Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Birding the Best that I Can

1. Androscoggin river in Topsham 1-6-15 cell pic The Androscoggin River January 6, 2014

I am slowly healing from my surgery and feeling more like myself everyday. Yesterday my daughter came down to help me out and after cutting my hair, filling my bird feeders and changing the sheets on my bed for me, she drove me into town for errands. Along the way we stopped to count birds on Bowdoin Island in Topsham after I saw a small flock of ducks down in the river as we crossed the iron bridge near the dam and the old Fort Andross Mill. I had never driven into the parking area here, though there is an eBird Hotspot marked as the Seadog Brewing Company. It took us a few minutes to find a place to park that gave us a view of the ducks but we finally found a spot and I got out in the freezing cold weather to count birds!

2. A bend in the Androscoggin on Bowdoin Island in Topsham 1-6-15 cell pic Down in this little cove created by a bend in the river and just below the dam I counted a dozen Common Mergansers! While I had seen red-breasted mergansers a few days ago down in Harpswell, these were my first Common Mergansers this year. As most avid birders will know, a New Year means a New List! I am so used to doing a Big January ever since I started my first blog, Sycamore Canyon, so it feels weird not to be out there pushing to get as many birds as I can. I still feel the pull of it, and so my husband and now my daughter have helped me find a few birds. I know my list will not be as big as it has been in past years, but I still feel the need to do a Big January as best as I can. I see that many other birders are seeing wonderful birds around the state, but I can only go so far right now. It will be interesting to see what shows up in my yard and at the Boat launch!

3. Androscoggin River looking NE on Bowdoin Isle 1-6-15 cell pic Though it is quite cold here as well as across the rest of the nation, I must admit that there is still beauty to be seen here in winter. This view is looking Northeast up down the Androscoggin River toward Merrymeeting Bay.

4. wharton point sunset 1-1-15 On January 1st Gus drove me over to Wharton Point to count birds and watch the sunset. I took this picture from the car. Another person was there watching the sunset as well. It must of been cold on those rocks! It was so cold and the cloud shelf was so low that we left, but we should have waited just a few minutes longer, because look what happened to the sky as we were driving south on Mere Point Road on our way home! Scroll down to see the first sunset of 2015 for me!

5. windsheild sunset 1-1-15 cell pic January 1, 2015 Sunset as seen on Mere Point Road.

While we were out and about i counted my first birds of the New Year at the Mere Point Boat Launch, on Rossmore and Mere Point Roads, and at Wharton Point. On the drive home we also saw 3 Wild turkeys in someone’s yard, but the best bird was the Barred Owl we saw hunting in a field on Rossmore Road! It was my first Barred Owl in Maine as well as my First of the year!

6. harpswell geese 1-2-15 cell pic The next day after we did a couple of errands, Gus drove me down to Orr’s and Bailey Island in Harpswell to count birds. I added several species there, including these FoTY Canada Geese! 

7. snow 1-3-15 cell pic I was looking forward to getting out more, but then this snow came on January 3rd! It’s kind of kept me house bound since, as I don’t dare risk going out by myself and falling! My body still has lots of healing to do.

8. bird feeders 1-4-15 backyard cell pic So, I watch birds out the windows instead.

Some days I see all the same birds, but some days something different flies in. Today I had my FoTY Purple Finch! I have not had one here in over a month! She made species Number 41 for this year!

9. windy day on the bay 1-5-15 cell pic On January 5th the wind was blowing a gale out there, but it did bring a few birds close enough to shore for me to see them from my living room window. Here is a list of my yard birds and my 2015 Year Birds so far:

