A quiet weekend

 It was a quiet weekend [tag]birding[/tag] in and around [tag]Biddeford Pool[/tag]. Bitter cold temperatures and high winds made the wind chill unbearable for man and beast. A light covering of snow completed the ensemble.

 Curtis Cove held a lone Common Loon, which has been in the cove for several weeks now. New Barn Cove featured no fewer than 5 Surf Scoters and several Golden Eyes. The Little River was at low tide and only a few Black-Backed Gulls fed near the sand bar opposite the boat launch. The pannes in the marsh were frozen over, denying any [tag]duck[/tag] that planned on feeding in them.

 Where we stop , when we bird the Biddeford Pool area, is outlined on the map below.

Biddeford Pool Area Birding Map

  1. Little River at the end of Granite Point Road
  2. Curtis Cove
  3. New Barn Cove
  4. Pannes within the Rachel Carson NWR
  5. Etherington Pond opposite Fortunes Rocks Beach
  6. Lord’s Pond
  7. View point of Biddeford Pool
  8. View point of Biddeford Pool
  9. The Gut at Vines Landing
  10. East Point Sanctuary
  11. View point at Ocean Avenue and Bay Street
  12. Great Pond

 After leaving Granite Point, we drove to the Fortunes Rocks area. On Etherington Pond, a [tag]deer[/tag] lay on the ice covered pond wounded and bleeding. One bystander said it looked like it was attacked by a [tag]coyote[/tag]. We drove to the gas station on Route 9 near UNE and called the police. They assured me that the [tag]Game Warden[/tag] was on his way.

 We went back to the pond and waited for over an hour, but left before the wardens came. We really did not want to see what was surely to come when the wardens did arrive.

 While we waited, two red [tag]fox[/tag] were out on the ice, trying to work their way to wards the injured deer. One sat down and looked as if he were working out a way to get around to the deer. Bystanders on the opposite shores of the pond eventually scared the foxes away.

 We stopped at the Gut at Vine’s landing, but [tag]waterfowl[/tag] was scarce there too. Three Bufflehead’s flew out of the Pool and through the Gut, and a handful of Common Eider fed near the point on the opposite shore.

 Eastern Point was not much better, seeing a dozen Old Squaw, Surf and White-Winged Scoters, Black Ducks and a few Red-Breasted Mergansers.

 The weather was nasty over the weekend. Our fine feathered friends were more than likely seeking shelter in the protected coves of the rocky Maine shoreline.

The following are pictures I took of Curtis Cove about 45 minutes after sunrise. Click a thumbnail for a larger view.

 

The rising sun over Curtis Cove, on Granite Point. The rising sun over Curtis Cove, on Granite Point.

Happy birding!

Great Horned Owl

A wonderful surprise awaited us this morning while birding the Biddeford Pool area.

My wife and I were out on Granite Point, and not much at all was happening with our feathered friends. A large flock of Canada Geese were resting near the big rock in the Little River, while Black Ducks and Mallards were feeding in the pannes.

While scanning Curtis Cove, fellow birder Bob Malbon drove up and asked if we would like to see an [tag]owl[/tag]. Well of course we did, so we followed him to Mile Stretch Road in [tag]Biddeford Pool[/tag].

What awaited us was simply incredible! A [tag]Great Horned Owl[/tag] was resting under a bush between some houses on the Pool side of the road. Bob told us that Crows were harassing the Owl, and some of the Crows were sitting in the bush above the Owl, obviously waiting for the Owl to take flight to be harassed even more.

We watched and photographed the Owl for just about an hour. At one point, it seemed that the Owl was tired of waiting for the warmth of the sunshine to fall on his shady spot, so it walked over into the sunshine, feeling the warmth and falling asleep.

The following are pictures we took this morning of this beautiful creature. Simply click a thumbnail for a larger view. Bob also took some shots and they may be seen at his site.

Great Horned Owl near Mile Stretch Road in Biddeford Pool, Maine. Great Horned Owl near Mile Stretch Road in Biddeford Pool, Maine. Great Horned Owl near Mile Stretch Road in Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Great Horned Owl near Mile Stretch Road in Biddeford Pool, Maine. Great Horned Owl near Mile Stretch Road in Biddeford Pool, Maine. Great Horned Owl near Mile Stretch Road in Biddeford Pool, Maine.

 

Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!