Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Few Scarborough Marsh Photos

A couple days ago I birded the pannes off Eastern Road, in Scarborough (Maine) Marsh with my friend Doug Hitchcox. It was an absolutely stellar day, highlighted by three Stilt Sandpipers (life bird for the both of us) and three Northern Shovelers - a bird that is uncommon in Maine. Doug was nice enough to send me a couple pictures he took, and I'll share them with you.

Although there are hundreds of fish-filled ponds in the Marsh, all the herons (and other large waders) congregated around one at a time. Doug and I assumed that this was either for social reasons or because it somehow made catching fish easier. Here is a shot of one of those ponds and its birds. I see Great Egret, Snowy Egret, juvi Little Blue Herons (they're white with blue/black bills instead of Snowy's yellow bills) and some dark birds that are either adult Little Blues or Glossy Ibis.

Here are those same birds in flight. There were a lot of birds-of-prey around: Doug and I saw Cooper's and Red-tailed Hawk, Osprey, Bald Eagle and Northern Harrier. When the smaller raptors (Cooper's and Harrier) would buzz the marsh it was mostly sandpipers and other waders that would take to the air. When a pair of Eagles came into view, however, it was the herons that got spooked. The sight of nearly a hundred giant herons in the air above our heads was really something. Note the four Glossy Ibis in this shot (not sure what the dark bird in the back is...). Below the treeline I can see a Yellowlegs sp. (white rump, middle of the photo) as well as a bunch of smaller birds.

Here's a shot of one of those Northern Shovelers. We were also pleased to identify a whole bunch of Green-winged Teal in the Marsh - birds we assumed to be first-of-years for the area. Thanks to Doug for the shots.


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