Tag Archives: Maine

Derek’s Birding This Week (including Boothbay Pelagic results), 6/5-10/2021

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

  • 1 3rd-cycle LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, French Island Ledge, Casco Bay, 6/6 (with “Birds of Casco Bay” tour group). Photo below.
  • 1 Roseate Tern, The Goslings, Harpswell, 6/6 (with “Birds of Casco Bay” tour group).
  • 1 COMMON MURRE, 4 NORTHERN FULMARS, 5 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES (FOY), 103 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels (FOY), 1 Great Shearwater (FOY), etc, Boothbay Mini-Pelagic with Cap’n Fish Whale Watch, 6/7. Full trip list and tour report here.
  • 1 continuing pair Gadwalls, Pelreco Marsh, Scarborough Marsh, 6/8 (with client from California).
  • 3 Olive-sided Flycatchers (FOY), family group of 6 CANADA JAYS, etc, Long Falls Dam Road Area, Somerset County, 6/9 (with client from California).
  • 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo (FOY), Foothills Land Conservancy, Wilton, 6/9 (with client from California)

Derek’s Birding This Week (including Monhegan Island), 5/28-6/4/2021

My annual Monhegan Spring Migration Weekend Tour report, including species lists, can be found here:

Back on the mainland, my observations of note over the past seven days included the following:

  • 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Green Point WMA, Dresden, 6/1 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, Hedgehog Mountain Park, Freeport, 6/2. Surprising and out of place in a seasonal stream in the deep woods. My 152nd Patch Bird for the Hedgehog complex.
  • 1 Red Crossbill, Otter Brook Preserve, Harpswell, 6/3 (with clients from Maine).
  • Handful of passage migrants around Biddeford Pool on 6/4 including a female MOURNING WARBLER (FOY) and an immature male Bay-breasted Warbler.

And FYI, we still have some room on Monday’s mini-pelagic out of Boothbay Harbor! Come join me! All the details, as well as reservation information, is here: https://www.freeportwildbirdsupply.com/pelagics

Derek’s Birding This Week, 5/15-21/2021

 

In an article to be published this fall in the journal North American Birds, I propose this bird as a Tricolored Heron x Snowy Egret hybrid backcrossed with a Little Egret (TRHE x SNEG x LIEG). This individual has been present since 2014 and seems to visit marshes between Hampton, NH and Cape Elizabeth. Note the two long neck plumes and the greenish lores.

My highlights over the past seven days included the following:

  • 58 White-winged Scoters, Bradbury Mountain Hawkwatch, 5/15.
  • 15 species of warblers led by 25+ Yellow-rumped and an incredible 15+ Cape May Warblers, Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, 5/16 (with Down East Adventures Songbird Workshop Group).
  • 12-15 Red Crossbills and 1 Evening Grosbeak, Evergreen Cemetery, 5/16 (with Down East Adventures Songbird Workshop Group).
  • 17 species of warblers, led by 17 Common Yellowthroats and 9 Ovenbirds, Florida Lake Park, 5/17 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 Louisiana Waterthrush, Elmwood Trail, Pownal, 5/19.
  • 16 species of warblers led by 23 Common Yellowthroats and 8 Ovenbirds, Florida Lake Park, 5/20.
  • 1 continuing SNOWY OWL, Pennell Way, Brunswick, 5/21.
  • Proposed TRICOLORED HERON X SNOWY EGRET X LITTLE EGRET HYBRID, Eastern Road Trail, Scarborough Marsh, 5/21. See caption above.
  • 2 drake and 1 hen NORTHERN SHOVELER, Eastern Road Trail, 5/21.
  • 3 continuing TRICOLORED HERONS and 1 drake NORTHERN SHOVELER, Pelreco Marsh, Scarborough Marsh, 5/21.

My personal first-of-years and new spring arrivals included the following mix of on-time and early arrivals plus “catching up” on coastal birds:

