Thursday, May 31, 2018

Keeping it Real

This is the time of year when every minute seems a gift.  Which means its not always an easy decision to go birding.  But now and then you take a break from your own drama, look around, and catch a moment of small, feathered life unfolding.

Eastern Towhees are commonplace on Cushings Island

I watched this male Least Tern wave a sand eel he'd caught for about ten minutes before the female dropped into the cup of sand beneath her and accepted his offering, allowing him to finally perch himself on her back.

Least Terns courting

Black-bellied Plover

6 Snowy Egrets and a Little Blue Heron flying back to Stratton Island for the night

My neighbor called me over and said there was a bird in her garage.  I joked it was probably something super rare...and then immediately recognized that it was a bird I'd never seen before!  I caught it by hand, and put it in a box to release in the nearby woods, and rushed to get my camera, but when we opened the box, it was empty.  There were two small holes at either end of the box, and it must have flown to the light and escaped.  I was bummed not to get a photo.  On a chance, tried playback into a likely tangle of brush.  Serendipitously, it popped back into view, already recovered from its harrowing experience with humans and munching on a caterpillar.  The light was terrible, hence the poor quality photos.

Mourning Warbler

Mourning Warbler

Thursday, May 24, 2018

3 Terns

If I was a bird, I'd hope to be a tern.

Roseate Tern

Common Tern

Least Tern

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Many leaves are now almost full sized, and birds are getting harder to find.  I swung by Capisic for probably my last warbler outing of the spring and managed to find the two birds I still needed; Canada and Blackpoll warblers.  I'd seen both, but even a fair photo eluded me.

Canada Warbler fem.

Canada Warbler male in bad light

Blackpoll Warbler

Orchard Oriole

Baltimore Orioles are proud birds

Baltimore Oriole nest

same nest last week

Mourning Dove

Blue Jay

Blue Jays don't have a bad side

Purple Finch

Bobolink looking only halfway weird

Bobolink doing its thing

Bobolinks abounded at Great Salt Bay Preserve in Damariscotta

White-Rumped Sandpiper at Kettle Cove

deep red 

Barn in progress

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Field birds and Shorebirds

Bobolinks are weird birds.  Weird name, weird plumage.  Great song and style.


Barn Swallow, work in progress...

12" sandworm

Bonapartes Gull

Laughing Gull

Piping Plover

Great Blue Heron

GBHE in flight

Least Sandpiper

Semi-Palmated Sandpiper

SPSP in back with thicker bill, LESP in front with more delicate bill

Thursday, May 17, 2018

an Epic day

Thats capital E epic.  A Golden-Winged Warbler was reported yesterday at the local dog-walk/birdy park in SoPo.  Of course I didn't check the list serve until almost 7pm, but off I go, dragging my starving 10 year old to get a photo before the sun sets, "What's for dinner??....I'm hungryyyyy".  Fifteen minutes later we pull into the parking lot, and I discover I left the memory card for my camera plugged into my laptop.  Back into the car, cursing and yelling, kid in tears, me assuring him that he's done nothing wrong, calculating the chances that the bird will stick around overnight (no rain, warmish night, not too much wind....probability less than 5%....).

Miraculously, it did stick around, and I saw it this morning!  So did everyone else.  Unfortunately, it stayed high in the canopy, mostly showing us its very plain and boring belly against a catastrophically backlit white sky.  After a couple hours chasing it through a small patch of woods, absolutely killing my neck, and filling a card with trash photos, I called it and went to get a 2nd cup of coffee.  So, apologies for the lousy photo, but a Lifer warbler is nothing to be ashamed of.

Later in the afternoon I took a walk by Great Pond and got some good shots of good birds.

Golden-Winged Warbler

Doug Hitchcox birds wicked haahd

Nashville Warbler

Mourning Dove

Pileated Woodpecker
Swainson's Thrush with buffy spectacles

this juv. Bald Eagle was sizing up my dog

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Blue Jay

Still  haven't put in a decent Blue Jay photo, which is just absurd at this point.  The thing is, Blue Jays are so photogenic, the bar is set really high.  So this won't quite cut it, but will have to do as a placeholder until I nail one.  Under-rated birds for sure.  People have been posting all kinds of birds I've never even seen, while my few real-life responsibilities have been demanding more of my attention than I would like the past few days, so here's a few new birds to stem the bleeding a bit.

Blue Jay


Common Grackle

Garter Snake

Yellow Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

not quite finished Baltimore Oriole

Common Yellowthroat