Labor Day Weekend Birding

by John Briggs on September 3, 2007

in Blog, Weekend Birding

What a great weekend to go [tag]birdwatching[/tag]! A cold front came across [tag]Maine[/tag] Friday night bringing northwest winds, much cooler temperatures and plenty of migrating [tag]birds[/tag]. Granite Point was our observation area.

Raptors stole the three day weekend, as they took advantage of the wind direction on their journey south. [tag]Shorebirds[/tag] also took to the skies on a northwest wind to help them along on their long journey. Today, with winds from the southwest, birds seemed to lay low while conserving energy for the next cold front which is to cross the state tonight.

Sharon and I, along with Bob Malbon, birded the same location at Granite Point each morning of this three day weekend. There was so much action, that it was hard to keep up with what was going on around us.

White-Tailed Deer were present each and every day, with a group of them coming within 30 feet of us Saturday morning. The deer were looking to cross the Little River, and finally did after the close encounter with us. 4 to 6 were present each day.

When [tag]bird[/tag] watching and photographing [tag]wildlife[/tag] with action around you nearly constantly, you always miss something that comes out of nowhere. As Bob and I stood looking across the marsh at a pair of Horned Grebes in flight, a Northern Harrier flew very low across the river behind us. I turned and saw the hawk not more that 30 feet away coming our way. I said “LOOK!”, not giving Bob any direction nor what it was, and quickly fired a few frames. Bob only got a rear shot, my fault. We agreed to say “hawk” and what direction in the future.

Comical things always seem to happen when we go birdwatching. This morning, Bob was squatting along the rivers edge about 40 yards from Sharon and I, photographing a Great Blue Heron preening on a rock.  A flight of Whimbrels flew near Bob and one of them peeled off from the others, glided across a stretch of the marsh and nearly landed on the man’s head. The bird briefly touched down about ten feet from Bob and immediately took off. I just stood there with my rig in my hand, jaw dropped, looking at what was going on. What a wonderful picture I just missed! Just goes to show how wearing camo helps with blending yourself into the surroundings.

Belted Kingfishers were chasing each other all over the place everyday we were on Granite Point. I watched one Kingfisher chase off a group of five Whimbrels that were feeding on a sandbar. Hawks flew up and down the river, causing shorebirds to fly for their lives. A few Merlins perched in the trees along the river, and Osprey hovered over the river and the pannes in the marsh looking for fish.

I will line the weekend sightings up in the following manner: A checklist and then [tag]pictures[/tag] from that day. There are no pictures for today.

Location:     Granite Point
Observation date:     9/1/07   Observers: John and Sharon Briggs   Bob Malbon
Notes:     NW winds moderate and gusty. Temps in the low 50’s. Birdwatching done during falling tide.
Number of species:     35

Canada Goose     11
American Black Duck     4
Green-winged Teal     5
Common Eider     12
Horned Grebe     2     Flying close-by in marsh
Double-crested Cormorant     25
Great Blue Heron     2
Great Egret     4
Snowy Egret     40
Little Blue Heron     2
Osprey     1
Northern Harrier     4
Broad-winged Hawk     1
Merlin     2
Black-bellied Plover     1
Greater Yellowlegs     1
Lesser Yellowlegs     2
Willet     3
Whimbrel     5
White-rumped Sandpiper     6
Short-billed Dowitcher     2
Mourning Dove     12
Belted Kingfisher     4     Fighting with each other constantly
Blue Jay     1
American Crow     12
Common Raven     1
Black-capped Chickadee     2
American Robin     3
Gray Catbird     1
Northern Mockingbird     2
European Starling     21
Cedar Waxwing     4
American Tree Sparrow     2
Song Sparrow     1
American Goldfinch     6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

White-Tailed Deer - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. White-Tailed Deer - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. White-Tailed Deer - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Belted Kingfisher - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Belted Kingfisher - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Migration: Belted Kingfisher - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Belted Kingfisher - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Lesser Yellowlegs - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Lesser Yellowlegs - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Lesser Yellowlegs - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Lesser Yellowlegs - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Snowy Egret Landing - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.

Location:     Granite Point
Observation date:     9/2/07   Observers: John and Sharon Briggs   Bob Malbon
Notes:     NW winds moderate and gusty. Temps in the mid 40’s. Birdwatching on a falling tide.
Number of species:     32

Canada Goose     11
American Black Duck     3
Green-winged Teal     3
Common Loon     1
Horned Grebe     2     Close flyby on marsh
Double-crested Cormorant     23
Great Blue Heron     2
Great Egret     2
Snowy Egret     28
Osprey     1
Northern Harrier     3
Broad-winged Hawk     1
Merlin     1
Black-bellied Plover     1
Semipalmated Plover     13
Lesser Yellowlegs     6
Willet     4
Whimbrel     6
White-rumped Sandpiper     5
Mourning Dove     7
Belted Kingfisher     4     Fighting each other constantly
American Crow     10
American Robin     1
Gray Catbird     1
European Starling     7
Cedar Waxwing     9
American Tree Sparrow     2
Field Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     4
Northern Cardinal     1
House Finch     1
House Sparrow     6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

White-Tailed Deer Family - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. White-Tailed Deer Family - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. White-Tailed Deer Family - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
White-Tailed Deer Family - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. White-Tailed Deer Family - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Sunrise Light - Snowy Egrets in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Great Blue Heron in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Northern Harrier in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Northern Harrier in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Northern Harrier in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Osprey in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Osprey in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Osprey in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Osprey in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Peeps in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Snowy Egret in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Snowy Egret in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.

Location:     Granite Point
Observation date:     9/3/07   Observers: John and Sharon Briggs   Bob Malbon
Notes:     SW moderate winds, gusty at times. Temps mid 50’s. Birdwatching during slack to falling tide.
Number of species:     27

Canada Goose     11
American Black Duck     4
Green-winged Teal     6
Common Eider     6
Red-breasted Merganser     1     Feeding in Curtis Cove
Common Loon     1     Feeding in Curtis Cove
Horned Grebe     1     Feeding in the Little River
Double-crested Cormorant     125     Very large flock flying into SW winds toward Timber Island
Great Blue Heron     2
Snowy Egret     7
Northern Harrier     1
Broad-winged Hawk     1
Merlin     3
Semipalmated Plover     7
Lesser Yellowlegs     2
Willet     4
Whimbrel     3
White-rumped Sandpiper     5
Mourning Dove     4
Belted Kingfisher     8     Fighting constantly with each other
American Crow     10
Tree Swallow     25
Barn Swallow     20     With tree Swallows. Probably fallouts
Cedar Waxwing     3
House Finch     2
American Goldfinch     4
House Sparrow     3

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!

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