Pennsylvania birding report

Just a quick report on our Thanksgiving visit to [tag]Pennsylvania[/tag]. The theme this trip was Hawks and Eagles. Although I did not get any [tag]pictures[/tag] of these raptors, there are a few [tag]photos[/tag] below of the activity around my brother Steve’s feeders, including a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker. It was good to be “back home” again!

Species noted are as follows:

Location:     Mifflintown
Observation date:     11/24/07
Notes:     Sunny, winds calm, temp 23 F.
Number of species:     29

Canada Goose     12     (Flight over Juniata River)
American Black Duck     6     (Feeding in Juniata River)
Mallard     4     (Feeding in Juniata River)
Ring-necked Pheasant     1
Wild Turkey     2
Bald Eagle     3     (2 immature, 1 Adult)
Cooper’s Hawk     4
Red-tailed Hawk     2
Merlin     1
Mourning Dove     5
Belted Kingfisher     2
Red-bellied Woodpecker     1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker     1
Downy Woodpecker     2
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Blue Jay     3
American Crow     11
Carolina Chickadee     1
Black-capped Chickadee     12
Tufted Titmouse     10
Red-breasted Nuthatch     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     10
American Robin     2
Northern Mockingbird     1
Dark-eyed Junco     4
Northern Cardinal     2
House Finch     3
American Goldfinch     11
House Sparrow     4

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

Notice how the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker blends in with the tree it is on. If it had not moved it’s head, I would have never known it was there.

Goldfinch - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Goldfinch - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Tufted Titmouse - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania.
Tufted Titmouse - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. White Breasted Nuthatch - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. White Breasted Nuthatch - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania.
White Breasted Nuthatch - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Yellow Bellied Sapsucker - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Yellow Bellied Sapsucker - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania.
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Yellow Bellied Sapsucker - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Yellow Bellied Sapsucker - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania.
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Yellow Bellied Sapsucker - Mifflintown, Pennsylvania.

Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!

Thanksgiving Greetings

Thanksgiving Greetings

We wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!!

Are there many things we take for granted
without pause as we rush through our days?
Might we slow down for just a few seconds
as small blessings we quickly appraise.

Could we take a hot shower this morning,
brush our teeth at a porcelain stand?
Everyday acts, but seeming a luxury
to soldiers gritty with alien sand.

We could kiss our sweetheart and share a hug,
a common embrace of affection
unless you’re alone, far away from home,
danger lurking in each direction.

Later we’ll dine with dear family and friends
while defenders send love from afar.
Unselfishly, they wish us enjoyment –
a freedom celebration unmarred.

In a foreign land our soldiers struggle;
to be with us how strongly they yearn.
Please remember them this Thanksgiving Day
and say a prayer for their quick return.

~ Tomi Fratto ~

Maine Audubon Rare Bird Alert: Nov. 20

Maine Audubon Rare Bird Alert
Reporting Period: November 16 – November 20
Area: State of Maine
Compilers: Eric Hynes and Stella Walsh

 Of Special Note

 This week’s rarities included a TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE in Brooksville and WESTERN KINGBIRDS in Falmouth and Scarborough.

 Lingering species included BLUE-WINGED TEAL, WILSON’S SNIPE, BLUE-HEADED VIREO and CAPE MAY WARBLER.

 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, COMMON REDPOLLS and PINE GROSBEAKS continue to be widely reported, particularly in northern and central Maine.  EVENING GROSBEAKS are still turning up at feeders but not in the numbers seen several weeks ago.  NORTHERN SHRIKE reports continue state-wide at an above average rate.

 York County

 A CAPE MAY WARBLER continues to be seen at feeders along Hills Beach Road in Biddeford.  The YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER at Fortunes Rocks has not been reported in this time period.

 On November 18, a NORTHERN PINTAIL and a late BLUE-WINGED TEAL were among the 8 species of ducks at Sanford Sewage Treatment Plant. Also seen were a NORTHERN HARRIER, EVENING GROSBEAK, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE.

 Saco Bay

 Birds being seen off-shore in Saco Bay include RAZORBILLS, NORTHERN GANNETS, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS.

