Mockingbird Saturday

by John Briggs on November 19, 2006

in Blog

With such a mild November so far, I was not surprised at what [tag]birds[/tag] are still hanging around the area. Our [tag]birding[/tag] morning started at Granite Point with plenty of hold over birds to view.

The highlight of the day was a Merlin trying to grab a peep in Curtis Cove. Within a few yards of where my wife and I were standing, the Merlin tried to swipe a peep, but missed and plunged into the water. I was fiddling in the back seat of the car attaching a lens to my camera, when my wife called for me. Yes, I walked over to her without the camera to see what the commotion was about, thus missing the opportunity to photograph the Merlin. But I did look in time to see the failed swoop. Afterwords, the Merlin perched on a wire several hundred yards away to preen. Fellow birder Bob Malbon witnessed the Merlin on the perch and commented that he saw it a few days before.

If the Merlin was not enough, a single male King Eider was viewed in Curtis Cove. A life list first for both of us! To top it off, 3 Kingfishers were present, 2 fighting over territory!

Not much later after seeing the kamikaze Merlin, I watched a Northern Harrier flying low over the marsh in the [tag]Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge[/tag]. I lost sight of it for a few moments, and then heard Crows making a commotion. The Crows chased the Harrier into a pine tree approximately 200 yards away, and four of us watched it through binoculars. The Crows soon stopped the harassment and the Harrier was on his way.

Simply standing at the end of the road on Granite Point (Maine Atlas Map 3/D-3), is all thats needed to see a plethora of birds. Flocks of Canada Geese, numbering from 14 – 44 individual birds, soared overhead. Peeps probing the sands of Curtis Cove a few yards from where we stood. Red-Breasted Mergansers diving in the cove for a delicious morsel. Common Eiders snacking in the Little River. And sharing these sightings of birds with fellow [tag]birders[/tag] makes the experience even more special.

We left Granite Point and went to Etherington Pond near Biddeford Pool to see what was staging there. Not many ducks to see, but a very curios Northern Mockingbird was present. This [tag]bird[/tag] allowed me to get within five feet of it while exiting my car. He had no concern what-so-ever as I began taking photos of him, at times puffing out his chest to show me that he was king of the tree! When another Mockingbird showed up, the tree was vigorously defended. Pictures of this bird in several poses are below.

A list of birds we viewed after a wonderful morning of birding:

  • 1 King Eider*
  • 1 Merlin
  • 1 Northern Harrier
  • 3 Kingfishers (two were fighting over territory)
  • 3 Great Blue Herons
  • 145 Canada Geese (flocks of 14 to 44 geese)
  • 12 Common Mergansers
  • 18 Red-Breasted Mergansers
  • 21 Black Ducks
  • 8 Common Eiders
  • 3 Double-Crested Cormorants
  • 8 Mockingbirds

Photos below are of the friendly Mockingbird and a few shots from my backyard [tag]bird feeders[/tag]. Click a thumbnail for a larger view.

A Northern Mockingbird perched on a limb near Effington Pond in Biddeford Pool. A Northern Mockingbird perched on a limb near Effington Pond in Biddeford Pool. A Northern Mockingbird perched on a limb near Effington Pond in Biddeford Pool.
A Northern Mockingbird perched on a limb near Effington Pond in Biddeford Pool. A Northern Mockingbird perched on a limb near Effington Pond in Biddeford Pool. A Northern Mockingbird perched on a limb near Effington Pond in Biddeford Pool.
A surfer braves the waves at Fortune's Rock Beach. A House Finch feeds in our backyard in Biddeford, Maine. A camera shy House Finch on a bird feeder in our backyard in Biddeford, Maine.
House Sparrows feeding in our backyard in Biddeford, Maine. Give the squirrels their own feeder and they stay away from the bird feeders... yea, right!.

 

Happy birding!

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