24 June 2024


Saturday, May 29th, 2010
Western Kingbird, Monhegan Island, Maine, 29 May 2010.

Western Kingbird, Monhegan Island.

Our morning routine fell apart this morning, Jack’s and mine. We didn’t hike Beech Hill early. Instead, we hung around the house until my friend Mark came to take Jack off for a weekend at his farm in the country and my friends Kristen and Paul came to take me and a couple bags down to Port Clyde. Then we all boarded the Elizabeth Ann and sailed off to Monhegan. It might even become a Memorial Day tradition.

Black-throated green warbler, Monhegan Island, Maine, 29 May 2010.

Black-throated green warbler.

I’d planned the trip—my first spring visit to the island—to correspond with Kristen’s and Paul’s annual stay. We came to bird. But for whatever reason spring came early in 2010, and Memorial Day came late, and when we made our obligatory stop at Tom Martin’s place (to pay our respects to the 89-year-old grandfather of Monhegan birding), Tom said, essentially, the birds were gone aready. A few blackbirds hanging around his usually fruitful yard. Some nesting starlings. Reports of more than twenty warbler species by one birder friend—but that’d been a few days. Thus, we began with low expectations.

People should always begin things that way.

By nightfall, I’d personally listed 45 species (naturally, Kristen had listed about eight or ten more than that), including ten first-of-year birds—at least one of which was a lifer (maybe two, I’ll have to check). The lifer: a western kingbird.

Not a lot of electricity out here, and my laptop battery’s running low, but I’ll post a couple photos and a list of species.

(Note: now all is dark here, with the sound of the ocean out the window and a slowly-flashing blue-green light on the horizon. A magical place, this island.)

Gray catbird, Monhegan Island, Maine, 29 May 2010.

Gray catbird.

Monhegan List
(Not in order of listing.)

1. Ring-necked pheasant*
2. Common grackle
3. Red-winged blackbird
4. European starling
5. Song sparrow
6. Yellow warbler
7. American redstart
8. Common yellowthroat
9. Black-throated green warbler
10. Blackburnian warbler (voice)
11. Blackpoll warbler
12. Northern waterthrush* (voice)
13. Blue jay (voice)
14. Northern cardinal (voice)
15. American goldfinch
16. White-winged crossbill*
17. Eastern kingbird
18. Western kingbird**
19. Great crested flycatcher (voice)
20. Easter wood-pewee (voice)
21. Bobolink (voice)
22. Barn swallow*
23. Black-capped chickadee
24. American crow
25. Merlin*
26. American robin
27. Swainson’s thrush* (voice)
28. Eastern bluebird
29. House wren
30. Carolina wren* (voice)
31. Gray catbird
32. Northern oriole* (voice)
33. Osprey
34. Mallard
35. Double-crested cormorant
36. Herring gull
37. Great black-backed gull
38. Black guillemot
39. Common eider
40. Blue jay (voice)
41. Mourning dove
42. Red-eyed vireo


43. Northern gannet*
44. House finch
45. Laughing gull

*First-of-year birds.
**Life bird.

Sunset, Monhegan Island, Maine, 29 May 2010.

Sunset, Monhegan Island.

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Bird Report is a (sometimes intermittent) record of the birds I encounter while hiking, see while driving, or spy outside my window. —Brian Willson

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