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Field Guides Tour Report
Maine: Birding Downeast 2016
May 21, 2016 to May 29, 2016
Eric Hynes

American Bittern: the bird of the tour. Can you spot this individual? Bruce did a heck of a job, finding it for us. We had such an amazing experience with a pair earlier in the tour, trying to hide in the forest and "thunder-pumping" near Rangeley. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

Before guiding for Field Guides, I was the Staff Naturalist for Maine Audubon for four years. One of my chief responsibilities was leading field trips all over the state. Our tour together was a collection of my favorite birding sites. We scoured the southern coast, headed to sea in Acadia, climbed into the western mountains, and looped back down to the coast. Along the way, we saw some fabulous weather, gorgeous scenery, and nearly 180 bird species. Thank you so much for choosing Field Guides for your Maine birding adventure.

Our first evening together set the tone for a very birdy tour. We found a host of migrants in a cemetery, some unusual shorebirds in a marsh, some delicious lobster rolls on the coast, and capped the evening with a close, displaying American Woodcock. The first few days of the tour were spent along the southern coast, where we picked up a number of shorebirds, as well as songbirds in the hardwood and transitional habitats. One particularly early morning at Kennebunk Plains yielded Eastern Whip-poor-will, Upland Sandpiper, and a quite a few sparrows we wouldn't seen again on the tour.

A boat trip out to Petit Manan Island was our primary reason for venturing up to Bar Harbor. We were very successful in spotting Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills. In addition to spectacular scenery, we scored a territorial Northern Goshawk, a roosting Barred Owl, and foraging Purple Sandpipers in Acadia National Park. Next up, Rangeley was a wonderful base for exploring the western mountains. All of the warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and woodpeckers were a real treat, but that pair of American Bitterns topped the cake. Eleven moose in less than 24 hours was a lot of fun too. Another big target for us was Bicknell's Thrush. We climbed up the Auto Road on Mount Washington for a wonderful evening and a bonus Spruce Grouse. Time spent in White Mountain National Forest also gave us our Boreal Chickadees, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and another fabulous American Bittern.

Hopefully, you are all having a great summer and are getting out to enjoy the shorebirds already on their way south. It was a pleasure birding with all of you, and I look forward to our next adventure together.



One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

Common Eider is the default duck on the coast of Maine, but if you live away from the coast, this is a really special bird. We had flocks practically at our feet along the southern coast. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis) – Didn't make the favorite species list but we did see a few adorable broods of goslings
AMERICAN BLACK DUCK (Anas rubripes) – We saw them early and late along the southern coast
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – Nearly an everyday bird
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Anas clypeata) – Eight floated around the marsh behind the Pelreco building in Scarborough
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris) – We encountered this species just once, at Messalonskee Lake, en route from Bar Harbor to Rangeley.
COMMON EIDER (DRESSER'S) (Somateria mollissima dresseri) – North America's heaviest duck was practically at our feet along the southern coast
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (NORTH AMERICAN) (Melanitta fusca deglandi) – A number of skeins flew by Dyer Point our first evening as we waited for our lobster rolls
BLACK SCOTER (Melanitta americana) – Sadly, the most memorable individual was a drake with some fishing line restricting at least one wing
COMMON GOLDENEYE (Bucephala clangula) – This diving duck is common in Maine as a wintering bird but is normally long gone by the time we run this tour. I suspect that individual in Biddeford was not at full strength.
HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus) – We saw individuals in the Rangeley area as well as in White Mountain National Forest in NH
COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser) – We enjoyed wonderful looks at handsome drakes in one of the rivers feeding Rangeley Lake
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

For the second time in three years, a hen Spruce Grouse nonchalantly foraged on the shoulder of the Auto Road up Mount Washington. What a treat it was to get such a great look! (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

RUFFED GROUSE (Bonasa umbellus) – Some of us heard drumming early a couple mornings but I think everyone saw that one scamper across the road in front of the van on Quill Hill north of Rangeley.
SPRUCE GROUSE (Falcipennis canadensis) – HA HA -- what luck. We had a gorgeous and completely indifferent hen feeding roadside in the exact same place along the Auto Road I saw one on tour two years ago.
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – Unlike so many other birds, this seems to be one of the species with a growing population. We saw them about every other day.
Gaviidae (Loons)
RED-THROATED LOON (Gavia stellata) – We picked up this one along the coast our first full day of birding
COMMON LOON (Gavia immer) – We had this iconic Maine species on several occasions but none more memorable than the cacophony we listened to during our night drive in Rangeley.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – An obliging individual was up and down in the little pond at our first stop along Black Point Road.
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
NORTHERN GANNET (Morus bassanus) – Elton got us on a couple birds in the distance as we approached Petit Manan Island
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

