Birdwalk Highlights for 4/9: Winslow Park, Freeport.

With impressive turnout this morning, we were a little limited on locations we could go and still have success. Luckily, the winds were calm and therefore Winslow was the perfect destination. Except for the fog.

And it was even foggier when we arrived, so we began in the woods and edges. And those woods and edges are now really coming to life! In addition to vocal residents, SONG SPARROWS were present in full force, with at least 11 seen and heard this morning. AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES (24+) were also suddenly more numerous. This week, EASTERN PHOEBES were arriving, and we enjoyed a goodly 7 this morning, including long studies of a pair that were already contemplating nest building. Even more recently arrived, our first two HERMIT THRUSHES of the spring were present, including one that offered pleasantly prolonged looks in the open.

A CAROLINA WREN belted out its song, offering a brief look as it did so, and a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was heard calling. NORTHERN CARDINALS were also in full song.

Arriving at the point, the fog lifted virtually right before us. Visibility was now excellent and the glass-calm water offered perfect viewing conditions. 200+ COMMON EIDER were vocal and conspicuous, and a migrant flock of 12 GREAT BLUE HERONS continued onward with the clearing (with two more on the go later). Speaking of migrants, an AMERICAN KESTREL zipped by low overhead.

Between the point and the now-clear southern shore, a smattering of other waterbirds including 30 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 16 SURF SCOTERS, 8 COMMON LOONS, 6 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 4 MALLARDS, and 2 CANADA GEESE.

Another highlight was seeing TWO occupied BALD EAGLE nests now visible from the park. Both had a female hunkered down, presumably incubating, safely visible in the distance. It's nesting season!

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There will not be a birdwalk on Saturday, May 28th as I'll be on Monhegan with our annual Monhegan Spring Migration Weekend tour.