Merlin, Osprey and Eagle

by John Briggs on August 26, 2007

in Blog, Weekend Birding

A cloudy start this morning gave way to partly sunny skies and much more comfortable conditions than yesterdays heat and humidity. The [tag]bird watching[/tag] was fabulous!

Quite a few Snowy Egrets were feeding in a panne at Goose Rocks Beach. It was not long until several Great Blue Herons and Eastern Willets joined the foray. Low tide on the mudflats this time of the year always ensures plenty of shorebirds to view, and this morning was no exception as seen in our report below.

As my wife and I sat on our beach chairs talking with Bob Malbon, a Merlin charged from the marsh and out across the mudflats in pursuit of a peep. The peeps smaller size gave it somewhat of an advantage as it could turn much quicker than the Merlin. Suddenly, the peep headed straight for us, made a right turn to avoid everyone and the Merlin nearly crashed head-on into me as I sat there with my mouth agape. The Merlin flew straight up and then banked right across the flats, still in pursuit of the peep. We lost sight of the action as they headed seaward.

I must say that the Merlin came awfully close to me before it shot skyward to avoid hitting me. So close in fact that I could hear the wings and feel the gush air as it flew by. You may ask, where are the pictures? The camera was sitting on my lap and I had no time to get a shot off. Even if I had time, the sun was behind the clouds, blah, blah, blah.

The Osprey we photographed was flying over the Little River at Granite Point, and Bob spotted the immature [tag]Bald Eagle[/tag] being chased by Crows near the small bridge on Granite Point Road.

Our observations are as follows:

Location:     Goose Rocks Beach/Granite Point
Observation date:     8/26/07
Notes:     Mostly cloudy skies with warm temps and moderate winds from S.E.
Number of species:     35
Observers:     John and Sharon Briggs      Bob Malbon

Canada Goose     31
American Black Duck     14
Common Eider     7
Great Blue Heron     4
Great Egret     9
Snowy Egret     40
Little Blue Heron     1     With flock of Snowy Egrets
Osprey     1     Flying over Little River
Bald Eagle     1     Granite Point/Bob Malbon
Merlin     1     Chasing peeps
Black-bellied Plover     1
Semipalmated Plover     100
Piping Plover     3
Greater Yellowlegs     1
Lesser Yellowlegs     3
Willet     5
Whimbrel     2
Semipalmated Sandpiper     25
Least Sandpiper     8
White-rumped Sandpiper     6
Short-billed Dowitcher     13
Mourning Dove     5
Belted Kingfisher     1
Common Raven     1
Tree Swallow     15
Barn Swallow     2
Black-capped Chickadee     3
Northern Mockingbird     1
Cedar Waxwing     22
Field Sparrow     5
Song Sparrow     4
Northern Cardinal     1
House Finch     6
American Goldfinch     10
House Sparrow     9

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

When the sun did shine, we took the following [tag]pictures[/tag] of [tag]birds[/tag], with a few landscape shots for fun. Enjoy!

From Above: Snowy Egrets in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Snowy Egrets - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Great Blue Heron and Great Egret in Flight - GRB - Kennebunkport, Maine.
Short-Billed Dowitcher - GRB - Kennebunkport, Maine. Lesser Yellowlegs - GRB - Kennebunkport, Maine. Osprey in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Osprey in Flight - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Red Evening Moon - GRB - Kennebunkport, Maine. Sunrise at Goose Rocks Beach - GRB - Kennebunkport, Maine.

Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!


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