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!