Note: every photo on this page is a clickable link to a larger version of the photoThis week, we took a few days to do some birding in Maine, staying in Wells and visiting a few nearby areas. Some of our best looks were at Warblers, like this Chestnut-sided warbler, but we also had great looks at some other birds, including two new life birds.
Our primary place to bird was Laudholm Trust, a great spot for finding all sorts of warblers, as well as Eastern Towhees, thrushes and, apparently, a porcupine.
Wells Beach, on the other hand, can give great looks at a variety of birds, such as this surf scoter, and this pair of horned grebes (the first I've ever seen).
Day one started off with a walk through Laudholm Trust, which yielded several species of warblers, including the black and white warbler shown here. We also spotted a porcupine, and a trip to the Wells Beach later in the evening resulted in my first ever sighting of horned grebes and this really nice look at a Surf Scoter.
The next morning we did a walk on the Marginal Way. We thought it would yield nice warblers (as it did last year), but no such luck. Afterwards, we went to Scarborough Marsh, and didn't see a lot (again, last year, it had a lot to offer, but this time it was quieter).
Another walk through Laudholm Trust didn't yield much birdwise, but it did get us another great look at the porcupine we'd seen sleeping the day before.
The next day was the really great day. The morning's extensive walk through Laudholm yielded two species of thrush (Veery and Hermit Thrush) as well as some great warblers and a bobolink:
The afternoon included a trip to Fort Foster Park in Kittery, which gave me my third thrush of the day, a Wood Thrush and a scarlet tanager.
The next morning involved another quick walk through Laudholm, which gave me some great looks at the Eastern Towhee pictured here, another look at a Veery, a look at a bird we haven't been able to ID yet (and have no photo of so I don't know why I'm even mentioning it except it was frustrating), a Magnolia Warbler, more chestnut-sideds and a black and white warbler.
After packing up we decided to swing by Kennebunk Plains on the way home, in the hopes of spotting two life birds: a grasshopper sparrow (no) and an Upland Sandpiper (YES!).
The Upland Sandpiper was a treat because we were just about to walk to another part of the plains when we heard this very odd sounding bird call, then land. We moved close enough to get a look at it. I was sure it was an upland sandpiper primarily because I know the look and call of just about every other sandpiper in that bird's size range that we'd be likely to see in New England and it didn't fit any of them, so that was cool. Looking at Peterson's after the fact verified that we were right about the I.D.
We also managed to spot some vesper sparrows, along with a Pine Warbler and a small flock of prairie warblers (see photo on right) which were moving around like crazy and not easy to photograph, but I still managed to pull them off.
So, no grasshopper sparrow, but still, a day with a new life bird was cool, and it's not like it's as easy for me to find new life birds as it was two years ago.
All in all, this was a great trip: lots of good walks, some extremely good looks at very small birds, some great views of two new life birds and some pretty amazing looks at birds we've seen before.