News & Notes


Rare Bird Alert January 14 – 20, 2013

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
Posted on:

Reporting Period: January 14 – 20, 2013
Area: State of Maine
Compiler: Doug Hitchcox

Noteworthy Species Mentioned:

  • Canvasback
  • Barrow’s Goldeneye
  • Black-crowned Night-heron
  • Golden Eagle
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Black-headed Gull
  • ‘Kumlien’s’ Iceland Gull
  • Glaucous Gull
  • Dovekie
  • Thick-billed Murre
  • Snowy Owl
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • American Kestrel
  • Townsend’s Warbler
  • Field Sparrow
  • ‘Oregon’ Dark-eyed Junco
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Hoary Redpoll

Seasonal notes:
A cold snap on the 16th brought a few inches of snow to southern and central Maine, likely causing the appearance of several notable passerines at feeders on that day. That front probably also froze bodies of water to our west driving up to six Canvasbacks into Cumberland County starting on the 19th. Some of the birds highlighted have been photographed and images can be viewed at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/mainebirdlist/

York County
A FIELD SPARROW continues to visit private feeders in Berwick. On the 14th, two DOVEKIES and a THICK-BILLED MURRE were at the Nubble Lighthouse in Cape Neddick. The DOVEKIES were seen again here on the 15th. A PINE WARBLER was briefly seen visiting feeders in Cape Porpoise on the 15th.  The Saco River, viewed from Water Street in Saco, continues to host a BARROW’S GOLDENEYE daily that was joined by a pair of RING-NECKED DUCKS on the 16th. Continuing from the 13th, a SNOWY OWL was seen on Strawberry Island, visible from the rock ledges off Great Hill Road in Kennebunk. The bird was seen daily throughout the week.

Greater Portland
A FOX SPARROW continued to visit a yard in Portland throughout the week. Gulling around Portland’s Old Port on the 18th produced 11 ICELAND GULLS and two GLAUCOUS GULLS. Two immature BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were first reported on the 18th in the channel behind the carwash located at the intersection of Broadway and Anthoine Street in South Portland. On the 16th, an ‘OREGON’ DARK-EYED JUNCO was photographed visiting feeders in Cumberland. Three CANVASBACKS were found below the bridge at the Stroudwater Crossing on the Fore River. These birds were still present on the 20th. A drake CANVASBACK was seen on the morning of the 18th roosting in the Cousin’s River in Yarmouth on the 18th. Possibly the same bird or another drake CANVASBACK was later reported in the Royal River, visible from the Lower Falls Landing, also in Yarmouth. The bird at this second location was still being reported as of the 20th. Another drake CANVASBACK was seen in the Presumpscot River on the Portland/Falmouth border on the 18th. On the 20th, a CANVASBACK was reported in Maquoit Bay.

Kennebec River Valley (Augusta-Waterville)
A female HOARY REDPOLL was spotted in a group of 60 COMMON REDPOLLS visiting feeders in Richmond on the 16th. Highlights from The Flood Brothers Farm on River Road in Clinton this week included: a dark phase ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and an AMERICAN KESTREL on the 16th, five ICELAND GULLS and two GLAUCOUS GULLS throughout the week, and a GOLDEN EAGLE was photographed in this area on the 20th. Please respect this private property and remain well away from machinery.

Midcoast
A flock of 210 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were reported from Green Point WMA in Dresden on the 19th.

Penobscot Bay
Three BARROW’S GOLDENEYES were reported in Belfast Bay on the 15th. A BLACK-HEADED GULL continued from the 11th in the Owl’s Head Harbor. A single BONAPARTE’S GULL has also been reported here. After being present for 53 days, since November 28, 2012, Maine’s fourth TOWNSEND’S WARBLER that had been visiting feeders in Winterport was last seen on the 19th. A BALTIMORE ORIOLE continues to make daily appearances here.

Downeast
An adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continues to be seen at private feeders in Bar Harbor. On the 20th, a HOARY REDPOLL was reported at feeders in Cooper.