Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Harpswell Yard Birds

DSC_0797 Black-capped Chickadee 8-31-2015 Harpswell, Maine

Though we moved into this new house in mid-August, it wasn’t until the end of the month that I started photographing birds, since first I took a trip to Connecticut to help my mom out and to pick up my cats and bring them back with me. My cats are strictly indoor cats so they can watch the birds but they cannot harm them. Here are just some of the 60+ species of birds I have seen since moving into this house. I have been amazed at how quickly the list has grown after a very slow start. Fall migration has helped a lot and I have seen several birds species only once as they passed by on their way through. Of course, since this is Maine, there are always chickadees!

Each species was seen in or from this yard and I have posted their pictures with the date each photo was taken beneath, though this is not necessarily the first date that species was observed. You can see the full list of species at the end of this post.

DSC_0800 Black-capped Chickadee 8-31-15

DSC_0802 Magnolia Warbler 9-1-15

DSC_0805 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9-1-15

DSC_0806 Song Sparrow 9-1-15

DSC_0812 Tufted Titmouse (juvenile) 9-1-15

DSC_0814 Blue Jay 9-1-15

DSC_0840 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-1-15

DSC_0875Since moving to Harpswell I have seen several stray cats in this yard hunting my feeders and the little critters that live here. Cats kill millions of songbirds each year and do not belong outdoors. I have noticed that this does affect the number of ground feeding birds in this yard. I photographed this one on September 3rd.

DSC_0876 Black-and-White Warbler in the birch tree 9-4-15


DSC_0892 NOHA Northern Harrier flyover 9-7-15

DSC_1013 American Goldfinches 9-20-15

It is no secret that I love woodpeckers and I have seen several species in this yard. I do not have photos of the Pileated Woodpeckers or Northern Flickers I have seen here, but I was so pleased to have the following species drop by during migration!

DSC_1060 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the bird tree 9-24-15


DSC_1066 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker trying to hide 9-24-15

DSC_1069 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Red-bellied woodpecker 9-24-15

DSC_1070 Two red-bellied woodpeckers and 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 9-24-15

DSC_1074 Tufted Titmouse 9-24-15

DSC_1075 Downy Woodpecker 9-24-15

DSC_1078 White-throated Sparrow 9-25-15

DSC_1080 Male House Finch 9-25-15

It was over a month before I saw a House Finch here. Now there is a pair that shows up sporadically.

DSC_1089 Red-bellied Woodpecker 9-26-15

DSC_1176 Downy Woodpecker 10-10-15

And just last week I had a big surprise when a pair of migrating Baltimore Orioles plopped down into the fruit trees in the front yard. I was sitting in my chair near a downstairs window and I was shocked, especially when I realized my camera was all the way upstairs! I was hoping they would stay there and they did. I managed to take these pictures through the upstairs window before they flew off!

DSC_1208 Baltimore Oriole 10-16-15

DSC_1210 Baltimore Oriole 10-16-15

DSC_1211 Baltimore Oriole looking for insects 10-16-15

Harpswell Yard Life List

  1. Herring Gull, 7-7-2015
  2. Common Tern
  3. Northern Flicker
  4. Red-eyed Vireo
  5. American Crow
  6. Gray Catbird
  7. Ovenbird
  8. Common Yellowthroat
  9. Song Sparrow
  10. Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 8-14-15
  11. American Goldfinch
  12. Dobule-crested Cormorant, 8-15-15 (our first full day in this huse)
  13. Red-shouldered Hawk
  14. downy Woodpecker
  15. Blue-headed Vireo
  16. Blue Jay
  17. Common Raven
  18. Black-capped Chickadee
  19. White-breasted Nuthatch
  20. Tufted Titmouse, 8-16-15
  21. Canada Goose, 8-17-15
  22. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  23. American Robin
  24. Cedar Waxwing
  25. Black-and-white Warbler
  26. Osprey
  27. Wilson’s Warbler, 8-18-15
  28. Mourning Dove, 8-19-15
  29. Belted Kingfisher
  30. Eastern Wood Pewee (then I was gone for 9 days)
  31. Pileated Woodpecker, 8-28-15
  32. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  33. American Redstart, 8-30-15
  34. Black-throated Green Warbler
  35. Great Blue Heron, 9-1-15
  36. Magnolia Warbler
  37. Hairy Woodpecker
  38. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  39. Chestnut-sided Warbler
  40. Cooper’s Hawk, 9-2-15
  41. Carolina Wren
  42. Brown Creeper, 9-3-15
  43. Northern Parula
  44. Northern Cardinal 9-4-15
  45. Philadelphia Vireo
  46. Northern Harrier, 9-7-15
  47. Peregrine Falcon, 9-15-15
  48. Broad-winged hawk, 9-16-15
  49. Eastern Phoebe, 9-17-15
  50. Nashville Warbler, 9-18-15
  51. Bald Eagle, 9-21-15
  52. Dark-eyed Junco
  53. Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 9-22-15
  54. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 9-24-15
  55. White-throated Sparrow, 9-25-15
  56. House Finch
  57. Red-tailed Hawk, 10-1-15
  58. Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle), 10-2-15
  59. Sharp-shinned Hawk, 10-3-15
  60. Palm Warbler (yellow)
  61. Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 10-4-15
  62. Turkey Vulture, 10-8-15
  63. White-crowned Sparrow
  64. Common Grackle, 10-12-15
  65. Merlin, 10-15-15
  66. Baltimore Oriole, 10-16-15

It is interesting to note that in a little over 2 months I have seen almost as many birds in this yard as I did in 18 months in my Tucson Yard, where I saw 69 species of birds before I moved back here to Maine.

Here are how My Yards Lists Compare

Yard Years Number of Species
Sycamore Canyon April 2007 thru August 2010 83
Andover Yard October 2010 thru August 2012 65
Tucson Yard September 2012 thru January 2014 69
Mere Point Yard February 2014 thru August 2015 117
Harpswell Yard August 2015 to present* 66

*I counted birds for 15 minutes on one day in July when we first looked at this house, but my actual day to day counting did not start until August 14th in the evening.


  1. ...you have the birds! (Love the first chickadee shot...they always melt my heart...)

    1. Kelly, thank you! I love chickadees as well!

    2. Kelly, thank you! I love chickadees as well!


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.