Category Archives: Nature Notes

16.14 | Nature Notes (May 4-10)

Photo of Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird | Biddeford, ME | 8 May 2016

Here are some nature notes from around southern Maine:

  • Green Heron (FOY), 2 Virginia Rails (FOY), 2 Least Sandpipers (FOY), Chimney Swift (FOY), Bank Swallow (FOY), Cliff Swallow (FOY), and many more at the Sanford Lagoons [full report on eBird]
  • 175+ Double-crested Cormorants (with lesser numbers of Great Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls, and Common Eiders) at nesting colony on Bumpkin Island, Kennebunkport
  • as many as 148(!) Glossy Ibis foraging in fields near Ever After Mustang Rescue on West St., Biddeford
  • 2 Lesser Yellowlegs (FOY) at Pelreco Building, and 4 Common Terns (FOY) and a Roseate Tern (FOY) at Pine Point, Scarborough
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler (FOY) on Smutty Lane, Saco
  • House Wren (FOY), Nashville Warbler (FOY), Magnolia Warbler (FOY), and Black-throated Blue Warbler (FOY) at Southpoint Sanctuary, 7th St., Biddeford Pool
  • Semipalmated Plover (FOY) at the public beach in Biddeford Pool
  • 2 Northern Waterthrush (FOY), Yellow Warbler (FOY), and Baltimore Oriole (FOY) on Elphis Rd., Biddeford
  • 2 Laughing Gulls (FOY), an early, uncommon Red Knot (FOY), and 32+ Short-billed Dowitchers (FOY) along Mile Stretch Rd., Biddeford Pool
  • Common Yellowthroat (FOY) and Wilson's Warbler (FOY) on Guinea Rd., K'port
  • Marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris), Wood Windflower (Anemone quinquefolia), and more than one species of Shadbush (Amelanchier spp.) flowering
  • Eastern Kingbird (FOY) at York County Community College, Wells

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

Event Notice

My Rotary Park Spring Foraging Workshop has been rescheduled to this Sunday, May 15th from 2-4pm. There are still spots available. Click here for registration details.

Festival Notice

I'd also like to let you know about the Cattail Skills Gathering taking place on June 4 & 5 in Litchfield, Connecticut. Organized by friends of mine, this low-cost, community-building event celebrates the natural world, primitive skills, and bushcraft.

16.13 | Nature Notes (Apr 27 – May 3)

Photo of American Bittern
American Bittern | Biddeford, ME | 1 May 2016

Here are some nature notes from around southern Maine:

  • flowering Dwarf Cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis), Sugar Maple, Norway Maple, and Sweet-fern
  • 7 Canada Goose goslings (with parents), 2 Spotted Sandpiper, 2 Wilson's Snipe, and 4 singing Louisiana Waterthrush at Sanford Lagoons
  • 2 Willet (FOY) near mouth of Mousam River, Kennebunk
  • 12 Black-bellied Plover (FOY) on mudflat viewed from Mile Stretch Rd., Biddeford Pool
  • Black-and-white Warbler (FOY) and Black-throated Green Warbler (FOY) and Ovenbird (FOY) on Guinea Rd., Kennebunkport
  • Great Horned Owl (calling), 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (FOY), and Gray Catbird (FOS) at Emmons Preserve, K'port
  • American Bittern (FOY) on West St., Biddeford [thanks to Kevin for spotting this bird]
  • Eastern Phoebe nest with 2 eggs at York County Community College, Wells
  • a continuing rare White-eyed Vireo (FOY) at Timber Point Trail, Biddeford and continuing very rare Little Egret (FOY) at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth
  • dead Minke Whale in Horseshoe Cove, along Granite Point Rd., Biddeford [photo on Flickr]

And, on a trip to Massachusetts, I saw two FOY's: a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in South Grafton, MA and a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in South Hampton, NH.

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

16.12 | Nature Notes (Apr 20-26)

Photo of Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow | Sanford, ME | 22 Apr 2016

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

Highlights from travels elsewhere in Maine included:

  • continuing Western Grebe (Life Bird #310) from Simpson's Point Landing, Brunswick
  • Sandhill Crane (FOY) bugling at Messalonskee Lake marsh, Belgrade
  • 7+ Purple Martins (FOY) on Depot Rd., Belgrade
  • Ruffed Grouse, Blue-headed Vireo (FOY), and hundreds of emerging Trillium plants (Trillium sp.) along Rt. 113 in Batchelder’s Grant Township
  • 2 Sandhill Cranes in plowed field along Old River Rd., Fryeburg

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

Snowy Owl Update: It turns out the Sanford Lagoons owl was Casco. From Sanford, she flew on to Canada. I wish her a successful summer up north.

What natural happenings have you noticed in the last week?

16.11 | Nature Notes (Apr 13-19)

Photo of Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture | Kennebunkport, ME | 15 Apr 2016

Here are some nature notes from around York and Cumberland County, Maine:

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

What natural happenings have you noticed in the last week? I invite you to share your observations in the comments section of today's post.

16.10 | Nature Notes (Apr 6-12)

Photo of American Coot
American Coot | Sanford, ME | 8 Apr 2016

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

  • 50 Brant near Halftide Rock, viewable from Vines Landing, Biddeford Pool
  • 2 Swamp Sparrows at marsh along Timber Point Trail, Biddeford
  • Winter Wren, 2 Pine Warblers, and a Deer Tick (FOY) along the Merriland River and Chipping Sparrow (FOY) at Merriland Farm, both locations along Coles Hill Rd., Wells
  • 2 Lesser Scaup (FOS), Osprey (FOY), Northern Harrier, American Coot (FOY), Snowy Owl (see note below), and 120 Tree Swallows at Sanford Lagoons
  • Common Dandelion flowering at a spot in Biddeford
  • 3 Snowy Egrets (FOY) in marsh south of Bridge Rd., Biddeford
  • 5 Piping Plovers and an "Ipswich" Savannah Sparrow at Fortunes Rocks Beach, Biddeford
  • numerous basal rosettes of Garden Yellow-rocket, Garlic-mustard, and Dame's-rocket (Hesperis matronalis) along Saco RiverWalk in Saco; these are all edible members of the Mustard (Brassicaceae) family
  • 3 Gadwall in Mousam River marsh, Kennebunk

Note: Snowy Owls are rare at this inland location. The presence of a back-mounted solar charger led me to suspect that this bird is being tracked by Project SNOWstorm. The latest GPS data (which should be available on Thursday) will likely reveal whether this is Brunswick (who I photographed earlier this year in Wells), Casco, or another owl.

Update (4/22/16): It turns out this was Casco. From Sanford, she flew on to Canada. I wish her a successful summer up north.

What natural happenings have you noticed in the last week? I invite you to share your observations in the comments section of today's post.

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

There are spots available for my spring birding and foraging workshops. If you'd like to attend one or more, be sure to reserve your spot!