Friday, September 19, 2008

Northern Wheatear in Gray, Maine

I was fortunate enough to catch up to the stray Northern Wheatear that was discovered yesterday in Gray, Maine. It was at the top of Dutton Hill, a beautiful little blueberry-barren-topped knoll just off the turnpike. I showed up at 7:45 and was the only person there. I found the bird after about 25 minutes of nervous searching, and had great looks for the whole hour I stuck around. Just an absolutely beautiful morning.

This is the first look at the bird, a nonbreeding adult [eds. note: Expert identifiers are now calling this bird a juvenile/1st year bird.  Thank goodness for listservs!].

Here's some wheatear information. Check out how not-close they live to Maine! Key ID points here are the white rump, the white supercilium and the overall buff color.

At one point the bird flew up to the top of a tree . . . an odd place for a bird that prefers tundra, beaches and grasslands.


John B. said...

That's funny. One turned up in Cape May Point this evening, too. (I haven't looked for it yet - too tired.)

Patrick B. said...

There was one in Cape May today... I wonder if one could fly from Maine to Cape May in a day?

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