Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Birding Norridgewock, ME

1. Swainson's Thrush _361-kab Swainson’s Thrush in parent’s yard, Norridgewock, Maine 5-13-11

Gus and I have been travelling to Maine whenever possible since moving back east. We are trying to visit our parents on a regular basis. And, since we are here, I also count the birds in Norridgewock on a regular basis. My in-laws used to feed the birds and their feeders would be so full, but now it has gotten to be too hard for them as they age. The only feeders they maintain nowadays are the hummingbird feeders in the summer. Still, the birds are hanging out in their yard and I hit the jackpot when we arrived there on May 13th!

2.Catbird Maine-kab Gray Catbird 5-13-11 Frederick’s Dairy Whip Norridgewock, ME

Before we went to their house, we stopped at the local ice cream stand called Frederick’s Dairy Whip. I counted 8 species of birds including my first Broad-winged hawk for New England and Maine! My sighting of a Gray catbird was the first record for the year of this species in Somerset County in the eBird data base!

3. Bluettes-kab Bluets houstonia caerulea 5-13-11

When we drove into our parents’ yard I was greeted by the sight of hundreds of Bluets blooming in a carpet across the yard. This is one of my favorite springtime flowers. I called them May flowers as a child but my mother-in-law told me she always knew them by the name, “piss-a-beds.” According to one gardening site I checked out their botanical name is Houstonia caerulea. All I know is that they don’t grow in Tucson, AZ where I used to live! I am so happy to see them again.

4. Northern Parula-kab Northern Parula in birch tree 5-13-11

I could hear birds calling from the far end of the yard and so I walked on past the house where birds were everywhere and I could not look at them fast enough! I found this Northern Parula high in the birch trees along with some American Goldfinches. I could hear scuffling and scraping down in the duff and soon found a Swainson’s Thrush. Later on in the afternoon before we went to pick up pizza I found a Canada Warbler in the same area. It was a Life Bird for me! I tried to get a picture of it but it kept hopping in and out of the brush and when I tried to get closer, of course it flew away. Still, the vision of that yellow throat with the black necklace has burned itself into my brain! Oh, I want to see one again. But, here is where my ignorance is showing. I thought these birds would be here the next time I came up. I thought that as long as there were trees, there would be birds, but when we came back on May 29th the woods were strangely silent. Although I saw a few birds, I did not see any thrushes, warblers, or even the hummingbird! all I saw were the phoebes and 2 robins. I also heard a chickadee, a blue jay and an ovenbird.

5. Phoebe on nest-kab Eastern Phoebe on nest 5-13-11

When I stepped outside to go back to the pizza parking lot to watch birds I was surprised to see this animal come hopping out of the woods in front of the garage. If I had not just been reading Bernd Heinrich’s book, A Year In the Maine Woods I would not have know that there are snowshoe hares in Maine, yet here one was in my in-law’s yard!

6. Snowshoe Hare-kab Snowshoe Hare 5-13-11


7. Snowshoe hare 1-kab Snowshoe Hare 5-13-11 Just look at those FEET!


8. Snowshoe hare-kab Snowshoe Hare 5-29-11

When we went back on May 29th the hare was there once again. My mother-in-law loves this hare. She is trying to make friends with it. Since today is her birthday I am dedicating this post to her. Happy Birthday MOM!

9. Kennebec River-kab Kennebec River View from Oosoola Park, Norridgewock, ME 5-13-11

On the 13th I stopped by Oosoola Park to see if the Bald Eagles were hanging around. They were not but I did find a flock of  11 Mallards and they were all drakes!

10. EAKI-kab Eastern Kingbird at Oosoola Park 5-13-11

In one of the nearby trees I found this Eastern Kingbird. From this view you can easily see the white band at the end of its tail.


11.Thrush_0347-kab Swainson’s Thrush 5-13-11 in the yard.

Back at Gus’ parent’s house all is well with the birds in the yard.


12. EAPH nest-kab Eastern Phoebe on nest 5-29-11

Happy Birthday Julia!


  1. Happy Birthday Mom!

    I love the song of the thrush.

    Nice to have such beautiful scenery and get to visit the parents.

  2. Love the Bluets Kathie, such a picture.

  3. Very cool Kathie!

    I just saw a new life bird today - Scissor-tailed Flycathcer at the Provo Airport Dike. Have you ever birded the Dike? They've been having amazing sightings down there in Utah County. Scarlet Tanager and more.

  4. Kathie, what a great birding outing. Congrats on the Canada warbler lifer. They are beautiful. I just love that hare, it looks so big. Wonderful post and photos.

  5. Hi Kathie

    What great shots of the snowshoe hare and the Swainson’s Thrush was beautifully captured.

    All the best.

  6. The hare photos are cool! Love the tiny little parula shot-it reminds me of the challenge of trying to get up close warbler shots. Congrats on the Canada Warbler. Also great job with the thrush photos!

  7. Katnell and Gaelyn, my mother-in-law got such a kick out of your Happy Birthday messages! Thank you!

    Roy, I so love those flowers! Glad you enjoyed them also!

    Birding is Fun, I have never been to the Provo Dike. it sounds like heaven! Wow! a scissor-tailed in Utah? How amazing! i did not know they were found there! I have only seen them in Oklahoma!

    Eileen, thank you so much!

    Guy, thanks!

    Larry, that was such a find for me! sure hope I get to see one again. My in-laws say they are hearing all kinds of birds. Guess I need to get up there earlier in the a.m.! BTW, I am starting to develop Warbler neck! Our trees aren't quite this tall in most of AZ unless you get up in the mountains or are around Eucalyptus trees! Tried to lay down on my sister's recliner on her deck here in CT and watch birds but it does limit your ability to turn and move fast!

  8. Kathie, what a find to see the snow-shoe hare! Thy next winter to get a shot of it when it looks like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.


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.