Friday, January 22, 2016

More Birds from Mitchell Field

The piers at Mitchell Field 9-8-15
 Whenever I go to Mitchell Field I have to start at the top of the road which is off Route 123 in south Harpswell. Since Mitchell Field is only 1/2 Mile from the end of my road, it makes it very easy to bird here often. When I first moved to Harpswell last summer there had only been about 11 eBird checklists submitted for this location. Since then I have done my best to add to that data, but birding at Mitchell Field is a pleasure. It is a place I go to to clear my mind and get lost in nature.

The blue water tower
 Whenever you drive into Mitchell Field you have to drive past this blue water tower. Keep your eyes open when passing, because lots of birds like to hang out around this water tower, especially in the summer and fall. I have yet to experience spring at Mitchell Field. So far this winter, most of the birds I am seeing are down near the shore. 
The top of the road.
 It has been too cold for me to walk the .7 mile road that is plowed in winter. The two mile trail that loops along the perimeter of the property is not plowed, but so far this winter the snow is not deep so some people walk it anyways.

Parking at the bottom of the field.
 In the summer I liked to park in the shade beneath this tree, but this area is not plowed in winter either. During the summer they have concerts every Sunday at that gazebo. I had to remember that Sunday afternoons are not the best time to bird at Mitchell Field! But, the concerts were nice and it was nice to see the community come out and enjoy this place.

Cormorants and gulls on the pier.
 I usually drive to the shore, park, and start birding. I always like to see what birds are hanging out on the pier and in the water. During the summer this pier is covered with cormorants, gulls, and pigeons. Sometimes I would see starlings out there as well. 

The mini estuary on the beach.
 There is a public beach, but it is very rocky, though once you get in the water, there is sand beneath your feet. A small creek flows into Middle Bay here, and during low tide many of the birds gather here to feed and drink the fresh water.

Osprey 9-15-15
 Except for the winter, it is not unusual to see an osprey fly overhead!

Canada Geese flying in 9-15-15
 Canada Geese like to take advantage of the estuary as well!

Canada Geese

Coming in for a landing

Sharing the beach with the gulls.

Contentment at the shore.
 I have seen Herring Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Bonaparte Gulls, Common Terns and even a Black-legged Kittywake here! It's all about timing, but there were more gulls here during summer and fall. Now their numbers have diminished for the winter.

Semipalmated Sandpiper 9-18-15
 I have not seen many shorebirds at Mitchell Field. This little Semipalmated Sandpiper was the first I had ever seen here and it is the only one I have ever seen here. So far I have not recorded any other sandpipers or plovers here.

Yellow-rumped warbler 9-16-15
 However, Mitchell Field is thick with warblers during migration. I saw hundreds of Yellow-rumped warblers in the fields and hedgerows this fall. It will be interesting to see what spring will bring! But, if you check the eBird Hotspot list you will see that other birders have reported many warbler species here.

Yellow-rumped Warbler 9-16-15

Gray Catbird 9-18-15
 Catbirds were a commonly seen species during the summer and fall.

Common Loon in Middle Bay as seen from Mitchell Field shore.
 The loons started to show up around the middle of September.

Common Loon 9-18-2015

Juvenile Double-crested Cormorant 9-18-15
 I saw Double-crested Cormorants here all summer and fall. I have yet to see a Great Cormorant hanging around, however. But I keep hoping! This juvenile Double-crested Cormorant almost tricked me because it was so big and fat, but it is still just a double-crested cormorant!

Yellow-rumped warblers 9-29-15
 Autumn at Mitchell Field was very picturesque. I loved walking the perimeter trail.

Autumn Yellow-rumped Warbler with berries 9-29-15
 Below are some of the other birds I saw at various times during fall migration.

A very poor picture of a White-crowned sparrow seen along the pier 10-6-15

Common Yellowthroat female seen along the pier 10-6-15

Savannah Sparrow seen in the sumac along the pier during fall migration, 10-6-15
I love to go birding at Mitchell Field!



  1. Lovely sightings and I can see why you enjoy it. Happy weekend to you Kathie.

  2. Wonderful selection of bird pohtographs Kathie. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you, Margaret. I hope to get out and do some more birding!

  3. A good facility for birding Kathie, I can see why you like it.

  4. Beautiful area to go birding. Enjoy the outdoors. Each day is a new adventure!!!


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.