Seal Island, Monhegan Island, and shorebird migration. Lots of “good birds” in great places this week. Here are my observations of note over the past seven days.
- Red Crossbills along the coast: 1+, Pownal, 7/23; 1, Brooksville, 7/24 (with Laura Blandford); 1-2’s scattered on Monhegan Island, 7/25;
- An incredible trip to Seal Island on 7/23 produced all of the expected breeding seabirds, a couple of Common Murres; a Peregrine Falcon show; migrating Whimbrels, one Great Shearwater, and a PARASITIC JAEGER. Photos and the complete trip report can be found here.
- Hardy Boat from New Harbor to Monhegan, 7/25 (with Jeannette): 6 Cory’s Shearwaters (FOY) and 8 Great Shearwaters.
- A “non-birding” weekend with Jeannette friends to Monhegan Island 7/25-26 actually yielded some outstanding birding! The highlight was a four-species shearwater show off of Lobster Cove throughout the day on 7/25. We saw at least 3 MANX SHEARWATERS and 2 Sooty Shearwaters (FOY) among numbers of Cory’s and Great Shearwaters. They were passing at a slow but steady rate of about 16 Great and 6 Cory’s every 5 minutes, plus an average of 9 Atlantic Puffins per 5 minutes. Hard to tell if the shearwaters were swirling, rounding the island, or just streaming by. 1-2 ROSEATE TERNS joined Arctic and Common Terns feeding nearshore – Roseate was a new “island bird” for me.
- Other Monhegan highlights: 1-2 Blue-winged Teal continue, 1 Great Egret (also an “island bird” for me!), and 1+ Sharp-shinned Hawk.
- Hardy Boat departure from Monhegan to New Harbor (with Jeannette), 7/26: 1 PURPLE SANDPIPER, Outer Duck Islands from ferry seal watching diversion. Unexpected and incredible mid-summer record; no camera available and phone-binning was a complete failure. With a few Ruddy Turnstones. 1 more Cory’s Shearwater en route.
- 1 molting adult BLACK TERN, Pine Point Co-op, Scarborough, 7/29.
Shorebird high counts this week. I had an excellent tally of 19 species, although counts were a little low due to limited visitation to the best shorebird sites.
- Black-bellied Plover: 14, Pine Point, Scarborough, 7/29.
- Killdeer: 4, Rte 1/9 pannes, Scarborough Marsh, 7/29.
- Semipalmated Plover: 159, Pine Point, 7/29.
- Piping Plover: 6, escaping people by foraging on mudflats off the Pine Point Co-op, Scarborough Marsh, 7/29.
- Whimbrel: 20 (flocks of 12 and 8), Seal Island, 7/23 (with “Not-so-search for Troppy Tour Group).
- Ruddy Turnstone: 5, Outer Ducks, Monhegan, 7/26 (with Jeannette).
- STILT SANDPIPER: 2 ad, Pelreco Marsh, Scarborough Marsh, 7/29 (John Lorenc had 5 earlier in the morning) and 1 ad, Eastern Rd Trail, Scarborough Marsh, 7/29.
- PURPLE SANDPIPER: 1, Outer Ducks, 7/26 (with Jeannette; see above).
- Sanderling: 4, Seal Island, 7/23 (with “Not-so-search for Troppy Tour Group).
- Least Sandpiper: 40+, Eastern Road Trail, 7/29.
- White-rumped Sandpiper: 6 total around Scarborough Marsh, 7/29.
- Pectoral Sandpiper: 1, Pine Point, 7/29.
- Semipalmated Sandpiper: 100+ Pine Point, 7/29.
- Short-billed Dowitcher: 24, Eastern Road Trail, 7/29.
- Spotted Sandpiper: 3, Seal Island, 7/23 (with “Not-so-search for Troppy Tour Group).
- Solitary Sandpiper: 1-2, Monhegan Island, 7/26 (with Jeannette).
- Lesser Yellowlegs: 18, Eastern Road Trail, 7/29.
- “Eastern” Willet: 27, Pine Point, 7/29.
- Greater Yellowlegs: 12, Eastern Road Trail, 7/29.
Our next event here at the store is on August 4th when we welcome Paul Doiron to read from and sign copies of his new book, Hatchett Island. His latest crime thriller takes place on an imaginary seabird island here in Maine! More information can be found here.