Western birders got a kick out of seeing this Broad-winged Hawk so well. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus) – Everyday along the coast
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
AMERICAN BITTERN (Botaurus lentiginosus) – The bird of the tour -- we had an awesome experience with a pair at the edge of a pond outside Rangeley: flying, thunder-pumping, and trying to hide in a forest. A couple days later, a bird photographer turned us onto another one, which also displayed marvelously.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – On several days
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Plenty in the southern coastal marshes
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Another common wader in the southern coastal marshes
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Not many but we had some good looks in Scarborough
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – We watched individuals fly over the first couple days but eventually caught up to a perched bird
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – It seems I pick up this species at Great Pond in Biddeford every year and nowhere else
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – Lots in the southern coastal areas and we even had a few flocks fly over us slightly inland
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – Well, we dipped on the vagrant Little Egret but this was an excellent consolation prize in Maine. We had an individual fly into the marsh at Maine Audubon's Gilsland Farm with two Glossy Ibis for comparison.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

This Piping Plover seemed miffed that we were standing near the water's edge. Eventually, it foraged around us but for a while there, I thought it might walk right through the group. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – More days than not
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – It is wonderful to see this specialized raptor bounce back so well from the DDT era.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus cyaneus) – This was one of the more surprising sightings of the tour, not so much for the species as for the where and why. We watched one leave Schoodic Peninsula and fly over the boat and head out into the Gulf of Maine?!
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii) – The bird soaring over Quill Hill sported a very conspicuous full crop.
NORTHERN GOSHAWK (Accipiter gentilis) – This was a total bonus bird. Thanks from a tip from a local friend, we got turned onto a nesting territory. There was no confusion as to whether we were in the correct spot! Turn your volume all the way up and click on the adjacent audio clip to relive the thrilling moment when we were strongly encouraged to move along.
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – We spotted this magnificent raptor on about half the days of the tour.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – We saw this diminutive Buteo more days than not but the bird on the wire we doubled back for en route to Bar Harbor was certainly our best look.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – Seen on about half the tour days
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – Wow, we likely overlapped with the peak of their migration through Maine as we saw well north of 1000 individuals the second day of the tour.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – Good looks on day two
PIPING PLOVER (Charadrius melodus) – My favorite was the one that walked almost through our group the last morning

Purple Sandpiper was on a few participants' most wanted list. I'd say we cleaned that one up nicely. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus) – The calling flyover the first evening turned out to be our only encounter of the tour
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – A couple sightings early in the tour
WILLET (EASTERN) (Tringa semipalmata semipalmata) – These raucous shorebirds were conspicuous in the coastal marshes.
UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda) – We were hearing them for awhile before we realized we needed to look up, way up. It was thrilling to see their flight displays as well as the scope views of the individual perched in the pine tree. Click on the "Grasshopper Sparrow" audio clip near the end of this triplist to hear Upland Sandpipers calling in the background. It is a really special sound.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – This hardy shorebird is stunning in breeding plumage.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – It took some doing but eventually we all got on an individual in the shorebird horde roosting at high tide in Biddeford Pool.
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina) – Again, it took some doing to spot the black belly patch on the smaller shorebird working the water's edge among all those Black-bellied Plovers and Short-billed Dowitchers at Biddeford Pool.
PURPLE SANDPIPER (Calidris maritima) – This was a big target for some of you so it was a treat to score it, not once but twice. Our close approach at Seawall in Acadia National Park was thrilling.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – Just a few distant birds in Spurwink Marsh
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (Calidris fuscicollis) – Our only sighting was out in Spurwink Marsh the first evening of the tour
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) – Hundreds in view from the pier at Pine Point Fisherman's Co-op in Scarborough

