Category Archives: Nature Notes

16.09 | Nature Notes (Mar 30 – Apr 5)

Photo of Canada Goose
Canada Goose | Kennebunkport, ME | 5 Apr 2016

Here are some nature notes from southern Maine:

  • Eastern Meadowlark (FOY) and flowering American Hazelnut at Kennebunk Plains
  • 2 American Wigeon, 50 Tree Swallows, Pine Warbler (FOS), and Yellow-rumped Warbler at Sanford Lagoons
  • Spring Whitlow-mustard (Draba verna) and Hairy Bitter-cress (Cardamine hirsuta) flowering and fruiting
  • Trailing-arbutus (Epigaea repens) flowering
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron (FOY) and Great Egret roosting in trees by Great Pond in Biddeford Pool
  • Blue-winged Teal (FOY) and 2 Glossy Ibis (FOY) behind the Pelreco Building, Scarborough
  • Canada Goose on nest atop old beaver lodge at Batson River on Guinea Rd., Kennebunkport [Did you spot her in the top photo?]
  • 2 Palm Warblers (FOY) at York County Community College, Wells

And, highlights from a birding trip along Rt. 16 from the NH border to King's Spring in Rangeley included:

  • Black-backed Woodpecker (Life Bird #309; Maine Bird #301), Gray Jay, Winter Wren (FOY), 10-15 Red Crossbills, 4 White-winged Crossbills, 120-150 Pine Siskins, and 30 Evening Grosbeaks

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

16.08 | Nature Notes (Mar 23-29)

Photo of Seals
Seals | Kennebunkport, ME | 27 Mar 2016

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

  • Northern Shoveler (first of year=FOY), 2 Wilson's Snipes, Eastern Phoebe, 3 Tree Swallows, 40 Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrow, and flowering Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) at the Sanford Lagoons
  • Great Blue Heron (first of spring=FOS) and Northern Pintail (drake) at Mousam River marsh near Rt. 9, Kennebunk
  • Eastern Screech-Owl (my 300th Maine Bird!) heard giving monotone trill on private property in York (thanks Evan!)
  • 2 Gadwall (FOY), Double-crested Cormorant (FOS), Great Blue Heron, and Eastern Phoebe at Scarborough Marsh
  • 20 Bohemian Waxwings and 80 Cedar Waxwings eating up remaining Crab Apples at Key Bank on Temple St., Saco (thanks Pat!)
  • 3 Northern Flickers (FOY) and 100 American Robins in fields near the Smith Preserve on Guinea Rd., Kennebunkport
  • Great Egret (FOY) and 3 Great Blue Herons at marsh along Dyke Rd., K'port
  • loafing seals (most or all Harbor Seals, from what I could tell) on rocks off Goose Rocks Beach, K'port
  • 2 Turkey Vultures feeding on a Striped Skunk carcass along Chapel Rd., Wells

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

16.07 | Nature Notes (Mar 16-22)

Photo of Piping Plover
Piping Plovers | Kennebunkport, ME | 21 Mar 2016

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

FOY Mammal observations:

  • Eastern Chipmunk peeking out of a tree cavity in Sanford
  • American Beaver on the Batson River, Kennebunkport

FOY Amphibian observations:

  • American Bullfrogs sunning themselves in Wells
  • Wood Frogs hopping across a road in K'port
  • Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers chorusing after dark in K'port
  • after a warm, rainy night, along a 3/4 mile stretch of roadway near my home, I found the following signs of the year's first mass movement of amphibians to their breeding sites: ~27 dead frogs (most appeared to be Wood Frogs, some egg-bearing females), 1 dead Spotted Salamander, 1 unidentified dead Salamander (probable Blue-spotted/Jefferson's hybrid), and 2 living Spring Peepers

FOY Bird observations:

  • 2 Wilson's Snipes at the Sanford Lagoons
  • Barred Owl giving single-hoot calls in K'port
  • male American Kestrel (possibly an overwintering bird) on wire along Irving Rd., Arundel
  • 4 Piping Plovers and 1 "Ipswich" Savannah Sparrow at Goose Rocks Beach, K'port on Friday; high count of 5 Piping Plovers on Monday afternoon
  • 15 Brant and 3 Tree Swallows from Vines Landing, Biddeford Pool
  • Red-shouldered Hawk flying over Guinea Rd., K'port
  • continuing overwintering Gray Catbird along Timber Point Trail, Biddeford
  • Pied-billed Grebe on Lily Pond & Mute Swan (rare for Maine) on Lords Pond, both along Fortunes Rocks Rd., Biddeford
  • Eastern Phoebe along Harbor Rd., Wells

Miscellaneous happenings:

  • 215 Purple Sandpipers, 1 Razorbill, and 10 Great Cormorants off Ocean Ave., Biddeford Pool
  • Northern Shrike and drumming Ruffed Grouse at Emmons Preserve, K'port
  • Quaking Poplar flowering
  • 5" of snow on Sunday morning, mostly melted by sundown

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

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