Category Archives: Week Reports

This Week’s Highlights, 11/20-26, 2021

The Short-eared Owls were a little far for photographs under fading light,
but the sunset made for a nice backdrop to the evening’s observations.

My observations of note over the past seven days were as follows as birdlife become decidedly wintery very quickly!

  • 2 “Ispwich” Savannah Sparrows, Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth, 11/21
  • 1 Brown-headed Cowbird, Private property in Cape Elizabeth, 11/21.
  • 2 SHORT-EARED OWLS, Brunswick Landing from Bowdoin Sand Plain, Brunswick, 11/21 (with Jeannette).
  • 3 Red Crossbills, Runaround Pond, Durham, 11/25.
  • 1 Rusty Blackbird, Route 9, Pownal, 11/25.
  • Sabattus Pond, Sabattus, 11/26 – 14 species of waterfowl:

344 Ruddy Ducks

279 Mallards

159 Common Mergansers

156 Canada Geese

127 Lesser Scaup

63 American Black Ducks

17 Green-winged Teal

63 Greater Scaup

11 Buffleheads

9 American Wigeon

4+ Mallard x American Black Duck hybrid

4 Hooded Mergansers

4 Northern Pintails

1 Common Goldeneye

1 continuing hen White-winged Scoter

  • 1 hen Wood Duck, Thornhurst Farm, 11/26.

This Week’s Highlights, 11/17-19, 2021.

Part of this fall’s incursion of Cattle Egrets into the Northeast, we caught up with this cooperative individual while birding in Vermont at the Goose Viewing Area of the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area on 11/13.

After spending a long weekend in Vermont – including quite a few birding highlights – it’s been mostly catching up here at the store. Nonetheless, I did have a great morning at Sabattus Pond on Friday.

  • 1 Winter Wren, Highland Road, Brunswick, 11/18.
  • Sabattus Pond, Sabattus, 11/19 – 16 species of waterfowl!

520 Ruddy Ducks

444 Mallards

251 Lesser Scaup

154 American Black Ducks

74 Green-winged Teal

48 Greater Scaup

41 Common Mergansers

19 Hooded Mergansers

18 Canada Geese

16 American Wigeon

13 Northern Pintails

8 Buffleheads

3 Common Goldeneyes

2 Surf Scoters

1 White-winged Scoter

1 Ring-necked Duck

X Mallard x American Black Duck hybrid

37 Turkey Vultures

1 Carolina Wren

This out of place Brant graced the Burlington Waterfront Park when we spent the morning strolling it on the 11/14.

This Week’s Highlights, 11/6-11/11

No shame in chasing a bird that is this stunningly gorgeous! And like the chase of the ATFL earlier this week, we put in the effort to find out own beforehand – and then rewarded ourselves with another exceptional rarity!
What a dapper goose.

Despite my best efforts, my “best” birds of the week were all chased and not found. Nonetheless, I had a great week of birding and birdfinding. My highlights over the past six days were as follows:

  • 1 continuing CATTLE EGRET, 2 Common Yellowthroats, 1 Pine Warbler, 4 Semipalmated Plovers, 8 Laughing Gulls, etc, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 11/6 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
  • 2 Blackpoll Warblers, Saco Riverwalk, 11/7 (with Cameron Cox and Evan Obercian).
  • 3 Great Egrets, The Pool, Biddeford Pool, 11/7 (with Cameron Cox and Evan Obercian).
  • 1 continuing PRAIRIE WARBLER, 1 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, 1 Indigo Bunting, 1 Great Horned Owl, 1 “Ipswich” Savannah Sparrow, etc, Biddeford Pool neighborhood, Biddeford, 11/7 (with Cameron Cox and Evan Obercian)
  • 1 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, 2 Lincoln’s Sparrows, etc, Private property in Cape Elizabeth, 11/7 (with Cameron Cox and Evan Obercian).
  • 1 still-continuing late Fish Crow, Cook’s Corner, Brunswick, 11/9 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 continuing BARNACLE GOOSE, South Elementary School, Rockland, 11/9 (with Jeannette). Photos above and below.
  • 1 American Coot and 10 American Wigeon, The Samoset, Rockport, 11/9 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 American Woodcock, Rte 1, Thomaston, 11/9 (with Jeannette).
  • 2 American Wigeon and 1 Killdeer, Old Brunswick Road, Durham, 11/11.
I simply love the subtle beauty in the color and pattern of the wings and back of this species.

This Week’s Highlights, 10/30-11/5

This week’s Orange-crowned Warbler was “slightly” better photographed than the
individual I had here two weeks ago!