Having rafts of Atlantic Puffins right around the boat always rates as one of the tour highlights. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus) – Also most numerous from the pier at Pine Point
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata) – We heard winnowing from a displaying bird at dusk up in Rangeley. Shocking to me was not seeing any at Brownfield Bog. [*]
AMERICAN WOODCOCK (Scolopax minor) – How did this not make the top three favorite birds of the tour? We saw and heard several birds very well the first evening and then we had another remarkably obliging individual during our night drive in the western mountains. Click on the adjacent audio clip to hear "peenting" and the start of an aerial display at the end.
Alcidae (Auks, Murres, and Puffins)
COMMON MURRE (Uria aalge) – None were loitering around Petit Manan Island; luckily we picked up a pair on the water on our way back toward Frenchman Bay.
RAZORBILL (Alca torda) – Excellent looks at Petit Manan Island
BLACK GUILLEMOT (Cepphus grylle) – Elton spotted his lifer off Maine Audubon's East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford for us. We also saw plenty on our boat trip out of Bar Harbor.
ATLANTIC PUFFIN (Fratercula arctica) – I imagine seeing this sea parrot was a major motivating factor in joining this tour and we saw it very well in the waters around Petit Manan Island.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BONAPARTE'S GULL (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) – Plenty of non-breeding immature birds hanging around Pine Point in Scarborough
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) – Seen well on several days
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis) – Most common up in the Rangeley lakes area
HERRING GULL (AMERICAN) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) – Thick along the southern coast
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus marinus) – Also present in big numbers along the southern coast
LEAST TERN (Sternula antillarum) – We had our first few over Spurwink Marsh the first evening
BLACK TERN (Chlidonias niger) – One of the only places this species can be found in Maine is at Messalonskee Lake in Belgrade. We stopped by there on day five.
ROSEATE TERN (Sterna dougallii) – The last species to make the list but we enjoyed some excellent comparisons with Common Tern at Pine Point the last morning of the tour.

We spotted this handsome adult Barred Owl roosting in Acadia National Park. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – Hundreds over the course of the trip, restricted to the coast
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Yep [I]
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura) – Common
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) – We watched one fly across the outfield at Nedeau Park at Kennebunk Plains and then we had a second bird briefly calling up at Brownfield Bog
Strigidae (Owls)
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – We got lucky this year with the nesting pair in Evergreen Cemetery in Portland. Their kids dispersed to the pond edge and we had a great look at a fledgling and an adult during our visit.
BARRED OWL (Strix varia) – We heard one call briefly at dawn at Kennebunk Plains but we really soaked in fabulous scope views of a roosting adult in Acadia National Park.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor) – One buzzed the group at dawn while I set up our field breakfast at Kennebunk Plains
EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus vociferus) – It was a very early wake up to get this bird but we saw it in the spotlight for a few moments and listened to a wonderful predawn chorus. Be sure to click on the adjacent audio recording to hear it belt out its signature song. This individual was close enough to easily pick out the "knock" at the beginning of each phrase.
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica) – More days than not for this declining insectivore
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – Perhaps the one that might stick out in your head is the bird teed up at Evergreen Cemetery
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

Judging by all the sap wells on these trunks, this is one of this male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker's favorite trees. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) – An uncommon breeder in Maine but we picked it up on three different days
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus varius) – These woodpeckers are pretty thick in the north woods. We enjoyed great looks in the Rangeley area.
DOWNY WOODPECKER (Picoides pubescens) – Everyday during the second half of the tour
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Picoides villosus) – Almost everyday
NORTHERN FLICKER (YELLOW-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus luteus) – Heard and seen throughout the tour
PILEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus pileatus) – Heard and seen
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – We picked up this uncommon breeder in Maine our first morning on the way to the Blue-winged Warbler spot.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One bird took several passes to pluck an unidentified Alcid off the surface at Petit Manan Island. Eventually it dragged it up onto the rocks for a meal.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) – I love this song. We heard and then saw this distinctive flycatcher in White Mountain National Forest.
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – Surprisingly, we didn't encounter this flycatcher until the penultimate day. [*]

Here is one of many Yellow-bellied Flycatchers we saw well on this tour. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris) – We did really well with this boreal breeder; lots of song and great looks
ALDER FLYCATCHER (Empidonax alnorum) – It was a treat to look down on one in the scope at the Rangeley Lake overlook.
WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii) – Brownfield Bog continues to be a reliable spot for this Empid.
LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus) – We found ourselves at the crossroads of possibly four different territories at Rangeley Lake State Park -- lots of "cher-becking"
EASTERN PHOEBE (Sayornis phoebe) – widespread
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – Excellent looks at Evergreen Cemetery and heard in a number of other locations
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) – Almost an everyday bird
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius) – Heard more than seen but an everyday bird in the north woods
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – We first encountered this species at Capisic Pond Park but they were all over the place at Brownfield Bog.
PHILADELPHIA VIREO (Vireo philadelphicus) – We couldn't tease one down out of the canopy but we managed some good looks at Grafton Notch State Park.
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) – An everyday bird
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
GRAY JAY (Perisoreus canadensis) – We crossed paths with two different family groups in the western mountains. While none took a peanut from the hand, they certainly weren't shy about picking them up at our feet.

