To join Greg on one of these tours visit BigYearTours.com or call 888-875-9453

In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA, while trying to hold down a full-time job, aspiring to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year. "The Big Year," a novel by Mark Obmascik detailed his travails alongside two competitors. The book was later turned into a movie of the same title that starred Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson!

Maine Day 2

Blueberry barrens near Columbia Falls, ME
Blueberry barrens near Columbia Falls, ME – photo by Greg Miller

 

Maine Day 2 began with wind and rain. We had breakfast at Helen’s Restaurant in Machias, Maine–home of legendary pies. Really. You should try them yourself! We drove to the Columbia Blueberry barrens. These are large areas of cultivated blueberries. The bushes are quite short and leave the viewer with impression of a thick carpet of heath-like growth. It is interesting habitat. The number of Vesper Sparrows here was encouraging.

Wet bogs in Down East Maine are a common thing. These micro habitats harbor a host of cool diversity. They are also home to many species of flycatchers. Today’s specialty were a few actively calling Alder Flycatchers.

wet bog near Columbia Falls, ME
wet bog near Columbia Falls, ME – photo by Greg Miller

 

We left the large expanses of the blueberry barrens and headed south into Hancock County. With the able help of local birders we were able to see Northern Goshawk. This is quite an awesome creature! And it is always a pleasant surprise to encounter these birds. They can be difficult to see. It was a great addition to the Big Year list.

We celebrated with a mid afternoon lunch at the Lobster Pound and Real Pit BBQ in Trenton, Maine. We all ordered seafood of one sort  or another and ate outdoors. The afternoon turned out to be beautiful. It was especially pretty after seeing Northern Goshawk. <grin>

Lobster Pound and Real Pit BBQ near Trenton, ME
Lobster Pound and Real Pit BBQ near Trenton, ME – photo by Greg Miller

 

Before reaching our hotel in Augusta, Maine, we stopped at the south end of Messalonskee Lake to look for Black Terns. We were not disappointed. We found 17 of these gorgeous terns from the hand carry boat ramp. We all enjoyed the sun at our backs as we looked out over the lake and watched the terns feeding. What another special day!

We saw over 60 species of birds and added a couple more for the year total bringing that number to 377. Tomorrow we are headed back out to the coast again.

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