Glossy Ibis and a new camera

Hoping all week long that at least one of the weekend days would be bright and sunny, Saturday was just that. I finally had the chance to try out my new camera, a Canon 40D, that was purchased earlier in the week.

Sharon and I traveled down to Biddeford Pool area early Saturday morning for some bird watching and bird photography. We encountered Piping Plovers at Goose Rocks Beach, a Glossy Ibis at Granite Point and an early Common Tern at Fortunes Rock Beach.

While walking through Eastern Point Sanctuary, we flushed a Merlin in the woods near the gate. A Brown Thrasher was singing from the brush on the Wood Island side of the point, near an artist painting a landscape scene.

Through this week, the area around our home continues to be a hot spot for Osprey and Bald Eagles. Nearly every evening, these Raptors are everywhere. Some carrying fish, while others are looking for food. Just this morning, as the tide was coming in, Sharon and I watched an Osprey bathing just offshore.

A few new yard birds this week, including a Northern Mockingbird, Savannah Sparrow, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Northern Harrier, House Finch and a Yellow-Rumped Warbler. I will update the list on my 2008 Bath, Maine Yard Bird List shortly.

The following is a tally of birds seen during our birding trip to Biddeford Pool on Saturday.

Location:     Granite Point (traveling count)
Observers: John and Sharon Briggs
Observation date:     4/26/08
Notes:     Frosty and clear, temps mid 30’s, light NW winds.
Number of species:     38

Canada Goose     5
American Black Duck     7
Mallard     4
Northern Pintail     4
Green-winged Teal     2
Common Eider     16
Common Merganser     2
Common Loon     1
Double-crested Cormorant     50
Great Blue Heron     5
Great Egret     6
Snowy Egret     9
Glossy Ibis     1
Turkey Vulture     4
Red-tailed Hawk     1
American Kestrel     1
Merlin     1
Common Tern     1
Mourning Dove     3
Blue Jay     4
American Crow     16
Tree Swallow     20
Barn Swallow     1
Black-capped Chickadee     7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     2
American Robin     13
Northern Mockingbird     9
Brown Thrasher     2
European Starling     11
American Tree Sparrow     2
Savannah Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     5
White-throated Sparrow     1
Northern Cardinal     2
Red-winged Blackbird     4
Common Grackle     6
American Goldfinch     12
House Sparrow     9

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

The following pictures were taken with a Canon 40D camera with an attached Canon 100-400mm L IS lense. Simply click a thumbnail image for a larger view. Comments and criticisms are greatly appreciated!

 

Glossy Ibis - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Glossy Ibis - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Glossy Ibis - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Glossy Ibis eating fish - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Glossy Ibis eating fish - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Piping Plover - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Piping Plover - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Piping Plover Pair - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Snowy Egret - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Snowy Egret Pair - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Song Sparrow - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Song Sparrow - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Black-Capped Chickadee - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Painting the scenery - Biddeford Pool, Maine.

 

Happy birding!

Egrets and Flickers

A beautiful weekend ends this Sunday evening with a raw east wind and a fog bank backing in from the Atlantic. But before the gloom came some spectacular bird watching this morning at Small Point, Maine.

Sharon and I got into our car at a bright and early 6 a.m. this morning, only to clamber out again to get looks at three 2nd year Bald Eagles who landed on the mud flats behind our house. We watched as one would take flight and land near another, which would lead to a short battle over who would get the spot of real estate. This went on for fifteen minutes or so, each Eagle taking its turn harassing the other. As the Eagles headed toward Winnegance Lake, we drove south down the peninsula to Small Point.

A very small pond on the road to Small Point Beach held a trio of Snowy Egrets. Using our car as a blind, we watched the Egrets eat small fish, chase and fight each other and display, all from not more than 20 feet away. Several pair of Grackle were gathering nesting material, Red-Winged Blackbirds sang from the reeds and Eastern Phoebes were singing from the hedges.

I later walked a dirt lane between some cottages and found many Northern Flickers, who were probing the ground for tasty ants. Osprey flew overhead and a single adult Bald Eagle circled the cove.

A tally of the species we observed are below.

Location:     Small Point, Maine
Observation date:     4/20/08
Notes:     Clear skies, temp upper 30’s, light wind. Observers: John and Sharon Briggs
Number of species:     30

American Black Duck     6
Ring-necked Duck     3
Bufflehead     6
Red-breasted Merganser     1
Double-crested Cormorant     2
Great Blue Heron     1
Snowy Egret     3
Turkey Vulture     1
Osprey     2
Bald Eagle     1
Mourning Dove     4
Northern Flicker     8
Pileated Woodpecker     3
Eastern Phoebe     4
Blue Jay     2
Tree Swallow     12
Barn Swallow     1
Black-capped Chickadee     5
Red-breasted Nuthatch     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     12
American Robin     3
European Starling     4
American Tree Sparrow     2
Savannah Sparrow     3
Song Sparrow     4
Northern Cardinal     1
Red-winged Blackbird     18
Common Grackle     15
Brown-headed Cowbird     1
American Goldfinch     8

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

Enjoy the bird photographs we have posted below. Click a thumbnail image for a larger size.

