Goose Rocks Beach Shorebirds

by John Briggs on August 1, 2009

in Bird Photographs, Blog, Wildlife

As I parked my car along the marsh bordering Goose Rocks Beach on Tuesday, I noted a Great Blue Heron feeding in a salt panne. Fog was lifting and it looked to be a beautiful day in southern Maine. Song Sparrows filled the early morning air with their melodic songs. Walking the sandy path from the end of the road to the beach, I filled my lungs with fresh sea air and thought to myself that it’s great to be alive.

The tide was falling, a great time to see shorebirds. I stayed in the shadows of the rocky hill along the beach so as to not startle any of the birds that were present. Before me lay a wide expanse of sand and water. Hundreds of “peeps” were probing the sands and waters for unseen marine organisms. At times, for no apparent reason, they all would take flight and swirl about until landing once again in nearly the same spot from which they took flight.

Looking to the skies, Snowy Egrets and Double-crested Cormorants flew toward unknown feeding grounds. Least Tern dove into the water retrieving small fish. Bonaparte and Laughing Gulls screeched trough the air wanting only the fish that another of their kind has caught. Off in the distance, a Northern Harrier soars above the marsh looking for a quick meal.

I left satisfied with all the different birds that I have seen. Fall shorebird migration has just started here in Maine and I know there will be more trips to Goose Rocks Beach in the coming months.

Not a bad hour and a half at one of my favorite shorebird spots near Kennebunkport, Maine. The following list are species seen on and near Goose Rocks Beach.

Location: Goose Rocks Beach
Observer: John Briggs
Observation date: 7/28/09
Notes: Clear skies, light southwest winds. Falling tide.
Number of species: 46

Canada Goose 12
American Black Duck 4
Common Eider 11
Common Loon 1
Double-crested Cormorant 9
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 5
Snowy Egret 23
Northern Harrier 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Semipalmated Plover 30
Piping Plover 5
Willet (Eastern) 7
Lesser Yellowlegs 4
Semipalmated Sandpiper 150
Least Sandpiper 1
White-rumped Sandpiper 2
Short-billed Dowitcher 9
Bonaparte’s Gull 4
Laughing Gull 2
Least Tern 6
Roseate Tern 1
Common Tern 1
Mourning Dove 3
Belted Kingfisher 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 2
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 5
Tree Swallow 8
Barn Swallow 11
American Robin 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
Brown Thrasher 1
Cedar Waxwing 15
Northern Parula 1
Yellow Warbler 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 2
Wilson’s Warbler 3
Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 6
Red-winged Blackbird 4
Common Grackle 2

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

The following photos were taken on July 28th, 2009. Clicking a thumbnail will open a shadowbox with a larger view of the photo. At the bottom right of the full sized photo, arrows allow you to go to the next photo without having to click each thumbnail.

Happy birding!

 

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