Maine Audubon Rare Bird Alert: Dec. 13

by John Briggs on December 13, 2007

in Blog, RBA: Maine

Purple Sandpipers | Fortunes Rock Beach | Biddeford Pool, Maine

Maine Audubon Rare Bird Alert
Reporting Period: December 7 – December 13, 2007
Area: State of Maine
Compilers: Eric Hynes and Stella Walsh

 Of Special Note

 Numerous sightings of NORTHERN SHRIKES, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, COMMON REDPOLLS and PINE GROSBEAKS continue statewide.  Check fruiting trees like crabapples for waxwings and grosbeaks.  Redpolls are visiting feeders and birch and alder stands, and shrikes are turning up all over.

 Scattered reports of EVENING GROSBEAKS and BARRED OWLS also continue from wide-spread locations.

 The first SNOWY OWLS of the winter have arrived, and there has been a spike in ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and SHORT-EARED OWL reports.

 A KING EIDER is being seen regularly at East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool.


 York County

 A female RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD visited a feeder in Cape Neddick on December 11.

 A CAROLINA WREN was at a feeder in York on December 11.

 At least 60 HARLEQUIN DUCKS were noted at the Cliff House in Ogunquit on December 9.

 A drake KING EIDER continues to be seen off East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool.  Other notable species in the East Point area this week include a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, a MERLIN, RUDDY TURNSTONES, PURPLE SANDPIPERS, RAZORBILLS, a late AMERICAN PIPIT and SNOW BUNTINGS.

 A RED CROSSBILL visited a yard in Biddeford.

 A NORTHERN HARRIER was hunting over frozen ponds at the Sanford Sewage Treatment Plant on December 9.

 An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER has been seen daily at a feeder in Saco.

 Thirty BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were seen off-shore in Saco Bay on December 10.  RAZORBILLS and NORTHERN GANNETS, primarily adults, are also being routinely seen off shore. A DOVEKIE was off Stratton Island on December 13.

 Greater Portland

 A SHORT-EARED OWL, a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and HORNED LARKS in Scarborough Marsh have been reported frequently this week from locations such as Eastern Road, Seavey’s Landing and behind the Pelreco building.

 Also in Scarborough, a pair of NORTHERN PINTAILS and a drake WOOD DUCK were in the Dunstan River just before it goes under Route 9, a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and a late WILLET were at Pine Point, a NORTHERN PINTAIL and a RUDDY DUCK and many EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were at Grondin Pond.

 In Cape Elizabeth, a SHORT-EARED OWL was reported flying over Dyer Point in Cape Elizabeth on December 11, while a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen hunting over Richmond Island.

 A SNOWY OWL was seen at the Portland Jetport on December 12.  Efforts to relocate it on December 13 were unsuccessful. 

 A BALTIMORE ORIOLE is coming to a feeder on Danforth Street in Portland.

 A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was seen on December 8 on Pleasant Avenue, Peaks Island, while another continues to visit feeders at Highland Lake in Windham.

 A CAROLINA WREN has been visiting a feeder in South Portland recently.


 A single LAPLAND LONGSPUR was with a flock of seven SNOW BUNTINGS feeding roadside at Smith’s boat yard on the Mere Point Road in Brunswick on December 9, while a RED-SHOULDERED and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK were seen perched in the tree-line along the waterfront.

 Another RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was spotted at Hermit Island in Phippsburg on December 13.  Other unusual birds in Phippsburg include an ICELAND GULL at Purse Line Baits in the Sebasco area and a BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD at Small Point.

 A PEREGRINE FALCON continues near the Topsham-Brunswick Bridge over the Androscoggin River, often perching on the Fort Andros Mill, and an immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK was hunting feeder birds and harassing Mallards at the pump station on upper Maine Street south of Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

 A NORTHERN GOSHAWK surveyed feeder birds in a Georgetown back yard.

 A possible sighting of a SNOWY OWL flying across Webster Road in Freeport was reported on December 11.

 Kennebec Valley (Augusta-Waterville)

 Two LAPLAND LONGSPURS were with 10 HORNED LARKS and a flock of two dozen SNOW BUNTINGS were seen at the Augusta Airport on December 9.

 A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen on December 6 at the Hatch Hill Landfill in Augusta.

 A pair of REDHEADS continue to be seen on China Lake from the public boat access along Route 32 in Vassalboro. Among the other waterfowl seen on December 7 was a RUDDY DUCK.

 Tardy RUSTY BLACKBIRDS are coming to feeders on the Unity College Campus.

 Western Mountains

 A flock of EVENING GROSBEAKS feeding on sumac and at feeders in Anson has built to over 50 birds.

 A TUFTED TITMOUSE is visiting a feeder in Sandy River Plantation seven miles south of Rangeley, again highlighting the northern expansion of this species.

 Flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS, COMMON REDPOLLS and PINE GROSBEAKS are reported in Rangeley.

 Penobscot Bay

 Roughly 700 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS along with two dozen PINE GROSBEAKS were on Miller Street in Belfast on December 7.

 Four BARROW’S GOLDENEYES were seen in Belfast Harbor on December 12.


 A male hybrid duck, possibly a COMMON GOLDENEYE X HOODED MERGANSER was seen with five male COMMON GOLDENEYES at the Harbor Marina in Southwest Harbor. This hybrid was reported from the exact same harbor one year ago.

 A very tardy BROWN THRASHER was seen under feeders on Cooper’s Street in Machias on December 8.

 On December 8, a flock of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS visited apple trees in a yard in Perry.

Eric Hynes
Staff Naturalist / Gilsland Farm Center Manager
Maine Audubon
20 Gilsland Farm Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
207-781-2330 ext. 237


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