Winter or Spring

by John Briggs on March 18, 2007

in Weekend Birding

In the last ten days, the area has experienced below zero lows, temps in the 60’s and a major snow storm, all in that order.

[tag]Birds[/tag] that are absent in the winter are heading back to the area. Reports are received everyday from the [tag]Maine[/tag]-[tag]Bird[/tag] List that Robins, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Cowbirds and others are returning in droves.

This weekend, after the roads were cleared of the 11″ snowfall, we motored around our regular loop and saw these birds that beckon spring. Imagine the surprise these birds had when snow, sleet, freezing rain and high winds pelted the area. I am willing to bet that they wished they had stayed away a bit longer!

Saturday afternoon, my wife and I watched a male Harlequin Duck in the surf from our car parked along Ocean Avenue in Biddeford Pool. Although the lighting was awful, I managed to get a few pictures of him and they are posted at the end of this article.

We saw our first American Robin of the year at Fortunes Rock Beach this morning, along with first of the year Red-Winged Blackbirds and a Brown-Headed Cowbird.

Hooded Mergansers continue to be seen at the Scarborough Marsh, along with hundreds of Canada Geese. Very large rafts of Common Eider were seen at Pine Point and Camp Ellis. Common Loons seem to be congregating into large groups also, as 15 were seen together near Eastern Point in Biddeford Pool.

Yesterday it was Turkeys along Route 9, today it was Deer, as you can see in the photos below.

Please enjoy the following pictures, and you decide, is it [tag]Winter[/tag] or [tag]Spring[/tag]? The calendar says winter, but spring is just around the corner. Click a thumbnail for a larger view.

Ice covered branches - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Little River View - Granite Point - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Stormy Seas - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Turkey - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Turkeys - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Deer - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Harlequin Duck - Black Ducks - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Harlequin Duck - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Harlequin Duck - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Harlequin Duck - Biddeford Pool, Maine. House Finch Pair - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Male Cardinal - Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Red-Winged Blackbird - Biddeford Pool, Maine. American Robin - Biddeford Pool, Maine. Tree Sparrow - Biddeford Pool, Maine.


Happy [tag]birding[/tag]!


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