Popham Beach Birding

The days are beginning to get shorter now that the first day of summer has passed. With the sun still rising a few minutes before 5 a.m. and the roads tourist-free, Sharon and I headed to Popham Beach for some bird watching.

A fog bank played tag with the coast line, but the sun eventually won out and clear skies prevailed. The tide was coming in, thus fishermen, Harbor Seals and Double-Crested Cormorants took advantage of the concentration of fish in the current. Seagulls screamed at each other for who knows why, and a pair of Fish Crows explored a moored boat.

We watched Harbor Seals surface, looking like a lost puppy dog, then rolling over to disappear into the cold waters of the sea. (This mornings water temperature was 52° F.) A lone adult Bald Eagle flew in from one of the islands with a Herring Gull in hot pursuit. Later, from the opposite direction, an Osprey flew by close enough to get good views.

Not a particularly birdy morning, but good enough for a day that was supposed to be rainy.

  • Double-Crested Cormorants
  • Bald Eagle (adult)
  • Osprey
  • Least Terns
  • Common Eiders
  • Black Ducks
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Snowy Egrets
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Red-Winged Blackbirds (+fledglings)
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Gray Catbird
  • Black-Capped Chickadee
  • Bluejay

Some scenes from this morning, including Osprey, Harbor Seal and some wildflowers.

Atkins Bay Buoy - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine. Atkins Bay: Taking out the canoe - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine. Wildflower and the morning dew - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine.
Female Common Eider Landing - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine. Female Common Eider Landing - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine. Atkins Bay: Fly Fisherman - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine.
Great Blue Heron - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine. Harbor Seal - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine. Herring Gull - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine.
Male and Female Common Eider - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine. Osprey - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine. Coastal Church - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine.
Wildflower - Popham Beach - Phippsburg, Maine.


Happy birding!

Bird Feathers #5

The fifth in a series of occassional rundowns of what’s happening in the world of birds, birding and bird blogging.

An eye for the Maine chance | Maine Audubon has completed the initial stage of its Important Bird Areas (IBA) program, identifying 22 areas in Maine as critical to state and global bird populations.

Birds Migrate Earlier, But Some May Be Left Behind As The Climate Warms Rapidly | Many birds are arriving earlier each spring as temperatures warm along the East Coast of the United States. However, the farther those birds journey, the less likely they are to keep pace with the rapidly changing climate.

Birds Communicate Reproductive Success In Song | Some migratory songbirds figure out the best place to live by eavesdropping on the singing of others that successfully have had baby birds — a communication and behavioral trait so strong that researchers playing recorded songs induced them to nest in places they otherwise would have avoided.

Birds and bats need protection from wind turbines | If we’re going to have wind turbines to produce electricity — and, sadly, it looks like we may — then why not equip them with safety devices to warn off birds and bats?

How Birds Can Capture a Kid’s Imagination | If you’re trying to pry your kid away from an iPod, a Hannah Montana video or Webkinz, why not go outside and find birds? That’s what veteran bird-watcher Bill Thompson III, who wrote The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of Eastern North America, suggests.

Bill of the Birds | Bill Thompson, III blogs about the time he is spending on Hog Island Audubon Camp in here in Maine.

I will leave you with a few photos taken last weekend at Goose Rocks Beach. Included are photos of a Piping plover chick, a male Dunlin and photos of lupine in bloom. Enjoy!


Adult Male Dunlin - Goose Rocks Beach - Kennebunk, Maine. Adult Male Dunlin - Goose Rocks Beach - Kennebunk, Maine. Lilypad Flower - Goose Rocks Beach - Kennebunk, Maine.
Lupine - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Lupine Field - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Piping Plover Chick - Goose Rocks Beach - Kennebunk, Maine.
Piping Plover Chick - Goose Rocks Beach - Kennebunk, Maine.

For those of you with a broadband connection, under the dropdown “Video” tab in the menu at the top of the page, there is a “Featured Video” tab. These videos are at an even higher resolution. The file size averages 6 to 7 mb. The current video is a Tufted Titmouse bathing in a bird bath.

Happy birding!

Hi-Def Birding Videos

Birding VideosStreaming video has come to Birding In Maine! After many, many hours of finding a way to bring our visitors birding videos, I have found a solution. Great resolution, small file size and birds in all their glory!

After making a video with our Sony High Definition camcorder, I convert the movie to Windows HD WMV format. I then use the SoThink Video Encoder for Adobe Flash to further convert the clip, without degrading the end result.

You must have a flash enabled browser to view the videos. (most browsers are flash enabled) If you see a link to get Adobe Flash, then your browser is not flash enabled. Simply click the link to go to Adobe’s site to get the player. It is completely safe.

The videos can be seen by selecting “Videos” in the menu bar at the top of any page on this site. Once on the page, you will see the player. Simply click the black area of the player to begin the video. Immediately below the player, you will see the play list. Select a clip to play by clicking the title. There is a small scroll bar to the right of the play list to scroll through the available videos.

As of the time this post was written, I have five videos available. From a Gray Catbird enjoying some suet, to a Snowy Egret feeding on fish. I even have a clip of female Common Eiders watching over chicks learning how to dive for food. More birding videos will be forthcoming!

Your feedback on this new feature will be greatly appreciated.

