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See this triplist in printable PDF format with media only on page 1.
Black-throated Blue Warbler is a quintessential Northeast breeding specialty and this gorgeous male was so close we could almost reach out and touch him. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Thank you very much for choosing Field Guides to experience the birdlife and so much more that Maine has to offer. I think is a very special place and hopefully you feel the same way after adventure together. Blackburnian Warbler was voted the favorite species at the end of our tour, while American Woodcock and Bicknell's Thrush received honors as well. The final tally is 183 bird taxa, which is a new record (by two) for this itinerary.
We began in the southern, coastal area, where we found a number of songbird species at the northern edge of their breeding range. After checking various beaches, marshes and rocky shores, we tallied an impressive list of shorebirds as well. Sites particularly rich with birdlife that we visited included: Dyer Point, Goose Rocks, Biddeford Pool, Scarborough Marsh, Kennebunk Plains, Capisic Pond Park and Evergreen Cemetery. Some of the more noteworthy species we encountered were: Brant, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Piping Plover, Upland Sandpiper, Red Knot, Least Tern, Roseate Tern, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue-winged Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow, Bobolink, and Orchard Oriole.
Our time in Bar Harbor was focused on Acadia National Park and a boat trip. It would have taken at least a week to see the majority of the park so we had to be selective. Sites within Acadia National Park where we enjoyed birding included: Sieur de Monts Spring, Valley Cove and Seawall. Our pelagic aboard the Friendship V visited Petit Manan Island, plus the outer waters areas known as East Bumps, The Ballpark and Mount Desert Rock. We did well in our short visit to Acadia, adding Barred Owl, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Atlantic Puffin, Peregrine Falcon, Purple Sandpiper, and Arctic Tern, among others.
The third region of Maine we focused on was the western mountains, based out of Rangeley. A memorable birding stop en route was Messalonskee Lake where we picked up Black Tern, Sandhill Crane, Pied-billed Grebe, and Purple Martin. The northern forests surrounding the Rangeley Lakes are chock-full of warblers, thrushes, vireos, corvids, flycatchers, and finches. New species came fast and furious. We delighted in watching Black-throated Blue Warblers, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Gray Jays, Northern Waterthrushes, Olive-sided Flycatchers, Cedar Waxwings, Boreal Chickadee, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, drumming Ruffed Grouse and the absolutely brilliant Blackburnian Warbler.
A side trip into New Hampshire was necessary to gain access to some krummholz: the gnarled, twisted, stunted forests of predominately red spruce and balsam fir that cling to the slopes of the mountains in the northeast. This habitat is the only place where Bicknell's Thrush breed. Our trip up the Mount Washington Auto Road was an unmitigated success. Adding a displaying American Woodcock was the cherry on top.
On our way back to Portland, we saw more Chalk-fronted Corporals than I knew existed, a Yellow-throated Vireo singing incessantly and an unexpected tree fall at Brownfield Bog. Making a beeline for the coast paid off that last afternoon together as we enjoyed superior looks at Roseate Terns at Pine Point before walking out Eastern Trail across Scarborough Marsh for Saltmarsh Sparrow, Tricolored Heron and a vagrant White-faced Ibis.
One more walk out the Eastern Trail our last morning was definitely worthwhile. We found a cooperative Nelson's Sparrow (which had eluded us the afternoon before), a strange hybrid heron of some sort, a Greater Yellowlegs, and an elusive Virginia Rail.
Thanks again for joining Cory and me. I hope this triplist sparks lots of fond memories. Have a fantastic summer and see you the field.
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
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
Purple Sandpiper is another regional specialty we saw extremely well. These hardy coast-huggers made us do a little rock scrabbling to put them in good light. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BRANT (Branta bernicla)
CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis)
WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa)
GADWALL (Mareca strepera)
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)
AMERICAN BLACK DUCK (Anas rubripes)
COMMON EIDER (DRESSER'S) (Somateria mollissima dresseri)
SURF SCOTER (Melanitta perspicillata)
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (NORTH AMERICAN) (Melanitta fusca deglandi)
BLACK SCOTER (Melanitta americana)
COMMON GOLDENEYE (Bucephala clangula)
HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus)
COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser)
Our first evening along the coast was a touch gloomy and yet eerily beautiful at the same time. Guide Cory Gregory did a splendid job of capturing the atmosphere in this image from Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth.