  • 1 BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO (early!), Old Town House Park, North Yarmouth, 5/15 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
  • 2 Scarlet Tanagers, Evergreen Cemetery, 5/16 (with Down East Adventures Songbird Workshop Group).
  • 1 Green Heron, Evergreen Cemetery, 5/16 (with Down East Adventures Songbird Workshop Group).
  • 1 Red-eyed Vireo, Evergreen Cemetery, 5/16 (with Down East Adventures Songbird Workshop Group).
  • 1 White-crowned Sparrow, feeders here at the store, 5/16.
  • 2 Laughing Gulls, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 5/17 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 Indigo Bunting (late), Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 5/17 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee, Morgan Meadow WMA, 5/18 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 Common Nighthawk (early), our yard in Pownal, 5/19.
  • 1 Alder Flycatcher, Florida Lake Park, 5/20.
  • 1 Bay-breasted Warbler, Florida Lake Park, 5/20.
  • 3 Common Terns, Simpson’s Point, Brunswick, 5/20.
  • 1 GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, our yard in Pownal, 5/21.
  • 16 Saltmarsh Sparrows, Eastern Road Trail, Scarborough Marsh, 5/21.
  • 3 Nelson’s Sparrows, Eastern Road Trail, 5/21.
  • 32 Short-billed Dowitchers, Pine Point, Scarborough, 5/21.
  • 50+ Ruddy Turnstones, Pine Point, 5/21.
  • 10+ Roseate Terns, Pine Point, 5/21.
  • 1 BLACK TERN – always a treat to catch one in migration – Pine Point, 5/21.
This Saltmarsh Sparrow posed for a quick photo this morning along the Eastern Road Trail. My first of the year were today, although at least a few have likely been present for a week to 10 days in and around Scarborough Marsh.

Derek’s Birding This Week, 4/24-30/2021

I always say that Yellow-rumped Warblers would be everyone’s favorite warbler if they weren’t so common. Big personalities and easy to identify, and the spring males are just gorgeous. Even when photographed through drizzle and mist, as was this one at Legion Pond in Kittery on 4/30.

My highlights over the past seven days included the following:

  • 1 Great Cormorant, over the store with a flock of Double-crested Cormorants, 4/24 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk Group. Store Yard Bird #131).
  • 1 Savannah Sparrow, our yard in Pownal, 4/24 (Home Yard Bird # 130).
  • 19 Red Crossbills, Waterboro Barrens Preserve, 4/27.
  • 9 Fish Crows (low, tight, southbound flock) and 1-2 EVENING GROSBEAKS, Bradbury-Pinelands Corridor Trail, Pownal, 4/29.
  • 1 drake NORTHERN SHOVELER, 109 Yellow-rumped Warblers, numerous first of years, etc, Fort Foster, Kittery, 4/30.
  • 17 Harlequin Ducks, The Nubble, Cape Neddick, 4/30.

And my personal first-of-years and new spring arrivals included:

  • 3 LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES (FOY), Morgan Meadow WMA, 4/25 (first time I have had more than 2 singing males here).
  • 1 Brown Thrasher, feeders here at the store, 4/25.
  • 1 Field Sparrow, Waterboro Barrens Preserve, 4/27.
  • 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, our yard in Pownal, 4/29.
  • 3 Black-and-white Warblers, Fort Foster, Kittery, 4/30.
  • 3 House Wrens, Fort Foster, 4/30.
  • 1 Gray Catbird (FOS), Fort Foster, 4/30.
  • 3 BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS, Fort Foster, 4/30.
  • 5 Greater Yellowlegs, Fort Foster, 4/30.
  • 3 Northern Rough-winged Swallows, The Nubble, Cape Neddick, 4/30.
  • 1 Cliff Swallow, The Nubble, 4/30.

Derek’s Birding This Week, 4/17-23/2021

My Leica V-Lux camera went to the doctor, and it finally arrived after about two months. This Snowy Owl on our first Saturday Morning Birdwalk of the year was a great way to break it back in!

My highlights over the past seven days included the following:

  • 1 continuing immature SNOWY OWL, Pennell Way, Brunswick, 4/17 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
  • 2 Evening Grosbeaks, Florida Lake Park, Freeport, 4/21.
  • Big push of White-throated Sparrows overnight 4/20-21 and perhaps another push later in the week. High count of 75+ at Capisic Pond Park and 100++ at Evergreen Cemetery (both 4/23 with client from Maine).
  • 1-2 Evening Grosbeaks, our yard in Pownal, 4/23.
  • 1 Peregrine Falcon and 1 Fish Crow, Capisic Pond Park, Portland, 4/23 (with client from Maine).

And my personal first-of-years and new spring arrivals this week were limited to just:

  • 1 Barn Swallow, Florida Lake Park, Freeport, 4/20.
  • 1 Blue-headed Vireo, Florida Lake Park, 4/21.

