Friday, February 20, 2015

Winter Birding in Rockland and Owls Head

1. rockland harbor-kab Rockland Harbor, Maine 2-7-15

After leaving Wiscasset on February 7th we drove north to Rockland, Maine. I have not been here to bird since moving back to Maine and I have never birded here as an eBirder. I was hoping to find a new Life Bird, like maybe a murre or a Razorbill, or a dovekie! But that was not to be. The cold and gray and wind continued and while I did see birds, I did not see anything new.

DSC_0022 Herring Gull on a chimney 2-7-15

After the long drive we stopped at a fast food restaurant first to grab a quick bite to eat. These hungry and tired gulls watched us from the chimney stacks and rooftops hoping for a scrap of food tossed aside by anyone.



DSC_0030 Down at the harbor we found even more gulls and some ducks.


DSC_0032 Long-tailed Duck in Rockland Harbor 2-7-15


DSC_0039 Common Loon in Rockland Harbor

Next it was on to Owls Head, a place I had heard of but never visited.

8a. dark skies at owls head 2-7-15It was late in the day when we finally arrived at Owls Head Harbor and the sky was heavy with the pending storm. I did not know where to go, so I just followed the birds! There were robins flying all around in the trees and i could see water ahead, so Gus drove me closer and stayed in the car while I got out to photograph birds. I wanted to walk out on this pier, but was not sure it was okay for me to do it, so I stayed on the road and walked around the parking lot instead. If I could have gone out there I think I might have seen more birds, but I did not know who to ask.

DSC_0043 Common Eider’s in Owls Head Harbor


DSC_0049 Herring Gull on the shore of Owl’s Head Harbor


DSC_0055 Great Black-backed Gull on the beach of Owl’s Head Harbor

After driving around in a monochromatic world, finding a shed  wall covered in colorful buoys was almost a shock to the system!

DSC_0058Lobster buoys on a shed wall in Owl’s Head Harbor 2-7-15

We tried to drive up to the Owls Head State Park and Lighthouse but while the road to the park was plowed, the path to the shore was not and I dared not risk walking out there in the deep snow with my still healing dislocated shoulder. It is so frustrating to me to find myself so limited like this, but I am doing the best I can not to let it get the best of me, and I still keep going out to see and count birds whenever I can! The constant storms, low temperatures and high winds restrict me even further, but there are always birds out my windows and once in awhile I find something new, like the Bohemian Waxwings I found in Brunswick, Maine just a few days later. Still, I had a fun day out with my husband and I enjoyed seeing and finding new places to bird. I hope to go back when the weather and my arm improve. I know there is another Life Bird out there just waiting for me somewhere!

Birds seen in Knox County on 2-7-15:

  1. *Red-tailed HawkThomaston
  2. *Ring-billed Gull
  3. Herring Gull
  4. *Rock Pigeon
  5. *American Crow
  6. *American Black DuckRockland
  7. *Mallard
  8. Common Eider
  9. *Long-tailed Duck
  10. *Bufflehead
  11. *Common Loon
  12. Great Black-backed Gull
  13. *Surf ScoterOwls Head Harbor
  14. *American Robin

*New Knox County Life Birds

I had only birded in Knox County one time before, and that was last year when Chris Rohrer was here and we took a boat ride out to Eastern Egg Rock to see Puffins. I recorded my first 11 bird species in this county on that day, but I paid a dear price for it as I got very seasick on the boat. While it was a cold and gray day here today, it was much better than being so seasick.  Today’s birding added 11 new species to my Knox County Life List for a total of 22 species. I hope to add more as I dream of summer birding here later this year!

shed and shack at owl's head 2-7-15


  1. Katie Malawi is a land locked country in Africa and yes those are Crocodiles in my post. If you tune in tomorrow you will see them moving. Love the shot with the colourful buoys. your shots of the GBB gull looks more like our lesser Black backed gull in colour. Loved all the birds you found in the harbour especially the Diver and L T duck.

  2. Hi Kathie, I am glad you are able to get out and do some birding. This winter is awful.. Great sighting of the Long-tailed Duck, Loon and the Eider.. The buoys are colorful. Happy Birding!

  3. Not even snow and cold weather is stopping you now Kathie.{:))
    It still looking very wintery.

  4. Hi Kathie. Good on you for braving the conditions to get those lovely shots and adding species to your Knox County list.
    Long-tailed Duck is one of my favourites but not often seen around the south coast in winter.

    BTW my year tally is now 101 having visited a coastal marsh last weekend in far better weather than you are experiencing (see most recent post).

  5. Kathie, you have no idea how excited I get when I see pictures of the sea with snow in the background and birds in the foreground. Water adds so much unique bird life to the dull winter landscape. We get to experience this in Duluth and along the North Shore of Lake Superior--such good ducks and gulls show up in the winter. I absolutely love birding the big water this time of year because of them.

    Those drake Common Eiders are simply spectacular as is that Long-tailed Duck. Astonishing waterfowl! And that lobster buoy photo is incredibly fun. Great post.

  6. It does look cold! You are doing wonders to go out in such conditions to count and photograph the birds.


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.