 Greater Portland

 A BLUE-HEADED VIREO was found in Portland on the edge of the water treatment plant driveway which continues from the eastern end of Marginal Way.

 The HUDSONIAN GODWIT continued to be seen through at least November 19 near the lobster co-op at Pine Point in Scarborough.

 Sightings of the WESTERN KINGBIRD at Dunstan Landing in Scarborough have become few and far between but it was most recently reported on November 19.  Another WESTERN KINGBIRD is frequenting crabapple trees near the barn at Tidewater Farm in Falmouth.  Also noted at this spot were a single PINE GROSBEAK, an immature NORTHERN SHRIKE and an immature BALTIMORE ORIOLE who was feeding in the apple trees in back of the farmhouse.

 Also in Falmouth, on November 19, an immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK was being harassed by crows as it soared over Gilsland Farm.

 Fifty COMMON REDPOLLS were feasting on birch catkins at Florida Lake Park on November 18. 

 Five PINE GROSBEAKS perched in a deciduous treetop on Tuttle Rd, Pownal on November 15.

 Two RED CROSSBILLS were at Pratt’s Brook Park, Yarmouth on November 17.

 Androscoggin Valley

 Lingering birds included a late RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD at feeders in Auburn and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in Buckfield.

 Midcoast

 Seven RED CROSSBILLS and about 15 COMMON REDPOLLS were at Merrymeeting Bay WMA in Dresden.

 The flock of COMMON REDPOLLS at Green Point WMA has swollen to about 50 birds as of November 20.

 A pair of BLUE-WINGED TEAL along with 232 Green-winged Teal and 69 American Coots were at the mouth of the Abbagadasset River, Brown Point Road in Bowdoinham.

 A BALTIMORE ORIOLE is feeding on apples in a Phippsburg yard.

 A flock of 50+ BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were feeding on winterberry at the Lake Nequasset boat launch off old stage road in Wiscasset on November 19.

 Kennebec Valley

 Colby College in Waterville is proving to be a reliable place to find PINE GROSBEAKS and BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS.  A flock of 125 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were devouring crabapples near the tennis courts on November 19.

 A BARROW’S GOLDENEYE was mixed into the large raft of Common Goldeneye on the Kennebec River off of Fort Halifax in Winslow on November 18.

 Central – Bangor

 Two BARROW’S GOLDENEYE drakes have joined the dozen COMMON GOLDENEYE drakes in the Penobscot River near the intersection of State St. and Hogan Rd. in Bangor.

 Penobscot Bay

 A TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE was discovered November 19 on the hill above the Bucks Harbor Market on Coastal Road in Brooksville.

 Downeast

 A WILSON’S SNIPE was seen in Machias on November 19. PINE GROSBEAKS, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, and COMMON REDPOLLS continue in numbers in the Machias area.

 Northern Maine- Aroostook

 At the edge of its range, a TUFTED TITMOUSE was in Presque Isle.

Report Provided By:
Eric Hynes
Staff Naturalist / Gilsland Farm Center Manager
Maine Audubon
20 Gilsland Farm Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
207-781-2330 ext. 237
ehynes@maineaudubon.org
www.maineaudubon.org

Bird Watching Pine Point

Clear skies and a temperature of 22 F. greeted us at Scarborough’s Pine Point this morning. Very light northwest winds made it bearable. In the distance, Mt. Washington’s snow covered peaks along with ponds in the area that are ice covered, reminded us that winters’ icy grip is not too far behind.

Sharon and I birded with Bob Malbon this morning. (Bob, by the way, has some great [tag]birding pictures[/tag] at his site.) While Bob and I went one way on the beach in search of [tag]birds[/tag] to photograph, Sharon strolled along the Pine Point Neck looking for Harbor [tag]Seals[/tag]. With an outgoing tide concentrating fish through the neck, the Seals had a wonderful feast. Sharon saw no fewer than 21 Seals and a slew of White Winged Scoters on her side of the beach.

