Tag Archives: birds

Derek’s Birding This Week, 4/3-9/2021

My highlights over the past seven days included the following:

  • 1 Red Crossbill, Runaround Pond, Durham, 4/3.
  • 1 drake “EURASIAN” GREEN-WINGED TEAL, Mouth of the Abagadasset River, Bowdoinham, 4/4 (with Jeannette).
  • 3 Red Crossbill, Bradbury Mountain Hawkwatch, 4/8.
  • 1 probable WHITE-FACED IBIS (as previously reported; FOY), Rte 1/9 Salt Pannes, Scarborough MarSh, 4/9. However, it did not have particular bright bare parts or “face,” so it is either not yet in high breeding, or it could be a hybrid. My views were just a little too insufficient to be 100% sure.

And my personal first-of-years and new spring arrivals included (obviously I had not been to Scarborough Marsh in a while!):

  • 3 Wilson’s Snipe (FOS), Pineland Farms, 4/3 (with “Woodcocks Gone Wild!” tour group).
  • 1 Pine Warbler, Brown’s Point Road, Bowdoinham, 4/4 (with Jeannette)
  • 1 Double-crested Cormorant, Mouth of the Abby, Bowdoinham, 4/4 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 Winter Wren, Florida Lake Park, Freeport, 4/7.
  • 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler (FOS), Florida Lake Park, 4/7.
  • 1 Purple Finch (FOS), feeders here at the store, 4/7.
  • 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (FOS), Bradbury-Pinelands Corridor Trail, Pownal, 4/8.
  • 1 Osprey, Bradbury Mountain Hawkwatch, 4/8.
  • 51 Glossy Ibis, Scarborough Marsh, 4/9.
  • 14 Great Egret, Scarborough Marsh, 4/9.
  • 3 Snowy Egrets, Scarborough Marsh, 4/9.
  • 1 pair GADWALL, Pelreco Marsh, Scarborough Marsh, 4/9.
  • 3 Savannah Sparrows (FOS), Scarborough Masrsh, 4/9.

Derek’s Birding This Week, 3/27-4/2/2021

My highlights over the past seven days included the following:

  • 5 Fox Sparrows continue in our yard in Pownal.
  • 7 SANDHILL CRANES (FOY), Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch, 3/27.
  • 2 Pine Siskins (FOS), feeders here at the store, 3/27 – present.
  • 5 RUDDY DUCKS (FOY) and 1 first-cycle Iceland Gull, Sabattus Pond, Sabattus, 3/28.
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe (FOY), Sebago Lake State Park, 3/29 (with Jeannette).
  • 8 EVENING GROSBEAKS (FOS), our yard in Pownal, 4/2.
  • 3 Red Crossbills, feeding in the yard here at the store, 4/2.

Derek’s Birding This Week, 3/20-26/2021

My observations of note over the past seven days included the following:

  • up to 6 Fox Sparrows now in our yard, through week’s end.
  • 1 Northern Saw-whet Owl (FOY), our yard in Pownal, 3/20.
  • 19 Northern Pintails (FOY), Mouth of the Abby, Bowdoinham, 3/22 (with Jeannette).
  • 4 Fish Crows (FOY), downtown Brunswick, 3/23 (with Andrew Sharp).
  • 1 Eastern Meadowlark (FOY), 1+ Snow Bunting, and 7 Horned Larks, Brunswick Landing, 3/23 (with Andrew Sharp).
  • 10 Ring-necked Ducks (FOS), Mouth of the Abby, Bowdoinham, 3/22 (with Andrew Sharp).
  • 6 American Woodcocks (FOY), Private Property in Pownal, 3/23 (with Andrew Sharp and Jeannette).

This Week in Finches:

  • Red Crossbill: 4 (Bradbury Mountain Hawkwatch, 3/21).
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: ~15 (Bradbury Mountain Hawkwatch, 3/20).

Derek’s Birding This Week, 3/13-19/2021.

With the Bradbury Mountain Hawkwatch underway, not surprisingly, just about all of my time was spent up there, getting our new counter up to speed and prepared for the flights to come.  My observations of note over the past seven days included:

  • Good pulse of American Robins, Song Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Common Grackles into the area this week.
  • 4 Fox Sparrows (FOY), our yard in Pownal, 3/14. At least 3 continued through week’s end.
  • 2 Red-shouldered Hawks (FOS), Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch, 3/16.
  • 2 Wood Ducks (FOY), Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch, 3/16.
  • 3 Fox Sparrows, Runaround Pond Recreation Area, Durham, 3/18.

