Yearly Archives: 2017

Apr 242017

Columbia Riverfront Park (South Carolina)

I work for a company in Columbia, South Carolina and visit every six weeks of so. At the end of a hard day (part of it spent in an airplane), I love to unwind with a little birding along the Columbia Riverfront Park. The park is a walkway that separated the Columbia Canal and Columbia […]

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Apr 2220171 comment

Fieldfare in Newcastle, Maine

Rare Birds in Our Own Backyard With its wide variety of habitat – coastal plain, mixed hardwood and coniferous forest, inland lakes and waterways – Maine attracts a wide variety of birds. Sometimes it lures rarities. This week it snagged two, both firsts for the state (Portland Press Herald). Early in the week an osprey […]

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Apr 172017

Texas Spring Migration (Birding Potpourri)

Today seemed like the day to revisit some of our previous birding sites and check out others recommended by other birders we had met on the trail. Like the population in general, not all birders are friendly. In fact, there are some who make it very clear they are not to be disturbed. But others […]

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Apr 152017

High Island, Texas

High Island, Texas is the Fenway Park or Wrigley Field of Birding . . . a place of tremendous bird diversity, but also a place where the community openly embraces the  hordes of birders that descend on the small town each spring. [ngg src=”galleries” ids=”221″ display=”pro_mosaic”] Warblers continue to be slow in arriving this year, or […]

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Apr 142017

Texas Spring Migration (Bolivar Flats)

As part of our “training” for a Big Year, and more to the point – because winter in Maine has lasted far too long and we are desperate to see some (even one would do!) new birds – we hopped on a plane in Boston and took a trip to the Gulf Coast of Texas. […]

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Apr 112017

Eastern Phoebe

One of our favorite birds that returns each spring is the Eastern Phoebe. The Phoebe arrives early (often with snow still on the ground) and stay around well into the fall. Its lovable and ubiquitous tail flip, raspy repetitive call “phoebe phoebe phoebe phoebe phoebe phoebe” and sudden acrobatic flights to grab an insect makes the […]

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Apr 92017

Snow Bunting

Sometimes when it comes to finding unusual birds, instead of going to birding hot spots . . . one should just drive around doing normal things. Today was a perfect example. Le Garage, a local water front restaurant is closing at the end of the month after 40 years in business and Ingrid and I […]

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Apr 82017

Fox Sparrow Visits

Migrating sparrows are starting to move through Mid-Coast Maine. Our resident Song Sparrow (named Belle) has returned to her stump by the river; I think I briefly caught sight of a White-Throated Sparrow yesterday (not long enough to count it); and we expect to see the first Chipping Sparrow any day. This morning we had […]

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Apr 72017

Return of the Mid-Coast Maine Ospreys

There are lots of signs of spring . . . Robins, Groundhogs, crocuses . . . but in Mid-Coast Maine, we look for these signs too, but Spring really arrives when the Ospreys return!!!! While there are numerous nests in the area . . . there are two that really stand out: Shaws: For as […]

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Mar 312017

Canvasback in Maine

I find a certain sense of excitement when I travel to a new location to see a rare or new bird and upon arriving when the “hunt” begins. As soon a I parked the car, I pulled my binoculars to my eyes . . . and there is was . . . the Canvasback!!!!   […]

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Mar 102017

Great Blue Heron and Northern Shoveler

On a trip to Vermont for a Bed and Breakfast weekend, Ingrid and I made a few stops along the Maine Coast to see what birds might be lurking about. In New England, March is the cruelest of months, with a few signs of spring (melting snow banks, maple sap being tapped for syrup, and […]

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Feb 242017

Great Gray Owl

When most people think of birders, retirees first jump to mind. You know… they’re older, not in the best shape and need a slow-paced hobby to keep them moving and fill their time. While many retirees enjoy birding, people of all ages can be found with binoculars trained to the sky. Many birders hold full […]

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Feb 182017

Northern Shrike

Ingrid has been birding for 20+ years and had never seen a Northern Shrike. This fact has always bothered her . . . to the point that its dribbled into our day to day life: “Ethan, why don’t you ever pick up your socks and how come we never see a Northern Shrike????” The Northern […]

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Feb 162017

Island Scrub Jay

Ingrid and I have just finished digging out from yet another winter storm . . . we’ve had over 4 feet of snow in the last couple weeks which has limited our Maine birding adventures. When snow is up to your arm pits it’s difficult to prowl the woods and fields. Birding from the car […]

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Jan 212017

Ring-necked Ducks

It’s been a mild winter here in Maine and perhaps that’s why we keep seeing out of season birds. So far this month, we’ve seen an Orange-crowned Warbler (rare in Maine); a Northern Flicker (a summer bird); a Snow Goose (rare anytime); a Red-bellied Woodpecker (the bird books say it’s rare . . . but […]

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Jan 172017

Red-throated Loon

We live on a salt-water river on the coast of Maine. Depending how you measure, our house is between 10 and 20 miles of the ocean, but we still have seals and lobster traps in the tidal river. For five and a half hours the river runs one direction and then the tide turns and […]

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Jan 162017

Northern Flicker

Sometimes there really is “No place like home!”. This morning before we headed out for a some local birding, Ingrid spotted a Northern Flicker on our suet feeder. It’s not unusual to see a Northern Flicker in Maine during the Spring, Summer and Fall but seeing one in January is remarkable. We had a similar […]

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Jan 142017

Barrow’s Goldeneye

The Barrow’s Goldeneye has been a bit of a nemesis for us. The Common Golden is a ubiquitous winter duck in Maine . . . we see them everywhere (including from our living room window). A couple times during the last two years we saw a Barrow’s at a distance with a spotting scope, always […]

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Jan 102017

A Trip to Mail-It-For-You

A Christmas Amazon Prime return was an excuse for a trip to Mail-It-For-You . . . Ethan just decided to bring his binoculars and Nikon along (and he took a particularly circuitous route). While he saw nothing unusual for the coast of Maine in January, the birds were posing quite nicely. This was our best photo […]

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Jan 72017

Pink Footed Goose

If you saw the 2011 movie the Big Year, you probably remember the Jack Black’s character’s mission to find the Pink-footed Goose. He just misses the bird at High Island, Texas; then again in Boston; before finally getting him in December at a warm spring on a mountain top in Colorado. The Pink-footed Goose was […]

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Jan 12017

New Years Day Big Day

Our New Years Day Big Day . . . a great way to begin the new year. We started the day by simply counting species from the living and bedrooms in our Wiscasset, Maine home. Our first bird of the year was the Tufted Titmouse, followed quickly by the White-breasted Nuthatch and the Black-capped Chickadee. […]

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