has her hand in front of her face because she does not want me to get a picture of her! I was just photographing the place I parked! Besides, I was more interested in the birds!

3. Taking off-kab This Double-crested cormorant taking off looks more like a giant bat!

 

4. airborne-kab Airborne!

 

5. swimming-kab These are just some of the 100 cormorants I counted!

The ones with pale heads and necks are juveniles.

6. morning view of river 5-30-15 The East Machias River is a tidal river. In the morning it looked like this.

 

7. afternoon view of river 5-30-15 And in the afternoon it looked like this!

 

8. back to the river-kab With the lower water level the cormorants were all gone and the ducks and gulls were here instead. I counted birds in this location both times.

9. gulls on the rocks-kab Gulls on the rocks.

 

10. low tide-kab Afternoon low tide on the East Machias River 5-30-15

With the birds I saw at Quoddy Head State Park and a few others we saw along the way, I ended up with 29 species for the year so far in Washington County. Come back soon to read my post and see photos of Quoddy Head State Park!

 

My eBird Checklists for this location:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Black Guillemot in Acadia NP

DSC_0002 Bass Harbor 5-29-15

On May 29th I met my friend, Donna Simonetti at Acadia National Park in Maine to go birding. We drove all around Mount Desert island and stopped at Ketchum’s Seafood Ketch for lunch. It was nice enough for us to dine outside, so we did, and while we ate I kept my eye on the harbor, hoping against hope that I would spot a certain little black diving bird. I knew it would be a Life Bird for Donna, and for me, it would be my first time seeing one this year. I had seen some last year with my friend, Chris Rohrer when he came to Maine for his birding adventure. We had seen some on our trip to Eastern Egg Rock, only then I was busy puking my guts out and could not take any pictures! I was so seasick!

DSC_0003 Boats in Bass Rock Harbor.

This was our view from our table.

DSC_0004 Suddenly I noticed a little black dot next to one of the boats.

 

DSC_0006 Then I saw another.

It seemed to have the classic silhouette, but I needed it to come closer.

DSC_0009 Then I saw the little white spot at the corner of its wing!

Bingo! Black Guillemot!

All eating stopped then and we were in full blown photographer mode!

DSC_0010 Donna could barely contain herself as the bird came closer!

We finished our meals and paid the check, then wandered out onto the docks for some better photo ops! The guillemot were happy to oblige! There were actually three of them, and we snapped and snapped away!

DSC_0014 Who can resist that cute face?

 

DSC_0022 

DSC_0023 Or these adorable red feet?

And to top things off, we spotted a doe on our way back to the cabin!

DSC_0027 White-tailed Deer on Mount Desert Island, ME 5-29-15

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Birding Brunswick-Sawyer Park

DSC_0458 Double-crested Cormorant on the rocks in the New Meadows River

April 30, 2015: I discovered Sawyer Park last year when I first moved here and was looking for places to bird. It is not an eBird Hotspot because there are already two other nearby Hotspots with one directly across the river. However, the one across the river is in Sagadahoc County and is not a public access site. Sawyer Park is a public boat launch with plenty of parking, picnic tables and a privy. It is in Cumberland County. The New Meadows River is the boundary line between the two. One drawback is that it is closed for the winter, so it is only accessible for three seasons. You can walk in during the winter, but they gate the entrance and you would have to trek through snow.

DSC_0459 I love the dragon look of Double-crested Cormorants!

 

DSC_0460 It was spring migration and the cormorants were flyover everywhere!

I had just seen hundreds in Phippsburg a couple days before!

DSC_0468 

DSC_0469 

DSC_0470 Before I left I met a young kayaker and we had a nice chat!

I watched him paddle away down the New Meadows River.

I wished I could have kayaked with him!

DSC_0472 Pileated Woodpecker Hole in tree at Sawyer Park.

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Spring Trip to Scarborough Marsh and Pine Point

DSC_0362 Scarborough Marsh Trail April 26, 2015

April 26, 2015 It was a gray day in April when Gus and I drove to Scarborough marsh. I have only been here a couple of times since our move to Maine. I knew this was a place where I could watch birds while Gus took a walk. He had never been here, so I was happy to show him this place. I hoped to pick up some of the Spring Migrants for the year. Last spring I saw my Lifer Northern Wheatear here. No such luck this time around!

DSC_0363 After the long, snowy winter everyone was eager to be out walking!

 

DSC_0364 I saw my first yellowlegs of the year at the marsh, but it wasn’t very active here, so we moved on to Pine Point. Though it was gray and overcast, with a few sprinkles now and then, the air was mild.

 

DSC_0367 I spotted some lingering Long-tailed Ducks out in the harbor!

 

DSC_0376 And even more yellowlegs!

 

DSC_0379 Gus walked the shoreline while I looked for birds.

 

DSC_0383 Common Eider and a Herring Gull at Pine Point.

 

DSC_0387 Common Eider and a Common Loon at Pine Point

 

DSC_0389 The Pavement Princess! (She does not do dirt roads!)

Our Ride (above)

Someone else’s ride (below)!

DSC_0390 Boat in the harbor

 

DSC_0391 These two gulls look like they are watching and discussing everything!

 

DSC_0394 We checked Pine Point Beach for peeps next, but no luck!

 

DSC_0396 With a storm brewing, we decided to head inland…

 

DSC_0408 …but not before stopping to check out the birding in the swampy area behind the Pelreco building! Birds love this spot behind an industrial building!

 

DSC_0410 Little Blue Heron 4-26-15

 

DSC_0412 Snowy Egret

 

DSC_0413 I love those yellow feet!

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