Ever since moving to Brunswick, Maine I have driven past the Brunswick Town Commons. Though it’s name seems to suggest that you would find it in the center of town, it is not. It is on Route 123 heading south towards Harpswell. When I first moved here in February it was covered in snow. Then Spring came and the trails all looked like mud. Then summer came and so did the humidity, ticks, and the mosquitoes. Again, I stayed away. But finally at the beginning of September, I decided to take a walk there one Sunday afternoon while Gus was watching football. I had no idea what I would find or how far I would go, but I was up for the adventure, and so I struck out.
At first I could still hear traffic on the road and no birds, but as I got farther in, the traffic noise faded and the birds began to call.
I did find a few warblers in one area of the trail where there were some saplings in sunlight. But, many areas of the trail were dark and damp and quiet.
I had such a good time on September 7th that I went back on September 24th when I had to go to town early for some errands. When I was done I bought myself some breakfast and drove to the commons to dine in the forest with the birds. I remember there were sparrows, chickadees, warblers and nuthatches calling as I ate. When I was done eating I put my trash in the car and headed down the same trail as last time, but when I got to the fork, I went the other way.
I came to this marker alongside the trail, but after reading it I saw the trail went further, so I followed it. It went behind some houses and ended at a stone pillar in the woods. Then, to my astonishment, I saw a pair of Winter Wrens in the brush! I froze in my tracks and tried to quietly raise my camera to take a picture, but the birds saw me and disappeared into the thick undergrowth!
The trail did not go on from there, so I turned and headed back. As I rounded the corner on the main trail, I saw something in the middle of the path.
Actually there were four of them! A whole family of thrushes!
But which kind?
The American Robin is really a thrush and you can see the similarity in their eyes and posture. When robins are newly fledged, you can still see their spotted breast for a time until they reach adult plumage. I really liked Brunswick Town Commons and will probably go back to walk here again, at least until the snow flies! While I did not see a lot of species on my walks, I did see some really good birds, and the Winter Wrens were my First of the Year and my first sighting of this species in Maine!
Click the links below to see my ebird checklists for both dates: