The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Birding in York County

Posted by | October 18, 2011

Yesterday's Lunch 'n Learn in Mather Auditorium drew over 20 people who were interested in learning more about the birds of York County. Marie Jordan of York County Audubon Society shared her vast knowledge of birds, as well as an impressive slideshow of her bird photographs. Following are just a few of the snippets of information that I documented in my notes from the program:

  1. Pine Siskins come through this area in November and March. They look like house finches, but have yellow on the wings.
  2. King Eiders can sometimes be seen off Marginal Way in Ogunquit. Harlequin ducks are common in this location in the winter, too.
  3. Cedar Waxwings and Bohemian Waxwings feast on the fruit from crab apple trees through the winter months.
  4. Saco Heath is a great place to find Prairie Warblers in the spring.
  5. At Kennebunk Plains, birders often see Upland Sandpipers, Grasshopper Sparrows, and Vesper Sparrows.
  6. Many birds have expanded their range into Maine. Birds like the Red-bellied Woodpecker and the Carolina Wren were not here 30 years ago.
  7. It is very important to manage fields for Bobolinks and Meadowlarks, waiting until after their nesting season to mow.
  8. Marie shared a statistic she had heard--that roughly one million birds in Minnesota are killed by cats each year. She encouraged all of us to keep our cats indoors for the sake of songbirds.
  9. Mockingbirds have their own song! In addition to all of the mimicking they do, they also have their very own "harsh sounding" song.
  10. When someone asks Marie what her favorite bird is she replies, "The bird I am looking at this minute!" She has too many favorites to name just one.Birding

After the indoor presentation, the group ventured outside on a bird walk with Scott Richardson. Soon after leaving the auditorium, a Sharp Shinned Hawk flew overhead and Scott explained the flight patterns and wing differences of the area's most common raptors.Scott demonstrates flight

Following is the list of birds either seen or heard along the walk:

  1. Song Sparrow
  2. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  3. Blue Jay
  4. Red-tailed Hawk
  5. American Crow
  6. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  7. American Black Duck
  8. Surf Scoter
  9. White-winged Scoter
  10. Northern Gannet
  11. Double-crested Cormorant
  12. Bonaparte's Gull
  13. Common Loon
  14. Ring-billed Gull
  15. Tree Swallow

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