To join Greg on one of these tours visit BigYearTours.com or call 888-875-9453
Maine. Tour 5 of 11 one-week tours with Wildside Nature Tours in a Big Year Series attempting to see 500 species of birds in the Lower 48 States in one calendar year with participants. Don’t forget the ABA Young Birders! We have raised nearly $1500 now through the Big Year Series for ABA Young Birders.
Today was another 60+ species day bringing our trip total to 99 and our year total to 380. Birding highlights included Nelson’s Sparrow, Least Tern, good looks at Common Eiders, American Black Duck, Baltimore Oriole, Indigo Bunting, Purple Finches, and Willow Flycatchers.
Seawall Beach was our first destination. The tide was low when we arrived. And the skies were a rich gray-blue. Seawall has a sandy beach with rocks jutting out it. We dipped on Piping Plovers there. Unfortunately we didn’t have as much time as I had wanted as we were forced to leave due to an impending storm. But the skies were dramatic.
The storms were intermittent. Our next stop was between storms. Simpson’s Pt. Landing had many Common Eiders in good viewing conditions. The waters were placid and still as glass. The combination of conifers lining the rocky shoreline and the still waters created a serendipitous scene.
We had lunch today at Portland Lobster Company down at the docks of Portland, Maine. The salty air, calling gulls, and the smell of seafood created a great setting for a pleasant and tasty lunch. Afterwards we searched the area of Portland where the Little Egret has been seen off and on during the last month-and-a-half. Unfortunately we came up empty in our attempts to find this very rare bird.
Scarborough Marsh south of Portland has over 3,000 acres of tidal marsh. It is home to the only place in the U.S. where both Saltmarsh Sparrow and Nelson’s Sparrow both nest. Our trip here was cut short by a brief but strong t-storm cell. We packed up and went into Portland again, this time for dinner. We ate at a lovely restaurant with a very creative menu. It is called the Nosh Kitchen Bar.
After dinner the thunderstorm had passed and we went out again to Scarborough Marsh. This time Nelson’s Sparrow showed himself. This hard-to-find, secretive, little sparrow is subtly beautiful. It is always a pleasure to find these creatures.
The days have been long, but fun. Tonight I am definitely feeling fatigue winning over the adrenaline rush of a birding tour to an exciting destination like Maine. I am going to fix the head bobbing and go to bed soon. Sleep is calling…loudly. Tomorrow will be another fun-filled adventure.