The back pond at the Liberty Loop is certainly the local birding hotspot right now. Only one day after having a Willet there, today there were three GLOSSY IBIS present. The birds were in close, providing super looks and good photo ops. Linda Scrima joined me after a little while and we really enjoyed watching and photographing the birds as they fed nearly non-stop. Gorgeous and exciting birds! Here are some more shots:
This morning at the back pond of the Liberty Loop, Linda Scrima located and photographed the above WILLET. By the time I got out to the loop this evening along with Maria Loukeris, the bird had relocated to very deep into the pond. It was too far for photos, but we got enjoyed good looks in the scope. The bird flew short distances a few times, showing its beautifully marked black and white underwings. Huge thanks to Linda for both locating the bird and also for the great photo.
Before looking for the Willet, I met Linda and Maria over at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary to go for the Stilt Sandpiper (which had been relocated by a number of birders earlier in the day). We were unable to relocate the bird, but we did get nice looks at a Wilson’s Snipe, a bird that I have not gotten too many photos of:
Quick Post: Tonight after my golf match I stopped by 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary and I had what I believe was a STILT SANDPIPER. It was located at the small pond that is south of the Heritage Trail (I call it the Citgo Trail because you can access it from the Route 17M Citgo Station). Because I came straight from golf, I did not have my camera. I failed miserably at taking photos with the iPhone through my scope, but I did shoot some video of the bird (which is also pretty poor!), which can be seen HERE. Also present were approximately 20 Least Sandpipers, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs, and 8 or so Killdeer. I will try for the bird again tomorrow and hopefully get some photos…
First things first, I want to thank Karen Miller for helping out while I was away, she did an awesome job and it is greatly appreciated.
So, Tricia and I spent the last two weeks in Maine and while we were there we were scheduled to go to see the Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island. We had reservations for the trip that allowed us onto the island and into blinds for great views of the birds. Unfortunately, this trip was cancelled due to a small craft advisory. Undeterred, we went on two other puffin boating excursions – and BOTH were plagued with heavy fog. On August 1st, we took our first trip, which left from Bar Harbor and went out to the Atlantic Puffin colony at Petit Manan Island National Wildlife Refuge. We did get to see several puffins, but they were relatively distant and the fog was extremely thick. Actually, the fog was so dense that we could barely see the island! Photos were tough and the best birding of the trip came once we left the island and went out to the open seas for the whale watching portion of the outing. Once out of the fog, conditions improved for photos, but the water was pretty rough and the boat was rocking pretty severely the entire trip, which made it a challenge to focus on the birds. I felt like we did pretty well for the day with 15 species, including 3 life birds for me. Here is my list and photos:
WHALE AND PUFFIN WATCHING TOUR – FROM BAR HARBOR MAINE 8/1/14
Northern Fulmar (Life Bird)
Great Shearwater (Life Bird)
Wilson’s Storm Petrel
Double Crested Cormorant
Arctic Tern (Life Bird)
We also did well with the whales, seeing several of both Humpback and Finback whales.
PUFFIN WATCH FROM NEW HARBOR TO EASTERN EGG ROCK ISLAND, 8/4/14
Our second boating trip for puffins left from New Harbor and went out to Eastern Egg Rock Island. This is the southernmost nesting island for Atlantic Puffins. It was a gorgeous sunny day as we arrived and boarded the boat. As we waited for the departure, the weather began to change quickly, with a drop in the temperatures and a distant fog rolling in. By the time we reached Eastern Egg Rock, it was quite foggy, but not as foggy as when we were at Petit Manan Island NWR. Additionally, the boat was much smaller, which I believe allowed us to get much closer to the island and therefore the birds. I was much happier with my puffin photos, and I felt like we did pretty well again, with 12 species including 2 life birds for me. Here’s my list and photos:
Wilson’s Storm Petrel
Double Crested Cormorant
Parasitic Jaeger (Life Bird)
Roseate Tern (Life Bird)
I think we saw four Sooty Grouses in the Pacific NW. Two were on a branch fairly high in trees. The Grouse in the bottom two pictures was a mama and was trying to shepherd her babies across the road. One cooperated; one didn’t have the nerve, apparently. We watched her try to coax it out of the brush for several minutes, but to no avail. When we left she was on one side with the timid young one and the other was across the road by itself. …. Karen C Miller