Wood Ducks, Sunrises and Stormy Skies

by John Briggs on September 11, 2006

in Blog

Sunrise at Hills Beach

This weekend brought a mix of seasons to southern [tag]Maine[/tag]. Saturday was mild and Sunday was windy and very cool.

A beautiful sunrise greeted my wife and I at Hills Beach Saturday morning. As we were traveling to our favorite [tag]birding[/tag] spot on Granite Point Road, we decided to view the sunrise on Hills Beach just east of the UNE campus.

Temps rose the rest of the day, until evening, when a strong cold front swept across the area. Although other parts of Maine received damage from these storms, by the time it got to coastal areas, it had pretty much fallen apart. The skies still looked threatening, as seen in the following image.

Stormy skies over Biddeford, Maine

 

Wood DuckSome of the highlights Saturday morning was the sighting of a Wood Duck in a pond along Fortunes Rock Road in Biddeford Pool.

Although not in full-breeding color, this duck is beautiful none-the-less!

He did not hang around long and was soon preening on the brushy bank of the pond. I would like to revisit this pond this week to get a better picture, as this picture was taken at some distance from the duck. But then again, if the camera I ordered from Dell would have gotten here, I would have had the equipment for a better shot.

Geese over Granite Point

[tag]Migration[/tag] is still going strong over Granite Point. Flocks of Canada Geese, Cormorants, Great and Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Plovers and Sandpipers and many unidentifiable ducks were in flight or feeding at Granite Point.

Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Herons were plenty over the weekend, with an estimated 15 -20 individuals feeding in the marsh.

Starlings continue to flock through the area, as well as a few Swallows. No Warblers were seen, but of course that does not mean none where present.

Bob visited with us for a while both days while we were birding along the river at the end of Granite Point. We shared sightings and stories of our day. As we spoke, a Belted Kingfisher kept us in awe. Soon, two other Kingfishers decided to challenge the other for a perch atop a power line, just above the river. The two were chased off and the perch was once again secure, with the Kingfisher treating us to dives into the water after fish.

 

Lesser yellow Legs

 

 

Quite a few Lesser Yellow Legs were seen feeding in the marsh. I only viewed one Greater Yellow Legs and it was some distance from our vantage point.

Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a few Piping Plovers hung out in the low tide near the mouth of the river.

A doe and her young fed just above the river bank well inside the marsh.

[tag]Hawks[/tag] were numerous, including a Night Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawks and what possibly was a Broad_shouldered Hawk, all flying sea-ward towards the tip of Granite Point.

Some where seen soaring very high above the marsh and therefore were unidentifiable, even with binoculars. I managed to count 5 hawks flying at the higher levels than the ones we coud identify.

 

 

Female Blue Winged Teal

Although Sunday was chilly and windy, we loved the fresh air and crystal blue skies. Another bonus was the lack of bugs!

Blue Winged Teal, Black Ducks and Canada Geese cruised a pond along Fortunes Rock Road in Biddeford Pool. This is the same pond that we spied the Wood Duck in the day before, but this day, it was absent.

Male and Female Blue Winged teal

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves and the company of a fellow birder. It won’t be long until the winds and snow of winter cause us to bundle up. The days shorten, the [tag]birds[/tag] will be fewer, but the experience enjoyable.

I leave you with a lily pad flower taken in the pond mentioned previously. Happy birding!

Lily Pad Flower

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