Meanwhile, Bob and I stalked a few Black Bellied Plovers and Dunlins. A large group of Buffleheads did not feel photogenic, and felt obligated to head for the middle of the harbor before we got within a hundred yards of them. These ducks are very difficult to get near, and most of the time, nothing short of popping up in the middle of them with a submarine will get you anywhere near them. It also does not help with duck hunting season being back in progress.

A strange sight this morning had us scratching our heads as we were driving back to Route 1 via Black Point Road. A large flock of Canada Geese were standing on the ice on a pond. This, in itself, is not unusual but among them were 4 wild Turkey. This situation had me wondering what the Turkeys were doing on the ice and what would happen if the ice broke and they fell into the water. As far as I know, Turkeys are not good swimmers.

All and all not a bad morning as you can see with the following species list.

Location:     Pine Point, Scarborough
Observation date:     11/18/07
Notes:     Clear skies, light NW winds with a morning temp of 22 F. Observers: John Briggs | Sharon Briggs | Bob Malbon
Number of species:     26

Canada Goose     22
American Black Duck     12
Mallard     3
Common Eider     8
White-winged Scoter     16
Long-tailed Duck     4
Bufflehead     30
Common Merganser     1
Red-breasted Merganser     2
Wild Turkey     7
Common Loon     4
Horned Grebe     1
Great Blue Heron     1
Black-bellied Plover     6
Semipalmated Plover     1
Dunlin     175
Mourning Dove     2
Blue Jay     4
American Crow     10
Black-capped Chickadee     5
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Northern Mockingbird     2
Snow Bunting     9
Northern Cardinal     1
Pine Siskin     2
House Sparrow     20

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

While nothing spectacular was photographed, I did happen across a very late Semipalmated Plover who was very friendly. Enjoy our [tag]bird pictures[/tag] by clicking a thumbnail for a larger view.

Note: Sharon and I will be in Pennsylvania for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, until Sunday November 25th. Our bird report and any photos from the Keystone state will be the following week.

Black Backed Gull - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Black Bellied Plover - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Black Bellied Plover - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.
Black Bellied Plover - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Dunlin - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Semipalmated Plover - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.
Semipalmated Plover - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Semipalmated Plover - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.

Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!

Maine Audubon Rare Bird Alert: Nov. 15

Semipalmated Plover | Curtis Cove | Biddeford Pool, Maine | Nov. 17, 2007A new feature here at Birding In Maine will be the posting of the Maine Audubon Rare Bird Alerts. Many thanks go to Eric Hynes, Staff Naturalist / Gilsland Farm Center Manager, Maine Audubon.

Of Special Note

This week was dominated by continued reports of good numbers of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS and PINE GROSBEAKS with scattered reports of arriving COMMON REDPOLLS.  Waterfowl numbers continued to build along the coast. NORTHERN SHRIKE reports continued state-wide.

Notable finds this week included a WESTERN GREBE, and the winter’s first GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS.  A HUDSONIAN GODWIT and WESTERN KINGBIRD continue at Pine Point. A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER continues at Fortunes Rocks.

Lingering migrants included CAPE MAY, PINE and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER.

York County

In Biddeford, a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER continued in the shrubs along Etherington Pond on Fortunes Rocks Road through November 12 and a female CAPE MAY WARBLER is reported at a series of feeders on Hills Beach Road.

A single COMMON REDPOLL visited a feeder in Berwick this past weekend.

Three PINE GROSBEAKS were seen along Rt. 25 in Cornish at the north end of the county on November 11.

Greater Portland

An Aechmophorus Grebe, likely a WESTERN, was videotaped and photographed off of Pine Point Beach in Scarborough late on November 9. The bird has not been relocated. A sub-adult ICELAND GULL is also being seen sporadically in this area.

Elsewhere at Pine Point, a LITTLE GULL was found near the Lobster Co-op on November 12, mixed with about 200 Bonaparte’s Gulls.  An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER and a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER joined the HUDSONIAN GODWIT and the hundreds of Dunlin and Black-bellied Plovers foraging on the flats there.

The lingering WESTERN KINGBIRD continues but is not reliably found at the end of Dunstan Landing Road, off of Pine Point Road, in Scarborough. 