When you see a juvenile Gray Jay for the first time, it can be a bit of an ID conundrum. Seeing its mom or dad nearby is usually the giveaway. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

BLUE JAY (Cyanocitta cristata) – Another everyday bird
AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos) – Ditto
FISH CROW (Corvus ossifragus) – Nearly the last bird of the tour, we picked up a couple calling birds in Scarborough.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax) – They make some fantastic sounds. The family at Trudeau Road were particularly vocal.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) – Just one flyby the second day
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – The colony at Messalonskee Lake settled down and put on a good show.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor) – Throughout the tour
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – Another Messalonskee Lake only species
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Throughout the tour
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – There has been a colony on the Pelreco building in Scarborough for a very long time.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus) – The state bird was seen daily.
BOREAL CHICKADEE (Poecile hudsonicus) – We had to head up to the Caps Ridge Trailhead to get this special bird but we ended up seeing at least three really well.
TUFTED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus bicolor) – Only in the forests of southern Maine
Sittidae (Nuthatches)

Bruce spotted this spiny tree beaver for us on our first morning in the field. It was an unusual treat to see the face and claws of a live Porcupine. Sadly, their defensive instincts don't match up well with cars. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis) – Plenty once we were up in the western mountains
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta carolinensis) – A first half of the tour bird
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana) – We cleaned up this species in White Mountain National Forest.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – A couple places along the southern coast
WINTER WREN (Troglodytes hiemalis hiemalis) – It took some work to see this sprite but for those who persevered, good looks were had in Rangeley Lake State Park.
MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris) – We heard them in four different marshes and some people caught brief views on day three
Regulidae (Kinglets)
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus satrapa) – Plenty in the north woods
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula) – Lots of singing in the north woods
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis) – Never numerous but we came across a few on almost half the days of the tour
VEERY (Catharus fuscescens) – These guys were thick at Brownfield Bog
BICKNELL'S THRUSH (Catharus bicknelli) – We chartered a special late day trip up the Auto Road on Mount Washington to get this range and habitat restricted species. Weather up there can be hellacious but we lucked into a gorgeous evening. We never got that walk away view but some saw the birds that came in very close and we all heard its diagnostic song really well.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – Another indication of climate change is how much more common this species has become in the same elevational zone with Bicknell's Thrush. It was a pleasant surprise watching several birds forage on the road in the headlights.

Check out the massive talons on this fledgling Great Horned Owl! It is likely still being fed by its parents but it won't be long before all the nocturnal woodland creatures have another predator to fear. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus) – One of the best songs in North America
WOOD THRUSH (Hylocichla mustelina) – The population trends for this classic woodland species the last few decades is disturbing. We saw it well at Evergreen Cemetery in Portland.
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius) – Throughout the tour
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis) – That crazy person sitting on the park bench joyfully talking to nobody in particular
BROWN THRASHER (Toxostoma rufum) – Wonderful doubled up phrases at dawn at Kennebunk Plains
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos) – Only found along the southern coast
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Yep [I]
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) – Almost everyday
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla) – we heard lots of "teacher, teacher, teacher"
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – A bog specialist; one perturbed individual came in all the way to our feet
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora cyanoptera) – This bird is at the north end of its range and we often miss it but not this year

We had fun botanizing along the way as well. Here is a Painted Trillium -- Trillium undulatum. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Loads of them at Brownfield Bog
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – You have to get to northern Maine to find these guys on territory so we were fortunate to have two singing males at the tail end of migration still working their way north.
NASHVILLE WARBLER (Oreothlypis ruficapilla) – These guys were common during the second half of the tour.
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – It took two trips up Quill Hill but we eventually had a stunning male teed up in clear view.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) – An everyday bird
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – Lots and lots throughout
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana) – Common
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Setophaga magnolia) – The only day we didn't have this beautiful warbler was the last morning on the coast.
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – We were excited to see this flame-throated warbler multiple times.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – Abundant in the right habitat
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – Our best look was probably from the Rangeley Lake overlook.
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – We caught up to a few migrants but then they were singing like crazy up on Mount Washington.
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER (Setophaga caerulescens) – We enjoyed our first responsive bird up in the Rangeley area. This species has a decidedly eastern range.
PALM WARBLER (YELLOW) (Setophaga palmarum hypochrysea) – I thought that one bird was going to land on me at the bog edge.
PINE WARBLER (Setophaga pinus) – Our first good look was in an oak tree, not a pine
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata) – Lots of these guys

