Sunday, December 11, 2011

Photos from the past month

I've gotten some really fabulous bird photos sent my way by birders in Aroostook County this fall and I really should have been posting these images as they came in.    Here's a selection of them in no particular order.  Enjoy:

Patty Jennings got this wonderful portrait of a Hermit Thrush that was lingering at her yard in Stacyville in early November

Vickie Ketch watched a Bald Eagle chase a Herring Gull for almost 10 minutes at Madawaska Lake on the 13th of November...the gull ultimately got away.

Doug Hitchcox found this spectacular male Redhead in the last remaining liquid water on the impoundment in Mars Hill.  Photographed on Dec 9th.   The bird appeared banded.

Ted Roberts continues to be spoiled by a coveted feeder bird in these parts: a gorgeous male Northern Cardinal.

Up on the Cross Road in Caribou the Snow Buntings were in the road picking up grit in early December.  How many do you see in Mary Collishaws nice shot?

Paul Cyr's feeders in Presque Isle were regularly visited by flocks of Blue Jays in late November.  This one collected some snow on its beak.

Good birding

Monday, December 5, 2011

Canvasback at Christina Reservoir, Fort Fairfield

I found a drake Canvasback at the Christina Reservoir in Fort Fairfield today!  I got a few mediocre documentation pics that really don't do justice to the spectacular plumage and form of this bird

It was a county first for me.  I recieved a report of one at Trafton Lake in Limestone I received late last week but couldn't relocate it.  Maybe this is it (about 10 miles south), but considering all the reports in the rest of New England and New Brunswick, I think there could be a bunch around.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Northern Maine Birds: Late season gulls

See the Iceland Gull?  Collins Pond Caribou
I checked Trafton Lake again this morning following a report of a possible Canvasback there.  I found a few rusty headed Common Mergansers but no Can.  The light is horrible from the landing here in the early AM with almost everything on the lake heavily backlit at that hour so I can't be sure I saw everything.  

Juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake in flight, upper right
I DID see the previously reported Kittiwake was still present and flying about the lake.  I also saw a couple Northern Pintails and a surprisingly big flock of Canada Geese.

Collins Pond had over 500 gulls this AM including two Icelands.  A banded Great Black-backed Gull was preening on the ice.  The alpha code on the black color band on its left leg appeared to be "BW" or "8W"  I photographed it and sent the images to some gull researchers and will post if I hear anything about the origin of this bird.  Appledore?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yellow-throated Warbler, Washburn

I finally made it over to Barry Floods place in Washburn this AM to see if I could spot the Yellow-throated Warbler he first reported back around Thanksgiving.  Since this was a very rare bird for anywhere in Maine, I was pretty eager to get a glimpse of it and arrived just at sunrise!

No worries.  The bird was there when I got there and it was very vocal...It was up in a Box Elder, chipping loudly and sounding very similar to a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Paul Cyr had also come out to see the bird and it didn't take long for him to start snapping pictures of the bird as it gobbled up suet.

Yellow-throated Warblers are not a local bird in Aroostook County or even Maine for that matter.  Even during summer when they are breeding, their normal range is well south of New England.  By this time of year, this bird should be in south Florida or the Caribbean at its normal wintering territory.

Paul got some really nice shots of the bird and shared them with me.  Enjoy the December warbler!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snowy Owl in Cyr Plantation

Snowy Owl by Gary Gendreau/Fotos by Frenchy
I received two separate reports of a Snowy Owl from the Van Buren area early this week.  As it turns out they are probably the same bird!

The Snowy is being seen along Route 1 near the Van Buren/Cyr Plantation town line.  Gary Gendreau got this nice picture of the owl as it sat in a windbreak tree last Saturday.

Snowy Owls will show up in winter in northern Maine when food is limited in the north.  Our last big incursion came during the winter of 2008-2009.  With widespread and early reports around New England already, it seems like this may be a good winter for them too.

Certainly the exceptionally warm weather and NO snowcover makes it much easier for birders to detect them right now.  Go find one!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black-legged Kittiwake, Trafton Lake, Limestone

I avoided the "black Friday" frenzy and did a little birding in the gloom yesterday.  Most of my favorite wetlands and ponds froze up solidly in the past week  and though I checked a lot of my better winter bird spots, there didn't seem to much active to see.    I was about to call it quits but then decided to make a quick run over to Trafton Lake in Limestone.  The Lake is a little deeper and stays open a bit longer than other mid-sized ponds in the area.

