Friday, July 11, 2014

Our Big New England Birding Adventure Begins

1. 6-22-14 Richmond, Maine Chris and Gus on the Waterfront in Richmond, ME 6-22-14
June 22, 2014: I think I was in a daze as we drove to Augusta to pick up Chris and Micheal from the airport. It all seems like a blur now as I think back on it. I was so excited and I could not believe it was really happening. We loaded them and their stuff  into the car and headed south, but instead of following the highway home, we got off at the Richmond exit and took the back roads. We stopped along the Kennebec River in Richmond and that’s where we did our first bird count. Since it was the middle of the day with lots of people around, we did not see a lot of birds, but Chris and Micheal got their first Life Bird when a couple of Chimney Swifts flew over! Birding was off to a good start!
Species seen in Richmond: 6
2. eider at the boat launch-kab As soon as we got home we walked down to the bay where Chris and Micheal added yet another Life Bird: Common Eiders!
Of course we counted birds in my yard as well where they added 20 species!
Chris will have to tell you how many of them were Life Birds for him! I think they were almost all Life Birds for Micheal as he is new to birding and has just started keeping a Life List.
But birding in the yard was not enough. So we took a walk up Mere Point Road to see what we could see. Of course I carried my camera and wore my binoculars, but I was so focused on finding birds that I did not take many pictures. Some of these are cell phone shots and some were taken with my Nikon. Chris got more bird pictures than I did so you will have to read his blog to see all the birds he saw!
3. 6-22-14 Chris looking for bobolinks Chris zooming in on a Bobolink!

4. eagle's nest-kab Across from the Bobolink field a pair of Bald Eagles are nesting.
You can just barely see the tail feathers of an eagle in the right-hand corner of the nest. I have seen two adults and two juveniles in this nest at various times.
5. bobolink-kab Bobolink in flight with food in its beak.
This was one of the few shots I took on this .7 mile walk. We saw 22 species in 1 hour’s time. But we were not done with this first day of birding yet! In the evening we drove to Wharton Point and counted birds along the way on Rossmore and Mere Point Roads, which are yet another eBird Hotspot! Here I know Chris added Ovenbird to his Life List, among others. We counted 14 species along the roads before we hit Wharton Point.
At Wharton Point you stand at the head of Maquoit Bay. Here the guys got a full view of the bay and the birds. Chris and Micheal saw their first ever horseshoe crabs mating in the water. But Chris was focused on the birds, in particular, the Nelson’s Sparrows I had seen just two nights before.
6. horseshoe crabs-kab Horseshoe Crabs at Wharton’s Point 6-22-14
And Chris was able to accomplish what I had not.
He got a shot of the Nelson’s Sparrow!
(click the link to see the photo)
7. 6-22-14 Micheal saves the ocean from yet another stray balloon Meanwhile, Micheal was saving the bay from a stray balloon!
Don’t you know, Balloons Blow!
So, on their first day in Maine, here is how things stacked up:
  • Augusta, ME: 4 species
  • Richmond Maine: 6 species
  • Dresden, Maine: 5 species
  • Rossmore and Mere Point Roads: 4 species
  • Mere Point Cottage: 20 species
  • Mary’s Way/Maquoit Bay: 10 species
  • Rossmore and Mere Point Roads: 22 species
  • Rossmore and Mere Point Roads: 14 species
  • Wharton Point: 26 species
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  1. What an amazing adventure that flew by much too quickly! Thank you for keeping track of all the numbers:) There were a lot of reports filed! Love your Bobolink shot! We also added 8 new life pounds on this trip. Now we're trying to be good and work them off and get back to our "normal" weight:). Lots of good food in Maine! Yum!

    1. Chris, LOL! I am so glad you came and I love seeing Maine through your "eyes." Believe me, it is hard for me to keep it all straight as well, but the photos and the birds lists help spark my memory!

  2. Very cool! Looking forward to more...More...MORE!!!

  3. Kathie, you certainly treated the guys to a wealth of sightings.

    1. Frank, we did have a good time and I got to see some new birds as well!

  4. Certainly looks a great adventure Kathie.

    1. Thanks Roy! I would love to show you around New England if you ever fly over the pond!

  5. Well done Micheal, those balloons are an ecological nightmare :)

    1. Celeste, yes they are! It grieves me to see people who try to commemorate an important event by releasing them into the environment! I'm glad Micheal could snag this one that was bobbing at the edge of the shoreline!


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.