Maine Shorebirds

by John Briggs on August 24, 2008

in Bird Photographs, Blog, Weekend Birding

From the south coast of Maine to the Mid-Coast, shorebirds were on the move these last two weekends. Fall migration is well underway and shorebird numbers are not disappointing. (This is a double post for last Saturday along the south coast and this Saturday along the Mid-Coast.)

Last weekend, we visited Goose Rocks Beach, Granite Point and Pine Point to observe the “peeps”. The highlight of the trip was the sighting of a Western Willet, which happen to land a few feet from where I was standing at the Lobster Co-op.

We watched a pair of juvenile Green Herons take turns atanding on a wire out on Granite Point. Also at this location, Northern Harriers were searching the marsh for food, as were Osprey and an immature Bald Eagle.

Goose Rocks Beach held its fair share of shorebirds, but as it was dead low tide while we were there, counts were difficult as the birds were fairly far out on the mudflats.

I have misplaced the list of birds we observed last Saturday morning. Hopefully I’ll find it and amend this post at a later time. In the mean time, enjoy the following pictures from last Saturdays bird watching trip to the south coast of Maine.

Double-Crested Cormorant - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Great Egret - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Great Egret - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Great Egret - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Green Heron - Granite Point - Biddeford, Maine. Green Heron - Granite Point - Biddeford, Maine.
Juvenile Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Juvenile Piping Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Short-Billed Dowitcher - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine.
Short-Billed Dowitcher - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Semipalmated Plover - GRB - Kennebunk, Maine. Western Willet - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.
Whimbrels - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine. Lesser Yellowlegs - Pine Point - Scarborough, Maine.

 

(Click on map and use your up and down arrow keys to view the 3 locations on this map)

Yesterday, Sharon and I followed the peninsula south of Bath for our bird watching trip. It was such a beautiful morning, with bright sunshine and light winds. We birded Tottman Cove. Atkins Bay and Small Point for the first 2 hours after sunrise.

Our highlights were the sighting of a single Great Egret and Solitary Sandpiper at Tottman Cove (Maine Atlas, page 6 D-4) and 3 first year Bald Eagles on Lee Island near the Squirrel Point Light (Maine Atlas, page 6 D-5).

The following is our tally:

Location:     Small Point
Observers:  John and Sharon Briggs
Observation date:     8/23/08
Notes:     Clear Skies; Temp: 58 F.; SSW winds @ 3-5 mph
Number of species:     26

Canada Goose     30
American Black Duck     4
Common Loon     1     (Near pier at Ft. Baldwin)
Double-crested Cormorant     15
Great Egret     1     (Tottman Cove)
Snowy Egret     12
Great Blue Heron   1
Osprey     2     (1 Head Beach; 1 Tottman Cove)
Bald Eagle     3     (3 – 1st year on Lee Island near Squirrel Point Light)
Northern Harrier     3     (1 Sprague River; 2 Atkins Bay)
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Merlin     1
Black-bellied Plover     1
Semipalmated Plover     10
Solitary Sandpiper     1     (Tottman Cove)
Greater Yellowlegs     2
Willet     2
Lesser Yellowlegs     7
Whimbrel     3     (Atkins Bay)
Least Sandpiper     2     (Tottman Cove)
White-rumped Sandpiper     6
Short-billed Dowitcher     5
Long-billed Dowitcher     1
Mourning Dove     8
Belted Kingfisher     3
American Crow     18

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

The following are photos of some of the birds we observed during yesterdays bird watching trip. The Snowy Egret was very cooperative as I stood within 20 yards of it, the sun directly behind me. The bird more than likely had no idea that I was there.

Double-Crested Cormorant - Phippsburg, Maine. Lesser Yellowlegs - Phippsburg, Maine. Lesser Yellowlegs - Phippsburg, Maine.
Lesser Yellowlegs - Phippsburg, Maine. Snowy Egret - Phippsburg - Phippsburg, Maine. Snowy Egret - Phippsburg - Phippsburg, Maine.
Snowy Egret - Phippsburg, Maine. Snowy Egret - Phippsburg, Maine. Snowy Egret - Phippsburg, Maine.
Snowy Egret - Phippsburg, Maine. Snowy Egret - Phippsburg, Maine. Snowy Egret - Phippsburg, Maine.
Snowy Egret - Phippsburg, Maine. Semipalmated Sandpiper - Phippsburg, Maine. Semipalmated Sandpiper - Phippsburg, Maine.

Happy birding!

{ 8 comments }

Robin robinson August 26, 2008 at 8:23 am

Hi John, Love the photos. What are you shooting with? Lens, body, settings? Robin

John Briggs August 26, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Robin;

Thank you for visiting!

I use a Canon 40D and a Canon Rebel XTI with a 100-400mm L IS lens. I shoot strictly manual, using a BushHawk for even more steadiness.

My photos are cropped and mostly low-res for the internet. (I have to use low-res because there are those out there who STEAL! my images and pass them off as their own)

By the way, very nice website that you have.

John

Vern August 31, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Hi John,
Hadn’t been to your page for awhile….it just keeps getting better and better! Might be at the Maine south coast for a couple of days the 10th and 11th of November. Any reccomendations?
Vern

John Briggs September 2, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Hello Vern!

It’s good to hear from you again. Thanks for stopping by.

Pine Point and the Scarborough Marsh would be a good place to check out in November. Last November, I photographed a Hudsonian Godwit at Pine Point near the Lobster Co-op.

Another good stop would be the pier and jetty at Camp Ellis. Also check out Fortunes Rock Beach and Granite Point.

If you need directions to any of these places, email me.

John

Cynthia Patrick September 12, 2008 at 9:57 am

When does fall shorebird migration in maine begin and end??

John Briggs September 12, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Cynthia:

Thank you for visiting!

Variations can occur, but generally adults arrive in early July through mid August. Juveniles then follow from mid-August through September. A few species have later migrations in October and November.

John

Lorraine September 12, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Is there more than one kind of seagull on the Maine coast near Wells and York? One has a back that is shades brown. Thanks to anyone who can identify it for me.

John Briggs September 14, 2008 at 10:33 am

Lorraine;

Thank you for visiting!

They are several species of Gull along the Maine Coast and inland too.

Without a size or other details, I will guess that you have possibly seen an immature Great Black-backed Gull. Go to this web page: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Great_Black-backed_Gull.html and scroll down to the 5th and 6th picture on the right side and see if this is what you saw.

John

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