I was in luck and found about half the pond was still ice free.  Mallards, Black Ducks and a few mergansers seemed to be all that was on the pond though, and lower skies and a heavy drizzle almost had me packing up in a couple minutes, but then, I spotted a white bird on the water in a distant cove.  The bird was in the opposite (south-eastern) corner of the lake from me and just about at the limit of my scope.  

Though I couldn't see much detail through 3/4 of a mile of precipitation, I could make out that the bird was a gull.  The gull was standing on some ice and preening.  I discerned that it had a dark bar on its side and what appeared to be a dark sided neck-- different from the usual gulls.  After moving a few hundred yards closer to the edge of the park lawn I got a better look and could see a dark bill and a dark bar on the tail.  The gull flew a short distance and the view clinched it, juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake.

The Kittiwake is a pelagic (ocean loving) gull that can be a bit challenging to spot from land unless you spend time in a boat off shore or seawatching from promontories along the coast.  Once in a while they are found inland along the major waterways in the north east (Hudson River, St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain etc), but I didn't recall any record for one inland in Maine.  I was quite sure the bird was probably an Aroostook County first.  I later checked Maine Birds by Palmer and found three 100+ year old inland records.

I had to hike down the shore about a half mile just to get some across-the-lake documentation pictures.  Breeze and drizzle didn't help the photography session either but I was excited it turned out to be a "good" gull after the long hike!  Coordinates of the gull location were at (46.881230, -67.831459) if you want to check it out on Google Earth.

Here my list for the outing:

Trafton Lake, Aroostook, US-ME
Nov 25, 2011 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.3 mile(s)
8 species

Canada Goose  279     Two large flocks came in from the north.  Lake half frozen
American Black Duck  140
Mallard  210     Scattered flocks in every cove
Lesser Scaup  3
Hooded Merganser  21
Common Merganser  49
Black-legged Kittiwake  1     juvenile.  First for county/inland for me.  Hanging with mergs.  Photos
Blue Jay  1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Iceland Gulls and another Marked Ring-billed Gull, Collins Pond Caribou

On the 20th, Judy Roe emailed that she had seen a gull with green patches on its wing at Collins Pond.  I stopped in the next afternoon to see if I could spot it.

There was a good sized flock (~200) gulls bathing and drinking on the pond and the turnover seemed pretty steady with lots of birds arriving and other departing regularly.  Over half of the crowd was Great Black-backed Gulls with most of the remainder being Herring Gulls.  It didn't take long for a first cycle (hatched this year) Iceland Gull to appear and then a second!  These young gulls were ghostly cream white without a speck of black on them.  They had dark eyes and black bills that were substantially thinner and lighter looking than the bills on the Herring and Black-backed Gulls.   A third Iceland Gull with a bi-colored bill was a second-cycle bird and a bit lighter than the younger gulls.

There were also a dozen or so Ring-billed Gulls in the mix.  Most of these were hanging together in one part of the flock.  Surprisingly, it wasn't long before a green winged gull appeared among them!  A closer look at the bird showed that both wings had plastic tags on them.  The green tags had numbers..."111".  Got a couple passable photos just before the sun set and whole flock departed westward.

We've had a couple other marked Ring-billed Gulls in northern Maine and these were marked as part of  project to monitor gulls that roost on drinking water supplies in Massachusetts.  I wrote to them to inquire about this new bird.   Senior Biologist Ken MacKenzie was quick to confirm the green marked bird was one of his.

Here's the details provided by Ken:

Here is some specific information on K111:
Captured 3/15/11 at Price Chopper Plaza, Rt. 20, Worcester, MA
Capture location (GPS): 42.21324, -71.79617
Captured using a rocket net baited with crackers and bread
Sub-adult ring-billed gull
Green wing-tags: K111
Orange leg band: 48
Federal leg band: 1146-31731
Released on site

04/09/11: Orlando's Farm, Brookfield Road, Charlton, MA

This morning I returned to Collins Pond to find the single digit temperatures had predictably frozen the pond solid.  So much for waterbird watching here for a while!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cattle Egret in Mapleton

The Cattle Egret recently reported by Laura Chase continued at the Chase's Organic Dairy on the Creasey Ridge Road in Mapleton today.  I stopped by the farm early this AM and found the little wader wandering in the barnyard looking a little lost.  The temperatures were in the upper 20's overnight and frost was heavy on the pastures.

