Morning Bird Walks Each starts at 7 am. Wear tick repellent clothing. No Pets Please.
Sat. May 12- Sears Island. Meet on the causeway at the gate. Warblers galore and more.
Sun. May 13- Paddle and bird Upper Mason Pond, Swan Lake Ave., Belfast. Meet at the public boat launch on Rt. 141. Bring kayak or canoe, paddle, PFD. Water and forest birds.
Mon. May 14- Head of Tide Preserve, 85 Doak Road, Belfast. Prairie warblers and many more. 7:30 pm: Woodcock Party, 210 Oak Hill Road, Swanville. Thanhauser-Chunn farm.
Tues. May 15- 7:00 am: Thanhauser-Chunn Farm, 210 Oak Hill Road, Swanville.7:30 pm: Rain date for Woodcock Party.
Wed. May 16- Ducktrap River, Rt. 52, Lincolnville. Blackburnian warblers and many more.
Thur. May 17- In-Town Nature Trail. Meet at the Muck in Belfast. Warblers, pond and forest birds.
Fri. May 18- Rocky Knoll Tract of Meadow Brook Preserve, 397 Oak Hill Road, Swanville.
Sat. May 19- Hauk-Fry Tract of Meadow Brook Preserve, 325 Oak Hill Road, Swanville.
Monday, May 14, 7:30 pm- Woodcock Party at Thanhauser-Chunn farm, 210 Oak Hill Road, Swanville. Dress for cold evening. Rain Date Tues. May 15- 7:30 pm rain date for Woodcock Party also at the farm
Mike Shannon will regale us with amazing facts and lore about woodcock over refreshments while we wait for the setting sunlight to be just right. Then we will walk out into a hayfield to watch the males do their courtship dance and flight, giving their best performance to impress females who watch from around the field edges. Dress warmly for a chilly evening
2016 Bird Week Summary
In this 10-day stretch of “Bird Week,” we found a total of 82 species of birds. We did not visit any saltwater habitats, so one can only imagine how many more species could be added around Belfast Bay and Northern Penobscot Bay.
Biggest surprise was listening to a Wood Thrush’s haunting, fluting song. They are in serious decline, due to loss of habitat in the eastern US and Central America, their migratory homes, and also to cowbird nest parasitism at the edges of fragmenting habitat, and to acid rain's depletion of their invertebrate prey. They have almost disappeared from our area in the last decade. It was exciting and hopeful to hear them singing at the Hauk-Fry Tract of Meadow Brook Preserve on Oak Hill Road in Swanville, and at the Ducktrap River Preserve in Lincolnville, both of which are Coastal Mountains Land Trust preserves.
Another surprise was at the put-in to the Goose River paddle trip at Swan Lake dam behind Swan Lake Grocery in Swanville. As we were noisily getting underway, we heard a Sora, its descending chatter and loud “koo-EE!” from where it hid in tall shoreline grasses. The Sora is an uncommon summer migrant in wet marshes, about the size of a quail.
Woodcock have been doing their courtship Sky Dance at Cloe and David’s farm since March 12, at dawn and at dusk every day. They were still dancing on May 21 for the Woodcock Walk. Even though young woodcock have been seen in the woods, some adults are still courting this late.Birders were in general agreement that Ovenbirds, a warbler that looks like a miniature thrush, are alive and well, courting and nesting along trails and the river. They seem to be everywhere. Good news.
Besides missing seabirds, whose habitats were not included in our walks (except a look from the Sears Island causeway), we also missed seeing Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Towhees, and indigo Buntings, iconic species of spring and summer in this area. Neither a Red-tailed Hawk, nor a Red-shouldered, nor Cooper’s nor Sharpshinned: they are here but we didn’t see them. Nor did we see Red-bellied Woodpeckers, a newcomer to Maine rapidly gaining in numbers. But 82 species is not a bad total.
Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, P.O. Box 152, Belfast, ME 04915