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen at Village Crossings in Cape Elizabeth on November 11.

On November 13, a BALTIMORE ORIOLE foraged briefly in the apple orchard behind the environmental center at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth.  A very cooperative PINE WARBLER was gleaning insects just outside the front door of the environmental center on November 15.

Birds at Florida Lake Park in Freeport this week included two RED CROSSBILLS on November 10 and two BOREAL CHICKADEES on November 14.  Other birds at this site included a RUFFED GROUSE, PIED-BILLED GREBE, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and PINE GROSBEAKS.

Western

COMMON REDPOLLS have been showing up at feeders in the Wilton area.

Androscoggin Valley – Lewiston

A juvenile NORTHERN SHRIKE and a small flock of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were noted at Leavitt High School in Turner on November 12.

An impressive concentration of ducks, including 643 RUDDY DUCKS and a NORTHERN SHOVELER, were tallied at Sabattus Pond in Sabattus on November 12.

Midcoast

A PEREGRIN FALCON was pursuing pigeons over the parking lot of Fort Andros in Brunswick on November 11, marking the 7th year one has wintered at that site.  Another PEREGRINE FALCON was seen at Spirit Pond in Phippsburg on November 14.

A male RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was seen at a suet feeder on River Road in Topsham and a second at feeders in Woolwich.

A late BLUE-WINGED TEAL as well as a GADWALL and a NORTHERN PINTAIL were reported at the mouth of the Abbagadasset River in Bowdoinham on November 12.  Other birds at this site included numerous GREEN-WINGED TEAL and AMERICAN COOTS, PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, seven GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and three GREAT BLUE HERONS.

A lingering PINE WARBLER is visiting a yard in Georgetown.

Kennebec Valley – Augusta

An ICELAND GULL was seen from Route 8 in Smithfield.

Five BARROW’S GOLDENEYES were with COMMON GOLDENEYES on the Kennebec River at Fort Halifax in Winslow on November 9.

Two GLAUCOUS GULLS and one ICELAND GULL were at the Hatch Hill Landfill in Augusta on November 13.

Twenty PINE GROSBEAKS were feasting on a fruiting tree along a back road in Benton.

In Benton, at least 80 COMMON REDPOLLS were foraging on birch catkins on November 15.

BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS and PINE GROSBEAKS have been visiting a crabapple tree in the village of Purgatory in Litchfield.

A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER has been visiting a feeder in Winthrop each afternoon since November 13.

PINE GROSBEAKS are frequenting the Skowhegan area and several were found in Whitefield as well.

Central – Bangor

Orono topped the BOHEMIAN WAXWING reports this week with 160 – 170 at the Post Office, 100 more at the University of Maine gardens, and another 15 in the area of the Bangor Mall.  PINE GROSBEAKS were found at a number of locations in the Bangor area as well.

Downeast

COMMON REDPOLLS, PINE GROSBEAKS and BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS dominated the reports from Washington County, with good numbers reported in both Calais and Machias.

A BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER was found at Meddybemps Lake.

Northern Maine- Aroostook

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS are being seen regularly across the area with reports from Hersey in southern Aroostook to St David in the northern part of the county. 

The first ICELAND GULL of the season in northeastern Maine was a first winter bird found with some lingering Ring-billed Gulls at Collins Pond in Caribou on the 12th.

A BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER was found at the boat launch of Nadeau Pond in Fort Fairfield. 

A few HORNED LARKS continue to linger in area potato fields.  Numbers are down from a high count of over 120 seen in Limestone at the beginning of the month.

The largest flocks of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS seen were 170 at Presque Isle and 120 at Caribou.  Most other groups were 20-50 birds.

GRAY JAYS were seen at Madawaska Lake and Woodland.

A very late BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD was found with a group of House Sparrows in Presque Isle.

COMMON REDPOLLS and PINE GROSBEAKS have been frequenting feeders in New Sweden.

