Trips

Upcoming ABC trips for 2018

All trips open to anyone, free of charge (gas costs for carpooling on long trips may be shared). Please check back periodically for changes and additions.

May local warbler walks, all walks start at 7am sharp.
  • Monday through Thursday walks at Viles Arboretum, starting Tuesday May 1 through Thursday May 24. Meet near parking lot at 153 Hospital Street, Augusta. Likely to see 30-50 species of migrants and local breeders each day. The premier local migratory birding spot.
  • Friday May 4 and May 18, Hallowell Reservoir Road. Meet in dirt parking area at intersection of Town Farm Road and Reservoir Road in Hallowell (about 0.2 miles south of Winthrop Street). Good place for warblers and thrushes.
  • Friday May 11 and May 25, Bond Brook Recreational Area. Meet in parking area in the “bowl” at end of access road (Tall Pines Way) off Bond Brook Road in Augusta. Likely to see some of the specialty breeders here such as Brown Thrasher, Field Sparrow, and Eastern Towhee.

May 25 Potential trip to Monhegan Island from Port Clyde.

June 23 boreal bird trip to Long Falls Dam Road and some logging roads near Flagstaff Lake.

September shore bird trip to Sewall or Popham Beach.

November 3 duck trip to Sabattus Pond. Rain date November 10. One of the best places in Maine for migrating ducks, particularly Ruddy Ducks and Scaup.

Selected Recent Completed Trips

Long Falls Dam Road Trip near Flagstaff Lake: 12 birders traveled to Somerset County last Saturday on a quest for crossbills and other boreal species.

Red Crossbills, Long Falls Dam Road, photo by Glenn Hodgkins

We were thrilled to observe a total of 24 Red Crossbills and 5 White-winged Crossbills – more Crossbills than any of us had ever seen in a single day. Also fun to see were 44 Pine Siskins, 12 Red-breasted Nuthatches, a Ruffed Grouse, and an adult Bald Eagle soaring overhead – and other more usual species. On the way home, we stopped at the Messalonskee boat launch in Belgrade and were pleased to see a Northern Harrier soaring over the marshes, and a flock of 13 springtime Red-winged Blackbirds flying by.

One of the purposes of the trip was not only to see crossbills, but to record their calls, with the intent of forwarding the sonograms to Cornell Researcher Matt Young for his analysis of which of the ten Types these crossbills represented. The usual “type” for Maine is #10, known as the “Sitka spruce” type and, indeed all of the Red Crossbills were observed in high concentrations of Red Spruce. However, Matt confirmed a Big Surprise – that 4 of the RECRs were Type 3 – a species found usually in the Hemlocks of the Pacific Northwest (but which are also highly irruptive). These Type 3s are apparently only the third time that Type 3’s have been documented in Maine, the first two on Monhegan in the fall/winter of 2012/2013.

Here is a link to Matt Young’s article discussing irruption and the ten types of crossbills, as well as links to calls for each type: https://ebird.org/news/crossbills-of-north-america-species-and-red-crossbill-call-types/

Our photos of crossbills may be seen in this eBird list:
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43351829

We had a great day for our Morse Mountain/Seawall Beach on August 27th. Thanks to Doug Suitor for leading the trip. Highlights included a nice variety of species, including Northern Gannett flying offshore, Baird’s Sandpiper, and large numbers of Sanderlings. For a full list and some pictures:

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38883903

Sanderlings, Seawall Beach, photo by Glenn Hodgkins

We had a fun day of birding at Kibby Mountain on June 10th. Quite an adventure as you take a right just before Quebec and go 10 miles down logging roads to the trailhead. Fifteen of us made the trip.

Augusta Birding Club at the top of Kibby Mountain

Despite the wind and the heat, which probably kept some of our target birds well hidden, it was a wonderful day for a fairly bug-free hike with some great people. The highlight for many of us was the very cooperative Mourning Warbler along the Gold Brook logging road. This is a difficult bird to find, let alone photograph. Another highlight was hearing Bicknell’s Thrush at the top, amazing for the middle of the day and so warm and sunny. We had 35 species for the trip, including Blackburnian Warbler, many Blackpoll warblers (most heard, not seen), Swainson’s Thrush, Philadelphia Vireo, Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher, and Rusty Blackbird.

Mourning Warbler, photo by Glenn Hodgkins

 

Trips coordinated by Glenn Hodgkins, Cheryl Ring, and others