 

Barn Swallow - Small Point, Maine. Female Northern Flicker - Small Point, Maine. Female Northern Flicker - Small Point, Maine.
Female Northern Flicker - Small Point, Maine. Male and Female Northern Flicker - Small Point, Maine. Male Northern Flicker - Small Point, Maine.
Male Northern Flicker - Small Point, Maine. Male Northern Flicker - Small Point, Maine. Male Northern Flicker - Small Point, Maine.
Osprey - Small Point, Maine. Osprey - Small Point, Maine. Eastern Phoebe - Small Point, Maine.
Eastern Phoebe - Small Point, Maine. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet - Small Point, Maine. Red-Winged Blackbird - Small Point, Maine.
Savannah Sparrow - Small Point, Maine. Snowy Egret - Small Point, Maine. Snowy Egret - Small Point, Maine.
Snowy Egret - Small Point, Maine. Snowy Egret - Small Point, Maine. Snowy Egret with fish - Small Point, Maine.
Snowy Egret - Small Point, Maine. Snowy Egret Profile - Small Point, Maine. Snowy Egret Profile - Small Point, Maine.

Happy birding!

Osprey and Herons

This weekend started out dreary, with rain, wind and temps in the upper 30’s. Although forecasters were calling for fog, drizzle and a few wet snowflakes for Sunday morning, I was surprised to find clear skies when I woke up this morning at 5:30 a.m. Rousing Sharon from her slumber, we went for our morning coffee and decided to go to the “Abby”, where 10,000+ waterfowl have been reported on the Maine BirdList.

Traveling through Bath, heading towards Bodoinham, clouds began to overspread the area. My main objective was to photograph birds. After a few choice words, we decided to head south to Popham Beach where skies looked clear. It was a race against the clouds and the clouds won! At times the sun would peek through, but it would be at the wrong time.

Near the Winnegance Bridge, an Adult Bald Eagle was soaring in circles approx. 300 feet in the air, with a 2nd year Bald Eagle soaring under the adult approx. 100 feet in the air. The marshes near Popham Beach greeted us with an unusual sight. A Northern Harrier sat on a pice of driftwood watching four Great Blue Herons feeding not more than 30 yards away.

We did record impressive numbers of Great Blue Herons. From the Winnegance Bridge to Popham Beach, we recorded 50+ GBH. Our tally for Sunday April 13th, 2008:

  • Great Blue Heron
  • Ring-Necked Duck
  • Common Merganser
  • Red-Breasted Merganser
  • Common Loon (including one calling this morning at home.)
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Mallard
  • Black Duck
  • Green-Winged Teal
  • Common Eider
  • Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Sharp-Shinned Hawk
  • Northern Harrier
  • Osprey
  • 2nd Year Bald Eagle
  • Adult Bald Eagle
  • Blue jay
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Black-Capped Chickadee
  • White-Breasted Nuthatch
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Tree Swallow
  • American Goldfinch
  • Red-Winged Blackbird
  • Common Grackle

Enjoy the few bird photographs that I did manage to get, including the pair of Osprey tending their nest.

I am working on putting together, by numerous requests, a two part series on how I get my bird photographs. The first part will deal with preparation and how to find birds. The second part will deal with equipment and camera settings.

 

Great Blue Heron - Phippsburg, Maine. Osprey - Bath, Maine. Osprey - Bath, Maine.
Osprey - Bath, Maine. Osprey - Bath, Maine. Osprey - Bath, Maine.
Osprey - Bath, Maine. Pileated Woodpecker - Bath, Maine.

 Happy birding!

Problems with this site

Sometime during the time we were in Pennsylvania for Sharon’s mothers funeral, this web site was hacked. The problem has been fixed with an update to WordPress and the offending material has been removed, but not before Google dropped our site because of the links that the hackers added to our site.

I have sent in a request to Google to reconsider. They will reindex this site and without the offending links present, hopefully will return us to their search engine.

I want to apologize to those who may have seen the offending links. Nothing from our site was removed, that is nearly impossible to do. The problem was that comments that I normally have to approve, was approved without my knowledge, because of a glitch in the blog software. This has been fixed with an update to the software.

As far as the hackers are concerned, I hope for your sake, that we never cross paths in person.