Yearly Archives: 2020

Nov 182020

Pine Grosbeaks

If you travel to University of Maine’s main campus in Orono, drive past the fraternities, the football field, the academic building and the long term parking and you’ll find the “Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden.” Littlefield is world renown for 2,500 woody and herbaceous plants, including 180 lilacs, 150 rhododendrons, 35 magnolias and especially is crabapple trees […]

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Nov 142020

Rare Feeder Visitors

One of the great things about the Birding Community (especially the Maine Birding Community) occurs when a rare bird visits a residential feeder. The homeowner will post visiting directions (park on left side of road, stand behind swing set, etc.) and the Birding crazies will respectfully arrive (wearing masks), wait for the bird . . […]

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Nov 102020

Short-eared Owl

This morning, right after dawn and in heavy fog, I was walking through a blueberry barren when right in front of me a large owl exploded into the air.  I was startled and didn’t get my camera up before the bird disappeared into the fog. Disappointed I continued to hike up the hill when suddenly […]

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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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Birding Blitz, a birding app where you compete against yourself or others to identify as many species of birds as possible within a predefined period & geographical area