Saturday, June 21, 2014

Merrymeeting Bay Day

1. Red-eyed vireo-kabRed-eyed Vireo at Chops Point 5-2014
I had the privilege at the end of May to lead bird walks for some elementary school children as part of the Merrymeeting Bay Day put on by the Friends of Merrymeeting Bay. I had met up with the organizer, Dup Crosson earlier in the month. He found me through my blog when I posted some photos of the birds along the Androscoggin River. While I had heard about Merrymeeting Bay, I knew little about it, or how special and unique it is in all the world. It is one of only four inland tidal estuaries worldwide. The three others are in California, India and Iraq. It is the largest staging grounds for migratory waterfowl in the northeast! Merrymeeting Bay is formed by the confluence of six rivers: The Kennebec, the Androscoggin, the Eastern, Abadagasett, Muddy, and the Cathance. The Kennebec and the Androscoggin are two of Maine’s largest Rivers. And all that water has to flow through a narrow channel called Chops Point!
2. bald eagle-kab There was so much to learn and so much to tell all these students. For the most part I was winging it and learning as I went about the river, but I did know my birds and fortunately they were out in force. One of the species that has returned to the area are the Bald Eagles and on my first of four outings for the day one flew just above the tree line as if on cue!
3. chestnut sided warbler-kab Chestnut-sided Warbler in the woods along Merrymeeting Bay 5-20-14
We heard and saw many warblers, a few sparrows, plenty of Brown-headed cowbirds as well as Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles. I did not have time to take a lot of photos as I was busy trying to point out birds to kids, but I did finally get my chance to photograph a beautiful chestnut-sided warbler near the parking lot at the end of the day!
4. chestnut-sided warbler-kab I loved learning about this unique area and hope to do more birding in and around the bay. It will be interesting to see what can be seen once fall comes and the ducks come to stage in the bay. I know the woods were full of warblers and vireos while I was there! I just wasn’t able to count or photograph them all!
Here is a list of the birds I saw on this day during the three hours I was there:
  1. Double-crested Cormorants-4
  2. Osprey-1
  3. Bald Eagle-3
  4. Herring Gull-3
  5. Mourning Dove-6
  6. Red-eyed Vireo-1
  7. Blue Jay-7
  8. American Crow-8
  9. Black-capped Chickadee-1
  10. Tufted Titmouse-2
  11. White-breasted Nuthatch-1
  12. American Robin-4
  13. Gray Catbird-3
  14. European starling-5
  15. Ovenbird-4
  16. Northern parula-4
  17. Chestnut-sided Warbler-2
  18. Yellow-rumped Warbler-1
  19. Black-throated green Warbler-1
  20. Canada Warbler-2
  21. warbler sp.-1
  22. Eastern Towhee-1
  23. Chipping Sparrow-4
  24. Song Sparrow-2
  25. Scarlet Tanager-1
  26. Brown-headed Cowbird-4
  27. Baltimore Oriole-2
  28. American Goldfinch-2
You can learn more about Merrymeeting Bay by clicking on the links below:
5. red-eyed vreo tail-kab Red-eyed Vireo as seen from below

4 comments:

  1. What a unique experience. I love it when children are encouraged to engage in nature and am not at all surprised that you jumped at the chance to participate.

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    1. kaHolly, you already know me! It was fun!

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  2. Kathie, leading the walk sounds like fun and you are the right person for the job.. a great birder! Love the warbler, great shots. Happy birding and have a great weekend!

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    1. Eileen, it was fun...and a bit scary! you never know if the kids will be engaged or not. some were, and others weren't, but we did fine!

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Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.