Tag Archives: Pine Grosbeak

Derek’s Birding This Week: 12/19-25

The good thing about birding is that it can be done anywhere at anytime, such as between errands in Auburn where I enjoyed this Peregrine Falcon hunting around Great Falls. I snapped this photo with my phone through my binoculars on the Hampton Inn in Auburn.

I don’t usually get out birding much in the week before Christmas, and this year it was even less. But a few quick stops, dog-walks, and incidental observations produced only the following observation of note over the past seven days.

  • 1 GRAY CATBIRD, Saco Riverwalk, 12/20.

This Week in Finches:

Although my birding was limited, the dearth of finches was noteworthy. Has the flight passed us by? Did the largest volume of redpolls simply move southward to the west of us? Are there more in the pipeline, or will we have a rather quiet January and February?

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: 1 (Old Town House Park, North Yarmouth, 12/21).
  • Red Crossbill: 0
  • WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL:  0
  • PINE GROSBEAK: up to 10 daily (in and around the yard here at the store all week).
  • Purple Finch: 0
  • Common Redpoll: 0
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week: 3 (Merrill Road Ext, Freeport, 12/19).

Derek’s Birding This Week, 12/12-18, 2020.

Starting the day with Evening Grosbeaks at our home feeders and enjoying Pine Grosbeaks everytime we carry seed out to someone’s car really isn’t too shabby.

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

  • Unusually large number of Red-throated Loons in the northwest corner of Casco Bay all week.
  • 1 BOHEMIAN WAXWING and 1 Savannah Sparrow, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 12/13.
  • 1 RING-NECKED DUCK with about 450 mixed Lesser and Greater Scaup with about 1,000 White-winged Scoters, Wharton Point, Brunswick, 12/14.
  • 425+ mixed Lesser and Greater Scaup, Simpson’s Point, Brunswick, 12/14.
  • 1 Hermit Thrush, Harraseeket Yacht Club, Freeport, 12/18.

This Week in Finches:

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: 12 (flying over our yard in Pownal, 12/13); 2 (Verrill Road, Pownal, 12/13); after a several day absence, up to 4 were in our Pownal yard on 12/15; 1 (Verrill Road, 12/17).
  • Red Crossbills: 1 (Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 12/14); 4 (Cumberland Town Forest, 12/16);
  • WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL:  0
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 6-10 daily (in and around the yard here at the store all week); 4 (Rte 1, Brunswick, 12/14); 10 (Cumberland Town Landing, 12/16); 4 (Rte 88, Cumberland, 12/16).
  • Purple Finch: 0
  • Common Redpoll: 5 (Cumberland Town Landing, 12/16).
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week: 2 (Cumberland Town Landing, 12/16).

Derek’s Birding This Week, 12/5-11, 2020

I didn’t get out birding much this week, but my morning on Bailey Island was fantastic! But the good news is that Pine Grosbeaks have been around our store daily, and this morning lost getting snow tires on my car produced the biggest flock I have seen in the area so far this season. It is nice when the birds come to you!

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

  • 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 1 Hermit Thrush, and 1 Northern Flicker, Bailey Island, Harpswell, 12/7.
  • 1 SNOWY OWL (FOS) and 28 Snow Buntings, Brunswick Landing, 12/7.
  • 1 Turkey Vulture, over the store, 12/7.

This Week in Finches:

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: Up to 3 continue daily at our feeders at home in Pownal through the early part of the week; 2 (Memak Preserve, North Yarmouth, 12/10).
  • Red Crossbills: 4 (Bailey Island, Harpswell, 12/7); 12 (Waterboro Barrens Preserve, 12/8).
  • WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL: 2 (Bailey Island, 12/7).
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 4 (in and around the yard here at the store, 12/2-8); increased to 6 (12/9 – present); 6 (Mayall Road, Gray, 12/9); 3 (Westbrook Riverwalk, 12/11); 18 (Saunders Way, Westbrook, 12/11).
  • Purple Finch: 1 (Bailey Island, 12/7).
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: 7 (Bailey Island, 12/7).
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week: 3 (Bailey Island, 12/7).

Derek’s Birding This Week: 11/28-12/4, 2020

Incredible…a Rock Wren and a Rufous Hummingbird…in Maine…in December. It was a big week! Western birds in the East and finches from the north continue to be the stars of the show.

