Tag Archives: Saturday Morning Birdwalks

Additional (non-Sandy Point) Highlights This Week, 10/2-8, Pelagic reminder, and Monhegan trip report.

This Savannah Sparrow contemplated walking across the channel instead of flying over the water during Morning Flight at Sandy Point.

A few observations of note away from the Morning Flight over the past seven days for me included:

  • 1 CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 10/2 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk).
  • Overall, it was a great week of sparrow migration, with a nice high count on 10/8 from Wolfe’s Neck Center of 125 Song, 100 Savannah, 75 Swamp, 25 White-throated, 2 White-crowned, and 1 Lincoln’s.
  • Sabattus Pond season is underway as well!  On 10/8, I had early-season tallies of 76 Ruddy Ducks (first of fall), 33 Lesser Scaup, 18 Greater Scaup (first of fall), 2 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers (first of fall), etc.


  • And I’ve finally posted my tour report from Monhegan, 9/24-9/28. The blog includes photos and daily checklists:

The 2015-16 Winter SnowBird(er) Contest is Underway!

L1010480_RECR1_immMale,CousinsIsland,3-28-14_edited-1A group of Red Crossbills on Cousin’s Island that landed at our feet was just one of the highlights during the 2014-15 Winter SnowBird(er) Contest.

It’s December, and you know what that means! It’s time for the SnowBird(er) Contest here at Freeport Wild Bird Supply!

We are very excited to announce the start of the 7th annual “Winter SnowBird(er) Contest,” which was introduced as a way to encourage people to get outdoors in the depths of winter.  Just because it’s cold out does not mean there aren’t a lot of great birds to see!  While we offer free Saturday morning birdwalks throughout the year, it is much easier to entice people to participate in May when warblers are around, or July when it is nice and warm out.

Therefore, to get more birders out and interested in the great winter birding our area offers, we have added an extra incentive: prizes!  Participants accumulate points based on the temperature at the start of the birdwalk – the colder the morning, the more points are awarded.  The contest runs December 5th through March 26th, and at the end of the period, over $250 in prizes will be awarded!

Winter birding can be a lot of fun.  It is prime season to see seaducks, such as Common and Red-throated Loons, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, and scoters.  The southernmost wintering flock of Barrow’s Goldeneyes on the East Coast resides in the lower Harraseeket River in South Freeport, and we frequently visit Winslow Park and the Freeport Town Wharf to enjoy this beautiful duck.
female BAGO with imm COGO1, East Machias River, 2-13-12_edited-1
Barrow’s (center) and Common Goldeneyes side-by-side is another highlight of winter birding in the area.

We’ll look for Northern Shrikes, enjoy our year-round woodland residents, and who knows what else? Last year, we spotted everything from a vagrant Townsend’s Solitaire to Red Crossbills literally at our feet. And, if this winter turns out to be another “irruption” year (and there is a good suggestion that for many species, it will be), we may find Snowy Owls, Common Redpolls, both crossbills, and much more!

Droll Yankees logoThe person with the most points at the end of March wins this year’s Grand Prize: a B7 Domed Caged Feeder complements of DROLL YANKEES. Large capacity, Gray Squirrel-resistant, pigeon-proof, and sheltered from the weather, this great feeder solves feeding station problems. Like all of Droll’s products, it is made in the USA and has a Lifetime Guarantee.

Royal River Massage logoThe runner-up will receive a one-hour massage from ROYAL RIVER MASSAGE in Yarmouth. Relieve “warbler neck” and other aches and pains in a 60 Minute Therapeutic Massage! It’ll be a great way to recover from the winter season of shoveling snow.

Laughing Stock Farm logoAnd, finally, the third place finisher will receive 2 weekly organic vegetable pickups (“medium” shares) at LAUGHING STOCK FARM CSA in Freeport. A selection of veggies will be available on each of two pick-up dates in April.  We’ve been members of the farm’s CSA for 10 years and love having fresh, organic, and local vegetables all year long.

Betsey Puckett, President at Droll Yankees was excited to provide the Grand Prize for the second year in a row, “Kudos…for providing a challenging and educational event. But then again, you Mainers are known for your endurance.”

There are some mornings in mid-winter that can make it tough to get out of bed, so we hope to add a little extra motivation. The real prize of course, is the birding our area offers in the depths of winter.

For a recap of what we have been seeing on our recent birdwalks, you can always visit the News page of our website to see what you are missing. And with 240 species seen in the 11 years of free Saturday Morning Birdwalks, you have been missing a whole lot!

