17.41 | Nature Notes (Oct 8-14)

Photo of Nelson's Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow | Biddeford Pool, ME | 8 Oct 2017

(Birding) Highlights of the Week

I observed 1 Lapland Longspur and numerous Nelson's and Savannah Sparrows in the marsh along Mile Stretch Road in Biddeford Pool.

A friend and I took a 24-hour trip to Aroostook County to look for Barnacle Geese. They proved elusive, but we did see a Greater White-fronted Goose, an immature Snow Goose, and many thousands of Canada Geese.

And, while not exactly a "highlight", we also found a recently struck and killed Long-eared Owl in Fort Fairfield (a species I've only seen alive at a rehab center).

Wild Edible of the Week

Jenny made some delicious jello using the juice of some Fox Grapes that I foraged.

Moon Challenge Report

I completed five morning meditations and five gratitude journal entries for my Meditation and Gratitude Moon Challenge.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Locate 5 insect galls (see Insect Sign: Galls for ideas on where to look).


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Life List Bird Game #35

Identify the birds in the following photographs, all of which were taken by me in New England. This gallery of untitled photos is randomly arranged and includes more than one photo of most species. If you get stuck, the 10 possibilities (in my Life List order) are provided below. If you're reading this post via e-mail, visit the blog to view the full-size images.

The Birds of Life List Bird Game #35

341. Great Gray Owl
342. Vermilion Flycatcher (terrible quality photo)
343. Fieldfare (terrible quality photo)
344. Painted Bunting
345. Brown Booby
346. Magnificent Frigatebird
347. Snowy Plover
348. Brown Pelican
349. Black-necked Stilt
350. South Polar Skua

Hint: You can use the photo filename to check your guesses. For example: 008grca.jpg corresponds with my 8th Life Bird: Gray Catbird.

Mushrooms: Thin-walled Maze Polypore

Photo of <i>Daedaleopsis confragosa</i> top

Thin-walled Maze Polypore (Daedaleopsis confragosa) specializes in breaking down hardwood logs. Fruiting bodies have no apparent stalk, may arise singly or in clusters, and have caps with alternating zones of earthy browns and tans. The pores on the under surface vary in shape and can be round, elongated, maze-like, or even gill-like. Their tendency to turn red when bruised is a useful identification feature. To learn more about this common, inedible wood-eater, visit MushroomExpert.com.

Photo of <i>Daedaleopsis confragosa</i> bottom

17.40 | Nature Notes (Oct 1-7)

Photo of Butterflies on New England American-aster
Monarchs and Painted Ladies on New England American-aster | Monhegan Island, ME | 6 Oct 2017

Highlights of the Week

During a whale watch trip out of Boothbay Harbor, I observed a swarm of seabirds, including numerous Northern Fulmars and Great Shearwaters, feeding alongside a pod of Atlantic White-sided Dolphins.

In five hours on Monhegan Island, two other birders and I tallied nearly 60 species of birds (including 10 types of sparrows) and observed oodles of Painted Lady and Monarch butterflies. The butterflies seemed especially attracted to patches of New England American-aster.

I twitched a Red-headed Woodpecker (FOY) at Timber Point in Biddeford and a Connecticut Warbler (Lifer!) at a private yard in Newcastle, and I spotted my FOY Yellow-breasted Chat at East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool.

Wild Edible of the Week

I ate fillets of Cusk (Brosme brosme) from a fish I caught earlier this year aboard the F/V Nor'easter.

Moon Challenge Report

I missed one morning of meditation but otherwise continued with my Meditation and Gratitude Moon Challenge.

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

Find, feel, and photograph/sketch moss growing on or at the base of a tree.


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My work as a naturalist is supported by readers like you. To pledge a monthly contribution of $1 or more, please visit Patreon. Thank you!