Yearly Archives: 2020

May 62020

Spring Migration Explodes

On Saturday, Ingrid and I were desperate to see a new bird.  April had been cold (and depressing due to COV-19) and very few birds had been migrating north.  Thus we got up early, drove north for an hour, made an hour climb up a “mountain” just to get an Eastern Towhee. Sunday we worked […]

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May 22020

Broad-winged Hawk

This evening after a long week of work I drove to a nearby nature preserve and went for a 3 mile jog. Upon returning to the car I ordered some takeout and looked up in a tree . . . my first Broad-winged Hawk of the year.

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Apr 252020

Louisiana Waterthrush

A couple Christmas’s ago Ingrid gave me a book Birdwatching in Maine: A Site Guide by Derek  Lovitch which discusses birding hot spots all over the state in incredible detail.  Directions, time of day to go, where to park, what birds you’ll find when, rarities, bathroom availability, nearby restaurants, etc.  It’s a great companion when […]

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Apr 222020

Prothonotary Warbler

  In October 2018, I saw my first Prothonotary Warbler in Kennebunkport after five years of trying. It was a fleeting, but diagnostic glimpse of one of the most beautiful birds in the world, and one rarely seen north of New Jersey. A couple days ago, a Prothonotary, who had clearly over shot his migration […]

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Apr 162020

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Let’s face it . . . there is no bird with a funnier name than the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. As a kid, I remember cartoons where the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was mentioned and I’ve sure that Miss Jane Hathaway of Beverly Hillbillies fame went looking for one. Miss Jane Hathaway and Jethro Today I was out birding […]

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Apr 142020

April Migration

We still have a few weeks to go before the first big wave of warblers sweeps through Maine but if you know where to look, there are lots of migrating birds around. In the last few days We’ve seen three first of the year Sparrows: Fox, Field and Chipping Three wadders: Glossy Ibis, Snow Egret […]

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Apr 102020

Yellow-throated Warbler

Yesterday late afternoon, Ingrid told me a Yellow-throated Warbler had been seen on the ledge of a 4th floor office building in Brunswick. I laughed and suggested the bird was probably just moving through and would be long gone before I got there. So this morning as I sat through conference calls from 7 am […]

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Apr 92020

Palm Warbler and Others Move North

  This is the time of the year that FOY (First of the Year) Birds seemed to appear everywhere.  Yesterday a Palm Warbler and an American Kestrel, today it was a Palm Warbler and a Pied Grebe. And lots of other birds that were FOY just a few days ago I love Spring!!!!

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Apr 62020

The Ospreys Return to Maine

Sometime each year right around opening day of the baseball season, the Ospreys return to the coast of Maine.  The Bath Shaws complex has a nest that is very visible from the highway and each year there is excitement (even among non-birders) when they return. Today they returned to Shaws and a handful of other […]

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Apr 52020

Hermit Thrush – April Migration Begins

I think of Spring Migration as a series of waves.  In Maine, March sees Red-winged Blackbirds, Turkey Vultures and Great Egrets moving north.  April one sees Thrushes, Sparrows, and Palm/Pine Warblers coming through.  In May everything else comes through . . . yeah!!!! Today, Ingrid and I were out birding in Boothbay Harbor and Ingrid […]

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Apr 22020

Eastern Phoebes are Back!

Today was the first day of Maine’s Shelter in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately I work at home and Ingrid has been teaching remotely for weeks and the order allows you to go out for exercise so it won’t affect us that much. Today in the pouring rain I started out on my […]

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Mar 292020

Red-shouldered Hawk

Maine, like the rest of the country is restricting gatherings and associations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  While our town and county have had very few infections (none in over a week), restaurants and non-essential retail remain shuttered.  Ingrid is teaching her fourth grade class remotely.   Our governor has closed some of the more […]

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Mar 242020

Yellow-breasted Chat

This morning I spent two hours looking for the Yellow-breasted Chat, that has been seen in Capisic Pond in Portland, Maine.  Two or three Chats show up in Maine each year . . . Ingrid and I saw one back in 2015 on Monhegan Island. The bird was seen early this morning, just before I […]

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Mar 232020

Pink Footed Goose

One of the top birder in the state of Maine once told me: “you can be a great bird photographer or you can be a great birder” but you can’t be both.  In other words, if you are always trying to get the great “shot” you’re going to miss a number of birds and conversely, […]

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Mar 182020

Northern Shoveler

At lunch time I drove over to the Buffalo Ranch, a cow pasture in West Bath, where the owner used to run buffalo. About ten years ago the owner decided to get rid of the buffalo and raise more traditional cattle. But birders will always refer to it as the buffalo ranch as they return […]

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Mar 182020

Snow Geese

Today I saw came upon five Snow Geese feeding with dozens of Canada Geese. In the midwest, especially during migration to their breeding range in the Arctic . . . Snow Geese can be see in the tens of thousands. Its quite a spectacle. But in Maine, they can be quite rare. This was only […]

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Mar 162020

Red-breasted Merganser

Last night it was announced that Ingrid’s school would be closing for at least two weeks due to the COVID-19 virus.  Thus she spent the entire day working on remote lesson plans for her students.  Throughout our marriage I have spoken to numerous parents, former students and associates of Ingrid and they all state, universally, […]

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Mar 152020

Gadwall

As nation has slowly descended into total lock down over the COVID-19 virus . . . I decided to drive north to Weskeag Marsh in  South Thomaston to try a see the Gadwalls that have been hanging out there this week. When I arrived there were 5 other cars (each with multiple birders) also viewing […]

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Mar 132020

Female White-winged Scoter

I’ve been working on my species recognition . . . on the female side. Unlike with humans, male birds are much more attractive and colorful than their female counterparts and much more difficult to identify. For instance, yesterday I saw this female White-winged Scoter  (above) swimming by herself. It took me a while to figure […]

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Mar 112020

American Woodcock

March has been warm and it while massive blizzards are still possible here in Maine . . . there is a touch of spring in the air. This evening around dusk I headed over to the Zak Preserve in Boothbay, to look for the American Woodcock displaying  . . . a mating ritual like no […]

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Mar 52020

River Otter

Yesterday was a great day of Birding.   I saw a half dozen first of the year (FOY) birds including a rare Pacific Loon; discovered a terrific new birding location; and distressed from work. But the highlight of the day didn’t even have feathers. The day started with 54 Brants at Kettle Cove.  This is […]

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Mar 12020

Canada Goose

Its March 1st and the first day of spring is March 19th . . . and in Maine, that’s just a cruel joke. In Florida and Texas, reports of warblers and hummingbirds arriving and heading north appear on the internet but in Maine . . . Ingrid and I continue to watch our winter birds […]

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Feb 262020

Red-winged Blackbirds

It’s February 25 in Maine  . . . and it is a long time before the crocuses and daffodils appear.  But for me, the first sign of spring appeared today – the Red-winged Blackbirds have arrived. Male Red-wings arrive early, to stake out territory in the cattails so when the females arrive in a few […]

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Feb 242020

Harris’s Sparrow

This winter, the Birding Capitol of Maine is at the bird feeders of Carol Belanger, a retiree in Levant, Maine (population 2,851).  Back in December, her husband (a non-birder) noticed something unusual on their feeders.  Carol took some photos, posted them on the Maine Birds Facebook Page . . . and within a few hours […]

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