So join us on a Saturday this winter to see how fun winter birding can be, and start accumulating points! Birdwalks meet at the store at 8:00am for a short carpool to a local site, rarely more than 10-15 minutes away. We return to the store between 10 and 10:30 for free shade-grown, organic, bird-friendly coffee and a look at what’s hanging out at our feeders.  The birdwalks are free and do not require advance registration.  Hope to see you soon!

This Snowy Owl in Brunswick during last winter’s birdwalk was the 237th species ever seen on a Saturday Morning Birdwalk

The All-Time Saturday Morning Birdwalk List

Last Update: 12/11/2022.

Our store, Freeport Wild Bird Supply, offers free birdwalks every Saturday morning, all year long. Meeting at 8:00am, we carpool to a local park of seasonal interest, and return to the store for bird-friendly coffee between 10 and 10:30. With the exception of inclement weather, we limit the drive to about 10-15 minutes away, and visit a variety of parks, waterfront overlooks, and other hotspots.

Over the years, we have seen a lot of good birds. We’ve “chased” as species or two, but we have found our fair share of “good” birds.  Encompassing a wide variety of habitats each season, we have seen an impressive array of species. Spurred on by the Townsend’s Solitaire that the Saturday Morning Birdwalk group enjoyed this past weekend, I have finally compiled a list of all of the species seen on Saturday Morning Birdwalks over the past 10 ½ years (As of 2015, and not including any other trips, tours, or special walks).

This is the “unofficial” list at the moment. UPPERCASE is for species seen only once or twice. I am hoping participants will take a look at the list and see if I have missed anything, or made any errors. I’ll edit the list as changes come in, so please let me know what I missed!