With “Rarity Season” now in full swing, my observations of note over the past seven days included the following:

  • 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, Kettle Cove, Cape Elizabeth, 10/31 (with clients from Maine and New Mexico).
  • 2 Indigo Buntings, Private property in Cape Elizabeth, 10/31 (with clients from Maine and New Mexico).
  • 1 Great Egret, Mill Creek Cove, South Portland, 10/31 (with clients from Maine and New Mexico).
  • 1 Indigo Bunting, Capisic Pond Park, Portland, 10/31 (with clients from Maine and New Mexico).
  • 1 WHITE-EYED VIREO and 4 “Ipswich” Savannah Sparrows (FOF), Reid State Park, Georgetown, 11/1 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and 1 RED-EYED VIREO, Sandy Point Beach, Cousin’s Island, Yarmouth, 11/3. My 9th-ever here and 2nd of the season. Photo above.
  • 3 Common Goldeneyes (FOF), Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 11/4.
  • 1 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (likely continuing from 11/3), 1 American Woodcock, 32 Snow Buntings, etc, Kettle Cove, Cape Elizabeth, 11/5.
  • 2 “Ipswich” Savannah Sparrows, Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth, 11/5.
These two Savannah Sparrows of the “Ipswich” subspecies were most obliging at Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth on Friday morning.

This Week’s Highlights, 10/23-29

Thanks to our annual note in our newsletter to keep hummingbird feeders up through early November – and to give us a call if one shows up after the first week of October – we received another call about a late October hummingbird this year. I raced over as soon as it returned to study it and get documentation photos. Unlike last year, however, this was “just” a Ruby-throated. I should have known it wasn’t another “mega” rarity as it was way too easy to photograph closely, and I only waited 5 minutes for its arrival!

Before and after the storm, it was a rather great week of birding for me. Rarity Season is now underway!  Here are my observations of note over the past seven days:

  • 1 Field Sparrow, 2 Common Yellowthroats, 7 Semipalmated Plovers, etc., Wolf’s Neck Center, Freeport, 10/24 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
  • 1 “INTERIOR” (ssp alterus/nelson) NELSON’S SPARROW, Private Property in Cape Elizabeth, 10/24.
  • “First of seasons” from seawatching at Dyer Point, Cape Elizabeth, 10/28:

25 Long-tailed Ducks (mostly northbound)

2 drake Harlequin Ducks

2 Snow Buntings

1 1st winter Iceland Gull

1 Horned Grebe

  • 1-2 BLUE-HEADED VIREOS, Kettle Cove, Cape Elizabeth, 10/28.
  • 1 juv RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, private property in Freeport, 10/28. First seen on 10/26, but not on the 27th. See photo and caption above.
  • 1 DICKCISSEL (photo below; Abner Point Road), 1 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL (first of fall locally), 2 male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS, and 2 American Tree Sparrows (first of fall), Bailey Island, Harpswell, 10/29.

Additional Highlights This Week, 10/16-22

Here’s the world’s worst photo of the Orange-crowned Warbler that appeared at Sandy Point on Tuesday. I drew an outline around it to (maybe) help you find it. It was my 8th ever here.

My non-Sandy Point observations of note over the past seven days included:

  • ~60 American Pipits, Mayall Road, Gray/New Gloucester, 10/16 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
  • Sabattus Pond, Sabattus, 10/19 (with Jeannette). Choppy water made a thorough count challenging.

360+ Ruddy Ducks

173+ mixed Greater and Lesser Scaup

31 Mallards

15 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS

3 Buffleheads

2 Common Loons

  • 1 Nashville Warbler, 4 Red-throated Loons (FOF), etc, Peak’s Island, 10/22 (with Dan Nickerson).

Additional Highlights This Week, 10/9-15

This truant Bobolink was at Wolfe’s Neck Center for our Saturday Morning Birdwalk, and was still present on the 13th when I snapped this photo through my binoculars.

A few additional non-boat and non-Sandy Point observations of for me over the past seven days for me included:

  • 1 Vesper Sparrow, 1 Bobolink, 1 White-rumped Sandpiper, etc, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 10/9 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk). Bobolink still present as of 10/13 (see photo above).
  • I counted exactly 59 Laughing Gulls at Wolfe’s Neck Center on both 10/9 and 10/13; a good count for this late in the fall.
  • 1 Pine Siskin (first of fall), Green Point WMA, 10/12 (with Jeannette).
  • ~70 American Pipits, Highland Road, Brunswick, 10/15.

Additional (non-Sandy Point) Highlights This Week, 10/2-8, Pelagic reminder, and Monhegan trip report.