On Tuesday  – our biggest flight of the season at the Bradbury Mountain Hawkwatch – we observed an extremely pale Red-tailed Hawk. I propose it as a “Krider’s” x “Eastern” Red-tailed Hawk. Here’s my short blog about it:

https://mebirdingfieldnotes.blog/2021/04/21/apparent-kriders-x-eastern-red-tailed-hawk-pownal-maine-4-20-21/

And don’t forget about Feathers Over Freeport this weekend! Self-guided walks for kids, take-home crafts, and live online programs featuring live birds of prey. Saturday’s keynote address “Digi-scoping Made Easy” by Jeff Bouton on Kowa Sporting Optics.  We arranged for this based on the frequency of questions we get asked here at the store about taking photos through a spotting scope using a digital camera or a smartphone. It’s free, but pre-registration is require

www.maine.gov/feathersoverfreeport

Apparent “Krider’s” x “Eastern” Red-tailed Hawk, Pownal, Maine, 4/20/21

This stunningly pale immature Red-tailed Hawk passed over the Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch, sponsored by Freeport Wild Bird Supply, in Pownal, Maine on the afternoon of April 20, 2021.

Highly suggestive of the extremely pale “Krider’s” Red-tailed Hawk (a subspecies or quite possibly just a very pale color morph) from Central North America and with scattered vagrant records along the Eastern seaboard, we believe this individual shows features most consistent with an “intergrade” between the so-called Krider’s and our typical Eastern subspecies.

The very pale white head first brought my attention to this bird as it approached the summit from the north-northeast, and circled overhead and slightly behind the plethora of counters and observers on our biggest flight day of the season. Tova Mellen gets the award for the best photos – by far – and we appreciate her effort and willingness to share them. Thanks, Tova!

Andrew Sharp, Mathew Gilbert, and Charles Duncan also managed photos, and I was able to capture (poorly!) a few additional angles that show some helpful features.

The mostly-white head, very pale underparts, and lightly-marked underwings (especially the reduced patagium) all suggest Krider’s. However, the darker crown and fairly-dark spots on what would be the edges of the belly band are more suggestive of an intergrade.

The relatively bold white panel on the upperwings is also suggestive of Krider’s, but it’s not as bold and bright as many photos suggest. The back color is also brownish-gray. Both of these look to be more consistent with an intergrade.

The white uppertail coverts/lower rump area was more evident than this too-dark photo suggests, nonetheless, it does not seem white and broad enough to be a Krider’s. Unfortunately, the pattern of the uppertail was not decipherable.

The poor exposure of this photo makes the bird look much darker than it appeared in the field (looked more like Tova’s photos, above), but it does accentuate where the dark markings are and are not.

As for printed references, this bird looks to be a near-perfect match for the “Juv/1st Year Eastern x Krider’s Integrade on Page 66 of The Crossley ID Guide to Raptors.

We had limited views of the upperparts, but they did suggest the presence of fairly extensive white on the scapulars, the large pale window, and the narrow pale uppertail covert band as shown on page 293 of Raptors of Eastern North America by Brian K. Wheeler.

Therefore, we reached the tentative conclusion that this bird was an Eastern x Krider’s, but as with all subspecies and especially hybrid thereof, designations of Red-tailed Hawk, absolute identification is likely impossible. Fun bird though!

I’ll add any comments and feedback I receive here:

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, 2/6-12/2021

This distantly phone-scoped image of a Thick-billed Murre at Winslow Park on the 7th was one of two of these sought-after winter pelagics that I saw this week. Despite being so far from open ocean, this was incredible my 3rd ever in the Lower Harraseeket River in South Freeport!

My observations of note over the past seven chilly days including the following:

  • 1 THICK-BILLED MURRE and 1 female BARROW’S GOLDENEYE (first of winter in Harraseeket River, finally), Winslow Park, South Freeport, 2/7.
  • 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bailey Island, Harpswell, 2/9 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 continuing immature female Snowy Owl, Brunswick Landing, 2/9 (with Jeannette).
  • The continuing REDWING, Capisic Pond Park, Portland, 2/11 – Although it was seen in its usual spot for much of the day, I had the bird fly over me at 3:25, about 2/3rds the way to the Machigonne Street entrance from Lucas Street. It landed in some taller trees in full sun, with a sizeable group of robins. When many of the robins took off, it joined them, flying just about tree level and exiting the park. It flew NNW over Congress Street, which I believe is roughly its behavior from the very first day. A Cooper’s Hawk passes through seconds later.
  • 1 THICK-BILLED MURRE, Dyer Point, Cape Elizabeth, 2/12 (with Pat Moynahan).

This Week in Finches:

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: 0
  • Red Crossbill: 10 (Merrill Road, Pownal, 2/11).
  • WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL: 32 Bailey Island, Harpswell, 2/9 (with Jeannette).
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 1 (Maine Street, Brunswick, 2/9; with Jeannette).
  • Purple Finch High Count This Week: 0
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: 0
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week:  0