Friday, February 5, 2016

Birding Lincoln County, Maine

Great Blue Heron in pine 9-28-15
 September 28, 2015: I took a drive up through Lincoln County, Maine to count birds at as many places as I could last Fall. I had heard of a place called the Great Salt Bay in Damariscotta, so I decided to bird my way there and check it out. My first stop was just over the bridge in from Bath, Maine in Woolwich.

George Wright Puddle on the Saranosa River 9-28-15
 It is called the George Wright Puddle on eBird and it was my first time birding here. It was very windy this day and I was lucky to see any birds at all. There is a dirt pull-off and parking lot with a public boat launch, but there was also a dirt road that was gated and said no trespassing. That was a bit frustrating as I could see there were ducks and gees feeding among the grasses and reeds up in the bend, but I could not get close enough to see them all. So, I counted what I could see.

European Starlings on Utility Pole
 These starlings we just over my head in the parking lot area.

Double-crested Cormorant in George Wright Puddle

Wiscasset Waterfront 9-28-15
 I stopped briefly at the Wiscasset Waterfront to count birds as well. Mostly there were gulls and cormorants again. You can see how hard the wind was blowing from the way these flags are blowing straight out in the wind!
Bridge over the Sheepscot River in Wiscasset 9-28-15
 Farther up Route 1 I stopped at a roadside rest area known as Sherman Lake. I did not find any birds around the immediate parking lot but a walk down a bit of a dirt road towards the Sheepscot River netted me a few sparrows hiding in the low bushes and some crows and cormorants in the river.

Savannah Sparrow at Sherman Lake 9-28-15

Savannah Sparrow and Song Sparrow hiding in bush.

Cormorants in Sheepscot River
 I finally made it to the Great Salt Bay Farm Preserve around 4:30 PM. There were children and other peole there for some kind of educational and informational program, but it was almost over and I set off on the trails by myself. The sun was sinking lower as I walked the trails through fields to the woods at the edge of the bay. 

Great Salt Bay Farm 9-28-15
 The trail brought me to the waters edge where I was able to peek through and see the bay and the birds that used it. There were dozens of cormorants on the rocks drying in the sun. I only found a couple of chickadees and a downy woodpecker in the woods, but it was late in the day and the wind was still blowing. Farther along the trail I came to a spot where there were some black ducks.

Cormorants and gulls on rock in the Great Salt Bay 9-28-15

American Black Ducks in Marsh
 The biggest surprise was when I spotted a large figure balanced on top of the water. Was it a mermaid???

A seal in the Great Salt Bay

Seal and cormorant in the Great Salt Bay of the Damariscotta River
 I can only guess this seal was sunning itself on a barely submerged rock!

Great Blue Heron in pine tree at the Great Salt Bay Farm Preserve
If I hadn't scanned the trees on the far side of this cove I would never have seen this Great Blue Heron, which blended in perfectly with the silvery bark of this tall, old pine! I had a great time at the Great Salt Bay Farm Preserve and I hope to go back again this year...once the snow has all melted!


Cormorants on rocks in the Great Salt Bay of the Damariscotta River