Labor Day Birding

by John Briggs on September 6, 2008

in Bird Photographs, Blog, Weekend Birding

Juvenile American Goldfinches on Feeder

Today: Sept. 6th, 2008: As I watch our feeders being over-run with Juvenile American Goldfinches, you can’t help but wonder if they know that the remnants of Tropical Storm Hanna is coming. A literal feeding frenzy has been going on since first light here at Fiddler’s Reach.


Even through the gloom of fog and showers, many species of birds are feeding. In anticipation of the four to five inches of rain and strong winds that are expected, I made sure the feeders were filled to the brim early this morning.


As Hanna nears, you can watch the progress of the storm on the Nexrad Radar. Also, as an added bonus, there is a page on the site with Live Buoy Observations.

It’s 1:00 p.m. and we have a influx of Warblers coming to the trees and feeders. As we are trying to identify the Warblers, a Hawk came screaming in to the finch feeder, not snagging any prey and just avoiding a collision with our house.

I have been using a mixture of Niger Seed and Sunflower Chips in my Finch feeders. In our other feeders, we use a regional blend from Wild Birds Unlimited. Choice Blend has nuts, blackoil sunflower seed, safflower, cherries, rasins and suet nuggets.  This mixture is a hit for the birds visiting our feeders. Squirrels love it also, so it’s a good idea to put it in feeders that the Squirrels have no access to.

Over the Labor Day Weekend, the weather was beautiful. (Saturday morning was cloudy and foggy, but it all burned off by noon.)By simply walking out onto our back deck Saturday morning, we were treated to a Warbler fall out. The action was nearly impossible to keep up with!

Juvenile Osprey

Bird watching from your deck or back yard takes little effort, causes no pollution and you have the added benefit of having all of your tools of bird identification on hand.

As all good things come to an end, so did the plethora of birds. A Red-Tailed Hawk flew in and just missed grabbing a Wilson’s Warbler. The Hawk then decided to sit in the tree in the middle of our yard, which in turn kept all birds away for the rest of the morning.

We did manage to tally 50 species!

Location:     Home (Fiddler’s Reach section of the Kennebec River, 2 miles SE of Bath, Maine)
Observation date:     8/30/08
Notes:     Cloudy, light fog, Temp. 60 F. Wind: Calm, Low Tide
Number of species:     50

Canada Goose     35
American Wigeon     1     With Green-Winged Teal and American Black Ducks
American Black Duck     90
Mallard     15
Green-winged Teal     6     With American Black Ducks
Common Loon     1     In Flight
Double-crested Cormorant     16
Great Egret     1
Snowy Egret     9
Little Blue Heron     2
Osprey     1
Bald Eagle     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1     Attempted to grab a Wilson’s Warbler without luck
Semipalmated Plover     13
Lesser Yellowlegs     4
Semipalmated Sandpiper     6
White-rumped Sandpiper     2
Mourning Dove     3
Ruby-throated Hummingbird     7
Downy Woodpecker     2

Hairy Woodpecker     1
Eastern Phoebe     4
American Crow     8
Fish Crow     1     Vocalizing
Common Raven     1
Black-capped Chickadee     7
Tufted Titmouse     6
Red-breasted Nuthatch     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     2
Gray Catbird     2
Cedar Waxwing     1
Northern Parula     1
Chestnut-sided Warbler     2
Black-throated Blue Warbler     1
Yellow-rumped Warbler     4
Blackburnian Warbler     1
Palm Warbler     1
Blackpoll Warbler     1
Black-and-white Warbler     2
Common Yellowthroat     2
Wilson’s Warbler     3
Chipping Sparrow     8
Clay-colored Sparrow     2     With Chipping Sparrows allowing us to differentiate between the two species.
Savannah Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     7
Northern Cardinal     2
Purple Finch     2
House Finch     4
American Goldfinch     8

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

Double-Crested Cormorant


Sunday morning, we took a short drive to Atkins Bay. The tide was at low, and shorebirds were out on the mudflats some distance from the shore.

Large flocks of Bonaparte Gulls were competing with shorebirds for space and food. One group of Snowy Egrets in flight numbered 15.

Whimbrels, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Great Blue Heron, and many “peeps” could be seen from Green Point. Two first year Bald Eagles were seen flying over Atkins Bay, disappearing over the spruces towards Parker Head. A lone Osprey was seen fishing near Coxs Head where a few Black Ducks and Canada Geese were resting.

Not a bad three-day weekend!

Happy birding!


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