Yearly Archives: 2018

Dec 3120181 comment

Birding the Lower Rio Grande Valley

Before I began birding . . . my visits to Texas were on business: Houston, Dallas and as an occasional layover at an airport. When I thought about Texas it was Roger Staubach; Tim Duncan and Nolan Ryan or in the political vein Bush ’41, Bush ’43 and Ted Cruz. Then my wife got me into […]

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Dec 2920181 comment

Coyote kills White Pelican

As we watch birds . . . I often forget that I am watching wild animals that regularly kill and are killed for food.  Yesterday on a birding boat trip near South Padres Island, Texas . . . we watched a coyote consume at White Pelican that it had killed.  Horrific in many ways but […]

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Dec 2820181 comment

Birding the Lower Rio Grande Valley (Quinta Mazatlan)

With nearby National Wildlife Refuge closed due to the Government Shutdown over “the Wall”, we changed plans and headed an hour west to Quinta Mazatlan, A 1930’s country estate in the heart of McAllen, Texas. Quinta Mazatlan is an historic Spanish Revival adobe hacienda surrounded by lush tropical landscaping & native woodland. A unique conference & […]

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Dec 212018

Brants

There is nothing like a storm to introduce unexpectant birds to an area. With heavy rains and high winds sweeping up the east coast . . . I managed to get to Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth, Maine about a half hour before sunset. The rain was pelting and the fog was heavy so it […]

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Dec 152018

Christmas Time White Pelican in New Hampshire

American White Pelicans winter in Mexico and southern parts of California, Texas and Florida.  During the summer they can be found in the Dakotas, Montana, Oregon, Northern California, Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Last week one appeared in Maine for a few days . . . and today it showed up on the coast of New Hampshire. […]

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Dec 152018

Ring-necked Ducks

Cold weather, work and Christmas demands have limited our birding . . . but managed to get out at sunrise this morning.  I briefly saw what I think was a Northern Shrike . . . but my view wasn’t good/long enough to call it as a first of the year sighting. The rest of the […]

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Dec 132018

Looking for a Barrows Goldeneye

With 19 days left in the year . . . I’ve been trying to chase the few birds regularly seen in Maine that Ingrid and I haven’t been able to check off.  Today I was looking for the Barrows Goldeneye but stuck out again. Still I managed to see some nice birds and take a […]

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Dec 82018

Juvenile Bald Eagle

A Black-backed Woodpecker is being reported in a nearby town . . . a bird that lives in the Northern Maine and Canadian Boreal forests.  I’ve only seen once back in 2015.   At lunch I drove over to look for him. Saw lots of Woodpeckers (including a rare for Maine Red-bellied) but no luck […]

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Dec 72018

Common Goldeneyes

I’ve seen a number of Common Goldeneyes in the last month but always at an extreme distance.  Today I saw a half dozen not too far from a busy part of Route 1 in Woolwich and decided to stop and try to get some photos.  Not long after I pulled over and started snapping away, […]

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Dec 42018

Brown Creeper

Most Decembers are a quiet time for birding in Maine . . . but this year Maine is the Big Year Destination of the country as the Great Black Hawk continues to hang out in Deering Oaks Park in Portland.  Ingrid and drove through Portland yesterday and at least a dozen birders were watching the […]

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Nov 292018

Great Black Hawk Returns

One of our biggest disappointments of 2018 has been missing the Great Black Hawk that appeared in Maine this summer, until today.  A native of Southern and Central America . . . the bird is rarely seen in the United States.  During the first week of August a juvenile Great Black Hawk appeared in Biddeford […]

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Nov 292018

Late Migrators and Winter Sea Birds

Birded at Bug Light in South Portland, a park that juts into Casco with a view of Portland Harbor.  After lots of snow, the weather was mild and the water was calm and saw lots of the winter sea birds (Common Loon, Long-tailed Ducks, Surf Scoters and Common Loons). But the real thrill of a […]

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Nov 272018

Dreary Day and Few Birds

At lunch today I drove around the area . . . birding from the car hoping to see something with feather to brighten up a cold, damp and dreary day.  I saw virtually nothing  . . . a Red-tailed Hawk and a Hooded Merganser.  The Hoody brightened my day a bit . . . I […]

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Nov 252018

White-throated Sparrow

No birding today, honey-do projects and a bit of work-work kept me inside.  But lots of birds could be seen through the window, including a Brown Creeper, a Golden-crowned Kinglet and White-throated Sparrow.  We’ve never seen a WTS this late in the year. [ngg src=”galleries” ids=”164″ display=”pro_mosaic”]

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Nov 232018

Snow Buntings arrive

This afternoon Ingrid and I headed out to get out the Christmas Tree . . . yes I know it’s only November 23rd . . .  but we’re busy the next couple weekends . . . and frankly we’re a couple kids that really love Christmas. On the way, a flock of Snow Buntings flew […]

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Nov 222018

Finally an Evening Grosbeak

Periodically the cone trees of the Canadian Boreal Forests don’t produce the cones that they normally do and the Pine Siskins, Redpolls and Grosbeaks descend into the United States . . . much to the delight of birders and bird feeders.  Three winters ago the dominate bird on our feeders was the Pine Siskin . […]

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Nov 202018

An Hour of Incredible Birding

I had been working since 5:00 am and about 1:45 I knew I needed a break.  I had to pick Ingrid up at 3:00 so I knew I only had an hour to bird.   I headed to Pond Cove . . . a place I had gotten a Yellow Warbler and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet […]

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Nov 182018

Snowy Owl

Ingrid and I were driving home from a short and disappointing birding outing to Butler Head (lots of Scaups and Golden Eyes at a distance)  when we saw a large bird take the to sky not far from our Subaru Outback.  At first glance we thought it was an Eagle or Hawk and then we […]

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Nov 142018

Harlequin Ducks are Back

Winter in Maine can suck . . . it’s long, dark, cold and the variety of birds drops dramatically.  But the few birds that share  winter with Ingrid and me can be quite spectacular. Case in point, saw the first rafts of Harlequin Ducks today . . . mostly the stunning males . . . […]

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Nov 122018

Savannah Sparrow

Ingrid had the day off for Veteran’s Day, so we got to go lunch time birding together on a week day . . . a real treat. Unfortunately last night was the first hard freeze of the season and the ponds had ice on them . . . and late shorebirds and warblers that have […]

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Nov 82018

Yellow Warbler in November???

Yesterday I posted that most of the birds migrating through Maine were gone . . . then this morning while birding at Pond Cove in Cape Elizabeth, Maine . . . a Yellow Warbler flew right in front of me and I followed her for 10 minutes. One of the first warblers to leave during […]

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Nov 72018

Surf Scoter

Most of the birds that migrate from or through Maine in the fall seem to be gone . . . an occasional heron, a few yellow-rumps or a vulture seem to be all that is left.  But as the summer birds disappear, the winter birds begin to arrive. Today I saw the first Ring-necked Duck, […]

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Nov 72018

Birding after Voting

As usual I’m behind on a programming project and it’s raining . . . so I couldn’t justify an early morning birding outing.  But today is Election Day and I couldn’t help but scoot over to nearby Fort Edgecomb for 15 minutes of birding. As soon as I got out of the car . . […]

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Nov 42018

Cattle Egret

Ten days ago, when riding the train from the Tampa Airport to the rental car terminal, I spotted two Cattle Egrets in a field.  The glimpse was too short to get my camera out of my carry-on . . . and thus disappointing . . . I try to get photos of most of my […]

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