Yearly Archives: 2019

Dec 252019

Sanderlings Celebrate a Maine Christmas

It’s always fun to see warm weather birds during a cold Maine winter.  In the last few weeks I’ve seen a Kildeer and a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Reports of a Baltimore Oriole and a Yellow-throated Warbler have come in from distant parts of the state. Yesterday when Ingrid and I were birding a Reid State Park […]

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Dec 242019

Bald Eagles at the Dump

What do I do on a warm Christmas Eve morning?   I drive an hour to the Hatch Hill Landfill in Augusta, Maine in search of a Juvenile Golden Eagle being seen there. The Augusta “Dump” is known for a large number of Bald Eagles that congregate during the winter but I was unprepared for […]

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Dec 182019

Purple Sandpipers

During a short lunch break I was scoping in a Horned Grebe swimming near some ocean front rocks when a some moving objects began distorting my view.  I adjusted the the lens and low and behold eight Purple Sandpipers were moving around on the rocks. I had never seen Purples that close and near such […]

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Dec 142019

Glaucous Gull

Another rain and wind storm hit the Maine Coast today causing massive flooding and power outages.  Ingrid and I spent the morning working on various projects and by afternoon we both needed to get out . . . the perfect excuse to bird. We travelled to East Boothbay and did the Ocean Point loop hoping […]

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Dec 122019

Reid State Park after Storm

Took a long lunch break  . . . I’m so far behind on a programming project that it doesn’t matter . . . and visited Reid State Park the day after a two day winter storm. The surf was incredible and lots of birds had been driven closer to shore than usual . . . […]

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Dec 12019

Our Son’s California Neighborhood

Our son, Bradley and his fiancé Tanner live in Diamond Bar, California . . . a bedroom community 40 minutes southeast of Los Angeles. As seems to happen every time Ingrid and I travel somewhere warm . . . it was unseasonably cold . . . in the high 30s at night (snow in the […]

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Nov 292019

Birding The Salton Sea

With the arrival of European Settlers and modern agriculture, the Colorado River was harnessed via levies and canals and the lake bed became dry with some winter melt runoff. Then in 1905 an irrigation canal broke and the Colorado River poured into the lake bed for two years creating the “Salton Sea”.   In the […]

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Nov 222019

Dickcissel in Maine

The Dickcissel is a bird typically found during the summer in Mid-Western States like Missouri and Nebraska before heading to the tropics in the Fall. Over the last month there have been a number of Dickcissel sightings in various locations in Maine.  I have chased them but had not luck.   This week one has […]

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Nov 172019

American Pipit

This weekend has been beautiful, if unseasonably cold.  With Ingrid busy doing class work I did some pretty heavy birding.  With the winter birds arriving and some late migrators hanging around . . . I had fun. Late on Sunday after a couple hours at Reid State Park I was getting in the car when […]

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Nov 152019

Winter Sea Birds Have Arrived

Winter in Maine is long, cold and dark and for a birder spring migration seems a long way away. But along the coast there are a lot of winter sea birds to keep us company. Yesterday I saw my first Harlequin Ducks of the season (dozens and dozens of them). My first Long-tailed Duck. And […]

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Oct 232019

Ruddy Ducks in Maine

Ruddy Ducks occasionally are seen in Maine during migration . . . but not very often . . . except . .  Each year on a large Pond in the center of the State, hundreds of Ruddy Ducks descend upon Sabattus Lake to feast on Chinese Mystery Snails . . . an invasive species that […]

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Oct 202019

Birding after the Storm

Four days ago, Maine was hit by a destructive wind storm that knocked out power for days.   The winds remained high until yesterday when it was finally safe to explore the woods for birds (fallout conditions???). Nothing extraordinary was seen . . . but Ingrid found a rare (for Maine) Red-bellied Woodpecker in a […]

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Oct 62019

Birding in Puerto Rico

I was in Puerto Rico part of this week on business . . . and as I grow older business travel is becoming just plain miserable. Once I learned of the trip, poor Ingrid (my wonderful and under appreciated wife) . . . in order to get me to shut up and quit whining suggested […]

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Sep 302019

Monhegan Island

Monhegan Island is a relatively small island ten miles off the coast of Maine. While only a little over a mile and a half long and under three quarters of a mile wide . . . it has endless well maintained trails through a variety of habitat . . . and is one of the […]

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Sep 242019

Black Skimmers in Maine

A couple weeks ago, Hurricane Dorian swept up the eastern seaboard after devastating parts of the Bahamas. Its often overlooked the effect that a big storm has on wildlife and this week birders along the coast of Maine have been reminded of this fact. Black Skimmers are peculiar looking bird that uses their enormous bill […]

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Sep 162019

Marsh Wren

This morning I was looking for migrating warbler at a local hots spot (Butler head) when I started hearing a weird gurgling sound from the nearby marsh.  It was a happy sound coming from a handful of location across the quarter mile expanse of reeds. As listened I began to suspect a Wren and putting […]

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Sep 152019

The Pelagic Trip from Hell

For us, one of the highlights of September each year (other than the return of the New England Patriots) is Maine Audubon’s Deep Sea Pelagic Trip.  In years past we’ve seen Jaeger, Shearwaters and Skuas up close and personal while sharing comradely with other birders. Yesterday’s trip was completely different. . . the seas were […]

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Sep 32019

Merlin vs. Semipalmated Sandpiper

This afternoon I was birding at Timber Trail in Biddeford.   Didn’t see much until I was heading back to the car. I was looking at some Peeps with my binoculars when they all flew at once as a falcon buzzed them.  I tracked the attacker back to a power pole . . . and […]

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Aug 292019

Searching for a Western Sandpiper

As shorebird migration continues all around us . . . I’ve spent a lot of time looking for a Western Sandpiper in the thousands of peeps. The Western Sandpiper, true to its name, rarely migrates through New England. Last year I got one late in October and a number of them have been sighted this […]

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Aug 242019

Birding in Casco Bay

Several months ago, Jeff (our financial advisor) offered to take us out into Casco Bay for a little pelagic birding.   After several “no goes” due to scheduling conflicts we finally found a Friday that works for both of us. When it comes to the birds of Maine, offshore is my real weakness.  The birds […]

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Aug 162019

Marbled Godwit

This is one of the two Marbled Godwits that have been hanging around the lagoon at Popham Beach State Park for the last couple days. The lagoons are roped off this summer for dune restoration so I was only able to observe one of the birds at a distance with a scope . . . […]

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Aug 112019

American Oystercatcher

This morning Ingrid and I went to a Maine Audubon Lecture and Birdwalk on Shorebirds. Led by staff Naturalist Doug Hitchcox, we learned a lot. At the beginning of Birdwalk, four American Oystercatchers flew in and fed for about 15 minutes. Only our second sighting of this species in Maine (I have searched for it […]

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Aug 92019

Northern Bobwhite

Off and on this summer there have been reports of people hearing Bobwhites in the Newagen neighborhood of Southport. In years past, I have heard a single Bobwhite calling over at Green Point in Dresden . . . clearly a hunter release bird that disappeared after a few days (as do Pheasants and Chukars). Anyway, […]

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Aug 22019

Pectoral Sandpiper

Only a very ill person would set his alarm for 4:30 a.m. so he could drive an hour north (before work) to get a Pectoral Sandpiper. Imagine this image: The alarm goes off. Ingrid: Where are you going birding? Ethan: Weaskeag Mash Ingrid: That’s an hour away . . . you’re crazy. Anyway, the Marsh […]

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