Sunday Morning Birding

by John Briggs on July 30, 2006

in Blog

Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Blue Herons and Double-Crested CormorantsA clear blue sky and a beautiful sunrise greeted us this morning at the [tag]Rachael Carson Wildlife Refuge[/tag] near [tag]Biddeford Pool[/tag], [tag]Maine[/tag].

Activity among the Great and [tag]Snowy Egrets[/tag], [tag]Blue Herons[/tag], and [tag]Double-Crested Cormorants[/tag] was heavy., and , and  

Flights and landings persisted continuously at a pool in the marsh most of the morning.

Egret fledglings could be seen feeding with the adults and a lone Blue Heron fledgling was seen away from the group.

The Double-Crested Cormorants fed along side all the others, at times spreading their wings looking like the pre-historic creatures that they are.

Cedar Waxwing[tag]Cedar Waxwings[/tag] were also prevalent. I was blessed to have gotten a picture of one in all its glory!

Be sure to check out our [tag]Birding Gallery[/tag] for a much larger picture than the one to the right.

As you can see near the bottom of the picture, berries are ripe, and they were being eaten by the Cedar Waxwings. Groups of 5-7 birds would land in an area and eat the berries. As we watched, a lone Cedar Waxwing landed atop a bush. Even with our close proximity to it, it allowed me to get off several shots from my camera.This shot is as is, except for some cropping I did for the article. No post-processing was done!

If all birds allowed this close of an approach, I would be one happy [tag]birder[/tag]! But most [tag]birds[/tag] don’t allow this close of an encounter. For that reason, we have decided to purchase a [tag]spotting scope[/tag]. (Something I wish we would have done along time ago!)

We have decided on the Celestron 80mm Ultima ED Spotting Scope. This scope will allow us to get close and personal with wildlife of all kinds, and it allows the attachment of a digital camera with an optional fitting. We expect to receive the scope sometime around the middle of August, and hopefully have some pictures using this outfit posted to the Birding Gallery during fall migration.

Semi-Palmated Plover

 I am always amazed at how birds can blend in with their surroundings.

This picture of a [tag]Semi-Palmated Plover[/tag] was taken on a small rocky beach at the refuge. I waited patiently for this small bird to get into some light colored sand so I could find him through my camera. When the a group of them were in the stones and rocks, they were nearly impossible to find through the view finder!

I love watching these birds along the surf of a beach, running away from the waves and then following the waves back to find food washed ashore before the next wave comes crashing in. All told, approx. 30 Semi-Palmated Plovers were seen on the beach.

ChipmunkAt the end of our Sunday morning journey, we found ourselves taking a walk on Ocean Avenue in Biddeford Pool.

While walking back to the car, we heard a sharp chipping sound and looked around for the culprit.

Directly in front of us, on a big rock among the sea roses, was a [tag]chipmunk[/tag] trying to hide from us.

I snapped several pictures as my wife talked to it. The chipmunk just sat there as if he thought that he was invisible, not moving at all. After we had passed several yards behind it, he finally deserted the rock and skittered across the street, more than likely looking for a spot away from the human intruders.


ChipmunkAll told, much [tag]wildlife[/tag] was seen this morning. Even a doe and a fawn out in the marsh.

Many species of [tag]butterflies[/tag] were seen at the marsh along with the complimentary mosquitoes, deer flies and green heads.

Here is my listing of birds and wildlife seen this morning:

  • Black Duck w/chicks
  • Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Least Tern
  • Tree Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Willet w/chicks
  • Semi-Palmated Plover
  • Double-Crested Cormorant
  • Song Sparrow
  • House Finch
  • Purple Finch
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Kingbird
  • Deer: doe w/fawn
  • Chipmunk

 That’s it for now. Be safe and happy [tag]birding[/tag]!




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