This Week in Finches. I guess the “return flight” of most species moved northward to our west so far.

  • Red Crossbill: 1, Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch, 3/16.

Derek’s Birding This Week, 2/13-19/2021.

This putative BLACK-HEADED X RING-BILLED GULL HYBRID has returned for its second winter to the Falmouth Town Landing.

It was a very good week of birding for me! My observations of note over the past seven days included the following:

  • 1 female KING EIDER, The Nubble, Cape Neddick, 2/14.
  • 1 continuing pair Green-winged Teal, Abbott’s Pond, York, 2/14.
  • 1 Northern Flicker, US Route 1, Kittery, 2/14.
  • 1 Hermit Thrush, Maquoit Bay Conservation Land, 2/15.
  • 175-200 distant scaup spp, Mere Point Boat Launch, Brunswick, 2/15.
  • 26 Lesser Scaup and 420 Greater Scaup in careful count of birds closer than they have been, Simpson’s Point, Brunswick, 2/15.
  • 4 BARROW’S GOLDENEYES (2 pairs), Winslow Park, Freeport, 2/18 (with Beth Edmonds and Dan Nickerson; this is my highest count in three years here).
  • 1 putative BLACK-HEADED X RING-BILLED GULL HYBRID, Falmouth Town Landing, 2/18 (with Beth Edmonds and Dan Nickerson). Was present in February of 2020; this was the first report for this winter that I am aware of. Video at: https://fb.watch/3KpP3olnTd/

This Week in Finches:

  • Red Crossbill: 15 (neighborhood behind Marginal Way, Ognuquit, 2/14).
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 9 (Downtown Brunswick, 2/15); 2 (Paul Street, Brunswick, 2/15).
This poorly phone-scoped female King Eider off of The Nubble was my first of the winter.

Derek’s Birding This Week, 1/23-29,2021

I like Rough-legged Hawks!

I stayed local this week, but that still yielded some fun winter birds. My observations of note over the past seven days included the following:

  • 300-400 distant Scaup, Maquoit Bay Conservation Land, Brunswick, 1/25.
  • 1 first-cycle ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, Pennell Way, Brunswick, 1/25.
  • 1 continuing RUDDY DUCK, 11 Lesser and 6 Greater Scaup (in close small group in flight) and 250+ distant scaup. I am sure the ratio of species in that close group of 17 does not reflect the makeup of the large group which will be mostly (at least) Greater. Simpson’s Point, Brunswick, 1/25.
  • 2 Turkey Vultures (FOY), Cook’s Corner, Brunswick, 1/25.
  • 1 female BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, Anniversary Park, Auburn, 1/26.
  • 1 Northern Shrike, Highland Road, Brunswick, 1/28

This Week in Finches, at least for the sake of continuing to organize mostly negative data, with the exception of another wave of Pine Grosbeaks hitting the immediate area:

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: 0
  • Red Crossbill: 6-8 continue on Merrill Road in Pownal.
  • WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL: 0
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 3-5 near-daily at the store through week’s end; 3(Route One, Brunswick, 1/25); 2 (Route One/Pleasant Street, Brunswick, 1/25); 25+ (Maine Street, Brunswick, 1/29), 16 (Topsham Fair Mall, Topsham, 1/29).
  • Purple Finch High Count This Week: 0
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: 0
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week:  0

Derek’s Birding This Week, 1/16-22/2021.

White-winged Crossbills always make for a successful day in the woods.

My observations of note over the past seven days included the following:

  • 1 pair Green-winged Teal, Abbott’s Pond, York, 1/17 (with Terez Fraser and John Lorenc).
  • 1 Northern Shrike, Route 201, Norridgewock, 1/19 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 Canada Jay, Long Falls Dam Road, Carrying Place Township, 1/19 (with Jeannette).
  • 5 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, Private property in Durham, 1/21.
  • 1 drake Green-winged Teal and 1 1st cycle Iceland Gull, Mill Creek Cove, South Portland, 1/22.
  • 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Mill Creek Park, South Portland, 1/22.

