I saw my first ever pod of Pilot Whales during Maine Audubon's Bar Harbor Pelagic trip. Spotting pelagic birds (the focus of the trip) was a real challenge given the dense fog, but we were treated to good looks at a Northern Fulmar and many Red Phalaropes and Leach's Storm-Petrels in Canadian waters south of Grand Manan Island.
Jenny and I each witnessed an American Dagger Moth (Acronicta americana) caterpillar at about the same time on Friday morning though we were a few miles apart. (Note: Their hairs can be irritating, so if you find one, it's best to look but not touch.)
Withe-rod (Viburnum nudum), also known as Wild Raisin, is similar in many respects to Nannyberry (V. lentago), with oppositely arranged leaves and clusters of edible, dark blue/purple fruits which ripen in September. But whereas Nannyberry's leaves are edged with sharp teeth, the leaves of Withe-rod have blunt or wavy teeth, and the flower (and later fruit) clusters of Withe-rod have distinct stalks, which Nannyberry's clusters lack. (This latter feature is useful for telling the two apart during the white season.) And while Withe-rod has smaller fruits, the single seed within each one is soft and chewable, unlike the tougher seed of Nannyberry, which I prefer to spit out.
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Blood Milkwort (Polygala sanguinea), Narrow-leaved Gentian (Gentiana linearis), White Goldenrod (Solidago bicolor), Flax-leaved Stiff-aster, and Tall White-aster (Doellingeria umbellatus) flowering.
I spent a day out at sea on a fishing boat. Thick fog made spotting birds nearly impossible (I was able to identify just a handful of Wilson's Storm-Petrels, a few Northern Gannets, and small numbers of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls), so I turned my efforts to catching fish for my freezer. I took home over ten pounds of Pollock fillets.
Stilt Sandpipers are uncommon, mid-sized shorebirds who nest in the tundra of northern Canada and Alaska. In New England, they're most often observed in July, August, and September, as they stop over to forage in shallow, standing water at both coastal and inland sites.
Stilt Sandpipers often feed by probing their bills into mud in sewing-machine-like fashion, much like dowitchers, or picking food off the surface like Lesser Yellowlegs. But whereas dowitchers have long, straight bills, and Lesser Yellowlegs have short, straight bills, Stilt Sandpipers have medium-length bills with an obvious droop, much like Dunlin.
To learn more about these waders with yellow-green legs, visit All About Birds. To view the following images in full-size, click here.