Eric Hynes
Staff Naturalist / Gilsland Farm Center Manager
Maine Audubon
20 Gilsland Farm Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
207-781-2330 ext. 237
ehynes@maineaudubon.org
www.maineaudubon.org

Cold morning at Pine Point

I wrote yesterday that I thought Saturday morning was cold. This morning was colder yet! Temperatures were in the low 20’s with a light wind. Frost was light, but there was a light covering of ice on area ponds. This time, I was dressed for the weather.

Fall migrants are finishing their southward migration and new wintering [tag]birds[/tag] are arriving every day. For the first time since moving to Maine, I had Pine Siskins visiting my [tag]bird[/tag] feeders both yesterday and today. Last weekend, I had my first of the season Purple Finches visiting. If only I could get a Pine Grosbeak or an Evening Grosbeak to visit, I would be one happy camper!

Our [tag]bird watching[/tag] travels today took us back to Pine Point. The wayward Hudsonian Godwit was absent and hopefully left for warmer climes. (If any other birders that were present at Pine Point this morning saw the H. Godwit, please let me know.) Quite a few Dunlin and several Black Bellied Plovers were feeding on the mud flats. One each of a Lesser Yellowlegs and a Greater Yellowlegs were seen near the dilapidated pier.

We later drove towards Camp Ellis. A pair of Horned Grebes and a single Red-Necked Grebe were seen off the pier at Camp Ellis, along with Surf Scoters and a White Winged Scoter. All of which are first of the season for us.

I have compiled the following species list through eBird:

Location:     Pine Point, Scarborough    Observers: John & Sharon Briggs
Observation date:     11/11/07
Notes:     Temperature: Low 20’s with light winds. Light frost although thin ice on area ponds.
Number of species:     34

American Black Duck     12
Mallard     2
Ring-necked Duck     6
Common Eider     2
Harlequin Duck     1
Surf Scoter     2
White-winged Scoter     1
Long-tailed Duck     3
Bufflehead     5
Red-breasted Merganser     3
Common Loon     2
Horned Grebe     2
Red-necked Grebe     1
Double-crested Cormorant     2
Great Cormorant     1
Great Blue Heron     1
Black-bellied Plover     4
Greater Yellowlegs     1
Lesser Yellowlegs     2
Dunlin     75
Mourning Dove     3
Downy Woodpecker     1
Blue Jay     1
American Crow     15
Black-capped Chickadee     3
White-breasted Nuthatch     2
European Starling     7
Yellow-rumped Warbler     2
Dark-eyed Junco     6
Snow Bunting     4
House Finch     6
Pine Siskin     2
American Goldfinch     4
House Sparrow     12

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

These [tag]bird pictures[/tag] were taken at Pine Point on November 10th and 11th, 2007. The Yellow Billed Cuckoo pictures were taken at Eastern Point in Biddeford Pool on November 4th, 2007.

Black Bellied Plover - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Dunlin - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Dunlin - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.
Dunlin Flight - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Dunlin Flight - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Common Loon Flight - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.
American Crow Flight - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Black Capped Chickadee - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Downy Woodpecker - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.
Female House Finch - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Male House Finch - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Lesser Yellowlegs - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.
Ring Necked Ducks - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Yellow Billed Cuckoo - Eastern Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Yellow Billed Cuckoo - Eastern Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Yellow Rumped Warbler - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Yellow Rumped Warbler - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.

Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!

Hudsonian Godwit

Making our [tag]birding[/tag] rounds this morning, we strayed from the usual route and decided to [tag]bird[/tag] Pine Point in Scarborough, [tag]Maine[/tag]. Not really dressed for temperatures in the upper 20’s with gusty winds, I exited the warm confines of the car and walked out onto the beach at the Co-op. What a pleasant surprise to find a Hudsonian Godwit feeding along the waters edge!

Using the upside down boats on the beach as cover, I crouched and began photographing the wayward bird. Others began to arrive to view the bird, so I pulled back and went to the car. Suffice to say, the heater got a good workout.

Enjoy the photos of this unusual late season treat. I will return tomorrow with more photos of other [tag]birds[/tag] and a complete species list of what we saw over the Verteran’s Day weekend.

Hudsonian Godwit - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Hudsonian Godwit - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.
Hudsonian Godwit - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Hudsonian Godwit - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.

Happy birding!