We decided to bring back our free Saturday Morning Birdwalks as spring, and spring migration, gets underway. Or at least is supposed to...the wet snow that was falling this morning as we gathered thought otherwise!
After a quick but unsuccessful check for Fish Crows in downtown Brunswick, we raced over to Pennell Way where a SNOWY OWL has been tarrying. And sitting atop a large barn, it was not hard to spot immediately! Great looks, with and without a scope, was then further enhanced by the bird taking flight and gliding across to another favored perch. There are few things more beautiful than a Snowy Owl in flight...and this was a genuine "wow!" moment. And what a way to kick off the return of the Birdwalks!
Returning to Simpson's Point, an OSPREY was finishing a snack in a nearby snack, and later, two actively fishing the bay. Two immature BALD EAGLES were out on a distant flat, while two GREAT BLUE HERONS posed in perfect light on the close shoreline...no need for scopes to see detail on these birds!
Waterbird numbers are thinning out, but we still had about 100 BUFFLEHEAD, 40-50 each of AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, SURF SCOTER, and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. At least 6 COMMON LOONS were present, including one bird that made a couple of close passes as it circled the bay, perhaps contemplating a move inland today. About 15 CANADA GEESE, 10 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, a few WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 2 GREATER SCAUP, and about 15 distant unidentifiable scaup rounded out the mid-spring diversity.
Finally, a stroll along Pennell Way to close out our morning yielded an AMERICAN KESTREL, 4 SAVANNAH SPARROWS, a pair of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, at least 6 SONG SPARROWS, and single PINE WARBLER, BROWN CREEPER, and EASTERN PHOEBE.
It was not warm, it was snowing at times, but it's spring in Maine and we saw a Snowy Owl!
We are currently scheduled to continue to offer weekly free Saturday Morning Birdwalks for the rest of the spring, but we are watching infection rates carefully. Increasing rates and decreasing concern and consideration for others who are not vaccinated have been alarming. While masks will remain absolutely mandatory on our walks, and carpooling will be encouraged only for those in the same family, bubble, or are fully vaccinated, we don't believe wandering around in large groups when infection rates are increasing dramatically is a good message to send. Therefore, we will handle this - and logistical constraints - on a week-by-week basis. Please check here, the NEWS page of this website for any updates or changes. If no announcements are posted, the walk is a go.