Today, I was birding Laudholm Farm in Wells, over two thousand acres of shorefront, salt marsh, orchards, and hayfields. I covered and backtracked large areas of the preserve only to find Maine Big Year Bird #306 in the damn parking lot.
I can’t tell you how often Ingrid and I will spend hours and hour trudging through “nature” looking for a particular bird . . . only to discover it sitting in a tree overlooking the parking lot. It happens so often that we call it the “Parking Lot Effect”.
Anyway, today’s “exciting” find was a Lark Sparrow . . . my 18th species of Sparrow in Maine this year. A bird that breeds west of the Mississippi and winters in Mexico . . . the Lark Sparrow is a notoriously bad navigator and wayward Lark Sparrows show up in weird locations from Maine to Florida each fall.
This was my fifth trip in the last few weeks to try and track down this species . . . as reports of Lark Sparrows have come in from Bar Harbor to Biddeford to offshore islands. But this frustrating bird always moves on before I get there.
Obviously I need to spend more time in parking lots.