Another dandy week of summertime birding produced the following highlights for me.
- 2 continuing HENSLOW’S SPARROWS, Crystal Spring Farm, Brunswick. Quite a bit of my birding time this week was spent enjoying this exceptional visitor. I saw it on 7/9 with our Saturday Morning Birdwalk group for our 246th all-time Saturday Morning Birdwalk bird! On 7/11, Jeannette and I, along with two other birders saw both individuals at the same time for the first time – as two scopes had both birds in view at once in the opposite direction here. No disputing that! However, the echo and acoustic issues are very apparent here – at one point, we could easily have argued there were four birds! Interestingly, on 7/12, Cameron Cox and I were unable to confirm the presence of two birds, as was the case in my visits prior to the 11th. Phone-scoped video from the 11th here.
- HYBRID HERONS of Scarborough Marsh. On 7/11, Cameron Cox and I spotted both continuing birds. The proposed Snowy Egret x Tricolored Heron x Little Egret was off of Eastern Road, while the proposed Snowy Egret x Tricolored Heron x Snowy Egret was incredibly close and cooperative at Pelreco Marsh. Video of the latter bird here.
- 1 subadult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, Pine Point Beach, Scarborough, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox).
- 2 Fish Crows, Point Sebago Resort (private), Casco, 7/14 (with Point Sebago Resort birdwalk group). Are these two from the Windham colony or outliers of this slowly expanding species?
- Eastern Egg Rock/Whale-watching/and mini-pelagic tour out of Boothbay Harbor with our partners Cap’n Fish’s Cruises, yielded the following highlights in addition to a fantastic show at Eastern Egg Rock from Atlantic Puffins; Roseate, Common, and Arctic Terns; Black Guillemots; etc): 2 Razorbills on Eastern Egg, a mere two Wilson’s Storm-Petrels and handfuls of Northern Gannets offshore, but an insane show from a breaching Humpback Whale. And for the record, the Tufted Puffin appeared there a mere 3 hours after our boat left.
Each summer, I begin reporting my “shorebird high counts this week” here. Really, I do it for my own note-keeping and organization, but I hope at least a few folks find value in it. This year, I am starting it early, even though diversity is expectedly low and I didn’t get to a lot of shorebird sites this week. However, numbers are picking up dramatically, and this bears watching. Unfortunately, large numbers of adult shorebirds in early July could portend widespread breeding failure. Therefore, I will organize my counts here so I can compare it to previous seasons.
- Black-bellied Plover: 2 first-summer, Pine Point Co-op, Scarborough, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox).
- Killdeer: 35, Crystal Spring Farm, Brunswick, 7/12 (with Cameron Cox).
- Piping Plover: 4+, Western Beach from Pine Point Beach, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox).
- STILT SANDPIPER (FOF, Early!): 2, Pelreco Marsh, Scarborough Marsh, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox).
- Least Sandpiper: 60, Eastern Road Trail, Scarborough Marsh, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox)
- Pectoral Sandpiper (early, FOF): 2, Eastern Road Trail, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox).
- Semipalmated Sandpiper: 15, Eastern Road Trail, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox).
- Short-billed Dowitcher: 60, Eastern Road Trail, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox).
- Spotted Sandpiper: 2, Eastern Egg Rock, 7/15 (with Cap’n Fish’s Cruises Pufifn/Whale Watch Combo tour group.)
- Lesser Yellowlegs: 30, Eastern Road Trail, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox).
- “Eastern” Willet: 20+ Pine Point, Scarborough, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox)
- Greater Yellowlegs: 20, Eastern Road Trail, 7/11 (with Cameron Cox).
Our next boat trip is on Saturday, July 23rd to Seal Island. No “Troppy” this year, but you know we’ll be looking hard for the Tufted Puffin! A limited amount of space on this extended charter is available here.