2015 Bird List

2015 Yard Birds 2015 Big January

1. Red-tailed Hawk/ 1-1-15

1. Red-tailed Hawk

2. Mourning Dove

2. Mourning Dove

3. Red-bellied woodpecker

3. Red-bellied woodpecker

4. Downy Woodpecker

4. Downy Woodpecker

5. Hairy Woodpecker

5. Hairy Woodpecker

6. Blue Jay

6. Blue Jay

7. American Crow

7. American Crow

8. Black-capped Chickadee

8. Black-capped Chickadee

9. Tufted Titmouse

9. Tufted Titmouse

10. White-breasted Nuthatch

10. White-breasted Nuthatch

11. American Tree Sparrow

11. American Tree Sparrow

12. White-throated Sparrow

12. White-throated Sparrow

13. Dark-eyed Junco

13. Dark-eyed Junco (slate colored)

14. Northern Cardinal

14. Northern Cardinal

15. House Finch

15. House Finch

16. American Goldfinch

16. American Goldfinch

17. Bald Eagle/ 1-3-15

17. Common Eider/Mere Point Boat Launch 1-1-15

18. American Robin

18. Black Scoter/Mere Point Boat Launch

19. Pine Siskin

19.  Cooper’s Hawk/ Rossmore and Mere Point Roads 1-1-15

20. Common Eider/ 1-5-15

20. Herring Gull/ Rossmore and Mere Point Roads

21. Herring Gull

21. Barred owl/ Rossmore and Mere Point Roads

22. Purple Finch/ 1-7-15

22. Ring-billed Gull/ Wharton Point 1-1-15

23. Wild Turkey/ Maquoit Road 1-1-15

24. Bald Eagle/ Brunswick 1-2-15

25. Rock Pigeon/ Brunswick 1-2-15

26. Long-tailed Duck/ Orr’s Island 1-2-15

27. Bufflehead/ Orr’s Island

28. Canada Goose/ Bailey Island 1-2-14

29. Mallard/ Bailey Island 1-2-14

30. Surf Scoter/ Bailey Island 1-2-14

31. Red-breasted Merganser/ Bailey Island 1-2-14

32.  Common Loon/ Bailey Island 1-2-14

33. Black Quillemot/ Bailey Island 1-2-14

34. Great Black-backed Gull/Bailey Island 1-2-14

35. European Starling/Bailey Island 1-2-15

36. American Robin/ my yard 1-3-15

37. Pine Siskin/ my yard 1-3-15

38. Common Merganser/ Seadog Brewing 1-6-15

39. American Black Duck/ Mere Point Boat Launch 1-6-15

40. Common Goldeneye/ Mere Point Boat Launch 1-6-15

41. Purple Finch/ 1-7-14

window view 1-4-15 I see more window birding in my future!

22 comments:

  1. I am very glad to see you are taking it easy Kathie. You have done very well with your sedate birding nonetheless :)

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  2. Under the circumstances, you're doing a lot better than most, Kathie.

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    1. I suppose so, Marvin, but I still feel the pull to get outside and bird!

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  3. Kathie, you are brave.. It is cold to be out there birding... Good luck with your big January.. The sunset shots are lovely.. Have a happy day!

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    1. Eileen, having someone else drive and having heated seats helps a lot! Thank you!

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  4. I am so glad you are recovering and also it is great that your hubby and daughter have taken you out. However with that snow now on the ground you will have to be patient but you have a wonderful view of the birds from your window and you have already chalked up a good number and it is only 8 January!

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    1. Margaret, yes, I will have to be patient...and I can still get lost in watching my own backyard birds!

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  5. By spring migration, you'll be out and about, hitting those trails and welcoming all the warblers! Sorry I've been off grid for so long and am just learning of your surgery! I remember those cold winter days birding along the Maine rivers and shorelines!! Trekking out into the farmers' fields, my nostrils frozen closed as I fight the wind. I love birding:)!! Take extra special care! xo

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    1. KaHolly, I plan to be out before then! I just don't know how far I can go! All in good time, I suppose! I'm trying to behave myself! I will take care. Thank you!

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  6. That is a remarkable sunset indeed! Glad you are able to get out, that is not a shabby list at all!

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    1. Thank you Kenneth! I do hope I get to add to it soon!

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  7. I am glad that you are healing enough to get and bird and thankful that your daughter and Gus are helping out. Sure looks cold.

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    1. Gaelyn, it is cold and getting colder! But we could warm up a bit by Saturday or Sunday. You know how that goes.

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  8. Hope you are healing and getting better each day. Your bird list is amazing. And it looks very cold there, stay warm.

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    1. Nora, it kept getting colder until we reached a low of about -10 degrees F! It's moderated a bit now but I am sure we have not seen the last of the sub-zero weather!

      And I am healing and getting better every day, thank you!

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  9. Keep being patient, Kathie. At least you're getting some birding.

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  10. So glad you are recovering. You have quite a long list for someone who's been laid up! Well done. Happy new Year. Health, love and happiness...

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  11. Little by little. However, I still think you're doing pretty well considering you found Redpolls! That is epic! Little by little:)

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    1. Chris, Redpolls are very epic! I hadn't seen any in 3 years!

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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.