Friday, September 11, 2015

Raccoon in the Yard

DSC_0351 Raccoon in Mere Point Yard 6-3015

June 30, 2015, Mere Point Cottage: Living in Maine you never know what will show up in your yard. While the squirrels and chipmunks are pretty much expected during the summer, the rest of the wildlife can be unpredictable. I had both red and gray foxes come through the yard while I lived at Mere Point, and porcupines were sighted more than once, I never had a deer in the yard and until this summer, I never saw a raccoon. This summer one found my bird feeders before I moved away, but it never climbed the feeders. It just came and nibbled on spilled seed! It was fun to see the ‘coon, but I am sure glad it did not become a nuisance! No ‘coons here at the new house so far, and I only just saw my first chipmunk this week! With dogs and cats running free down here, I think the wildlife is very wary and very scarce.

DSC_0352 These are all the same raccoon taken the same night. This was at 6:30 PM and the color difference is due to different setting on my camera.


Monday, September 7, 2015

My New Yard

1. side yard 9-3-15 The Harpswell Yard

We moved into the new house on August 14th in the evening. Three days later I took a trip to Connecticut and was gone for nine days. So, I have done most of my birding in this yard since my return on August 28th. It has taken us awhile to get me connected to the internet and it has become apparent that it is time for a new computer. I have been procrastinating about this forever, but the time has come to deal with it. Still, with the help of my husband, my daughter-in-law and the cable company, we were able to jury rig a work around until I can purchase one. This is a test post.

2. backyard birding 9-3-15 I’m ready to bird while I eat my breakfast!


3. harpswell back yard 8-17-15 A serene backyard scene.


4. birds love the birch tree 9-1-15 The birds love this birch tree!

This is where I have seen several of the migrating warblers, the vireos and the
Blue-gray gnatcatcher! I have many more woodpeckers here, but so far have not seen a single house finch or purple finch. There are several neighborhood cats that hang around the yard, so I do not get many ground feeding birds and the ones I do have are very wary. There are a few song sparrows, but so far, no chipping sparrows or any other kinds of sparrows have been spotted. I am wondering if I will get White-throated sparrows or juncos as the season changes.


5. cats enjoying the deck 8-30-15 My cats are enjoying the deck. Other than this, they stay indoors!


7. new feeder set-up

This is my new feeder set-up. I am finding that I do not need as many bird feeders here, and the birds do not like the same kid of seed that the birds at Mere Point did. Plus, with all this damp and moisture, the seed molds very rapidly. Mold is deadly to birds and I have already had to clean the feeders several times. The hummingbird feeder gets moldy rapidly as well and I had to clean it with bleach after my return from Connecticut. I wash it thoroughly every time I refill it now, being sure to clean the feeding ports as they can get a black mold in there. soon the hummingbirds will be gone for the winter, but I am still seeing a few lingering females around.

6. my indoor birding spot My indoor bird watching spot.

Soon I will spend more time here than outside on the deck, but for now I am taking advantage of the good weather. Here is a list of all the birds I have seen in this yard so far, with the newest being a Northern Harrier I saw just this morning!

Harpswell Yard Life List (edited 9-9-15)

1. Herring Gull 7-7-15
2. Common Tern  
3. Northern Flicker  
4. Red-eyed Vireo  
5. American Crow  
6. Gray Catbird  
7. Ovenbird  
8. Common Yellowthroat  
9. Song Sparrow  
10. Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8-14-15
11. American Goldfinch  
12. Double-crested Cormorant 8-15-15
13. Red-shouldered Hawk  
14. Downy Woodpecker  
15. Blue-headed Vireo  
16. Blue Jay  
17. Common Raven  
18. Black-capped Chickadee  
19. White-breasted Nuthatch  
20. Tufted Titmouse 8-16-15
21. Canada Goose 8-17-15
22. Red-bellied Woodpecker  
23. American Robin  
24. Cedar Waxwing  
25. Black-and-white Warbler  
26. Osprey  
27. Wilson’s Warbler* 8-18-15
28. Mourning Dove 8-19-15
29. Belted King Fisher (heard)  
30. Eastern Wood Pewee  
31. Pileated Woodpecker 8-28-15
32. Red-breasted Nuthatch  
33. American Redstart 8-30-15
34. Black-throated Green Warbler  
35. Great Blue Heron 9-1-15
36. Magnolia Warbler  
37. Hairy Woodpecker  
38. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher*  
39. Chestnut-sided Warbler  
40. Cooper’s Hawk 9-2-15
41. Carolina Wren  
42. Brown Creeper 9-3-15
43. Northern Parula  
44. Northern Cardinal 9-4-15
45. Philadelphia Vireo*  
46. Northern Harrier 9-7-15

*First of The Year Birds for me as well!

7. my creative room My blogging room.


Note: I have been taking photos of birds in the yard and will post them as soon as I can get them off-loaded and processed! There has been a lot going on and more to look forward to as well!

P.S. this post was edited on 9-9-15 to include an earlier checklist I found from July when we first looked at this house. That brings the yard list up to a total of 46 species of birds!

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_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