Monthly Archives: April 2021

Apr 292021

Finding the White-faced Ibis

The Glossy Ibis has become a regular summer visitor to the marshes of southern Maine.   Feeding in huge flocks, their redish-black plumage gives off a shimmer in the sun.  The flock in this photo had 197 birds in it. Here is where the fun starts . . . somewhere along the Maine coast, in […]

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Apr 252021

Tricolored Heron

Each summer for the last six years, at least one Tricolored Heron has been seen in the marshes around Portland, Maine. This is unusual as this beautiful blue/gray/purple and white rarely nest north of New Jersey . . . but weird hybrid birds have been seen in the area in subsequent years . . . […]

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Apr 2220211 comment

White-winged Dove in Maine?

Today a White-winged Dove showed up in a residential community in Gardiner, Maine . . . about 1800 miles north of it’s normal stomping grounds in Florida. It was a gray, cold, windy day and even snowed a bit and I really didn’t enjoy the two hours it took me to find the rarity . […]

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Apr 212021

American Bittern

Today Ingrid and I went searching for an American Bittern, a secretive bird of marshes and reeds. I had seen the bird flying at a distance last week but we really wanted an up close photo. For 45 minutes we scanned the marsh with our binoculars … getting closer every time it vocalized (a cartoonish croaking). Finally […]

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Apr 202021

Broad-winged Hawks

Today, Ingrid and I observed a spectacular bird migration as we watched Broad-winged Hawks soaring on thermals as they moved north. Most raptors migrate as individuals, but Broad-wings move in small groups or even large flocks. A Golden Eagle, a very rare state visitor and a pièce de résistance for a Maine Big Year was […]

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Apr 142021

Eastern Meadowlark

Photographed this Eastern Meadowlark today at Kennebunk Plains, a grassland preserve that is one of the rare places in Maine to reliably see this beautiful bird. My friend Kevin Tolan, a researcher, tells me that the population of Meadowlarks in the state is declining at a rate of 7.5% per year, and he doubts this […]

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Apr 142021

Snowy Owl

While looking for early migrants in “downtown” Biddeford Pool, I looked across the channel . . . at the stately homes just a few yards away as the crow flies (but 20 minutes away by car). There, sitting on the edge of a freshly mowed lawn and bunches of spring daffodils was a Snowy Owl. […]

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Apr 112021

Palm Warbler

If you ask birders in Maine what is their favorite family of bird . . . I’d wager on Warblers.  These tiny, colorful, fast moving, bug eaters are often just a few feet away.  Warblers are the highlight of spring migration, somedays the trees and bushes are just dripping with birds. On Thursday I saw […]

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Apr 72021

Cattle Egret

This morning I was driving north on I-95 heading for a reliable spot for early spring Warblers when Ingrid texted me . . . “a Cattle Egret has been seen in Newport, Maine”. Maine is a good 500 miles outside of the Cattle Egret’s range but each year several overshoot and are seen in the […]

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Apr 42021

Vesper Sparrow

This morning I promised Ingrid we could sleep late and have a leisurely breakfast, read the paper and just relax. Then as I took my first sip of coffee, I looked at my phone and saw the words “Maine Rare Bird Alert – Vesper Sparrow – Damariscotta”. Ingrid looked at me and sighed, “this is […]

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Apr 32021

Black-crowned Night-Heron

This morning I was birding in South Portland when I got a text message from Ingrid . . . that a Green Heron was being reported in a residential area of . . . South Portland.  Well that was convenient. Trout Brook Preserve is a small (maybe 200 yards long) wooded park in the middle […]

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