This Savannah Sparrow contemplated walking across the channel instead of flying over the water during Morning Flight at Sandy Point.

A few observations of note away from the Morning Flight over the past seven days for me included:

  • 1 CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 10/2 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk).
  • Overall, it was a great week of sparrow migration, with a nice high count on 10/8 from Wolfe’s Neck Center of 125 Song, 100 Savannah, 75 Swamp, 25 White-throated, 2 White-crowned, and 1 Lincoln’s.
  • Sabattus Pond season is underway as well!  On 10/8, I had early-season tallies of 76 Ruddy Ducks (first of fall), 33 Lesser Scaup, 18 Greater Scaup (first of fall), 2 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers (first of fall), etc.

Notes:

  • And I’ve finally posted my tour report from Monhegan, 9/24-9/28. The blog includes photos and daily checklists:

This Week’s (Non Sandy-Point) Highlights, 9/24-9/30: Monhegan Island

This Blue Grosbeak was among the stars of the show from an exceptional weekend of
great birds on Monhegan Island.

I haven’t yet posted a Monhegan tour blog from last weekend, so I figured I’d at least post some of the highlights from our extremely exciting weekend chock-full of great birds!

9/24 (with Monhegan Fall Migration Weekend tour group):

  • 1 adult GREAT BLACK BACKED X HERRING GULL HYBRID
  • 1 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • 1 Sora

9/25 (with tour group):

  • 1 adult PROTHONOTARY WARBLER. Found by me at “Chat Bridge” and refound nearby a short while later by Kristen Lindquist and part of my group.  Only bird of the weekend not seen again.
  • 1 YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
  • 8 DICKCISSELS (in flock together at one point)
  • 2 CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS (in flock with 8 Dickcissels).
  • 1 Gray-cheeked/Bicknell’s Thrush (presumed Gray-cheeked)
  • 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo

9/26 (with Tour group):

  • 1 YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
  • 1 immature male BLUE GROSBEAK
  • At least 4 CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS
  • At least 7 DICKCISSELS
  • 1 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull

9/27 (with tour group):

  • 1 WESTERN KINGBIRD (found by Kristen Lindquist. Refound by us at the Trailing Yew, then later by our group again at the cemetery. Last sighting?)
  • At least 5 DICKCISSELS
  • At least 4 CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS
  • 9/28 (with Jeannette and Kristen Lindquist):
  • 1 immature male BLUE GROSBEAK
  • 2 LARK SPARROWS
  • At least 4 CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS
  • At least 4 DICKCISSELS
  • 1 Orange-crowned Warbler
  • 1 unidentified jaeger at a floating Minke Whale carcass offshore.
  • 1 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull

Other Highlights:

  • 2 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS, Dry Ledges off of Allen Island from Port Clyde Ferry, 9/28 (with Jeannette).

And don’t forget, our next pelagic with Cap’n Fish’s out of Boothbay Harbor is coming up, on October 11th. Information and registration can be found here.

OK, back to work on my Monhegan blog.

Derek’s Birding This Week: 9/18-23, 2021

The weekend will likely start off wet, but with several days of an extensive southerly flow originating all of the way from the Gulf Coast and Deep South, vagrants – like Blue Grosbeak, Hooded Warbler, Summer Tanager, and much more will be on our minds.

As I prepare to depart for our Monhegan Fall Migration Weekend tour tomorrow, I am left to wonder where the heck the past week went!?

Similarly to last week, my birding time was woefully limited thanks to excuses including a trade show and a morning meeting. Therefore, my birding this week was mostly limited to our Saturday Morning Birdwalk and one great flight at Sandy Point.

Speaking of Sandy Point, I did not make it out for what was presumably a light flight on Monday morning, and of course a Clay-colored Sparrow – a long-overdue Patch Bird – was found. It wasn’t until Wednesday morning that I had a chance to look for it.  While I didn’t find it, I did get a consolation prize.  With a flock of about 400 Semipalmated Sandpipers in the cove on the north side of the point – the largest peep flock that I have seen here, I grabbed the scope. Among them was a single Sanderling, but also a single molting juvenile Dunlin – my 191st all-time species at Sandy Point!

There was a big movement of White-throated Sparrows this week however, augmenting productive feeder-watching. Granted, my extended period of afternoon feeder-watching on Monday was mostly limited to the entertainment of a constant dog-fight between a Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawk for backyard supremacy

Now, let’s hope the forecast for the weekend is a little drier than currently called for!  That being said, the pattern that we are in looks really good for southern vagrants (see photo above), and especially after 5 days of poor winds for migration, once this mess clears, the migration could be huge!