20 May 2024

Posts Tagged ‘black scoter’


Saturday, December 15th, 2018
American Wigeons, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 15 December 2018.

American Wigeons.

Beech Hill wasn’t the big story from today. That’s because today was our area’s Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), which began at 7:45 a.m. at the Rockland Breakwater. As usual, I participated until lunch—by which time we’d listed the bulk of our species.

For the first time I can remember, CBC day was not brutally cold and/or windy. Right balmy out, to be honest. And a fun time was had by all.

Here are a few photos.

Long-tailed Duck (male, non-breeding plumage), Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 15 December 2018.

Long-tailed Duck (male, non-breeding plumage).

Herring Gull (non-breeding adult), Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 15 December 2018.

Herring Gull (non-breeding adult).

European Starling, Samoset Result, Rockport, Maine, 15 December 2018.

European Starling.

Black Scoter, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 15 December 2018.

Black Scoter.

American Crow, Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 15 December 2018.

American Crow.


Black Guillemot (non-breeding plumage), Rockland Breakwater, Rockland, Maine, 15 December 2018.

Black Guillemot (non-breeding plumage).

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 1:30 p.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American Crow* (v)
2. American Goldfinch* (v)
3. White-breasted Nuthatch* (v)
4. Black-capped Chickadee*


5. Canada Goose
6. American Wigeon
7. American Black Duck
8. Mallard
9. Common Eider
10. Surf Scoter
11. Black Scoter
12. Long-tailed Duck
14. Common Goldeneye
15. Common Merganser
16. Red-breasted Merganser
17. Common Loon
18. Horned Grebe
19. Bald Eagle
20. Bonaparte’s Gull
21. Ring-billed Gull
22. Herring Gull
23. Great Black-backed Gull
24. Black Guillemot
25. Mourning Dove
26. Downy Woodpecker (v)
27. Pileated Woodpecker
28. European Starling
29. Snow Bunting (v)
30. Song Sparrow
31. Dark-eyed Junco
32. Northern Cardinal (v)
33. House Finch
34. House Sparrow

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere



Saturday, January 9th, 2010
The shore at Dyer Point, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 09 January 2010.

The shore at Dyer Point.

I rose earlier than usual this morning so my friend  Kristen and I could take a trip to Southern Maine in search of harlequin ducks. A medium-sized diving species with fanciful plumage, harlequins nest along rapid, far-northern forest streams and in winter seek out the churning surf off Maine’s rocky shores. They like rough, antic water.

Perching bald eagles, Warren, Maine, 09 January 2010.

How many bald eagles do you see?

While making breakfast at about sunup, I watched the waning crescent moon get caught in the bare oak branches. Flitting around in a maple, I saw seven chickadees.

Before even leaving town, we saw a crow fly by and noticed a flock of buffleheads floating out in Clam Cove. Within a few miles, we’d also spotted a few mourning doves in flight and Canada geese in the St. George River. On Route 1 in Warren, we pulled over and counted more than thirty bald eagles decorating the trees out back of Mainely Poultry—a notorious hangout for this handsome bird. Also a red-tailed hawk. A raven or two. Some starlings and a gang of noisy house sparrows in the dooryard.

Red-tailed hawk, Wiscasset, Maine, 09 January 2010.

Red-tailed hawk.

Another red-tail appeared above Wiscasset, circling in the cloudless blue sky.

In late morning, we reached Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth. The sun blazing low in the southeastern sky did nothing for the wind chill; it’s a good thing we had scarves and hoods and gloves. I’ve never been to Two Lights at any other season, but I can attest to Dyer Point’s spectacularly rugged winter beauty—at least at low tide. Right away we counted rafts of eiders, a few red-breasted mergansers and common goldeneyes, and little collections of long-tailed ducks. Herring gulls bobbed here and there in the surging waves, and black ducks zipped by on fast wings. It took longer to pick out a harlequin: oddly, a solitary male, diving alone. (A lifer, for me.) I also spotted what Kristen helped me identify as a cluster of black scoters on the wing.

Harlequin duck, Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 09 January 2010.

Harlequin duck.

On the climb back up the icy rocks, I couldn’t help but snap a few photos of the bottoms of some tidal pools, whose colors I thought artistic and astounding.

Next we drove over to the park proper and scanned the surf there. More eiders, mergansers, long-tailed ducks—and far to our left a tight-knit flotilla of what looked to be harlequins just off a rocky promontory. As we headed along the icy trail in that direction to get a better look, I caught sight of a swift, dark, low-flying bird that I recognized at once as a raptor. A peregrine falcon, in fact. Good look, nice bird. And we were right about the harlequins.

Although we’d already compiled an impressive list, we figured we’d swing by the vast icy expanse of Scarborough Marsh, just to see waddup. A short, brisk walk rewarded us with a common loon, a scaup of indeterminate species, and  what was likely a great cormorant, though we couldn’t make a definitive ID. Also in Scarborough we listed ring-billed and greater black-backed gulls and watched a white-tailed doe bound across the road—then attempt to vanish in the leafless roadside trees.

On the way back to the Midcoast, we made a stop at Freeport, where I bought my first-ever pair of snowshoes. I expect to put ’em to good use before too long.

Tidal pool, Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 09 January 2010.

Tidal pool, Two Lights State Park.

Tonight, under the watchful eye of Orion, the temperature dipped into the low double-digit (F) degrees.

Today’s List

1. Black-capped chickadee (Rockport, a.m.)
2. American crow (Rockport, a.m.)
3. Bufflehead (Rockport, a.m.)
4. Mourning dove (Rockland, a.m.)
5. Canada goose (Thomaston, a.m.)
6. Bald eagle (Warren, a.m.)
7. Red-tailed hawk (Warren, a.m.)
8. Common raven (Warren, a.m.)
9. European starling (Warren, a.m.)
10. House sparrow (Warren, a.m.)
11. Rock pigeon (Portland, a.m.)
12. Common eider (Cape Elizabeth, a.m.)
13. Red-breasted merganser (Cape Elizabeth, a.m.)
13. Common goldeneye (Cape Elizabeth, a.m.)
14. Long-tailed duck (Cape Elizabeth, a.m.)
15. Harlequin duck (Cape Elizabeth, a.m.)
16. Peregrine falcon (Cape Elizabeth, a.m.)
17. Black scoter (Cape Elizabeth, a.m.)
18. Black duck (Cape Elizabeth, a.m.)
19. Common loon (Scarborough, p.m.)
20. Ring-billed gull (Scarborough, p.m.)
21. Greater black-backed gull (Scarborough, p.m.)
22. Cormorant (sp?) (Scarborough, p.m.)
23. Scaup (sp?) (Scarborough, p.m.)

Also notable: white-tailed deer (Scarborough, p.m.).

2010 List (30 spp. so far)

White-tailed deer, Scarborough, Maine, 09 January 2010.
White-tailed deer.
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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