Birdwalk Highlights for 10/15: Wharton Point and Maquoit Bay Conservation Land, Brunswick.

Upon our arrival at Wharton Point, our quarry was already in sight: a HUDSONIAN GODWIT. Present for a week, it was impossible for us not to go have a look, and we were excited to see the 247th all-time Saturday Morning Birdwalk species! A life bird for many, it was far, but more than identifiable.

It was foraging out on the mudflats with 36 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and at least 3 small shorebirds that were just too far, but were probably Dunlin. 22 LAUGHING GULLS joined RING-BILLED and HERRING GULLS on the mudflats, along with 3 GREAT BLUE HERONS. Two adult BALD EAGLES stood guard.

A little trickle of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS overhead amounted to at least 10, and at least 2 AMERICAN PIPITS called as they flew over. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK sent birds diving into cover, including at least one SWAMP SPARROW, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, a couple of SAVANNAH SPARROWS, and 4+ SONG SPARROWS.

Since the "HudWit" was a life bird for many, we decided to cut down the distance by walking out to the end of the trail at the Maquoit Bay Conservation Land. While the light wasn't great, we had much better looks, including the ability to appreciate the length of the wicked long bicolored bill.

A truant GREAT EGRET flew away, while a tardy OSPREY lost it's catch to the pursuit of several more Bald Eagles. Six WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS joined COMMON EIDERS on the open water, while a growing number of AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS today amounted to about 225, but were only joined by 2 MALLARDS. A HERMIT THRUSH called from the thicket behind us.

In the woods, we encountered two RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS and heard a PILEATED WOODPECKER, and Yellow-rumped Warblers were scattered about. A sizeable and cooperative mixed-species foraging flock just as we started our return walk padded our diverse list with the likes of 4 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 1 PALM WARBLER, and 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES along with BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, TUFTED TITMICE, and a pair of DOWNY WOODPECKERS.

We didn't have a lot of time, but a slow cruise along the wet fields of Highland Road produced a handful (probably more) of American Pipits among grazing CANADA GEESE, WILD TURKEYS in the field, EASTERN BLUEBIRDS on the wires, and SAVANNAH SPARROWS all along the roadside.

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