Friday, September 3, 2010

Yellow-headed Black bird and Red-necked Phalarope

I went afield this morning, to see what was around prior to the arrival of the wrath of Earl. It turned out to be one of the better birding days I've had in a while. Abundant migrants and few rareties made it special. 83 species total.

Highlights were a Yellow-headed Blackbird (a state bird for me) and eleven species of shorebirds including an American Golden Plover and my county/inland-first Red-necked Phalarope.

The blackbird was found in a large flock of Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds at Barren Lake in south east Caribou. I believe this is the second county record and the first in fall. Here is a digiscoped documentation shot taken from across the pond... I don't know much about the plumage and molt of this species, but I think this bird was an adult female. I'd love to hear from anyone more knowledgeable regarding the age and sex of this bird.

The rare shorebirds were at Lake Josephine in Easton.

Though numbers here were down a bit from mid August highs, the diversity made up for it. Obviously the Red-necked Phalarope was the highlight here. This species is usually encountered well offshore in Maine and inland records are few. My high-noon digiscoped photos of the phalarope leave something to be desired thanks to the wind and magnification... Lesser Yellowlegs continue to dominate the counts here but eight Pectoral Sandpipers and a flyover American Golden Plover were also treats!

There were quite a few raptors moving with American Kestrels and Merlins dominating the count.

If this is whats around BEFORE the hurricane, I can't wait to see what falls out after the blow....


grammie g said...

Hi Bill...Yellow Headed black bird!! That is different...I guess anything is possible in nature as well as humans!!
I don't imagine you got anything from Earl...we didn't. Some rain and a breeze... nothing unusual!!

Larry said...

Some really nice birds....did Earl effect you guys...nothing really down in Mass.

Bill Sheehan said...

Grammie and Larry. Earl was a flop up here. Except for some much needed rain, it really didn't do much. I guess they're finding some reorienting birds along the Maine coast though!