Apparently the bird has been around for about a week and continues to forage under the feet of the Chase's cow herd.

Cattle Egrets are a rare find anywhere in Maine and especially so in northern Maine.  I know of only 5 or 6 recent records of Cattle Egret in northern Maine.  Surprisingly a Cattle Egret was reported in southern Maine yesterday as well.  Last year at this time, one appeared on the lawn of the McCain Foods french fry plant in Easton!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Northern Maine Birds: Early November 2011

There have been a lot of gulls moving through the area lately.

Most are the expected Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls.  They've been taking advantage of the invertebrates (mostly earthworms)  uncovered by Aroostook farmers' late season plowing.  Paul Cyr sent over this shot of a mass of gulls following a plow in Easton.

I checked out the flock on Sunday and found a juvenile Iceland Gull in the mix.

Lake Josephine and Christina Reservoir each sported a Long-tailed Duck on Sunday too.

Thanks to the daylight freed up by "falling back" I visited Hanson Lake on the Presque Isle/Mapleton town line this AM.  There were 400+ Canada Geese leaving the pond for the day.  Left behind were a handful  of Common and Hooded Mergansers and this White-winged Scoter.   Not a great shot but you can see the white wings...

As I was leaving, a small flock of finches flew over the boat launch.  My first Common Redpolls of the season!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Seaducks and Snow Buntings: Changing of the guard

I found a bunch of interesting birds today at Portage Lake...birds usually associated with the Maine coast in winter.  Most interesting among them was 7 Horned Grebes a high count for me in the county.  I also spotted three different juvenile Surf Scoters (no surf here!), four Red-breasted Mergansers and a lone Black Scoter!

Heres a picture of one of the Scoters:

I checked Lake Jo and Christina after work and found more birds on their way to the salt water:  Best was a group of three Red-necked Grebes right by the dike!  Heres a photo of the trio:

Other unusual species here included a couple Buffleheads, both flavors of scaup, and another Surf Scoter.  On the way out I spotted a little passerine feeding in the road.  The bird dropped down to the shoreline: A Snow Bunting.  First of the season!

Over at Christina Reservoir there were a few more treats:  Fifteen American Coots was a high count for me in the county.  Some more scaup and yet another Surf Scoter were nice finds.  A few Pied-billed Grebes made for a three grebe species day!

Nice stuff.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cackling Geese in Northern Maine

Northern Maine has been hosting an exceptional number of Cackling Geese this year.  Though its difficult to figure out exactly how many its pretty clear now that there are/have been at least 10 that have been seen in the area this fall.

Cackling Geese were split from Canada Geese back in 2005 and since that time, birders have been paying them a bit more attention.  These small geese are most common in the western and central portions of the country with rare-but-regular appearances on the east coast.  The Cacklers, as all experienced waterfowl oglers know, look a lot like small Canada Geese and the differences between the two species are subtle.

 In my limited experience (as an Eastern birder)  the geographically closest and most expected form/subspecies of Cackling Goose, the "Richardson's" Cackling Goose can be the most difficult to separate from a flock of Canada Geese.  In general, the little geese are substantially shorter necked and stubby-billed, they have a very steep forehead and a blocky head shape.  Less than half of the Richardson's Cackling Geese I've seen show a white band/ring at the base of the black neck "sock".

In addition to their very small size (in proportion to other expected forms of Canada Geese in this area), I think most of these little geese show a silvery tone to the back and wing plumage.  This seems like a subtle distinction, but it can be quite pronounced and many Cacklers I see are clearly a shade lighter and more grayish than the surrounding Canadas.  Differing lighting conditions can effect this, but I think I can often distinguish a Cackling Goose in closer flocks with the naked eye.  Cacklers have a high pitched vocalization which is really more of a yelp than a honk.  ...I think it sounds like a very small dog bark...a squeaky yap.

Like Canada Geese there is plenty of variability in appearance in the Cackling Geese I've seen here.  There are some individuals that are much more easily distinguished than others.  A few I just leave unidentified.

By looking solely for small sized geese, a birder can get in trouble.  I believe Northern Maine has three (and maybe four) subspecies of Canada Geese visiting during migration and these vary quite widely in size.  The "Giant" Canada Goose is the locally nesting form and are substantially bigger than the equally common "Atlantic" Canada Goose that breeds in eastern Canada/ Labrador and migrates through in spring and fall.  Northern Maine also sees plenty of the slightly smaller "Interior" subspecies which comes from northern areas around Hudson Bay.  I have seen many times where an "obviously" smaller goose and Cackling Goose candidate turns out to be an apparent "Interior" form surrounded by "Giant" Canada Geese.

