So much for the mythological “summer birding doldrums.” They never really existed, but between climate change, land use changes, and better birding communication, they certainly don’t exist now. Several rarities headlined the week, along with the first wave of southbound (fall!) shorebird migration. My highlights of note over the past seven days included the following:
1 adult Black Tern, Pine Point, Scarborough, 7/2 (early migrant/post- or failed-breeding dispersal. With client from North Carolina). N. Gibb had two that afternoon, and one bird continued through 7/8 (with Buffalo Ornithological Society)
“Fall” migration is definitely underway, with the vanguard of southbound shorebirds now arriving. A good diversity for the date in Scarborough Marsh on 7/2 included 9 Black-bellied Plovers, 7 Greater Yellowlegs, 3 Short-billed Dowitchers (first of fall), and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs (FOF). (With client from North Carolina).
1 HENSLOW’S SPARROW, Crystal Springs Farm at intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and Casco/Church St, Brunswick, 7/6. Found on 7/5 by Gordon Smith. Observed from 6:25am through 8:15am, singing nearly constantly. Video (better than the photo above) at: https://fb.watch/e5wtcTjSrV/
4-5 Red Crossbills and 4 Short-billed Dowitchers, Reid State Park, Georgetown, 7/7.
1 continuing BLACK-NECKED STILT, salt pannes on north end of Scarborough Marsh from US Rte 1, Scarborough, 7/8 (with Buffalo Ornithological Society).
1 continuing proposed TRICOLORED HERON X SNOWY EGRET X LITTLE EGRET hybrid, Eastern Road Trail, Scarborough Marsh, 7/8 (with Buffalo Ornithological Society). *Hybrid combo as proposed in: Lovitch, Derek J. 2022. Photo Salon: Hybrid Herons of Maine. North American Birds 72 (2): 28-40.
Migrant shorebird migrant totals from Scarborough Marsh on 7/8 (with Buffalo Ornithological Society): 100+ Least Sandpipers, 19 Short-billed Dowitchers, 8 Lesser Yellowlegs, 4 Greater Yellowlegs, and 4 Black-bellied Plovers.
Additionally, the overall structure of a skinnier, longer neck, slightly longer legs, and a longer, slightly more tapering and pointed bill more like a “mini Great Egret” than the relatively-more compact Snowy.
My highlights over the past six days included the following:
1 CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (Maguire Road), 2 Upland Sandpipers, 8 Grasshopper Sparrows, 14 Vesper Sparrows, etc, Kennebunk Plains, 5/24 (all personal FOY since it was my first visit here this season).
1 LITTLE EGRET, as previously reported, Dunstan Creek Marsh, Scarborough Marsh, 5/25 (with clients from Connecticut…see photos and captions above).
1 drake NORTHERN SHOVELER and 1 pair Gadwalls, Pelreco Marsh, Scarborough Marsh, 5/25 and 5/26 (with clients from Connecticut).
2 Common Nighthawks, our yard in Pownal, 5/25.
My few other new spring arrivals included only the following:
5 Semipalmated Sandpipers, Pine Point, Scarborough, 5/25 (with clients from Connecticut) and 14 there on 5/26 (with same clients).
My highlights over the past seven days included the following:
1 Red Crossbill, Runaround Pond, Durham, 4/3.
1 drake “EURASIAN” GREEN-WINGED TEAL, Mouth of the Abagadasset River, Bowdoinham, 4/4 (with Jeannette).
3 Red Crossbill, Bradbury Mountain Hawkwatch, 4/8.
1 probable WHITE-FACED IBIS (as previously reported; FOY), Rte 1/9 Salt Pannes, Scarborough MarSh, 4/9. However, it did not have particular bright bare parts or “face,” so it is either not yet in high breeding, or it could be a hybrid. My views were just a little too insufficient to be 100% sure.
And my personal first-of-years and new spring arrivals included (obviously I had not been to Scarborough Marsh in a while!):