Category Archives: Nature Notes

17.47 | Nature Notes (Nov 19-25)

Photo of Orange Sulphur
Orange Sulphur | Biddeford Pool, ME | 24 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

On Tuesday, an unexpected flock of 10 Red Crossbills flew over me at a horse farm in Kennebunkport. Other farm observations this week: Peregrine Falcon, Northern Harrier, Wilson's Snipe, a late Killdeer, and 3 American Pipits.

On Friday, a surprisingly late Orange Sulphur butterfly fluttered along Ocean Avenue in Biddeford Pool, periodically stopping to feed on Common Dandelion blossoms.

Saturday morning, I twitched a rare Yellow-throated Warbler (FOY) at the Sanford Lagoons.

Wild Edible of the Week

I ate some Soft-shell Clams (Mya arenaria) purchased from a local seafood counter.

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

Locate 3 abandoned bird nests in deciduous trees/shrubs.


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17.46 | Nature Notes (Nov 12-18)

Photo of American Mink
American Mink | Biddeford, ME | 17 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

The first snow of the season fell Monday night into Tuesday.

I spied an American Mink at the edge of a salt marsh in Biddeford.

I twitched two male Hooded Warblers and an "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler (a Lifer subspecies) at Southpoint Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool.

Wild Edible of the Week

I ate a wild fruit jello made with Feathery False Solomon's-seal fruit juice (from fruits I foraged/froze in September) and a bit of raw honey.

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

Visit a patch of clubmoss (family Lycopodiaceae, e.g., Flat-branched Tree-clubmoss and Southern Ground-cedar).


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17.45 | Nature Notes (Nov 5-11)

Photo of frost-edged Fucus
Frosty Seaweed | Biddeford, ME | 11 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

A hard freeze Wednesday into Thursday marked the start of the white season here in southern Maine.

Strong northwest winds on Friday stripped many leaves from Oak trees.

On Saturday afternoon in Biddeford Pool, I spotted a Snowy Owl at South Point and an Eastern Coyote crossing Mile Stretch Road.

Wild Edible of the Week

I foraged Ocean Quahogs -- sold as Mahogany Clams -- from a local seafood counter.

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

Find an evergreen fern (e.g., Christmas Fern, Evergreen Wood Fern, Rock Polypody).


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17.44 | Nature Notes (Oct 29 – Nov 4)

Photo of Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager | Biddeford, ME | 2 Nov 2017

Highlights of the Week

I spied Butter-and-eggs Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) still blooming in several southern Maine spots.

On Wednesday, the first day of November, I saw an American Lady sunning in a patch of grass as well as a late-migrating Monarch.

Also on Wednesday, I lucked upon a Summer Tanager (FOY) visiting a feeder at a home about 2 miles away in Biddeford. The bird continued through the end of the week and was observed by dozens of other birders.

Wild Edible of the Week

At a local grocery store, I purchased a pile of Blue Mussels that'd been harvested in the Gulf of Maine. I steamed them until they opened and savored them one after the other until only shells remained.

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

Make note of five (Red or Gray) squirrels who cross paths with you this week. (What were they doing?)


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17.43 | Nature Notes (Oct 22-28)

Photo of White-rumped Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper | Biddeford Pool, ME | 28 Oct 2017

Highlights of the Week

Several local Winterberry patches are loaded with red fruit.

I observed 14 species of shorebirds this week, including high counts of ~125 Black-bellied Plover, 6 Semipalmated Plover, 3 Killdeer, 12 Ruddy Turnstone, 35 Red Knot, ~300 Sanderling, ~165 Dunlin, 2 White-rumped Sandpiper, and one each of the following: American Golden-Plover, Purple Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, and Greater Yellowlegs.

I successfully twitched a FOY bird species three days in a row: a female Redhead in Bangor, 3 Cattle Egrets in Lamoine, and a red-morph Eastern Screech-Owl at an undisclosed location in southern Maine.

Wild Edible of the Week

I enjoyed Mint (Mentha sp.) leaves both in tea and finely chopped in salads.

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

Take a 30+ minute nature walk and see how many conifer tree species you can find.


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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!