Yearly Archives: 2020

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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Feb 222020

Robins at -1 Degrees

Up early for my usual pre-work birding outing was to the Waldoboro Town Landing . . . basically boat launch so far from the ocean, it freezes over . . . particularly this morning when it was below zero.  The Landing’s parking lot is surrounded by pines, crab apples and other fruit trees and can […]

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Feb 212020

Northern Pintail

Got up before dawn to chase a few birds this morning . . . got one and missed the other. The success was a Northern Pintail in York Maine, a duck that the field guides say should not be in Maine this time of the year. The second bird was a Dickcissel in Wells, Maine […]

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Feb 162020

Red Crossbill

On a non-birding weekend get away on an around Sugarloaf Mountain, Ingrid and I were driving into the Cross Country Ski area, when I braked in the middle of the snow covered access road . . . as three Red Crossbills were feeding on salt in the roadway.  I had heard of this behavior, but […]

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Feb 152020

Ravens vs. Eagles

While driving to Sugarloaf Mt. for a weekend of Cross Country Skiing, Ingrid and I noticed an aerial dogfight over the road.  We pulled over and watched a Common Raven attacking two juvenile Bald Eagles over and over and over. I jumped out of the car hoping to get a few photos when a third […]

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Feb 132020

Red-bellied Woodpecker

All bird guides, hard copy and digital have range maps . . . a great way to identify a bird. If I’m not sure about my ID, I check the range maps to see if my bird belongs where I saw it. None of that seems to work with the Red-bellied Woodpecker in Maine, as […]

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Feb 92020

Three Rare Birds in 5 Minutes

Yesterday, Maine was recovering from a nasty ice storm where traveling became impossible and homes lost power and internet services.  About noon Ingrid and I headed out to do a little birding, but fearing the ice would limit our mobility. We go out of the car at Pond Cove in Cape Elizabeth, a small beach […]

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Feb 72020

Just Brants

Got up before dawn determined to get a Dovekie.   Dovkies are a pigeon sized Alcid,  related to Puffins, Razorbills, and Murres.   They are also a prized winter sighting along the Maine coast.   So yesterday morning I stood in the cold scanning the ocean with my scope and binoculars . . . for […]

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Feb 12020

Bird Vocalizing

As one becomes a better birder, sound becomes a increasingly important factor in locating birds. Yesterday, I got out of the car at one of my favorite birding spots and heard  a squeak wheel type song coming from a near by pond.  When I got to the pond . . . the song was coming […]

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Jan 312020

Harlequin Duck at Nubble Light

Today’s expedition was to Nubble Light in York, Maine . . . a peninsula jutting into the ocean just short of a beautiful light house. The location attracts seabirds in great numbers and occasionally something really rare.   Today’s rarity was a couple King Eiders visible with a scope (one may have been a Common/King […]

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Jan 272020

Razorbills but No King Eider

Yesterday a King Eider was reported at Fort Pemaquid . . . and naturally the local birders descended on the spot. The road into the fort was a muddy mess and I worried that I would get stuck but braved it anyway. I search for an hour and then ran into a couple other birders […]

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Jan 272020

Snow Buntings but No Peregrine Falcon

For the second straight day I went looking for one bird and ended up getting another.   This morning I went over to the neighboring towns of Tophsam and Brunswick looking for a couple Peregrine Falcons that have been terrorizing the pigeon community.   I scanned the bridges, buildings and tree tops . . . […]

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Jan 262020

Birding Hermit Island on a Slushy Day

Does a gray, slushy, mid-40s day in January sound like a Netflix kinda day?  Well for birders in Maine its a  . . . “lets get outside” kinda day.  Ingrid and I were up early and heading to Hermit Island, a campground on the end of ocean peninsula which reliably attracts birds . . . […]

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Jan 212020

Barrow’s Goldeneye

A Barrow’s Goldeneye is an infrequent visitor to Maine. Males can be differentiated from their Common Goldeneye cousin by the tear drop white path on the face (Commons have oval spot). Got the Barrow’s Drake at Scarborough Marsh today in 15 degree weather. Had to take off my glove to use the camera and after […]

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Jan 142020

Northern Shrike

According to the field books, Northern Shrikes are not a particularly rare bird during a Maine winter . . . but you can’t prove that to Ingrid and me.  We’ve seen only three of them ever, one each in 2017, 2019 and 2020 . . . and not for lack of trying.  We are always […]

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Jan 92020

Killdeer in January

I was surprised that to find this Killdeer today, seemingly continuing to thrive on a beach in the middle of a Maine winter. One of the first shorebirds to arrive back in Maine in the spring (March) . . . this guy seems determined to winter over. Also picked up an Eastern Bluebird in the […]

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Jan 52020

Rockland Breakwater

Ingrid and I took a drive up to Rockland today and walked out the length of the Rockland Breakwater . . . two and a half mile round trip hike. There are days in a Maine winter, such a venture would have resulted in death or at the very least frostbite.  But unseasonable 40 degrees […]

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Jan 12020

2020 Big Day

Ingrid and I try to spend each New Years Day birding from dusk to dawn and today was no exception. We spent three hours at home in Wiscasset watching our feeder birds. After that it was stops at a sewage treatment plan; the bird feeders at a bird feed store; lunch at a restaurant in […]

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