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Birdwalk Highlights for 1/4: Brunswick Hotspots

January 4, 2020

Well that was a good one! Redhead, Peregrine Falcon, Lesser Scaup, 400 White-winged Scoters, and so much more...and it was dead calm and the rain held off.

 

We began along Highland Road, which yielded few birds, but it did include a pair of PILEATED WOODPECKERS and 5 AMERICAN ROBINS. As we were driving, occasional DARK-EYED JUNCOS would flush off the roadside, BLUE JAYS and AMERICAN CROWS would pass overhead, and we found 4 WILD TURKEYS in a front yard.

 

Arriving to glass-calm conditions under flat, glare-free gray skies at Wharton Point, we enjoyed seeing even distant ducks well.  A single drake LESSER SCAUP was the most unusual among them, but in the distance, a massive rafter of 300-400 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS had formed.  Other waterbird tallies from here included 150 RING-BILLED GULLS, 100+ BUFFLEHEADS, 54 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 44 CANADA GEESE, 23 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 20 HERRING GULLS, 1O COMMON EIDERS, 4 MALLARDS, and 1 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. Meanwhile, landbirds included 7 MOURNING DOVES, 6 HOUSE FINCHES, 4 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 3 SONG SPARROWS, 2 NORTHERN CARDINALS, and 1 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS.

 

There were overall fewer ducks than normal at Simpson's Point, but as we arrived, a local birder had just spotted a very rare (especially in mid-winter) drake REDHEAD!  Year lists were off to a great start!  125 more Bufflehead were estimated, along with another 100 Canada Geese. 30+ COMMON GOLDENEYES, about 30 SURF SCOTERS, 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 2 COMMON LOONS, 1 RED-THROATED LOON, and 1 COOPER'S HAWK were added to the growing morning list.

 

A BALD EAGLE was flying low over downtown Brunswick as we headed to the Bowdoin Mill in Topsham. Another eagle was seen, but after a few minutes, the resident male PEREGRINE FALCON was spotted - perhaps just having finished a meal, bring our very productive morning to an end as the first drops of rain began to fall. 

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