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

  • 1 Common Grackle continued at the store through 11/28.
  • 1 Turkey Vulture, I-95 South, Scarborough, 11/29.
  • The ROCK WREN, Marginal Way, Ogunquit, 11/29 (with m.obs). Photos above.
  • 1 immature White-crowned Sparrow, 1 Savannah Sparrow, and 1 Swamp Sparrow, Private property in Cape Elizabeth, 11/30.
  • 2 Brant, Dyer Point, Cape Elizabeth, 11/30.
  • 1 continuing immature male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, Ledgewood Drive, Yarmouth, 12/4.  A hummingbird in Maine in December – incredible! 39F when I arrived. Observed repeatedly between 8:00 and 9:00am visiting hummingbird feeder and foraging in trees (especially at the end of spruce twigs). Photos below.

This Week in Finches:

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: Up to 3 continue daily at our feeders at home in Pownal; 2 (Main St, Cumberland, 12/2).
  • Red Crossbills: 15-20 (behind Marginal Way, Ogunquit, 11/29); 12 (Pond Cove, Cape Elizabeth, 11/30); 2+ (Ledgewood Drive, Yarmouth, 12/4).
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 4 (in and around the yard here at the store, 12/2- present); 1 (fly-over, Ledgewood Drive, Yarmouth 12/4); 6 (Royal River Park, Yarmouth, 12/4).
  • Purple Finch: 0
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: 1 (Mayall Rd, Gray/New Gloucester, 12/2).
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week: 32 (Ledgewood Drive, Yarmouth, 12/4).

Derek’s Birding This Week, 11/21-27/2020

Pine Grosbeaks have already started to arrive in Southern Maine, such as this female at the Yarmouth Library on the 25th.

I didn’t get very far afield much this week, but feeder-watching, local patches, and a visit to Sabattus Pond at week’s end made up for it.  My observations of note over the past seven days included the following:

  • 1 continuing LINCOLN’S SPARROW, feeders here at the store through 11/21.
  • 8 American Pipits, Highland Road, Brunswick, 11/21.
  • 1 Fox Sparrow, feeders here at the store, 11/21.
  • 1 Turkey Vulture, over the store, 11/24.
  • 100+ Horned Larks and about 40 Snow Buntings, Mayall Road, Gray/New Gloucester, 11/25.
  • 1 Common Grackle, feeders here at the store, 11/25 -present.

Sabattus Pond, Sabattus, 11/27:

  • It was a great morning as the fog lifted and the water was dead calm. Unfortunately, a high-speed fishing boat, several duck hunting parties, and two hunting Bald Eagles made it difficult to make an accurate count as birds were flushing in different directions.
  • 476 Mallards
  • 301 Canada Geese
  • 231 Ruddy Ducks
  • 174 Common Mergansers
  • 144 American Black Ducks
  • 44 Greater Scaup
  • 26 Hooded Mergansers
  • 18 Lesser Scaup
  • 8 Buffleheads
  • 5 GADWALL
  • 4 Green-winged Teal
  • 4 Common Goldeneyes
  • 3 Northern Pintails
  • 2 Common Loons
  • 1 drake American Wigeon
  • 1 probable hen American Wigeon (very brown-headed individual found last week by P. Moynahan and N. Houlihan. Spotted off South Beach but flushed by fishing boat. Refound on west shore and distantly phone-scoped, but flushed by eagle before I could get closer. Appeared to have white bar on upperwing greater coverts to rule out Eurasian, but not conclusively viewed…other details suggestive or ambiguous. Good luck ruling out a hybrid on a hen wigeon, however!)
  • 1 CACKLING GOOSE (FOY) – in distance from South Beach with large group of Canadas. Flushed by fishing boat before I could get to Riley Road to attempt phone-scoping. Very tiny bird with short neck and very short, stubby bill. Barely larger than the Mallards. Flew north, but not relocated, including searching of farm fields along eastern shore.
  • 1 Belted Kingfisher

The Finch-Tastic Fall festivities continue:

  • EVENING GROSBEAK: 9 continue daily at our feeders at home in Pownal; 1 (Highland Rd, 11/21); 2 (Martin’s Point Park, Sabattus, 11/27.
  • Red Crossbills: 3 (Highland Road, 11/21).
  • PINE GROSBEAK: 4 (Highland Road, 11/21); 3 (Yarmouth Library, 11/25).
  • Purple Finch: 0
  • Common Redpoll: scattered very few.
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week: 6 (our feeders in Pownal, 11/22).

