Thursday, April 24, 2014

Notes from My Nest: Life on Mere Point

1. Mere Point Point-kab Mere Point Bay as seen from Mere Point 4-4-14

I am still settling in and getting to know my way around Mere Point. In my mind it is broken up into different birding segments. I count birds at my home, which is Mere Point Cottage. I count birds at Mere Point Boat launch, which is a Public Access site to the bay. I count birds along Mere Point Road, which is 5 miles from my driveway to where the road ends in Brunswick, and I count birds at Mere Point Point which is Private Access Only. You must live there or have permission from someone who does live there to access the site. Anyway you look at it, I am surrounded by water and birds. In just the week since I posted my latest Mere Point Cottage Yard List I have already added 6 more species of birds! I am now at 48 Yard Birds in a little over 2 months time and migration is just beginning! I have yet to add a warbler to my yard list. Sparrows are well represented with Savannah and Chipping Sparrows being the most recent additions! I heard a Carolina Wren on April 11th calling several times, but I have not heard it since.  I had a Northern Flicker show up on the 13th and a Golden-crowned Kinglet on the 14th! While I had heard Fish Crows in town already I was surprised to hear one outside in my yard on April 15th. At this point I have no idea what species is going to show up next! I had not seen the Fox Sparrows for a few days, but then they showed up again on the 14th. White-throated Sparrows have now become the most numerous sparrow species in the yard, displacing the Song Sparrows who held that title for a couple of weeks.

2. bird feeder-kab I continue to do battle with the squirrels and hoped that this cheap baffle I bought at Wal-Mart would do the trick. It only cost me $8 bucks and I  would have done better spending that money on additional seed. It didn’t take them long to figure it out and find a way around it. The black plastic bowl balances on the hook but it is easily tipped by the wind and the squirrels which scramble down the chain, tip the black bowl and twist and grab the feeder to climb up and eat at their leisure! Back to the drawing board for me. It looks like I will have to break down and buy a $40 baffle from the bird store instead!

3. old squaws-kab Long-tailed ducks in Maquoit Bay 4-7-14

One local resident gave me permission to walk down to the water’s edge near his house. I stood in awe on the shore and looked across Maquoit Bay. There were so many ducks in it, but only a few of them were close enough for me to identify with my binoculars. There was a large flock of Long-tailed Ducks raising a ruckus out in the water. They made so much noise! I don’t quite know how to describe the sound, but they would all get in a bunch or in a line and then dive simultaneously. I do not know if this was a hunting and feeding technique or if they were just diving whenever they realized I was looking at them through my binoculars!

4. gull on rocks-kab Great Black-backed Gull on the seaweed covered shore of Maquoit Bay.

I found it so amazing to be standing on the shore with tall trees and woodland birds behind me and sea birds in front. When the tide goes out the seaweed covered rocks are exposed and yes, they are this golden! While I see gulls on the rocks all the time, I have yet to see any peeps along these shores though, I do keep on looking for them. April 7th was such a nice day that I did not want to go inside, so I decided to cross the street and go count birds at the Boat Launch.

5. chickadee-kab On the short road in I found this little Black-capped Chickadee in the leaf litter alongside the road. In the trees along the sides of the parking area I saw and heard several species of blackbirds as well as Mourning Doves, Blue Jays and more Song Sparrows. While I am not surprised that the blackbirds are over here, I am surprised that the Blue Jays like to hang out in this area more than my yard, which is a stone’s throw away. I cannot always count on seeing jays in my yard but they are a sure bet over here!

6. herons-kab The effects of spring migration are being seen with the return of the Great Blue Herons. These are just two of the four that flew over my head while counting birds at the boat launch. But then I was surprised by another string of migrants…

7. cormorants-kab Double-crested Cormorants! My FoTY* in Maine!

I would love to tell you that life is settling down here at My new Nest in Mere Point Cottage, and while it is starting to feel like Home, there is still so much to do. We are registering our cars in Maine and finding doctors, dentists and hairdressers. I still have boxes to unpack but I need some shelves built and I keep getting distracted by the birds! I wake up every morning and grab my bins before I even get dressed and start watching and counting them. I keep telling myself that I should take a shower and get dressed first, but I cannot resist looking, and once I take one look I have to start counting them! Everyday is something different and I find it all so new and exciting, even though I have seen most of these birds before. This is my first time living in Maine as an eBirder and eBirding has taught me how to pay attention to the timing of birds and their behavior. Birds are part of the rhythm of life wherever one lives and learning and feeling this rhythm is what makes me feel part of Life!

So many times I would “Bird My Way Home” from a trip, yet my home keeps on changing. Perhaps I have finally Birded My Way Home for good. Perhaps after all these years of wandering around the country and longing for Idaho (my first love), perhaps I have finally found my real home at last.

*First of The Year

My Mere Point Birds by the Numbers:

  • Mere Point Patch—59 species (all my locations on Mere Point)
  • Mere Point Yard List—48 species
  • Mere Point Boat Launch—37 species
  • Rossmore and Mere Point Roads—21 species
  • Mere Point Point—15 species

Explore Rossmore and Mere Point Roads, an eBird Hotspot

8. geese string-kab Canada Geese Flying over Mere Point Boat Launch 4-7-14


  1. Kathie, I do hope you have found your true home. Mere Point Cottage sounds like the real thing. Just be grateful the Blue Jays have not settled in your yard, just think of the feed bill! They are so beautiful but solo greedy.
    Don't feel guilty about watching birds first thing in the morning, the shower will still be there later but the birds are early risers.
    I wish you many joyful years in your new home.

    1. Arija, thank you so much! It's all still a wonder to me!

  2. Hi Katie... I hear ya...that's my first thing after I have my coffee in hand,but I am looking as I get it to!! : )
    You have a double opportunity for both inland, and shore birds, who wouldn't love that!!
    I love living in Maine, and so glad you are happy here!!

    Keep one counting, I see your climbing the eBird list very well ; )


    1. Grace, you know me! I can't help counting birds wherever I am, but I know I still have so many Maine birds to see! I sure hope we can count the birds together soon!

  3. Hi Kathie. So much to do and distracted by birding. What could be better .. the chores can wait a while ... there's no rush is there?

    Keep having fun.

    1. Thanks Frank, I am. But the dishes are piling up and the floor needs washing and I have errands to do in town, and, Oh well. It will all have to wait!

  4. Home is where your heart is. For now, and maybe for the long term, it's Mere Point. The important part is that you're happy and enjoying the journey.

    1. Chris, I sure am enjoying the journey. I have no idea how long this love affair will last, but for now I am content to be In Love with Maine!

  5. You can make Home wherever you are, and I believe you do just that with part of it being the birds. Nice that you are so close to the water.

    1. Gaelyn, I love being close to the water. What a contrast after being in the desert!

  6. Keep enjoying! Live in the now wherever that may be!

    1. Thanks Sheila! I think I do, but it sure makes it hard to plan for the future!


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.