Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Maine Birding-Scarbourgh and Quoddy State Park

Summer time is great for birding, but I just can't seem to find the time to blog.  Sorry to my steadfast followers.

The first day of my trip north I stopped at a few decent birding locations.  Scarborough Marsh is located a short distance south of Portland, ME.  It was a good stopping point for me on my 7 1/2 hour trip north.   Prior to my trip I was surfing the net to identify any current hot spots and found John Vanderpool's site.  John is on his Big Year.   You can follow him at the Big Year link.  What an awesome idea. 

Any way I only stayed at Scarborough for any hour and it was pretty quiet. 

Virgina Rail

House Wren

After Scarborough, I drove for 5 hours straight through to get to Lubec, ME where I planned to stay the night.  I decided to hit one of the local State Parks.  I didn't know what to expect along the coast.  It was also the late afternoon so I wasn't hopeful of a large count and I was right. 

Black Throated Green Warbler

Immature Bald Eagle

After Quoddy I checked in to a local motel and found a local small bar for a Guinness.  Lubec, ME was an amazing little fishing village along the US-Canadian border.  That was a great Guinness after a 7.5 hour drive.  I retired early so the morning trip to Machias Seal Island would arrive more quickly. 


Razorbills (is there a pecking order?)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Machais Seal Island-Auks

Its been a month since I last posted.  I was busy on a downer after the lackluster migration this year.  Just seemed like the birds flew right over Massachusetts for their breeding grounds.  I outsmarted them though.  This past week I went to their breeding grounds an wow....what a show.  I'll have a few posts out of this vacation. 

The first post is from Machais Seal Island.  MSI is a rock outcrop in the middle of the Bay of Fundy.  There are no trees and very little vegetation only grass and wild flowers.   Island ownership is disputed by the US and Canada, but the Canadian Coast Guard maintain the lighthouse and buildings. 

I took a guided tour out of Cutler, ME.  Its a tiny little fishing harbor along the northeast coast of Maine.  I stayed the night before in a town called Lubec, ME.  I took a wrong turn and found myself facing the US/Canadian border.

The coast is absolutely beautiful in northern Maine.  High cliffs and huge tides up to 16 feet along Cutler coast.  Further up the bay into Canada and the tides are the largest in the world reaching 50 feet during the ebb and flow tides.  One birding challenge is that the cold waters and warm air result in fog.  The day of my birding trip to MSI was no different.  The fog was pea soup thick until we got to within a mile of the island and the sky turned blue.  Yahoo!!  God must be a birder.

Quoddy State Park, Lubec, ME

Quoddy State Park, Lubec, ME

Machias Seal Island
(desolate-a few building and 1000s of birds)

Puffin (poor little guy is yawning)

Puffin on approach.

( guts)

(I'm the king of the mountain...can't touch me...da...dadada...dada..dada....
Hammer Time!)

this bird was being grumpy.  hence the scowl
even birds get bitchy.

Common Murre
(notice the eye-ring bridle on the left bird. 
Bridles are more common in northern birds, but they don't occur in every bird.
In fact, a bird with no bridle is more common.   
Sorry my southern friends.  We're special.)

Many more pictures to come.  Please stay tuned and comment as well.