|Common Loon on nest|
She didn't have to twist my arm too hard to go. There were some potential lifer sea birds on this trip. Unfortunately, we were a little too early for the "main" sea bird event, but it was great doing some exploring in new habitat with Magill. We always choose new places to bird because they are not birded or are underbirded. So on our way to Monhegan, we did a two night cabin stay along the coast checking area blocks for the Maine Bird Breeding Atlas.
The trek out to Monhegan Island was beautiful. There was lots to see. Our mission? To find a rare invading Eurasian Collared Dove. We rolled our eyes and laughed, but for Magill and myself, it would be a new state bird. These doves come to my feeder in Arizona. In fact, they live around Magill's house in Phoenix. But here we were chasing this silly dove on an island.
I have this dove memorized. I know its flight pattern and body shape from quite a distance. Because of that distinct flight pattern glide, I found it right away and of course, it flew down behind a house behind a bunch of trees. Magill didn't see it. So because it was a rare bird for Maine, we wanted to get photo documentation. But before I took another step, Magill warned about the people on the island. According to many Mainiacs, they are assholes. Or at least, most of them were. So we had to stay on the path. Easy. We're always so good about following the rules. Or so we thought.
|a bird that is looking to take Maine hostage, the "rare" invasive Eurasian Collared Dove|
|This sign is a complete lie. And note it says during bird migrations. So they really don't want anyone there|
And it was scenic. Sure. Absolutely beautiful. I laughed because when Magill and I are together, we always have an adventure. But something was very different this time around! And it bothered me a lot.
|I can't put my finger on it but the Common Yellowthroats on the eastern side of the US are different acting and even looking than our yellowthroats we have here in AZ.|
When we got back onto the mainland, I focused on bird song and recorded vocalizations of Blackburnian Warblers. We also explored a new spot, Islesboro, which was a lot of fun because it was another island of mystery birds. I understand why people love Maine. It's a beautiful state. I began to wonder though. Was my former Cheesehead friend favoring her Maine grounds over her Arizona ones? I felt like she had become a Mainiac! I hated the thought of losing Magill to Maine. We have so many more Arizona adventures ahead! But there is something about Maine that gets into a person's psyche. I get it. But it's more of a love affair for me and not a steady relationship:)
|Common Eiders at the port of Monhegan Island|
|We watched this local garden while listening to a territorial Virginia's Rail|
That's not to say we didn't have fun because we did:) I was just birding with a heavy heart. So I will say this, birding is therapeutic:) I'll never say never, but it's unlikely I'll go to Monhegan again. Even if you "stay on the path", you'll get yelled at. If you live in Maine and this is one of the few places a birder can find rarities, I suggest moving to Arizona;) Until next time....