Monthly Archives: October 2020

Oct 282020

Rufous Hummingbird

Its been quite a week for rare birds in Maine as a Golden-crowned Sparrow appeared in Abbott, a Western Kingbird in Freeport and yesterday a Rufous Hummingbird showed up on a feeder in Yarmouth.  Like the other rarities, the Rufous is is on the wrong side of the country.  They breed in Alaska, the coast […]

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Oct 252020

Common Redpoll

Ran into a flock of Common Redpolls in Freeport today . . . another bird pushed south into Maine from Canada due a sparse cone crop in our northern neighbor’s massive spruce forest. (happens every 4 or 5 years). I was sitting on a stump when I heard them . . . just 25 yards […]

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Oct 252020

Western Kingbird

Today was honey-do day at the Whitaker Estate.  Store summer tires, remove screens, set up humidifiers, fill bird feeders, wash windows . . . basically summer is over and get ready for a Maine winter. Then a Western Kingbird was reported in Freeport . . . a bird rarely seen west of the Mississippi . […]

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Oct 232020

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Four years ago, Ingrid and I were visiting our son in La Grange, CA . . . a town in cow country.  Not long after arriving, I noticed bird on a tree branch in his front yard – it was a lifer, a Golden-crowned Sparrow. In subsequent trips to the west coast, we saw this […]

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Oct 172020

Lapland Longspur

With two weeks to retirement I made a commitment to work really hard and get an important project completed.   Of course that is before I heard there was a Lapland Longspur in a neighboring town . . . it shouldn’t take long. Upon arriving, I startled the Longspur and it circled me three times […]

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Oct 152020

Great Shearwater

Spent Monday’s holiday out on a Mid-October pelagic trip (off the coast of Maine). A couple hours out . . . it was very cold and rough. Saw hundreds of Great Shearwaters. This bird only comes to land to breed (on islands in the South Atlantic). The rest of its life is spent on the […]

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Oct 82020

Peregrine Falcon

Out early yesterday morning looking for sparrows that are starting to migrate through in big numbers. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye was a fast  moving shadow coming right at me.  I swung the camera around a got some great shots of a Peregrine Falcon flying right over me. Scare the hell out […]

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Oct 52020

Red-headed Woodpecker

The Red-headed Woodpecker was once relatively common from New York to Florida and then to the mid-west.  But their population has been declining for many years due to habitat loss and a habit of flying into cars as they dash into the road to catch insects. But they have never been common in Maine and […]

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Oct 22020

Pine Siskins Return in Numbers

During the winter of 2017, our bird feeders were invaded by hundreds of Pine Siskins.  These birds look so much like gold finches that if they had visited before I got the birding bug . . . I may never have noticed but in 2017 I realized it was something special.  The last one left […]

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Oct 22020

Sparrow Migration Season Has Begun

When I started birding . . . all sparrows looked alike.  They were brown, with stripes on their head and bellies . . . and they all looked alike.   Slowly, very, very slowly I’ve been able to tell the difference and now look forward to the sparrows moving south in the fall. Today I […]

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