Monday, August 25, 2014

A Mere Fact

At the tip of Merepoint, ME
 Our trip to Maine was so much fun.  I wish Kathie were closer so that we could bird more often, but we knew the time would fly by quickly. 

I won't forget the first night Gus made us Lobster rolls!  I had watched birders salivate while telling me their stories of Maine and their love for....lobster rolls.  Now I understand better why they went crazy over the mention of Maine. 

Chestnut-sided Warbler in Kathie's backyard

For me, birding is about great observations on new birds. It's also about getting better observations on older birds that I've previously seen. Sometimes the work is difficult but it's also very rewarding. 

Many times we didn't have to go far to encounter new birds.  We'd find them everywhere around Merepoint, Wharton's landing, Brunswick and other areas. 

Pileated Woodpecker near Brunswick Landing
The primary targets for the Maine adventures were finding all the "Eastern" versions of our "Western" birds like the Eastern Whip-poor-will, Eastern Towhee, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, etc etc.  Because I don't live on the eastern side of the US, many of these birds were new!  For many others, these are common birds around their feeders. 

Copulating Horseshoe Crabs
The other targets for our Maine journey focused on the Atlantic Puffin and Bicknell's Thrush.  Those required special trips out to the various areas and were planned well in advance. 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
As our checklist and time narrowed, we chose our destinations carefully. I think over the course of two weeks, we took two days to do some light birding around Kathie's house. These days were meant for relaxing and recharging our birder batteries:)

These days allowed for us to closely examine several already seen birds and their nesting habitats better.  For example, we watched a Yellow Warbler family nest near the landing by Kathie's house. 

Yellow Warbler
Without disturbing the nest, I took some photos and watched the parents feed their young ones over the course of several days. 

Nesting wasn't just limited to the Yellow Warbler family.  Song Sparrows were busy feeding their young ones as well. 

Song Sparrow
There was a lot of great habitat around Kathie's house. 

She had nesting Bald Eagles and a field full of Bobolinks!

Bobolinks in the fields of gold
And when we weren't walking around, we just sat and watched the feeders together.  Hairy Woodpeckers, Purple Finches and Tufted Titmice came to visit.  

Hairy Woodpecker parent feeding juvenile
Common Grackles lived up to their name. And looking back at it all, Kathie's backyard was a wonderful place of discovery.  The entire drive up and down her magical Merepoint was a wildlife experience.  I will forever remember driving down that several mile road along the forest and ocean.  It was always relaxing and peaceful.  So on the 4th of July when we had to say good-bye, I was sad to go. We didn't have fireworks but we did have fireflies:)

Common Grackle
It is always hard to say good-bye to dear friends.  Everyone was exhausted by the time the trip came to an end, but it was a pretty exciting ride! At the end, I added 35 new bird species to my list and Kathie added several more to her Maine and Life Lists as well. 

I'd like to thank Kathie and Gus for a wonderful time.  It's now time for me to reciprocate the love.  She will need to come and visit in the spring of next year to Arizona so that I can help her find the LeConte's Thrasher and several others she needs for her list:)  Life is short.  It is to be enjoyed and explored.  Our adventures continue back home in Arizona. Until next time Maine!

Micheal discovers L.L. Bean in Freeport, ME
For more birds both near and far, check out Wild Bird Wednesday


  1. 35 new birds, a great result and for CEBI sure. Congratulations!. Regards.

  2. Maine is an awesome place to visit, I see you enjoyed every part of it!

  3. Chris, you already know I miss you so much! Fall migration is now underway and how I would love your help as well as having you here to share the experience with. I won't lie, I do miss Tucson sometimes, but I am also enjoying these eastern birds and all the water. I love the long as I don't ever have to go out on a diesel powered boat with 8 foot swells again! The days did fly by so fast and it was very hard to see you go. I will have to come back for a visit soon! It will be a nice break from this predicted cold winter! I am so glad you got to come and see Maine for yourself and glad that Micheal could come with you!

  4. And the Adventure goes on!
    My favorite pic would be the one of the song sparrow.

  5. Beautiful photos Chris and such a wonderful selection of birds. It sounds like a wonderful trip. Love the Horseshoe crab photo - whenever I read about this species it reminds me of David Attenborough and his tv series :)

  6. So glad you and Micheal got to visit and bird with Kathie in Maine.

  7. Chris .. It always helps to have such accommodating friends who are sympathetic to your birding aims.

    A mixture of relaxed and full on birding ... what fun you had and an excellent advert for a trip to Maine.

  8. ...Oh to see and photograph a pileated
    woodpecker in the wild....that would be a dream of mine!!

  9. Wonderful photos from a very successful birding trip.

  10. Beautiful series and great woodpeckers.

  11. the birds are lovely, but i was enamored with that fern shot. :)

  12. Chris, even though far apart now, it seems like you and Kathie are great birding buddies.. I am glad you a fun birding in Maine.. And the lobster roll looks yummy!

  13. What a wonderful trip! Great images of several bird species. Lucky you :)

  14. Fabulous birds, Chris! Love your beautiful photos. I can imagine what a great trip it was, especially getting to share so much with Kathie on her home turf. Exciting you got to see new birds. Boy, Kathie has so many different species, right at her fingertips!

  15. Beautiful and scenic place with lovely birds around.

  16. Congrats on new birds. We thoroughly enjoyed Maine.

  17. Great photos of all the birds and the habitat looks very beautiful. Great too that you had friends to enjoy it with. I am sorry I never did get as far as the eastern USA!

  18. You found some birds more familiar to me Chris although it is a good few years sincee I saw them.The one I regret not seeingwas the Pileated Woodpecker but your pictures revived some great memories of Long Point Observatory. I never did get a lobster roll either - shame as it looks delicious.

    Turnsone=Ruddy Turnstone yes, one and the same.

  19. Love all your photos, and so many birds Chris!:)Glad you had a good time chilling with Kathie. She also feeds them well by the look of her feeders.

    Unlike you Chris,I love lobster, but I would eat it without the roll,looks delish!

  20. Great set of birds - love the woodpeckers.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  21. We spent a week in Maine a couple Octobers ago and just fell in love with it. Sadly, was there past puffin time so we didn't get to see any.

    Congrats on tracking down so many birds and for getting such great photos. Love the Bobolinks!


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