Happy birding!

Maine Audubon Rare Bird Alert: June 6

Maine Rare Bird AlertName: Maine Audubon Bird Alert
Date: 6 June 2008
Area: State of Maine
Compilers: Eric Hynes, Luke Seitz, Kay Gammons


Of Special Note

A very compelling report was received of a KIRTLAND’S WARBLER at the Kennebunk Plains on June 2.  Efforts to relocate the bird have been unsuccessful; however, birders are urged to keep an ear and eye out for this extremely rare species.


Other unusual sightings this week included: RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD,

Late migrants continue to move through the area, with OLIVE-SIDED and
MOURNING WARBLER being particularly noteworthy.

York County

A KIRTLAND’S WARBLER was reported from Kennebunk Plains the morning of
June 2.  A single observer had a prolonged, close observation of a
singing male in a pitch pine stand near the pond north of McGuire Road.
Photographs accompanying the good description were limited but
compelling.  Despite efforts, the bird has not been relocated.  Six
Plains on May 30. 

Greater Portland

Five RED KNOTS continue at Pine Point in Scarborough along with a single
LITTLE GULL on June 3, while two PECTORAL SANDPIPERS were in the salt
pannes off Eastern Road Trail in Scarborough Marsh.  Also in Scarborough
Marsh, A WINGS tour group discovered what appeared to be a hybrid GLOSSY
X WHITE-FACED IBIS, observed in the pannes on the west side of the north
end of Eastern Road.

A SOOTY SHEARWATER was seen off Stratton Island in Saco Bay on June 3.

A MOURNING WARBLER was singing in Evergreen Cemetery on June 1, along

The powerline cut that runs from Hurricane Road to Blackstrap Road in
Falmouth continues to be productive, this week producing 1 OLIVE-SIDED,

Two WILLOW FLYCATCHERS were noted at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth on June

A pair of AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS was seen at Scarborough Beach State
Park on June 2.


A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continues to be seen on private property in the
Georgetown area.

An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was seen on Old County Road in Sedgwick.

Monhegan Island

Monhegan Island continues to be active, this week hosting SUMMER

Kennebec Valley (Augusta-Waterville)

A YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER was seen in Richmond on June 1.

SANDHILL CRANES continue in Belgrade, along with OLIVE-SIDED, WILLOW,

Northern Maine- Aroostook

A newly arrived SWAINSON’S THRUSH was in Fort Kent on June 3.

Gulf of Maine

A RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD was reported from Matinicus Rock last Tuesday.
This is likely the same individual that has summered in those waters for
several years now.


Eric Hynes
Staff Naturalist / Gilsland Farm Center Manager
Maine Audubon
20 Gilsland Farm Road
Falmouth, ME 04105

Updating look and feel of the site

Over the next week, you will see some changes to the Birding In Maine site. This is necessary to keep ahead of spammers and hackers who continually try to hack this site without any luck.

You may experience the maintenance page, which alerts you to come back at another time. You may also encounter a jumbled page or two, but these situations will be brief.

We hope the changes will be to your liking. If you have any problem viewing any pages on our site, please let us know and be sure to include which browser you are using.

Here at the home front, a Red Fox greeted us this morning by drinking from our bird bath. I had no time to get the camcorder, crows had chased the fox away.

There seems to be a shortage of meal worms throughout the USA. The shortage is expected to last 2-3 months. The reason for the shortage: parasites. Sounds like these creatures are causing havoc these days. Wasn’t it a parasite that caused the death of billions of bees last year?

With the warm weather coming up, please remember to keep those hummingbird feeders cleaned. Every 2 or 3 days should suffice, but not any longer. The proper mixture for hummingbird nectar is 4 parts water to 1 part pure cane sugar. And please, NO RED DYE!!

Happy birding!

A visit to Biddeford Pool

Sharon and I visited Biddeford Pool this morning. We met with Bob Malbon at Granite Point around 6:30 a.m. and had great views of a Great Egret feeding on fish. The marsh was alive with Willets and Snowy Egrets, Tree Swallows swooped low over the pannes and Northern Mockingbirds sang their many songs.

We left Granite Point and visited Goose Rocks Beach, where shorebird numbers are increasing. Male Least Terns were serenading females, offering a fish to win over a mate. Piping Plovers were also numerous, with one chick seen and videotaped from a safe distance. Semipalmated Plovers, Black-Bellied Plovers, White-Rumped Sandpipers, Dunlin, Double-Crested Cormorants, Willets and Canada Geese were also seen in great numbers.

A large group of male and female Common Eider were seen with many chicks at Goose Rocks Beach and Fortunes Rock Beach. At the “Gut” at Vines Landing in Biddeford Pool, two Green Herons flew in and perched on some rocks. Several Common and Least Terns were also fishing at this location.

Two new yard birds for us today: a pair of Roseate Terns flying over the yard and a Great Egret feeding with Greater Yellowlegs, Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons at low tide.

Enjoy the following bird photos from our trip to Biddeford Pool this morning. Simply click a thumbnail for a larger view. Comments and criticisms are greatly appreciated.

Eastern Kingbird - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Common Eider Family - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Great Egret - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Great Egret - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Great Egret - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Least Tern - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Least Tern - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Piping Plover - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Semipalmated Plover - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Shorebirds - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.


Happy birding!