Birding in a winter landscape

by John Briggs on December 10, 2006

in Blog

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!

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