Boreal Bird Blog
Observations and updates from our Senior Scientist, Dr. Jeff Wells, and the BSI science team

Boothbay Boreal Birding

September 19, 2007 | Dr. Jeff Wells

On Sunday (9/16), I had the pleasure of traveling to Damariscove Island - a small island off of Boothbay Harbor, Maine - with the Boothbay Region Land Trust and 50-60 other people. We enjoyed some incredible beautiful birds and views - Merlins (50% breed in Boreal) and Sharp-shins (over 30% breed in Boreal) zipping by, heavy-bodied migrating Common Loons (over 70% breed in Boreal) with their trailing feet, several calling Whimbrels (over 70% breed in Boreal) flying past against the blue skies and reminding us of what it might have been like to see flocks of Eskimo Curlews over the island 100+ years ago.

Photo by Julie Lamy

One of the biggest surprises for me was the single male Dark-eyed Junco (80% breed in Boreal) just because it seemed at least a few weeks early. There was also a little group of three Purple Finches (over 40% breed in Boreal) hanging out in the few trees behind the caretaker's cabin.

Photo by Carolyn Shubert

That night, with the arrival of cold weather that slowed down the cricket population enough to make it less overwhelming, I was able to get my nocturnal audio station running. Over my house in Maine I detected over 250 thrush (or thrush-like) calls but the following night only about 30 thrush calls. I haven't had a chance to go through the warbler/sparrow calls though I am quite sure there were hundreds on Sunday night and between 100-200 on Monday night. I did record last night and I heard birds going over when I was doing some chores in the garage but I haven't had a chance to go through any of those yet. The Sunday night calls included lots of Swainson's Thrushes (over 70% breed in Boreal).

Thanks Boreal. Keep them coming!


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