      1. Greater White-fronted Goose
      2. Snow Goose
      4. Cackling Goose
      5. Canada Goose
      6. Wood Duck
      7. Gadwall
      9. American Wigeon
      10. American Black Duck
      11. Mallard
      12. Blue-winged Teal
      13. Northern Shoveler
      14. Northern Pintail
      15. Green-winged Teal
      16. Canvasback
      17. Ring-necked Duck
      18. Greater Scaup
      19. Lesser Scaup
      20. Common Eider
      22. Surf Scoter
      23. White-winged Scoter
      24. Black Scoter
      25. Long-tailed Duck
      26. Bufflehead
      27. Common Goldeneye
      28. Barrow’s Goldeneye
      29. Hooded Merganser
      30. Common Merganser
      31. Red-breasted Merganser
      32. Ruddy Duck
      33. Ruffed Grouse
      34. Wild Turkey
      35. Red-throated Loon
      36. Common Loon
      37. Pied-billed Grebe
      38. Horned Grebe
      39. Red-necked Grebe
      40. Double-crested Cormorant
      41. Great Cormorant
      42. American Bittern
      43. Great Blue Heron
      44. Great Egret
      45. Snowy Egret
      46. Little Blue Heron
      47. Green Heron
      48. Black-crowned Night-Heron
      49. Glossy Ibis
      50. Turkey Vulture
      51. Osprey
      52. Bald Eagle
      53. Northern Harrier
      54. Sharp-shinned Hawk
      55. Cooper’s Hawk
      56. Northern Goshawk
      57. Red-shouldered Hawk
      58. Broad-winged Hawk
      59. Red-tailed Hawk
      60. Rough-legged Hawk
      61. GOLDEN EAGLE
      62. American Kestrel
      63. Merlin
      64. Peregrine Falcon
      66. Black-bellied Plover
      67. American Golden-Plover
      68. Semipalmated Plover
      69. Killdeer
      70. Greater Yellowlegs
      71. Lesser Yellowlegs
      72. Solitary Sandpiper
      73. “Eastern” Willet
      74. Spotted Sandpiper
      75. Whimbrel
      77. Ruddy Turnstone
      78. Red Knot
      79. Semipalmated Sandpiper
      80. Least Sandpiper
      81. White-rumped Sandpiper
      82. Baird’s Sandpiper
      83. Pectoral Sandpiper
      84. Purple Sandpiper
      85. Dunlin
      86. Buff-breasted Sandpiper
      87. Short-billed Dowitcher
      89. Wilson’s Snipe
      90. American Woodcock
      92. Laughing Gull
      93. Bonaparte’s Gull
      94. Ring-billed Gull
      95. Herring Gull
      96. Iceland Gull
      97. Lesser Black-backed Gull
      98. Glaucous Gull
      99. Great Black-backed Gull
      100. Common Tern
      101. FORSTER’S TERN
      102. DOVEKIE
      104. Razorbill
      105. Black Guillemot
      106. Rock Pigeon
      107. Mourning Dove
      108. Black-billed Cuckoo
      109. Yellow-billed Cuckoo
      110. Great Horned Owl
      111. Barred Owl
      112. Chimney Swift
      113. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
      114. Belted Kingfisher
      115. Red-bellied Woodpecker
      116. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
      117. Downy Woodpecker
      118. Hairy Woodpecker
      119. Northern Flicker
      120. Pileated Woodpecker
      121. Eastern Wood-Pewee
      122. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
      123. Alder Flycatcher
      124. Willow Flycatcher
      125. Least Flycatcher
      126. Eastern Phoebe
      127. Great Crested Flycatcher
      128. Eastern Kingbird
      129. Northern Shrike
      130. Blue-headed Vireo
      131. Warbling Vireo
      132. Philadelphia Vireo
      133. Red-eyed Vireo
      134. Blue Jay
      135. American Crow
      136. Fish Crow
      137. Common Raven
      138. Horned Lark
      139. Tree Swallow
      140. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
      141. Bank Swallow
      142. Cliff Swallow
      143. Barn Swallow
      144. Black-capped Chickadee
      145. Tufted Titmouse
      146. Red-breasted Nuthatch
      147. White-breasted Nuthatch
      148. Brown Creeper
      149. Carolina Wren
      150. House Wren
      151. Winter Wren
      152. Marsh Wren
      153. Golden-crowned Kinglet
      154. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
      155. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
      156. Eastern Bluebird
      158. Veery
      160. Swainson’s Thrush
      161. Hermit Thrush
      162. Wood Thrush
      163. American Robin
      164. Gray Catbird
      165. Northern Mockingbird
      166. Brown Thrasher
      167. European Starling
      168. American Pipit
      169. Bohemian Waxwing
      170. Cedar Waxwing
      171. Lapland Longspur
      172. Snow Bunting
      173. Ovenbird
      174. Louisiana Waterthrush
      175. Northern Waterthrush
      176. Black-and-white Warbler
      177. Tennessee Warbler
      178. Nashville Warbler
      179. Common Yellowthroat
      180. American Redstart
      181. Cape May Warbler
      182. Northern Parula
      183. Magnolia Warbler
      184. Bay-breasted Warbler
      185. Blackburnian Warbler
      186. Yellow Warbler
      187. Chestnut-sided Warbler
      188. Blackpoll Warbler
      189. Black-throated Blue Warbler
      190. Palm Warbler
      191. Pine Warbler
      192. Yellow-rumped Warbler
      193. Prairie Warbler
      194. Black-throated Green Warbler
      195. Canada Warbler
      196. Wilson’s Warbler
      198. Eastern Towhee
      199. American Tree Sparrow
      200. Chipping Sparrow
      201. Clay-colored Sparrow
      202. Field Sparrow
      203. LARK SPARROW
      204. Savannah Sparrow
      205. Nelson’s Sparrow
      206. Saltmarsh Sparrow
      207. Fox Sparrow
      208. Song Sparrow
      209. Lincoln’s Sparrow
      210. Swamp Sparrow
      211. White-throated Sparrow
      212. White-crowned Sparrow
      213. Dark-eyed Junco
      214. Scarlet Tanager
      216. Northern Cardinal
      217. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
      218. BLUE GROSBEAK
      219. Indigo Bunting
      220. DICKCISSEL
      221. Bobolink
      222. Red-winged Blackbird
      223. Eastern Meadowlark
      224. Rusty Blackbird
      225. Common Grackle
      226. Brown-headed Cowbird
      228. Baltimore Oriole
      229. Pine Grosbeak
      230. House Finch
      231. Purple Finch
      232. White-winged Crossbill
      233. Red Crossbill
      234. Common Redpoll
      235. Pine Siskin
      236. American Goldfinch
      237. Evening Grosbeak
      238. House Sparrow
      239. SNOWY OWL, Brunswick Landing, 1/31/15.
      240. Purple Martin, Rossmore Road, Brunswick, 5/2/15.
      241. BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, Old Town House Park, North Yarmouth, 7/18/15.
      242. WHITE-EYED VIREO, Freeport Transfer Station/Hedgehog Mountain Park 10/10/15
      243. LITTLE EGRET, Tidewater Farm, Falmouth, 7/9/16.
      244. UPLAND SANDPIPER, Bowdoin Sand Plains, 7/1/17
      245. GREAT BLACK HAWK, Deering Oaks Park, Portland, 12/1/18
      246. Vesper Sparrow, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 10/9/21.
      247. CATTLE EGRET, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, 11/6/21
      248. HENSLOW’S SPARROW, Crystal Spring Farm, Brunswick, 7/9/22
      249. Olive-sided Flycatcher, Highland Rd, Brunswick, 8/27/22
      250. Hudsonian Godwit, Wharton Point, Brunswick, 10/15/22.
      251. BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD, Private Property in Freeport, 11/26/22.