Thursday, February 19, 2015

Winter Birding in Wiscasset

DSC_0001 Mallards and gulls in Wiscasset, Maine 2-7-15

February 7, 2015: I was tired of being confined indoors by injuries and weather. Saturday morning started out sunny and blue, but by the time Gus and I headed out for a drive north along the coast of Maine the clouds had rolled in once again giving the world that winter gray look. I wanted to go someplace new. At this point I did not even care if I saw birds. I just wanted to see someplace new. However, we stopped in Wiscasset along the way to count the birds in a little cove I discovered after moving here last year. When we were here last year a man drove up with a sack of feed and poured grain all over the ground. This time there was much more snow cover, but I could see where someone had poured grain out for the ducks and gulls once again.

DSC_0003 I had not seen a Hooded merganser yet this year and I remembered that I had seen one in the cove last year, so I had my eyes open as we came down the hill. the little inland cove was almost entirely frozen over, but in a small pool of open water I saw one female Hooded merganser. Gus pulled over and parked so I could get out, but she took off before I could get her picture. However, the gulls and mallards sleeping on the causeway were not the least concerned by my presence.

DSC_0005 Out in the open water I spotted a male Common Goldeneye.


DSC_0006 There were a few Herring gulls mixed in with the Ring-billed Gulls.


DSC_0010 Common Goldeneye, Mallards and a female Bufflehead all swimming together.


DSC_0011 I just love this picture of a Ring-billed Gull roosting in the snow.

It seems so odd to see birds we associate with beaches and summer in winter and in snow. If you know anything about snow and air temp, you know that snow is actually warmer than the winter air, especially when the wind is blowing! It was very cold on this day. This gull almost looks warm!

DSC_0016 While House Sparrows are common all over the United States, I find it hard to find them here in Maine! I wanted to get them on my Big January Bird List, but never saw one anywhere in Brunswick or Topsham or even in Lisbon, Maine. But, here on a side street in Wiscasset down by the water’s edge, I found a flock of 50 House sparrows! My First of the year for this species! Wiscasset is in Lincoln county, so this was my first time counting in Lincoln County this year as well. Every bird I saw was new for the year here, so I was quite happy to find a few robins, Blue Jays, Crows and House Finches as well.

DSC_0018 I also spotted a couple of Mourning Doves in a nearby tree.

We spent about 20 minutes here before heading north to find more birds on this gray and cold winter’s day. Here is the list of birds I counted in Wiscasset on Saturday, 2-7-15:

  1. Mallard—44
  2. American Black Duck—1
  3. Bufflehead—2
  4. *Common Goldeneye—1 male
  5. *Hooded Merganser—1 female
  6. Herring Gull—3
  7. Ring-billed Gull—18
  8. Rock Pigeon—4
  9. Mourning Dove—2
  10. *Hairy Woodpecker—1
  11. Blue Jay—1
  12. American Crow—1
  13. Black-capped Chickadee—1
  14. *White-breasted Nuthatch—1
  15. American Robin—1
  16. American Goldfinch—1
  17. House Sparrow—50
  18. *Bald Eagle—1 seen while driving north in New Castle
  19. *Pileated Woodpecker—seen while driving north in Nobleboro

*New Species on my Lincoln County Life List which stands at 48 species now with the addition of these 6 new species!

Next it was North to Rockland and Owls Head!

DSC_0020 House Sparrows in Treetop, Wiscasset, ME 2-7-15


  1. LOVE the shot of the Gull in the snow!!!

  2. Kathie, With all that snow and ice I just wonder how all the species will cope.

    Always nice to see when you add new species to a particular list. I had to drive 56 miles last Sunday just to add a few waders etc to my year list!

    1. Frank, the things we do to see birds! I hope you are getting a nice list this year! Mine is woefully behind, but I keep on trying!

  3. Hi Kathie, I bet it felt good to get out and see all these wonderful birds.

  4. You are doing well this year for new species. Great shots and be careful when you are out

    1. Thank you Margaret. I am trying to be very careful.


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.