There is also a very small, dark-plumaged form of Canada Goose that shows up in small numbers in Aroostook County during migration.  I'm not sure what subspecies these are or where they are from, but I'm fairly confident they are not just small or young individuals of the other more common Canada Goose subspecies.  I have thought they may be a dark form of the "Lesser" Canada Goose but I have yet to find any literature that says such a form exists!  What ever they are, on the subspecific level, they are certainly small enough to attract attention of a birder looking for a Cackling Goose.

I thought a few photos of the Cacklers we've seen up this way this fall:

My first find this year was a sleepy little Cackler found with a flock of Canada Geese in the downtown impoundment of Limestone Stream in Limestone on 30 September 2011.  Though my photo is no work of art, you can distinguish the stubby bill, steep forehead and silvery plumage in comparison to the larger Canada Goose just behind it.

I cropped another shot of this bird to better show the blocky head profile.  The bill is short, the forehead is almost a step up rather than smooth.  The crown is pretty flat.

Another Cackler was found a few days later over at Collins Pond in Caribou on 2 October 2011.  This digiscoped shot shows the blocky head, short bill and neck and silvery plumage well.  You can also make out a bit of a white neck ring on this individual.

Here is a picture of two Cackling Geese that were feeding in some resprouting barley stubble with a flock of "Giant" Canada Geese.  These were found along the Madawaska Road in northeastern Caribou on 18 October 2011.  Nice for a comparison in size differences...

Lastly I've included a shot of a Cackling Goose flock found at Collins Pond in Caribou on 19 October 2011.  The Cacklers are behind the front four Canada Geese in a line through the middle of the frame.  I am sure there are at least 5 short necked Cackling Geese here.  There are two other small geese which show stubby bills but slightly longer necks that I also think may be Cacklers that are just showing a more alert profile than the other members of the flock.  So there may be seven!  Meanwhile on the other end of pond....

...was another!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cackling, Barnacle and Greater White-fronted Geese at Collins Pond

Its been a busy week at Collins Pond in Caribou.  The Canada Goose flock has been growing steadily since the middle of last month and we were overdue for something unusual it seemed.

This week the unusual started to arrive with a Cackling Goose on Sunday the 2nd.  The Cackler is a miniature version of the Canada Goose and a bit hard to spot in a flock of 3000+ geese.  Most pronounced to my eye is the silvery cast to their back and wing (mantle) plumage. This seems to stand out among the brown backs of Canadas and is often visible with just a quick scan of a flock. Other pertinent identifying characters include the short neck, stubby bill, steep forehead and of course the slightly-larger-than-a-Mallard body size.  Heres a digi-scoped photo of Sunday's Cackling Goose.

One Tuesday the 4th, an early morning check of Collins Pond produced no sign of the Cackling Goose.  The birds were busy moving about the pond and were departing for the nearby fields to feed  in 10's and 20's.   As the flocks thinned out, the pink bill of a Greater White-fronted Goose became evident.  I forgot my camera that morning but returned on Wednesday and was able to get a few marginal digi-scoped images of the bird.

Later that morning a group of Aroostook Birders returned to the pond to watch the spectacle of several thousand Canada Geese coming back from the fields to roost.  Even by 10 AM there were some geese in the pond. Among them was a Barnacle Goose!  Rarest by far of the rare geese visiting Collins Pond, this European vagrant only gets as close a Greenland in its regular travels.  Luckily Paul Cyr was among the birders at the pond that day and Paul was able to get these nice pics of the bird despite the 30 mile-an-hour winds.

Cant wait to see how long these geese will stay and what else arrives!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Purple Sandpiper in St. Agatha

I found a Purple Sandpiper on the Pelletier Island causeway on Long Lake in St. Agatha on Saturday 14 May 2011.  This was unexpected because Purple Sandpipers are just about unknown in Maine away from the rocky coastline where they overwinter.

The causeway is a low rocky road with little vegetation.  It links the island which is part of St. Agatha with the eastern (Madawaska) shore.

The bird was feeding along on the rocks and was fairly easy to approach and I was able to get the documentation photos you see here..

