Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alna, Maine 7/29

This past weekend I visited my friend Thom and his girlfriend Sue in Mid-coast Maine, just inland from Wisscasset. From 1986 to 2001 Thom was "THE man" hawkwatching from Mount Watatic in Ashburnham, Ma., tallying some impressive flights with the likes of Paul Pinault, Petti Staub and a host of others. He has found a few nice spots in mid-coast maine ...Cleary Hill (Spelling?) and Blinn Hill near Alna. But, his best flights have come from his back yard, in mid -september of 2002 he counted over 4,700 Broad-wing Hawks (single day count)from his yard and and has other counts of over 1,000 BW's in his person log.
Thom watching a distant Bald Eagle from his field

Most of the day Sunday, while sipping iced coke and the occasional Shipyard Ale, we sat at his picnic table recalibrating our eyes for the upcoming hawkwatch season. Raptors aren't yet migrating , but there is a good variety of raptors in the area....and we saw some. Thom noticed his "have-a-heart trap" had the doors down, a tenant! On the walk to the cage the subject of skunks came up, "wouldn't that stink!", and some one was listening! "Hey Thom, that woodchuck is black and white!" Fortunately, it was a youngster, and it was carefully (and safely) released with the help of a long handled garden tool.

Caged skunk, digi-binned from a safe distance
Thom carefully releasing the skunk


one of 5 Bluebirds, including some fledglings that entertained us.

One of two adult Wild Turkeys, when they cross the mowed path we counted 20 polts following.

The yard list for the day:
Wild Turkey...22
Great Blue Heron...1
Turkey Vulture...3
Osprey...2
Bald Eagle...2 adutls
Sharp-shinned Hawk...1
Cooper's Hawk...2
Broad-winged Hawk...2
Red-tailed Hawk...1
American Kestrel...1
Laughing Gull...4 nice surprise, this location is inland but they probably follow the Sheepscot River inland.
Herring Gull...100
Rock Pigeon...8
Mourning Dove...4
Chimney Swift...4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird...2 one chasing crows
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker...2
Downy Woodpecker...1
Hairy Woodpecker...2
Northern Flicker...2
Alder Flycatcher...1
Eastern Phoebe...3
Blue Jay...10
American Crow...10
Common Raven...3
Tree Swallow...5
Cliff Swallow...1
Barn Swallow...12
Black-capped Chickadee...4
Tufted Titmouse...1
Red-breasted Nuthatch...1
White-breasted Nuthatch...1
Brown Creeper...1
Eastern Bluebird...4
Veery...1
Hermit Thrush...2
American Robin...5
Gray Catbird...2
European Starling...5
Cedar Waxwing...10
Yellow-rumped Warbler...1
Pine Warbler...1
Common Yellowthroat...3
Chipping Sparrow...1
Song Sparrow...3
Bobolink...30
Red-winged Blackbird...3
Common Grackle...4
Brown-headed Cowbird...1 fledgling tended by an Eastern Phoebe
American Goldfinch...10
Evening Grosbeak...4 all female types
House Sparrow...2

2 comments:

Larry said...

Sounds like a nice visit.-I've been to Maine quite a bit, but usually in The Great North Woods Area.

Birdfreak said...

That's an impressive yard list. Sounds like a lovely area.