Often overlooked because of their abundance, Yellow-rumped Warblers are truly one of the finest. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor) – A close, singing bird in Saco provided our first "ooh and aah" moment of the tour.
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – Another common breeder in the northeast
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – A crowd favorite but rarely cooperative; eventually we all had good looks
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – A came upon a migrant in Biddeford
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (Ammodramus savannarum) – This is one of the rarest breeding birds in the state. It's song is tough to hear, even when we were close. Click on the audio clip at full volume to enjoy its insect-like song and note the more conspicuous Vesper Sparrow singing, as well as Upland Sandpipers in the background.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) – One of those common birds nobody seems to pay attention to but its breeding plumage is sharp.
FIELD SPARROW (Spizella pusilla) – Plenty of these guys singing at Kennebunk Plains.
DARK-EYED JUNCO (SLATE-COLORED) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis) – More common once we got up into the north woods
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (Zonotrichia albicollis) – I love their song
VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus) – This vociferous sparrow dominates the dawn chorus at Kennebunk Plains. Its impressive song is featured prominently in the "Grasshopper Sparrow" audio clip. Give a listen.
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis) – Another sparrow we picked up at Kennebunk Plains
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia) – All over
SWAMP SPARROW (Melospiza georgiana) – Our first good look was at Timber Point in Biddeford
EASTERN TOWHEE (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) – Another Kennebunk Plains species
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) – Be sure to click on the audio clip to hear "our" male singing away overhead again.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis) – Plenty in the southern part of the state
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – How about that subadult male belting it out overhead at Brownfield Bog?!
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – Thankfully, that singing male stayed teed up for us all to enjoy scope views
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
BOBOLINK (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) – Our quick detour in Gardiner took us to a real Bobolink hotspot. It was exciting to see so many displays males.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus) – Plenty
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (EASTERN) (Sturnella magna magna) – We only encountered this declining species at Kennebunk Plains.
COMMON GRACKLE (Quiscalus quiscula) – Appropriately named
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (Molothrus ater) – An amazing reproductive strategy
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius) – A marginal species in Maine but our targeted stop in Portland was successful
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – Most conspicuous at Brownfield Bog
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus) – Suburban finch
PURPLE FINCH (Haemorhous purpureus) – Nice looks at singing males and quite a few "ticking" overhead
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – We got into these guys in the White Mountains
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (Spinus tristis) – Here and there
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

A birch tunnel trail at Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Yep [I]

SNOWSHOE HARE (Lepus americanus) – Kathy pointed out their white feet
PLAIN EASTERN CHIPMUNK (Tamias striatus) – Cute and vocal
WOODCHUCK (Marmota monax) – Practically underfoot at Gilsland Farm where they have been extensively studied for years
EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus carolinensis) – Maine's most common roadkill
RED SQUIRREL (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) – In boreal habitat
MUSKRAT (Ondatra zibethica) – We saw one in the pond at our very first stop and several days later there was a one swimming at Messalonskee Lake
NORTH AMERICAN PORCUPINE (Erethizon dorsatum) – Good spotting Bruce
HARBOR PORPOISE (Phocoena phocoena) – Just a few as we motored back toward Frenchman Bay on our boat trip
RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes) – We had one cross the road as we headed out of Rangeley
STOAT (SHORT-TAILED WEASEL) (Mustela erminea) – We had one of these high energy predators dash in front of the group carrying a smaller mammal in its mouth when we were exiting East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford.
HARBOR SEAL (Phoca vitulina) – Lots basking on the rocks at Egg Rock and some females had newborn pups
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – Seen on three days

Egg Rock at the mouth of Frenchman Bay is a favorite haul out spot for Harbor Seals. (Photo by guide Eric Hynes)

MOOSE (Alces alces) – Eleven (in less than 24 hours) was a new high count for this tour
AMERICAN BULLFROG (Lithobates catesbeianus) – Seen and heard in a couple freshwater marshes
GREEN FROG (Lithobates clamitans) – That big sedentary gal in the woods at Schoodic Bog Preserve was memorable.
RED-EARED SLIDER (Trachemys scripta elegans) – Sadly, this invasive species is often released from the pet trade
PAINTED TURTLE (Chrysemys picta) – A log full of them at Evergreen Cemetery
COMMON SNAPPING TURTLE (Chelydra serpentina) – A couple of these ancient beasts were surfacing in the pond at Evergreen Cemetery
AMERICAN TOAD (Anaxyrus americanus) – Their lovely trill was heard multiple evenings
SPRING PEEPER (Pseudocris crucifer) – Almost deafening in a few areas
GRAY TREEFROG (Hyla versicolor) – A few individuals were heard calling


Totals for the tour: 179 bird taxa and 13 mammal taxa