|An Eastern Gray Squirrel takes a sip from a warm bird bath to stay warm|
At first, it was a snowflake. Then two. And three. Followed by a billion. The forecasted cyclone bomb finally hit.
Every time Gus heard the words "Cyclone Bomb", he would moan. Why does everything have to be sensationalized? It was just a good ol' blizzard!
|Kathie searches for that elusive Barred Owl on a branch.....somewhere|
|A Blue Jay is one of many birds that use the heated bird bath for a sip|
|Coda watches the birds in her first blizzard|
The night before the storm, Mainers hit the grocery stores pretty heavily. They purchased all of the bread, tomatoes and milk from the shelves. What a weird combination! We, on the other hand, purchased lobster meat and other seafood things.
|Gus prepares lobster rolls|
|The magic that is a lobster roll|
|A Wild Turkey is like a dinosaur|
Kathie purchased beef suet for the woodpeckers. This is a really cheap option that you can purchase in the meat department for a couple bucks. I know it looks gross but it helps the woodpeckers(and other birds) stay warm in these cold temps. We had 3 species of woodpeckers visit this station, the Hairy, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers were regulars.
|A male Downy Woodpecker feeds from the frozen beef suet to keep warm|
|A juvenile Bald Eagle swoops low to catch a gull|
There were thousands of gulls flying all around us. As many as 10 Bald Eagles flew around the trash to grab a gull for dinner. I was in awe. I could've sat there for hours. However, the smell from the trash after awhile made me a little nauseous. In fact, if I lived there, I'd bring the lady at the visitor's drive thru window some lunch. There she peered down upon us from that trailer window with a smile probably thinking to herself, These people must be crazy. We visited this epic landfill twice. There was trash EVERYWHERE! And birds!
But no Glaucous Gulls. I documented every quadrant with gulls in flight and on trash. I spent several hours scanning photos at home searching and searching for the gull but no luck. Kathie will have to come visit me in Wisconsin during the winter to get her lifer gull.
Bald Eagles are epic. Two years ago, I had a hard time getting a decent shot of one. However, 2017 and the start of 2018 have been good to me in the Eagle department.
As we left the landfill, a snowflake fell. Then two. And three. Followed by a billion. I thought it wasn't supposed to snow again. Then it did. This is the way of Maine.
During our final days, we'd freeze again as the temps went below zero. The gray skies were weighing on me heavily and I began to miss Arizona. I love Maine but I could never live there. The magical thing about home is that it feels good to leave, but it feels even better to come back.
We had such a great time birding in the challenging conditions. It was even better spending time with Kathie, Gus and their kids.
|the beautiful drake Common Eider|
We'd stop in wooded areas looking for berries and marvel at flocks of Eastern Bluebirds and American Robins feeding from the bushes.
|An Eastern Bluebird grabs a berry or two to survive the temps|
As the sun set, we were still able to get nice views of the bird in flight. I couldn't feel my fingers. I thought I was pushing my shutter button but nothing was happening. So I took off my gloves and forced my finger down on the button again. The camera made painful, almost drawn out, clicks letting me know that the cold was getting to her. It was -12 and the wind was acting quite angry.
Another snowflake fell. Then two. And three. Followed by a billion.
|This poor man was frozen solid. There was no saving him from the brutal freezing temps.|