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (Mergus serrator)
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
RUFFED GROUSE (Bonasa umbellus) [*]
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)
RED-THROATED LOON (Gavia stellata)
COMMON LOON (Gavia immer)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
NORTHERN GANNET (Morus bassanus)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Semipalmated Sandpipers are by far the most numerous migrant shorebird in Maine but we teased out a Dunlin, plus some Sanderlings and White-rumped Sandpipers in this flock as well. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
The semipalmata or "Eastern" subspecies of Willet is a very conspicuous breeder in the coastal marshes of Maine. Their aerial displays our final morning rose to a cacophony. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus)
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
VIRGINIA RAIL (Rallus limicola)
SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)
PIPING PLOVER (Charadrius melodus)
We enjoyed an awesome encounter with a family of Barred Owls at Acadia National Park. Guide Cory Gregory shared this photo of the adult.
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus)
SANDERLING (Calidris alba)
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina)
PURPLE SANDPIPER (Calidris maritima)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (Calidris fuscicollis)
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla)
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus)
AMERICAN WOODCOCK (Scolopax minor)
During our "Whales and Puffins Cruise" we visited Petit Manan Island where Razorbills and Atlantic Puffins were all around the boat. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
WILLET (EASTERN) (Tringa semipalmata semipalmata)
Alcidae (Auks, Murres, and Puffins)
RAZORBILL (Alca torda)
BLACK GUILLEMOT (Cepphus grylle)
ATLANTIC PUFFIN (Fratercula arctica)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)
HERRING GULL (AMERICAN) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus marinus)
LEAST TERN (Sternula antillarum)
BLACK TERN (Chlidonias niger)
Black-capped Chickadee is Maine's state bird and we enjoyed these charismatic songbirds throughout the tour. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
ROSEATE TERN (Sterna dougallii)
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)
ARCTIC TERN (Sterna paradisaea)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus americanus) [*]
BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) [*]
BARRED OWL (Strix varia)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor)
A small flock of Cedar Waxwings entertained us two mornings in a row as they busily gobbled down apple blossoms. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus vociferus) [*]
CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica)
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes carolinus) [*]
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus varius)
DOWNY WOODPECKER (Picoides pubescens)
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Picoides villosus)
NORTHERN FLICKER (YELLOW-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus luteus)
PILEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus pileatus)
Immersing ourselves in the expansive nature of the western mountains of Maine was good for the soul. This idyllic scene is from the boat launch on the north shore of Upper Richardson Lake. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi)
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) [*]
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris)
ALDER FLYCATCHER (Empidonax alnorum)
WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii)
LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus)
EASTERN PHOEBE (Sayornis phoebe)
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus)
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons)
Here are just a few of the hundreds of Harbor Seals we observed loafing on Mount Desert Rock. A lesser number of their larger cousin, the Gray Seal, were present as well. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius)
PHILADELPHIA VIREO (Vireo philadelphicus)
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
GRAY JAY (Perisoreus canadensis)
BLUE JAY (Cyanocitta cristata)
AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
FISH CROW (Corvus ossifragus)
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis)
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)
This Red-eyed Vireo foraged close enough to us that we could appreciate the blood red eye. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus)
BOREAL CHICKADEE (Poecile hudsonicus)
TUFTED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus bicolor)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis)
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta carolinensis)
BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
WINTER WREN (Troglodytes hiemalis hiemalis)
MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris)
Saltmarsh Sparrow was definitely on the most wanted list so we were thrilled to see and hear them so well at Scarborough Marsh toward the end of the tour. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus satrapa)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis)
VEERY (Catharus fuscescens)
BICKNELL'S THRUSH (Catharus bicknelli)
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus)
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)
WOOD THRUSH (Hylocichla mustelina)
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)
BROWN THRASHER (Toxostoma rufum)
Our experience up on Mount Washington was not to be forgotten. Participant Ann Scarfe shared this memento of the krummholz or "crooked wood," home of the Bicknell's Thrush.
