Life List Bird Game: Recap

When I wrote the intro to the Life List Bird Game series, I'd just seen my 300th bird species (a pair of Redhead). In the three months since, I've met six new bird species.

#301 was a single Cave Swallow who spent part of a mild November day flying around East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool. It takes strong winds, typically in the month of November to escort this southern species (of Texas, Mexico, and the Caribbean) to New England, and I was grateful when other birders shared their sighting so that I could witness this feathered traveler at one of my favorite nature spots.

Photo of Cave Swallow
15 Nov 2015 | East Point Sanctuary, Biddeford Pool, ME

#302 was a Yellow-breasted Chat who I glimpsed on Christmas Day while taking a walk with my mémère along Timber Point Trail in Biddeford. Less than a month later, I observed another Yellow-breasted Chat in Rockland.

Photo of Yellow-breasted Chat
25 Dec 2015 | Rachel Carson NWR -- Timber Point Trail, Biddeford, ME

#303 was a Yellow-throated Warbler. This species is rare in Maine any time of year, but an early January record is exceptional. The bird frequented a yard in Bowdoin from December 30th to January 8th.

Photo of Yellow-throated Warbler
8 Jan 2016 | Litchfield Rd., Bowdoin, ME

#304 was a Maine MEGA rarity, a Black-throated Sparrow. This species is typically found in southwestern parts of the United States and parts of Mexico, but for unknown reasons, one bird decided to spend January in a neighborhood in eastern Maine. The bird was spotted during a Christmas Bird Count on January 1st, and I eventually made the trip to Winter Harbor to see the bird on January 18th.

Photo of Black-throated Sparrow
18 Jan 2016 | Barnacle Ln., Winter Harbor, ME

On my way back from seeing the Black-throated Sparrow, I stopped at Owls Head Harbor to see life bird #305, a Mew Gull.  According to record keepers, there have been less than 10 documented sightings of Mew Gulls in Maine. Wow! The bird was found by another birder the day before my planned sparrow trip, so I lucked out with two life birds in one day!

Photo of Mew Gull
18 Jan 2016 | Owls Head Harbor, Owls Head, ME

And just yesterday, I ventured beyond Maine for the first time this year to meet my latest life bird, #306, a Red-headed Woodpecker. This immature bird has been hanging out along Town Farm Road in Ipswich, MA since late November of last year.

Photo of Red-headed Woodpecker
31 Jan 2016 | Town Farm Rd., Ipswich, MA

Now that you're up to speed with the birds I've seen, let's get back to exploring other aspects of the natural world. For starters, there are a few trees I'd like to introduce you to.

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