This Week in Finches, at least for the sake of continuing to organize mostly negative data:

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: 0
  • Red Crossbill:
  • WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL: total of 11 (Long Falls Dam Road between North New Portland and Flagstaff Lake, 1/19; with Jeannette).
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 3 (here at the store, 1/17-present); 11 (Yarmouth Town Hall, 2/21); 7 (Cumberland Town Landing, 2/21).
  • Purple Finch High Count This Week: 0
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: 0
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week:  0

Derek’s Birding This Week, 1/9-15, 2021

There’s an interesting pattern of molt on this presumed immature male Green-winged Teal that Evan Obercian and I saw in the marsh behind Lincolnville Beach this week.

My observations of note over the past seven days included the following:

  • 2 continuing immature male NORTHERN SHOVELERS, +/- 177 Greater Scaup, 8+ Lesser Scaup, etc, Maquoit Bay Conservation Land, Brunswick, 1/10.
  • 3 continuing RUDDY DUCKS and 350-400 distant scaup, Simpson’s Point, Brunswick, 1/10.
  • 1 continuing Green-winged Teal, Lincolnville Beach, 1/11 (with Evan Obercian).
  • 1 adult Red-shouldered Hawk, Ducktrap Harbor, Lincolnville, 1/11 (with Evan Obercian).
  • 2 drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYES, Stockton Harbor, 1/11 (with Evan Obercian).
  • 8 Lesser Scaup, Fort Point State Park, 1/11 (with Evan Obercian).
  • 1 American Kestrel, Upper Street, Turner, 1/12 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pond Cove, Cape Elizabeth, 1/15. Declining in Maine as a wintering species, there are even fewer this year due to the failure of the Northern Bayberry crop.
  • 1 Northern Flicker, Village Crossings/Cape Elizabeth Greenbelt Trail, 1/15.

This Week in Finches. A query on our store’s Facebook page suggested there is another wave of redpolls and Evening Grosbeaks arriving in yards, and more siskins, etc, still widely scattered here and there. But for me:

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: 0
  • Red Crossbill: ~20 (Merrill Road, Pownal, 1/9, with Beth Edmonds and Dan Nickerson).
  • WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL:  0
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 14 (here at the store, 1/9); 4 (Woodside Road, Brunswick, 1/10); 5 (Route 1, Wiscasset, 1/11); 9 (Belfast City Park, 1/11 with Evan Obercian); 5 (Stockton Harbor, 1/11 with Evan Obercian); 15 (Cumberland Town Landing, 1/13); 1 (Eastern Promendade, Portland, 1/15).
  • Purple Finch: 0
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: 0
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week:  1 (Belfast, 1/11, with Evan Obercian).

And finally, my annual Predictions Blog for the next 25 species to appear in Maine – and my own next 25 state birds – is posted here.

2021 Maine Birds Predictions

It might “only” have been a second state record, but the Rock Wren that was discovered along Marginal Way near the Perkin’s Cove parking lot in Ogunquit in November was a state bird for everyone who enjoyed it during its long stay that continues right through today.

It’s once again time for my annual Predictions Blog, where I view into my crystal binoculars and attempt to forecast some of the “new” birds to grace the State of Maine – and then my own personal state list – in the coming year.

2020 was definitely a different year. “Worst year ever” was a common refrain by year’s end, but don’t tell that to 2021 which seems to be taking up the challenge so far. I’ve written this blog for over a decade now, but this was the first one written about, and during, a national crisis that was so deadly that many birders stayed home for much of the year. Before spring had arrived in Maine and the deadly COVID-19 pandemic had fully arrived in Maine, trips were cancelled, many folks stayed closer to home if venturing out at all, and many birders avoided crowded seasonal hotspots. I wrote about birding in a pandemic in this early spring blog, but a small silver lining to this tragedy was the huge growth in birding, especially in the backyard.  I was even interviewed about this in the New York Times this summer.

By fall, the growth in birding and bird-feeding and the new online community connections made while stuck at home yielded even more opportunities to see amazing birds and add some really spectacular rarities to brand-new life lists. A massive incursion of birds from the western US was underway throughout the East this fall, and this resulted in some of the most incredible “mega” rarities, such as Rock Wren and Bullock’s Oriole. The first chaseable Rufous Hummingbird in many years was another real crowd-pleaser and was made accessible by gracious hosts.

