Category Archives: Nature Notes

16.06 | Nature Notes (Mar 9-15)

Photo of Clouds

Here are some nature highlights from around York County, Maine:

  • Ruffed Grouse, Fox Sparrow (FOY), singing Purple Finch, and Woodchuck (FOY) at Emmons Preserve in Kennebunkport
  • sun-bathing Painted Turtles (FOY)
  • newly emerged fuzzy catkins of Quaking Poplar
  • Speckled Alder and Silver Maple flowering
  • white Weasel (either Ermine or Long-tailed), Red Fox, and many Red Squirrels at Indian Cellar Preserve in Hollis
  • 1 Wood Duck, 26 Ring-necked Ducks, and 14 Common Mergansers on the Saco River Reservoir, viewed from Pleasant Point Park in Buxton
  • Merlin (FOY) flying over Fortunes Rocks Rd., Biddeford
  • 2 vocalizing Fish Crows (FOY) with an estimated 250 American Crows near Horrigan Ct., Biddeford
  • 40 Cedar Waxwings eating persisting Crab Apples at York County Community College, Wells
  • Eurasian Wigeon (drake with Eurasian/American hen) on Grondin Pond, Scarborough (Cumberland County)

To view the following images in full-size, click here.

16.05 | Nature Notes (Mar 2-8)

Photo of Railroad bridge over Saco River

Here are some nature highlights from around York County, Maine:

  • 2 Common Muskrats munching on marsh vegetation along Parsons Way (Ocean Ave.), Kennebunkport
Photo of Common Muskrat
Common Muskrat | Kennebunkport, ME | 4 Mar 2016
  • American Woodcock displaying before sunrise
  • an overnight dusting of snow that revealed Striped Skunk activity near my home
  • Wood Duck pair, a female Green-winged Teal, a continuing male Barrow's Goldeneye, and nest-building Rock Pigeons viewed from Diamond Riverside Park and nearby railroad bridge (see top photo), Saco/Biddeford
Photo of Rock Pigeon
Rock Pigeon | Saco, ME | 6 Mar 2016
  • 2 male Ring-necked Ducks and 1 female Greater Scaup on Etherington Pond, Fortunes Rocks Rd., Biddeford
  • 8+ Ruddy Turnstones and 6 Great Cormorants on Beach Island, off Ocean Ave., Biddeford Pool
  • emerging fluffy flowers of Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)
Photo of Pussy Willow
Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) | Biddeford Pool, ME | 6 Mar 2016
  • 1 Killdeer at Rockin' Horse Stables, Arundel Rd., K'port
  • Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles present in small numbers in many locations as well as 1 male Brown-headed Cowbird on Main St., Wells, and 1 male Rusty Blackbird (FOY) singing near the Mousam River, Rt. 9, Kennebunk

16.04 | Nature Notes (Feb 24 – Mar 1)

Photo of Red-winged Blackbirds
Red-winged Blackbirds | Biddeford, ME | 27 Feb 2016

Here are some nature highlights from around York County, Maine:

  • Spring Peepers calling from a few locations, but no group chorusing yet
  • Red-winged Blackbirds (FOY=first of year) and Common Grackles in several locations, and one early Brown-headed Cowbird (FOY) in Wells
  • Mallards on a rooftop in Kennebunkport
Photo of Mallards on rooftop
Mallards | Kennebunkport, ME | 26 Feb 2016
  • continuing adult male Barrow's Goldeneye on Saco River viewed from Diamond Riverside Park, Irving St., Saco
  • Peregrine Falcon and a pair of Hooded Mergansers along Harbor Rd., Wells
  • American Woodcock (FOY) peenting/displaying at 5:40am along Wildbrook Dr., Biddeford
  • 2 Killdeer at Rockin' Horse Stables on Arundel Rd., K'port
  • a mostly-white Snowshoe Hare dead on a road near my home

Additionally, on Sunday I scouted along Rt. 16 in Coos County, NH and Oxford County, ME where Pine Siskins and Crossbills provided an almost non-stop soundtrack for the day. Here are some highlights:

  • 2 Gray Jays (Life Bird #307!), Red Crossbills, and 25 Bohemian Waxwings along Rt. 16, between Errol, NH and Maine border
  • 1 Gray Jay, 20 Purple Finches, 8 Red Crossbills, 10 White-winged Crossbills, 100+ Pine Siskins and 75 Evening Grosbeaks in Magalloway Plantation
  • 1 Northern Shrike, 2 Purple Finches, 10 Red Crossbills, 4 White-winged Crossbills, 50 Pine Siskins and 30 Evening Grosbeaks in Lincoln Plantation
  • 2 Boreal Chickadees (Life Bird #308!), 10 Purple Finches, 8 White-winged Crossbills and 30 Pine Siskins in Lower Cupsuptic Township
Photo of White-winged Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill | Lincoln Plantation, ME | 28 Feb 2016

16.03 | Nature Notes (Feb 17-23)

Photo of Little River, Kennebunkport/Biddeford

Here are some nature highlights from around York County, Maine:

  • 32 Cedar Waxwings in Crab Apple trees at York County Community College, Wells
  • male Belted Kingfisher at Mast Cove (Maine St.), Kennebunkport
  • continuing Yellow-rumped Warbler at Wells Harbor Community Park, Harbor Rd., Wells
  • Rough-legged Hawk (light morph) and Snowy Owl (on Wood Island) seen from East Point Sanctuary, Biddeford Pool
Photo of Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk | Biddeford Pool, ME | 19 Feb 2016
  • a distant mustelid (either a North American River Otter or an American Mink) on an ice-covered section of the Saco River in Biddeford/Saco
  • a Striped Skunk taking a pre-dawn walk near my home
  • Carolina Wren singing near the entrance to East Point Sanctuary, Biddeford Pool

16.02 | Nature Notes (Feb 10-16)

Photo of Heath

Here are some nature highlights from around York County, Maine:

  • 40 Cedar Waxwings and 100 American Robins feeding on persisting Apples and Crab Apples on Lombard Rd., Arundel
  • 2 Belted Kingfishers continuing to patrol the Mousam River and American Mink and Eastern Coyote trails at the Sanford Lagoons
  • continuing King Eider off Ocean Avenue, Biddeford Pool
  • 50+ Purple Sandpipers, 14 Great Cormorants and a Bald Eagle on Beach Island (off Ocean Ave.), Biddeford Pool
  • 5 Harlequin Ducks, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 20 American Robins and 40 Cedar Waxwings along Parsons Way (Ocean Ave.), Kennebunkport
  • continuing Barrow's Goldeneye on Saco River near Front St., Saco

Additionally, on Friday I birded some spots in Oxford County, Maine and Coos County, New Hampshire. Here are some highlights:

Photo of White-winged Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill | Gilead, ME | 12 Feb 2016
  • 1 Red Crossbill on Power House Rd., Gorham, NH
  • 12 Evening Grosbeaks, 10 Pine Siskins, 2 Purple Finches along Chickwolnepy Rd., Milan, NH
Photo of Evening Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak | Milan, NH | 12 Feb 2016
Photo of Snow Buntings
Snow Buntings | Dummer, NH | 12 Feb 2016