Ever since moving to Maine I have heard of Biddeford Pool on eBird and the Maine Birds Facebook page. It is a legendary birding hotspot and is well known as THE PLACE to go and see snowy owls in winter. I had been here for a year now and have never birded Biddeford Pool. So, when my birthday rolled around that was my birthday wish…to bird Biddeford Pool!
This was my first look at the ocean from along Ocean Avenue in Biddeford Pool. Biddeford Pool appears to be a neighborhood of fancy homes along Maine’s rocky coast near Saco. The roads are narrow with no parking signs everywhere. The haze you see at the bottom of this photo if from me trying to shoot a photo over the very high snow banks that lined the road. Gus found a small parking spot and I got out of the car and walked down the road that was covered with rapidly melting snow. This was the first warm day in a very long time and the temperature went to the mid 30’s to 40 degrees! I had to dodge or wade through quite a few puddles.
Is that perhaps a seal on the right between 2 cormorants?
There is an inlet where water flows in and out of the pool and there is a public parking area here called Vine’s Landing where one can launch a small boat or kayak. Here the water is flowing swiftly and I spotted another horned grebe diving and fishing. I am not sure what it is that it came up with, but I captured this series of photos of the bird with food in its beak.
I never did find a snowy owl here, but now that I know my way, perhaps I will go back again. Biddeford pool is a little over an hour south of where I live and I hear there is an Audubon site there where one can hike out to a point along the ocean. A very rare Surf Bird has been spotted there lately, the first ever seen in Maine, but I have not had time to go see it for myself. Though, hopefully all this snow is melted by now!
Gus took me out to breakfast in Westbrook on my birthday, then we went shopping at the Wildbirds Unlimited store in South Portland where I bought a new bird feeding platform to go with my feeder pole system. We finished the day at Biddeford Pool where I counted all these birds. The Great Cormorants and the Horned Grebes were my First of the Year for those species!
Below are just a couple of the numerous eBird Hotspots for Biddeford Pool:
- Biddeford Pool—an eBird Hotspot
My birthday feeder platform with Common Redpolls 2-23-15