Nonetheless, there were not any first state records detected this year. Therefore, my list of next 25 species to occur in Maine for 2021 remains unchanged:

  1. Neotropical Cormorant
  2. Graylag Goose
  3. California Gull
  4. Spotted Towhee
  5. Hammond’s Flycatcher
  6. Bermuda Petrel
  7. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  8. Common Shelduck
  9. Trumpeter Swan (of wild, “countable” origin)
  10. Audubon’s Shearwater – on “hypothetical” list, but I think the record is good).
  11. Little Stint
  12. Anna’s Hummingbird
  13. “Western” Flycatcher (Pacific-slope/Cordilleran)
  14. Common Ground-Dove
  15. Allen’s Hummingbird
  16. Redwing
  17. Spotted Redshank
  18. Painted Redstart
  19. Ross’s Gull
  20. Black-capped Petrel
  21. Lesser Nighthawk
  22. Elegant Tern
  23. Kelp Gull
  24. Black-tailed Gull
  25. Common Scoter

Despite such a great year for rare birds in Maine, I actually only added two birds to my own state list however. But they were good ones! But first, let’s check in with last year’s prediction list to see how I did…at least for the birds, the rest of the year, no, I did not predict.

Of course, there was (is) the Rock Wren (Honorable Mention) in Ogunquit (photo above), but for me, the bigger one was the Say’s Phoebe in New Gloucester on 9/24. It was #4 on my list, but my #1 nemesis bird.

As usual, there were also a handful of potential state birds for me that I did not see.  Common Ringed Plover (#12) on Seal Island in September and a Sooty Tern (Honorable Mention) on Matinicus Rock following Tropical Storm Isaias were obviously beyond my reach, obviously, a Franklin’s Gull (#5) in Lamoine on 11/5 did not linger, and a Yellow Rail (#22) was kept secret. The big miss however was the Golden-crowned Sparrow (Honorable Mention) in October at a feeder in Abbot that I just did not chase for a variety of reasons, including how busy the fall was at the store.

So a few tweaks to my list for my next additions to my personal state list are as follows:

  1. American White Pelican
  2. Neotropic Cormorant
  3. Franklin’s Gull
  4. Brown Pelican
  5. Graylag Goose
  6. California Gull
  7. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
  8. Slaty-backed Gull
  9. Boreal Owl
  10. Calliope Hummingbird
  11. Common Ringed Plover
  12. Cerulean Warbler
  13. White Ibis
  14. Gull-billed Tern
  15. Hammond’s Flycatcher
  16. Spotted Towhee
  17. Pacific Golden-Plover
  18. Wood Stork
  19. Ross’s Gull
  20. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  21. Brewer’s Blackbird
  22. Yellow Rail
  23. Loggerhead Shrike
  24. Virginia’s Warbler
  25. Common Shelduck

So let’s see what 2021 brings to the Maine birding world. A return to a sense of normalcy would be a nice start, however.

My favorite rarity photo of the year, however, was the Freeport Bullock’s Oriole feeding in front of the Maine state flag!

Derek’s Birding This Week, 1/2-1/8/2021

My observations of note over the past seven days included the following:

  • 1 Hermit Thrush, several record high counts including White-breasted Nuthatch and Eastern Bluebird, Pine Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls, etc, Brunswick-Freeport CBC “West Freeport Sector,” 1/3 (with Jeannette).  Full list and analysis here.
  • 2 SNOWY OWLS, Biddeford, 1/5 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and 5 Horned Larks, East Point, Biddeford Pool, 1/5 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 1st winter Iceland Gull, Portland Harbor, 1/8.

This Week in Finches. Although finch numbers are greatly reduced now, I’ll continue to post this section if only to organize my own notes, track any mid-winter waves, and perhaps be ready for a northbound flight in the late winter and early spring.

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: 0
  • Red Crossbill: 0
  • WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL:  0
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 8 Brunswick-Freeport CBC “West Freeport Sector,” 1/3 (with Jeannette); 2 (Memak Preserve, North Yarmouth, 1/7).
  • Purple Finch: 0
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: 3 singletons (Brunswick-Freeport CBC “West Freeport Sector,” 1/3; with Jeannette).
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week:  2 (Webster Road, Freeport, Brunswick-Freeport CBC “West Freeport Sector,” 1/3; with Jeannette).