This little shorebird really doesn't have much that sets it apart from other sandpipers.  Note the heavily gray-streaked head with the dark crescent in front of the eye.  Also the orange-ish base to a medium length dark bill.  The legs are short and orangey-yellow.  The belly was relatively unmarked and the neck and sides were streaky.  On the back were some fresh black feathers with white margins.  (My books say that if you could pluck one of these back feathers and hold it up to the light, you would see a deep purple iridescence that gives this sandpiper its name.)

When a rattly truck went by, the bird flushed and flew a bit and I was able to see the tail was light with a dark black center. I didn't notice any pattern of the wings.

The bird was a first for me in Aroostook county.  An unexpected discovery for sure.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Summer Tanager at U. Maine Presque Isle, May 7

Bob and Sue Pinette found a fabulous male Summer Tanager today at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.  The bright male was seen late in the morning along the foot path that winds down hill from the tennis courts at a point near where the trail crosses the railroad track.  Bob and Sue said the bird was quite confiding and  very easy to view.

Sue sent along two great photos of the bird.  Seen in the pics is the birds overall bright red plumage and thick tanager bill.  Unlike our breeding resident Scarlet Tanagers, the male Summer Tanagers have red wings rather than black.

Their normal breeding range being in the southern portions of the eastern US, Summer Tanagers are rare but regular vagrants to coastal Maine in spring.  This species is all but unknown in the northern half of the state.  I'm fairly confident that this is first for the county and certainly the northern-most record for the state.

It leaves me wondering what other southern goodies might have wandered north with the last storm system?...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Northern Maine Birds: 23 April- 4 May 2011

Northern Maine is slowly emerging from winter.  The past ten days passed without a flake of snow falling and the temperature pushed up into the 60's on several days.  April ended with slightly above normal precipitation total (2.95 inches at Caribou) and slightly cooler temps for the month.

Only the bigger lakes in the region are still ice covered.  Our favorite central Aroostook impoundments Christina Reservoir and Lake Josephine, lost their ice on the 28th this year.  Water levels in streams and rivers remains quite high with the St John River just reaching flood stage late last week due to snowmelt.

Hardwoods have begun to flower and amphibian and insect activity has increased substantially.

New and arriving species seen during this period:

Snow Goose             4/27
Gadwall                      4/26
American Wigeon       4/23
Northern Pintail          4/23
Blue-winged Teal       5/1
Redhead                    4/23
Lesser Scaup             4/29
Greater Scaup           5/1
Black Scoter              5/4
Surf Scoter                5/4
Barrow's Goldeneye   4/26
Bufflehead                  4/29
Ruddy Duck               5/4
Red-necked Grebe     5/1
Pied-billed Grebe       4/26
Broad-winged Hawk    4/23
Peregrine Falcon           5/3
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  5/3
Blue-headed Vireo        5/1
Brown Thrasher            5/4
Palm Warbler                5/1
Northern Parula           5/3
Yellow-rumped Warbler     4/27
Black-and-White Warbler  5/1
Northern Waterthrush     5/3
Fox Sparrow                4/23
Chipping Sparrow         4/23
Swamp Sparrow           4/28

Waterfowl diversity took a big jump in the county this week with ice-out occurring at the premier duck ponds: Lake Josephine in Easton and Christina Reservior in Fort Fairfield.  Eighteen species of waterfowl have been reported this period.

Snow Geese returned to the St. John River flats in Grand Isle last week.  Over 500 were estimated to be feeding in the potato fields there on the 27th.  13 including one Blue phase were also spotted in Madawaska on the 3rd. Flocks of Canada Geese continue to be reported as they move through.  As mentioned earlier, many locally breeding Canadas are already on nests.

Expected arrivals this week included Gadwall and Blue-winged Teal (at Lake Jo), American Wigeon (at Collins Pond in Caribou) and Lesser Scaup (at Lake Jo and Christina Reservoir).     Most noteworthy of the ducks was a  pair of Redheads returning on the 23rd to a pond near Lake Josephine.  Paul Cyr photographed the pair on the 25th.  Among numbers of Commons, three Barrows Goldeneye's (26-29th) were nice finds at Lake Jo.

