Maine Audubon Rare Bird Alert: Dec. 27

by John Briggs on December 29, 2007

in Blog, RBA: Maine

Black-Capped Chickadee

Maine Audubon Rare Bird Alert
Reporting Period: December 21 – December 27, 2007
Area: State of Maine
Compilers: Eric Hynes and Stella Walsh

Of Special Note

BARRED OWLS and NORTHERN SHRIKES continue to be found at an above average rate.

PINE GROSBEAKS, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS and COMMON REDPOLLS remain numerous and widespread.  Look for the grosbeaks and waxwings at fruiting trees, particularly ornamental crabapples.  Redpolls are being seen frequently at feeding stations.  To a lesser extent, EVENING GROSBEAKS are being reported statewide as well.


York County

Birds seen out in Saco Bay included two DOVEKIES and one COMMON MURRE.

Greater Portland

A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER turned up in a yard on Cousins Island on December 23.

An immature GLAUCOUS GULL has been frequenting the Lobster Co-op parking lot at Pine Point.  Southwest winds and a high tide brought over 50 COMMON LOONS and more than 40 HORNED GREBES into the Pine Point harbor.

A SNOW GOOSE was seen with Canada Geese near 1685 Congress Street in the Stroudwater section of Portland.

The 42 participants in the Portland CBC on December 22 tallied 91 species.  Noteworthy birds included a SHORT-EARED OWL at Two Lights State Park, a GLAUCOUS GULL at Pine Point, a DOVEKIE from Dyer Point and another from Prout’s Neck, and a RUSTY BLACKBIRD in a Scarborough yard.  New record high counts were recorded for fifteen species, likely resulting from this winter’s invasion and the deep snow concentrating birds at feeders.


Highlights from Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg on December 23 included an immature ICELAND GULL at the mouth of the Morse River, a SHORT-EARED OWL hunting over the dunes, a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and BARRED OWL over and on the marsh off Route 209, an AMERICAN KESTREL, 75 SNOW BUNTINGS, over 78 HORNED LARKS in several small flocks, two LAPLAND LONGSPURS, an AMERICAN PIPIT, a NORTHERN SHRIKE near the entrance road, a RUFFED GROUSE, and four RED CROSSBILLS heard overhead.

A dark-phase ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen at Popham on December 26.

Two first winter ICELAND BULLS are reliable at the Sebasco Resort property in Phippsburg.

December 23 proved to be an excellent day at Reid State Park highlighted by 227 RED-NECKED GREBES, a SHORT-EARED OWL, 2 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, two HOODED MERGANSERS, plus 66 SNOW BUNTINGS, 15 HORNED LARKS, and 24 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS.

Two RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were seen at feeders on Indian Point Road in Georgetown.

A BLACK VULTURE continues at a turkey farm on Route 1 north of Moody’s Diner in Warren, where good numbers of BALD EAGLES are also being seen.

A SNOWY OWL was by the church on Monhegan Island and another SNOWY OWL was found in Port Clyde.


Preliminary figures from the Lewiston-Auburn CBC on December 22 indicated at least 42 species seen.  Highlights included an AMERICAN WIGEON at the North Bridge, 109 PINE GROSBEAKS with 50 in one flock seen closely off US 202 south of the Auburn Turnpike exit, 140 SNOW BUNTINGS in one large flock, and new records of over 200 WILD TURKEYS and five PILEATED WOODPECKERS.

The PEREGRINE FALCON at the old St. Mary’s church was seen on count day chasing two of the 14 BALD EAGLES seen.

Other irruptive species recorded including 3 NORTHERN SHRIKES, a single flock of 15 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, and 109 COMMON REDPOLLS.

A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was found outside a home in Monmouth.

Kennebec Valley (Augusta-Waterville)

A YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was vocalizing along Eight Rod Road in Augusta where a GREAT HORNED OWL was also calling.

BARROW’S GOLDENEYES continue at Fort Halifax in Winslow, joined this week by a drake RING-NECKED DUCK and a pair of COMMON MERGANSER.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK sailed over the Tiffany Road in Sidney.

Central – Bangor

One hundred and fifty BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS with 18 PINE GROSBEAKS were seen at the botanical garden at University of Maine in Orono on December 24.  This is a historically reliable spot for these species.

Penobscot Bay

A SNOWY OWL has been seen on Beech Hill on South Street between Rockville and Beech Hill Roads in Rockport.

Among the birds seen from the Maine State Ferry from Rockland to Vinalhaven this week were 42 COMMON LOONS, six BALD EAGLES, 45 RAZORBILLS, one BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, 70 BLACK GUILLEMOTS, and 50 BONEPARTE’S GULLS.


A HOARY REDPOLL was seen at a feeder in Eastport on December 23.

Highlights from the Eastport CBC included two GREATER SCAUP, a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, at least two MERLINS, six RED PHALAROPES, two GRAY JAYS, and 16 BONAPARTE’S GULLS.

Northern Maine- Aroostook County

A truly exceptional species for northern Maine in the winter was the RUSTY BLACKBIRD that showed up at a feeder in Presque Isle.

A pair of BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS were heard and seen on the Ouellette Crossroad in T17R5 near Dickey Brook on December 22.

A report of a NORTHERN HAWK OWL came from the Christina Reservoir area in Fort Fairfield on December 19, but has not been relocated since.

In Presque Isle, a hearty TUFTED TITMOUSE continued to show up at the feeder where it has been seen for over a month.

Unusual anytime of year, but exceptional in winter was a FIELD SPARROW reported at a feeder in Presque Isle.

A few lingering DARK-EYED JUNCOS and AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS have also been seen in Woodland, Caribou and Presque Isle.

A number of NORTHERN CARDINAL reports in northern Maine stand out in a season in which one cardinal is a rare treat.

A HOARY REDPOLL was among a flock of COMMON REDPOLLS at a feeder in Mt. Chase.

Report provided by:
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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