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 I remember my mom taking me to . . . just a mere 60 years ago.

For birders, it is a premier year-round hotspot, with 242 species of birds having been reported.

The famous, Steller’s Sea-Eagle was seen at Reid in 2021 and 2022 . . . but not during its recent Maine 2023 visit . . . probably because the Park has been closed for construction all winter and spring.  When “Stella” disappeared after two weeks this past February . . . I was convinced it was probably hanging out at Reid . . . out of reach of the birding communty.

Finally after four and a half months, the park has been reopened . . . unfortunately the construction is not done.  Backhoes, tractors and all kinds of machinery are moving dirt and gravel around . . . the old park ranger booth is gone . . . with the new one scattered in pieces down the road.  The noise is awful.

I love to go to Reid in the spring as it is a nesting sight of the most beautiful (in my humble opinion) of the Wood Warblers . . . the stunning Blackburnian!!!!

The Blackburnian warbler is a tiny bird, with a bright orange throat and a complicated black and yellow face pattern.  Blackburnians reside in the very tops of tall trees and thus are almost impossible to see (and photograph).  Even their song is difficult to hear . . . zip zip zip zip zip zip zip zip titititi tseeeeee . . . with the final note so high (not to mention distant) that most people can’t hear it.

My superpower, is the ability to hear these high notes . . . so I know when Blackburian Warblers are around . . . even if I can’t see them.  (My other superpower is the ability to consume massive amounts of pepperoni pizza).

This morning was my first 2023 visit to Reid and my Blackburnians were nesting right over the construction site (among several other places).

It was a very windy day and the birds were not at the top of the trees as normal . . . and I was able to get my best views and photographs of this beautiful bird ever.


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