A Long-tailed Duck and a Bufflehead arriving as the ice left Christina Reservoir on the 29th were also notable.  These were joined by more of their kind by May 4th at Lake Josephine.  Yet another Long-tail was spotted by the UMPI Ornithology class on Presque Isle Stream in Presque Isle on the 3rd.  Greater Scaup were spotted in Grand Isle 3 May and at Lake Jo 4 May.  Black and Surf Scoters  put down into Christina Reservoir on the 4th.  Three males were the first Ruddy Duck arrivals at Lake Jo on the 4th.

The first Pied-billed Grebe was heard calling at Christina Reservoir on the 26th.  Another was heard near the Muscovic Road in Stockholm on May 1st.  A special discovery was a Red-necked Grebe photographed  in breeding plumage on Lake Josephine on the 1st.  The attractive diver is seen in Paul Cyr's photo at the top of this post
Double-crested Cormorants and Common Loons were quick to crowd into open water as the await the opening of the ice cover on the larger lakes.  This nice breeding plumaged adult was photographed by Paul Cyr.  You can even seen one of its "crests"!

A Great Blue Heron was photographed in Littleton on the 27th and other was seen at Easton on the 2nd.  A Turkey Vulture was seen feeding on the roadside in Conner Twp on the 4th.

Birders found a good diversity of raptors in northern Maine this week with 11 species noted.  Bald Eagles continue on the nests at Ashland, Fort Fairfield, Presque Isle and Van Buren. Ospreys are also now occupying most nest sites in the area including the large nest on the power poles near Route 1 in Van Buren.  A previous report noted a young Bald Eagle adding sticks to the structure...

 Sharp-shinned Hawks were seen in Fort Fairfield on the 23rd, as was the first arriving Broad-winged Hawk of the year. A Red-tailed Hawk was a Square Lake Township on 1 May and a Northern Goshawk flew over Barren Lake in Caribou on the 28th.  A large Coopers Hawk was chased by an American Kestrel near the Presque Isle Airport on Wednesday the 4th.

Always a notable sight in Aroostook, an adult Peregrine Falcon was spotted feeding on a Ring-billed Gull beside the Roosevelt School in Hamlin on the 3rd.  Merlins were seen and heard in Caribou on May 1, Quimby (Winterville) on 25 April  and Stockholm on the 25 April and 1 May.  American Kestrels were widely reported.  

Boreal Chickadees were heard on the Muscovic Road on the 1st of May and Gray Jays were spotted in New Sweden on May 1.  Both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets are singing loudly the conifer woods these days.  The first Ruby-throated Hummingbird for the county was reported from Stockholm on the 3rd...early for sure.

The first Blue-headed Vireo of the year arrived on schedule at New Sweden on 1st.  Loud couplets announced the arrival of a Brown Thrasher at Presque Isle Airport on the 4th.

The first warblers of the season were trickling in to northern Maine as April gave way to May.  Yellow-rumps were reported across the area in moderate numbers.  Other warbler arrivals in central Aroostook included Palm Warblers at the Muscovic Road in Stockholm and the Burnt Landing Road in Cross Lake Twp on the 1st; a Black-and-White Warbler at Mantle Lake Park in PI on the 1st; a Northern Parula at Madawaska Lake on the 3rd; a Black-throated Green Warbler at Barren Lake in Caribou on the 3rd;  Northern Waterthrushes at Arnold Brook Lake in Presque Isle on the 3rd and Collins Pond in Caribou and Christina Reservoir in Fort Fairfield on the 4th.

A pair of Northern Cardinals are visiting a Presque Isle feeder.  Ted Roberts got this shot of the pair on Wednesday the 4th.
Blackbird numbers continued to increase as territories are occupied in area marshes.   Paul Cyr sent over this nice shot of a singing male.

Notable change in the finch department were lots of Purple Finches arriving at the end of the month.

Evening Grosbeaks continue in pairs and small flocks at Castle Hill, Caribou, Fort Fairfield, Fort Kent, New Sweden, Portage Lake, Presque Isle, St. Francis, St. John Stockholm, Winterville and Woodland.  Though most have now departed, small numbers of Common Redpolls are still being reported around the area.  A Hoary Redpoll was part of one of the last flocks to visit my feeders in Woodland on the 23rd.  A handful of Pine Siskins were seen (Caribou, Madawaska Lake, Presque Isle, Woodland) and numbers of these seem to be increasing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lake Josephine at dawn

Paul Cyr visited Lake Josephine on May 2nd just before sunup and sent over this wonderful series of images.  I thought I'd share them here.
A Common Loon in the gloom
Teal landing

Ring-necked Ducks