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora cyanoptera)
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia)
NASHVILLE WARBLER (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana)
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Setophaga magnolia)
Gray Jays are always entertaining. We were lucky to come upon several family groups. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica)
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata)
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER (Setophaga caerulescens)
PALM WARBLER (YELLOW) (Setophaga palmarum hypochrysea)
PINE WARBLER (Setophaga pinus)
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata)
PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor)
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens)
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis)
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (Ammodramus savannarum)
While not exactly a highlight, our fallen tree incident certainly was interesting. Cory found Matt Dillon, his chainsaw and his sidekick Spike, just outside Brownfield Bog WMA thankfully. Remarkably, we were back on the road in less than an hour. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
NELSON'S SPARROW (ATLANTIC COAST) (Ammodramus nelsoni subvirgatus)
SALTMARSH SPARROW (Ammodramus caudacutus caudacutus)
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)
FIELD SPARROW (Spizella pusilla)
DARK-EYED JUNCO (SLATE-COLORED) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis)
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (Zonotrichia albicollis)
VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus)
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)
SWAMP SPARROW (Melospiza georgiana)
EASTERN TOWHEE (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea)
Black Guillemots are the most overlooked alcid. The don't get all the attention that puffins do but with those clean white underwings and cherry red feet, they are more eye-catching in some ways. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
BOBOLINK (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (EASTERN) (Sturnella magna magna)
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius)
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (Molothrus ater)
COMMON GRACKLE (Quiscalus quiscula)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
PURPLE FINCH (Haemorhous purpureus)
RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra)
We had our share of lobster rolls along the way but none larger than the one Russ was served in Bar Harbor. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL (Loxia leucoptera)
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus)
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (Spinus tristis)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
SNOWSHOE HARE (Lepus americanus)
PLAIN EASTERN CHIPMUNK (Tamias striatus)
WOODCHUCK (Marmota monax)
EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus carolinensis)
RED SQUIRREL (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
MUSKRAT (Ondatra zibethica)
NORTH AMERICAN PORCUPINE (Erethizon dorsatum)
HARBOR PORPOISE (Phocoena phocoena)
RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes)
COYOTE (Canis latrans)
HARBOR SEAL (Phoca vitulina)
Hearing their calls on inland lakes was special but our closest looks at Common Loons were on the ocean. Immature birds like this one spend years at sea until they are old enough to breed. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
GRAY SEAL (Halichoerus grypus)
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)
MOOSE (Alces alces)
AMERICAN BULLFROG (Lithobates catesbeianus) [*]
GREEN FROG (Lithobates clamitans)
PAINTED TURTLE (Chrysemys picta)
COMMON SNAPPING TURTLE (Chelydra serpentina)
AMERICAN TOAD (Anaxyrus americanus)
SPRING PEEPER (Pseudocris crucifer)
A Common Garter Snake at Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park was the only snake of the tour.
Barb McLintock and Ann Scarfe authored this delightful summary of our adventure:
Into the city of Portland Maine
On a fine spring day in May
Came fourteen birders from here and from there
With guides Eric and Cory to show them the way.
Near Portland Cory went a hunting
To find us all an American Bunting. Thatʼs not a bird, Eric said,
But rather a drape of blue, white and red.
Steve came east from Colorado
To search the forest through
He was very much delighted
With his first Black-throated Blue.
That statue at New England U
Gave rise to many a joke and pun
But when Laura said it had kidney stones
It led to such laughter with that sense of fun.
There are birders and then there are spouses of birders
And daughters of birders too
When Betsy and mother go off on adventures
Thereʼs no telling what they will do.
Collette loved the birds along the way
That Halloween warbler made her day.
And she made a unique find far from home
In the park was a traveling Femo gnome.
Marie came north from Georgia
New birds to make her sputter
But those lilacs and those lilies too
They set her heart a flutter.
Barry liked his birds so much
A new camera he did buy
Expert coaching from both our guides
Meant nothing passed him by.
Eagle-eyed Teri saw them all
Shrubs and trees and flowers tall
Those Latin names she modestly called
And on I-naturalist was enthralled.
Kennebunk plain was full of sparrows
So many that our brows did furrow
But Connie did not merely whisper
When she found our one lone Vesper.
When Messalonskee Lake we passed
We stopped to look out in the grass,
But the lumber yard we needed to gain
For Gary to find us our Sandhill Crane.
Kris likes to wander down the road
Some new birds for to spy
But on the spot he surely was
To name those crossbills on the fly.
Tom had great eyes for water birds
The Green Heron he did spot
And then at beautiful Seawall Beach
That red-throated loon he caught.
The dragonflies at Brownfield Bog
Found Annʼs shirt a fine abode.
So numerously did they come
That we ended up calling her Ann the ode.
Barb loves to walk the great outdoors
Birds and flowers and mushrooms fine,
Many new views for her this trip,
The best? Maybe her lifer porcupines!
Itʼs not the rarest bird on the list
But weʼd missed it on all the past days.
So a cheer went up when a Great Blue Heron
Fell under Russʼs sharp gaze.
To get up to the Alpine air,
We needed to borrow two drivers fair
Wink and Sue rose to the heights
So we could hear those thrushes sing in the night.
There was a tree where it shouldnʼt be
So Cory found Matt and his dog Spike
And also his chain saw which worked so well
We all were spared a very long hike.
As for guides Eric and Cory, what can we say?
They searched for birds by day and by night
And taught us so much about all nature too
Our hearts were always filled with delight.
But now our trip is nearly oʼer
And homeward we must go
Many fine birds we all have seen
And many new friends come to know.
Many a laugh and joke we have shared
And as we part with a sigh
We know weʼll all keep birding on.
This is au revoir but not goodbye.
Totals for the tour: 183 bird taxa and 14 mammal taxa