Cape Porpoise to Pine Point

by John Briggs on March 8, 2009

in Bird Photographs, Blog, Weekend Birding

Cape Porpoise, Maine | Click for larger view

Cape Porpoise, Maine | Click for larger view

What a beautiful day! Maine got a well deserved break from winter on Saturday with temperatures in the low 50’s, clear blue skies and light winds.

Sharon and I were on the road bright and early for a half day of birdwatching. Our first stop was Cape Porpoise and onto Bickford Island. Our first bird was a Northern Cardinal singing a top a tall spruce.

In the harbor, Long-tailed Ducks, Black Ducks and Common Loon were numerous. Several Double-crested Cormorants were on Goat Island near the lighthouse. As we were leaving this location, we saw a flyby of Common Goldeneyes.

Our next stop was Goose Rocks Beach. The Batson River was at high tide and held Common Loon, Common Goldeneyes, Bufflehead and Canada Geese. In the marshes, more Canada Geese, American Black Ducks and Mallards were common in the ice free areas. At this time last year, the first Piping Plovers began to show up, but we did not find any during our trip.

Heading north along the coast, Granite Point was the next stop. It was surprising how little we saw at this location. A few Canada Geese were near the Little River and Curtis Cove held a pair of White-winged Scoter. We promised to return in the Spring when activity heats up with nesting Willets, Egrets and Great Blue Herons.

Common  | Click for larger view

Common Loon | Click for larger view

A brief stop in Biddeford Pool brought good looks at a high soaring Red-tailed Hawk over Eastern Point. A large flock of Canada Geese were seen in the “Pool” along with a lone Red-necked Grebe.

Returning to the Biddeford/Saco area, we decided to check out Camp Ellis. Upon arriving here, we were disappointed at the lack of birds at this normally birdy area where the Saco River empties into the Saco Bay.

Following Route 9 toward Old Orchard Beach, we stopped at Goosefare Brook. Mallards were scattered when a low flying Rough-legged Hawk soared over the waterway. Flying into the sun, we soon lost the Hawk and were on our way.

Fifteen minutes later we arrived at our final bird watching destination, Pine Point. We walked out to the pier and down onto the lower dock. Immediately we saw Long-tailed Ducks (Old Squaw). The males were displaying for the females, scooting across the water and flapping their wings. It is a ball watching the male clown-faced ducks interact with the females, doing all they can do to attract a mate.

Common Loon were everywhere, diving and looking for food. Several Red-breasted Merganser and Common Merganser were seen well off the dock. American Crow seem to be congregating now and several flocks flew out across the harbor.

Lobster Boat unloading traps onto dock at Pine Point, Maine

Lobster Boat unloading traps onto dock at Pine Point, Maine

 After 45 minutes of watching the action, a lobster boat pulled up to the dock and scattered the ducks. We always make way for the hard working men who bring us the delicious lobster!

By this time it was late morning and we were getting hungry. We decided to go get lunch and head back home. Not a bad morning, but a few disappointments in the areas that we usually relied on. But at the same time, we know that when Spring finally arrives these places will be very active.

Mother Nature treated us well Saturday, but I think it was all a big tease. A cold front is sweeping through the area today and snow is forecasted for Monday morning. The outlook looks cold for the foreseeable future.

A good sign of better things to come was the sighting of a pair of adult Bald Eagles doing nest building duties on Arrowsic Island. I saw the male early this morning carrying a large tree branch and dropping it beside the female who was sitting in the top of a spruce. We have a perfect view of this activity from the picture window in our living room. Later, a third year Bald Eagle was seen flying over the northern end of Arrowsic Island.

Here’s the list of birds we saw yesterday when we birded from Cape Porpoise to Pine Point, Maine.

Location: Pine Point, Scarborough
Observation date: 3/7/09
Notes: Clear,Temp: 37 F., SW Wind 10-15 mph
Number of species: 25

Canada Goose 75
American Black Duck 30
Mallard 21
Common Eider 16
White-winged Scoter 2
Long-tailed Duck 40
Bufflehead 16
Common Goldeneye 10
Common Merganser 3
Red-breasted Merganser 11
Common Loon 9
Horned Grebe 6
Red-necked Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant 4
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Rough-legged Hawk 1
Rock Pigeon 33
Mourning Dove 8
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 50
Black-capped Chickadee 5
American Robin 26
Northern Mockingbird 1
Song Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 10
House Sparrow 22

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2 http://ebird.org

The following are photos of the bird activity on Saturday March 7th, 2009.

Camera: Canon 40D
Lens: Canon 100-400mm IS L
Handheld with BushHawk

All thumbnail photos are clickable to bring up a larger view. Enjoy!

Common Loon

Common Loon

Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck

Female Long-tailed Duck

Female Long-tailed Duck

Male Long-tailed Duck

Male Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Ducks

Long-tailed Ducks

Long-tailed Ducks in flight

Long-tailed Ducks in flight

Male Long-tailed Duck in flight

Male Long-tailed Duck in flight

Happy birding!

 

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