Another Scaup?

UPDATE: The verdict is a White Winged Scoter. Thanks to all who replied, it’s greatly appreciated! 

Here we go again! I am a rookie at best when it comes to identifying [tag]seabirds[/tag]. One of these days, I won’t have to ask, “What is that?”

This [tag]duck[/tag] was seen at Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth, [tag]Maine[/tag] over the Christmas weekend. Click thumbnail image for a larger view.

 

Is this a Scaup? Is this a Scaup?

Any clues? Thanks for your help and happy [tag]birding[/tag]!

Dogs are not allowed

I love [tag]animals[/tag], pets, [tag]wildlife[/tag], [tag]birds[/tag], fish… you get the idea, so I don’t want anyone leaving a comment about how I hate dogs, because I don’t. When I had my beagle, named Buddy, I obeyed the law. With pets, you must obey the law, but some people don’t.

My wife and I were near the entrance to the Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary near Biddeford Pool on Christmas eve at approximately 10:00 a.m. We were parked along the street [tag]birding[/tag] and watched a car park directly in front of the gate to the sanctuary. Signs on the gate, which you cannot miss, state “NO DOGS” and “NO PETS”.

A couple exited their car with two dogs and proceeded to walk into the sanctuary with their pets. My wife tried to get their attention by saying that dogs were not allowed in the sanctuary, and when they ignored her, I tried to tell them. They completely ignored us!!

It takes a good bit to upset me, but this episode did. I did nothing. I should have called the Maine Audubon Society. I figured it’s Christmas Eve, so why cause a stink.

But you know what? I should have caused a stink. The sanctuary is there to preserve wildlife, not to be stressed by someones dogs ripping and tearing around. I have seen these rules broken before both at the sanctuary and at the Scarborough Marsh where dogs must be on a leash. If I see anyone in the sanctuary with dogs, I will report them, licenses plates and all. I don’t care if it’s the President of the US or the Mayor of Biddeford.

Here are a few pictures of the entrance to the sanctuary, with the “NO DOGS” sign as evident as the thumb on your hand. Click a thumbnail for a larger view.

 

Signs at the entrance to the Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary. A large sign at the entrance to the Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary makes it obvious that dogs are not allowed.

Beware scofflaws and happy birding!

Identification help

 UPDATE: The creature in question is a Greater Scaup. Thanks Luke! 

 

I have a picture that follows this article of a [tag]duck[/tag] I need help identifying. It was seen in [tag]Biddeford Pool[/tag] and was feeding with Common Goldeneyes. Although not the best picture due to the distance at which the picture was taken, I believe it is good enough for I.D. purposes.

 

Unknown duck in Biddeford Pool, which was seen hanging around with Common Goldeneyes.

Please reply by clicking the Leave a passing comment » link at the end of this article. Thank you!

Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!

Eiders in the Gut at Pines Landing

We have been [tag]birding[/tag] the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool quite a bit lately. Whether it’s low or high tide, [tag]waterfowl[/tag] of all types are either flying or floating through the Gut.

This past weekend we viewed the following;

  • 44 Common Eiders
  • 7 Red-Breasted Mergansers
  • 8 Common Loons
  • 38 Canada Geese
  • 4 Old Squaw (Longtail Duck)
  • 9 Horned Grebe
  • 12 Bufflehead
  • 5 Golden Eye
  • 1 Surf Scoter
  • 1 White Winged Scoter

It was a fun time indeed!

I leave you with some [tag]images[/tag] of the Eiders we saw, some of them comical. Click a thumbnail for a larger view.

Male and Female Eiders feed in the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool. Female Eider going out with the tide at the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool. Immature male Eider with a female at the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool.
Male Eider at the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool. Male Eider at the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool. A male Eider relieves a scratch at the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool.
This male Eider seems to be saying shhh as he preens at the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool. Male Eider splashing in the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool.

 Happy birding!

Ash-Throated Flycatcher

The Ash-Throated Flycatcher that has been seen at the [tag]Saco[/tag] Yacht Club is still hanging around as of today, December 10th.

Thanks to fellow [tag]birder[/tag] Bob Malbon, he is allowing me to post this wonderful [tag]photograph[/tag] he took today of this beautiful [tag]bird[/tag]. Photograph copyright 2006 Bob Malbon and may not be used without permission.

Click the thumbnail for a larger view.

Ash-Throated Flycatcher photographed by Bob Malbon near the Saco Yacht Club. Photograph copyright 2006 Bob Malbon.

 

Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!

Birding in a winter landscape

After a period of above normal temperatures, [tag]Mainer[/tag]s awoke to a fresh covering of snow, gusty winds and bitter temps Friday morning. [tag]Birds[/tag] were flocking to area feeders in droves to replenish their energy for the short-lived cold snap. Forecasts call for above normal temperatures once again for the week ahead. (From reading posts in several professional [tag]weather[/tag] forums, [tag]winter[/tag] will come back and persist beginning the end of this month.)

My wife and I [tag]birded[/tag] both Granite Point and the Gut at Pines Landing in [tag]Biddeford Pool[/tag] these past two weekends. Etherington Pond held quite a few Bufflehead’s and some Ring-Necked [tag]Ducks[/tag] last weekend, but this weekend all ponds in the area were frozen over, including the pannes at Granite Point. Makes it a little difficult for waterfowl to feed in a frozen pond. Curtis Cove held a few White-Winged Scoters, a Surf Scoter and quite a few Red-Breasted Mergansers and Common Eiders.

This Saturday morning and today, we birded the Gut at Pines Landing and saw the following:

  • 100+ Common Eider
  • 12 Common Loons
  • 9 Horned Grebes
  • 2 Red-Necked Grebes
  • 4 Old Squaw (Long-Tailed Ducks)
  • 3 White-Winged Scoters
  • 4 Surf Scoters
  • 7 Golden Eyes
  • 30+ Canada Geese (South-eastern side of Stage Island)
  • 20+ Bufflehead’s
  • 10+ red-Breasted Mergansers
  • 1 Double-Crested Cormorant (Eastern end of Great Pond)

Hunters kept the [tag]waterfowl[/tag] flying, sometimes coming full speed up the Gut into Biddeford Pool. Not a bad two weekends birding, although the windchill yesterday required us to flee to our car for a period of needed warmth.

Below are a few pictures taken from Biddeford Pool and from our backyard. Click a thumbnail for a larger photo.

Male Buffleheads in search of food in Effington Pond in Biddeford Pool. Black Capped Chickadee sitting in a lilac bush at our home in Biddeford. A Black Capped Chickadee looks as if he is praying as he pecks at a seed at our home in Biddeford.
A Black Capped Chickadee, at our feeder in Biddeford, holding a sunflower seed with his beak. A male Common Eider floating in the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool. A male Common Eider flapping his wings in the Gut at Pines Landing in Biddeford Pool.

 

Happy birding!