Derek’s Birding This Week, 11/14-20.

I checked a lot of thickets along the coast this week, hoping for late migrants and vagrants. While those were in rather short supply, I had noticed a significant number of Carolina Wrens. Are they rebounding from a couple of harsh winters in a row, or was there another influx of migrants/dispersing birds into the region this fall. Even the common and fairly common birds have so much to teach us about populations, movements, and vagrancy!

It’s getting colder and quieter out there. But, we are in the midst of the late fall Rarity Season, so I made time to check as many of the migrant and vagrant traps as I could this week. Other than a great morning with Jeannette on Bailey Island on Tuesday, I didn’t find much in the way of “lingering” birds. Did the late-October unseasonable cold snap have something to do with it? And/or the lack of natural food resources because of the drought? Or I was in the wrong places?

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

  • 2 PINE GROSBEAKS, Private Property in Durham, 11/14.
  • 1 Red-shouldered Hawk, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 11/15.
  • 1 AMERICAN REDSTART, 9 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, 1 PINE WARBLER, 1 “Ipswich” Savannah Sparrow, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and 1 Winter Wren, Bailey Island, Harpswell, 11/17 (with Jeannette).
  • 1 Red Crossbill, over our yard in Pownal, 11/17.
  • 300+ Horned Larks, 8-10 Snow Buntings, and 2-3 Lapland Longspurs, Mayall Road, Gray/New Gloucester, 11/18. 
  • 1 Gray Catbird, Saco Riverwalk, 11/19.
  • 1 pair Wood Ducks, Pond Cove, Cape Elizabeth, 11/20.
  • 2 Harlequin Ducks, Trundy Point, Cape Elizabeth, 11/20.
  • 2 immature White-crowned Sparrows, Private Property in Cape Elizabeth, 11/20.
  • 1 very late LINCOLN’S SPARROW, here at the store, 11/20.
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week: scattered 1-4’s.
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: 5, Private Property in Cape Elizabeth, 11/20.
  • EVENING GROSBEAK High Count This Week:  9, our yard in Pownal, 11/18.

This Week’s Highlights, 11/7-13, 2020

Well this is sure not something you’ll see everyday! Here’s a vagrant BULLOCK’S ORIOLE from the Western US in front of the Maine state flag!
With only 5-9 previous records in Maine, this visitor to a Freeport backyard was definitely my headliner this week…as it was for most birders in the state!

My observations of note over the past seven days were as follows:

  • 3 immature White-crowned Sparrows continue here at the store’s feeders through 11/11.
  • 1 Red Crossbill, around the store, 11/8.
  • 1 YELLOW WARBLER, 1 Rusty Blackbird, 1 Winter Wren, 4 Greater Yellowlegs, etc, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport 11/9 (with Jeannette).
  • 3 PINE GROSBEAKS (FOY), Moose Point State Park, Searsport, 11/10 (with Evan Obercian).
  • 1 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, Sears Island, 11/10 (with Evan Obercian).
  • 1 Winter Wren and 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Sandy Point Beach, Searsport, 11/10 (with Evan Obercian).
  • 1 BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Stockton Cove, Stockton Springs, 11/10 (with Evan Obercian).
  • 1 Lapland Longspur, 1 Red Crossbill, 4 American Pipits, 6 Snow Buntings, 60+ Horned Larks, Mayall Road, Gray/New Gloucester, 11/11.
  • 1 American Pipit, fly-over here at the store, 11/11 (our 130th Yard Bird!).
  • 1 BULLOCK’S ORIOLE, Spring Hill Lane (see previous posts on Maine Birds Google Group or the Maine Birds Facebook Group for directions), Freeport, 11/11.
  • 1 Red Crossbill, Florida Lake Park, Freeport, 11/12.
  • Pine Siskin High Count This Week: 14, Spring Hill Road, Freeport, 11/11.
  • Common Redpoll High Count This Week: 2, multiple locations.
  • EVENING GROSBEAK High Count This Week: 8, over the store, 11/7 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).