Yearly Archives: 2023

May 3020231 comment

Memorial Day Birding

As spring migration wraps up . . . Ingrid and I did a bit of birding over the long weekend. On Saturday we drove to the Brownfield in western Maine where we found a Louisiana Waterthrush singing loudly. On Sunday we drove up the coast a bit and found a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher singing in a […]

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May 262023

Black-necked Stilt

Early in the summer of 2022 a Black-necked Stilt appeared in a salt panne adjacent to busy Route One in Scarborough. Birders from all over the state risked their lives walking the quarter mile required along this crazy stretch of road for a chance to see a bird rarely found so far from its southern […]

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May 192023

Blackburnian Warbler

Reid State Park is one of Maine’s jewels . . . 770 acres of sand beaches, rocky shoreline, salt marshes and mixed forest.  During the summer, tourists flock to Reid for sun bathing, cookouts and to soak in the glory of the Maine coast.  It also has a great natural kiddie pool (a lagoon) that […]

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May 162023

Two Weeks Left In Spring Migration

Spring migration in Maine continues and Ingrid and I are exhausted.  Both of us are up before dawn (and that comes pretty early at this latitude) and out to local birding hot spots as soon as we can get dressed and out the door.  Most evenings we’re out birding again. Ingrid has it a-lot tougher […]

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May 122023

Hunting the Northern Waterthrush

Yesterday, I went hunting for a Northern Waterthrush . . . and found it . . . in the wrong place. Let me explain. Most of our Wood Warbler are bug eaters . . . moving through the trees and bushes looking for caterpillars, spiders and other delectable morsels.  The Northern Waterthrush and its cousin, […]

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May 102023

Spring Migration . . . at last!!!

Finally  . . . at last . . . I thought it would never get here . . . but Spring migration has finally reached Maine. In the last week, I’ve seen 40 FOY birds (first of the year) and new sightings will continue through June 1st.  After a long winter of counting ducks . […]

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May 32023

Spring storms blows Phalaropes ashore

There are believed to be a combined 8 million Red and Red-necked Phalaropes on planet earth . . . but unless you live in the Arctic regions or spend time out at sea . . . you’ll probably never see either one. That’s because these birds spend winters in tropical oceans far from land.  In […]

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May 22023

Evening Grosbeaks

Those of you that read this blog regularly know that Ingrid and I spend (waste???) a considerable amount of time chasing birds around the State of Maine.  If we hear about an unusual bird within driving distance . . . we’re immediately in the car hoping to get a glimpse.  Often the bird has moved […]

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Apr 302023

Big Year Birding Jay Quiz

Welcome to the Big Year Birding Jay Quiz. For the next several minutes we’ll test your knowledge of these mysterious creatures. The questions will get harder as we go along. At the end there are no awards, prize money, or new cars . . . just the satisfaction that you’ve added to or confirmed your […]

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Apr 282023

Brown-headed Cowbird

  We all have our favorite birds – Cardinals, Owls, Eagles and the colorful warblers.   Then there are the less popular ones – the Canada Geese that ruin our parks, the noisy crows that disrupt our cookouts and cormorants that can stink up an area. And then there is the Brown-headed Cowbird!!! Why do we […]

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Apr 172023

Summer Tanager in Maine

Summer Tanagers are a beautiful summer bird of the American South that rarely strays north of New Jersey. This morning Ingrid looked out the window and was stunned to see a male Summer Tanager. A real rarity for mid-April in Maine. For the next three hours we watched him eat sunflower, nyger and mixed bird […]

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Apr 132023

Red Crossbills

It’s been a good year for Red Crossbills as we’ve heard then singing (more like buzzing) off and on all winter.   Generally found high in spruce or pine trees, Crossbills have a unique bill . . . thick and curved with crossed tips. This adaptation allows access to conifer cones that other bird species […]

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Apr 122023

Palm Warblers Arrive in Maine . . . Finally

Maine winters are long and cold.  Fortunately Maine birders have the arrival of various species to buffer the passage of time. Late January, the first Turkey Vultures arrive Late February, the first Red-Winged Blackbirds appear Late March, Eastern Phoebes and Ospreys are seen For me, the true sign of spring is the arrival of the […]

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Apr 92023

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes are still relatively rare in Maine, but today Ingrid and I drove two hours west to Fryeburg and were treated to a flock of 29 these amazing birds . . . some almost four foot tall. We had hoped to see the a Tundra Swan that had been seen near the Cranes the […]

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Apr 82023

Problem Photographers

Much is made of friction between hunters and birders but in actuality it is generally a positive relationship. Hunters work for the same access and preservation of green space (marshes, forests and grasslands) that birders do.   A popular Birding podcast, sponsored by the American Birding Association (ABA), does annual stories on the issuing of […]

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Apr 62023

Lapland Longspur

The Lapland Longspur is a tiny sparrow like bird that nests in northern Canada and Alaska and winters in the United States from Nebraska through New England.  When in breeding plumage, males have a stunning black face, crown and bib with orange on the nape of the neck.  But one rarely sees them in breeding […]

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Apr 42023

Ospreys return to Maine

Each year Ospreys return to Maine during the first few days of Baseball Season (Go Red Sox). This year was no different as I saw this enthusiastic singer this morning near the Taste of Maine Restaurant in Woolwich.

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Mar 302023

Glaucous Gull

Today I was driving south through Portland and I noticed a large number of gulls in and around Back Bay, a popular walking and jogging trail in the center of the city.   I saw dozens of small Ring-billed Gulls (as one would expect with a nearby grocery store) and a few larger and ubiquitous, […]

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Mar 292023

Fox Sparrow

For a few weeks in late March and early April . . . one of my favorite birds . . . the Fox Sparrow migrates through Maine.  Often seen at feeder or scratching aside leaves to get to grubs and insects, the Fox Sparrow is larger and stockier than other sparrows. In Maine, we see […]

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Mar 292023

Crocuses, frogs and birds

Went out birding for a couple hours this morning and while there are still snow banks in driveways and white patches in the woods . . . but there are signs of spring everywhere. Crocuses can be see in places, wood frogs are croaking in the evening and new birds are arriving every day. Today, […]

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Mar 252023

Dabbling Ducks

With the ice on ponds slowly melting, dabbling ducks in Maine are moving from the ocean, to fresh water where it is easier for them to get to food. Dabbling ducks are shallow water birds that feed along the surface of the water,  by tipping headfirst to graze on plants, larvae, and insects. “Dabblers” or […]

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Mar 252023

Eastern Phoebe and Migration

It’s officially spring . . . and in Maine that means it might hit 40 degrees and there is still more snow than bare ground. It also means a few brave birds are reaching Maine in their Spring migration. This morning when I was taking out the trash (living the dream),  I noticed a small […]

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