Hello: Eight people participated in the Fundy Audubon Field Trip Saturday, Jan. 30 in Eastport. We enjoyed coffee, donuts and muffins in the Eastport Port Authority Welcome Center. Chris Barlett gave us excellent instructions on how to identify winter gulls found in the Downeast area. He began by pointing out the key field marks of the Herring Gull which is the most common gull in our general area. We learned to id some of the other large white-headed gulls including Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed and the two white-winged gulls, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls. The group went out looking for gulls in Eastport and we were rewarded with nice looks at a first winter Glaucous Gull as well as numerous Herring and a few Great Black-backed gulls. Overall most of the area gulls appeared to be feeding across the channel at Campobello Island which is good reason to try again this winter before the Iceland and Glaucous gulls head north in the spring.
A Snowy Owl continues to pop up in the Pembroke/Perry towns with a sighting yesterday on South Meadow Rd in Perry. I heard this third hand and do not know who saw this owl. Don Dunbar, who is a very talented, local wildlife photographer, has attracted a Golden Eagle for the second year in a row to his blind in Pembroke. Keep a lookout for this rare eagle.

February Events

The Downeast Land Trust will host two events in celebration of the Great Backyard Bird Count. I have copied below the descriptions of these two events taken from the Downeast Land Trust website for your information. Friday evening, Bob Duchesne who is a wonderful, entertaining speaker, will tell us how to identify birds. Saturday morning Fundy Audubon will cosponsor with Downeast Land Trust a birdwalk in Grand Lake Stream as a way of participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. We hope to see a good turnout for these events. Later in February, Fundy Audubon will have a field trip to Quoddy Head State Park to look for birds on the water around the lighthouse.

“Bird Identification Made Easy!” by Bob Duchesne
Friday, February 12, 2016 – 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Grand Lake Stream School Building
15 Water Street, Grand Lake Stream

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust is pleased to be hosting a “Winter Birding Weekend,” celebrating the Great Backyard Bird Count. Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. In 2015, Great Backyard Bird Count participants in more than 100 countries counted 5,090 species of birds on more than 147,000 checklists!
On Friday, February 12th, join the Downeast Lakes Land Trust as we introduce the Great Backyard Bird Count with a special program led by renowned birder and founder of the Maine Birding Trail, Bob Duchesne. After a brief introduction to the Great Backyard Bird Count, Mr. Duchesne will lead a presentation entitled, “Bird Identification Made Easy.” Learn the many tricks of the birding trade to help identify the numerous species that might arrive in your backyard! Here is a sample list of birds in the Downeast Lakes region – DLLT Bird Checklist.

Winter Bird Walk – DLLT and Fundy Audubon
Saturday, February 13, 2016 – 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Grand Lake Stream School Building
15 Water Street, Grand Lake Stream

On Saturday, February 13th, the Downeast Lakes Land Trust and the Fundy Chapter of Maine Audubon are leading a “Winter Bird Walk” in Grand Lake Stream, participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. We will be reporting all sightings and bird activity to the Great Backyard Bird Count to support this international event. Come out to support citizen science, meet experienced birders, and enjoy the mid-winter beauty of the Downeast Lakes region. This walk is for people of all ages and skill levels and birdwatchers should meet at the Grand Lake Stream School Building at 8 am. For more information, please contact the Downeast Lakes Land Trust at (207) 796 – 2100 or email cbrown@downeastlakes.org.

Quoddy Head State Park Fundy Field Trip
Saturday, February 27, 2016 – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

On Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Fundy Audubon will have a field trip to Quoddy Head State Park. We will meet in the parking lot above the lighthouse and bird the rocks and water from the lighthouse. Quoddy Head is one of the best places in Washington County to view seabirds in the winter. Alcids, Great Cormorants, Purple Sandpipers (see photo below), scoters, eiders and gulls are possible. The road leading into the parking area can be good for a variety of winter birds and boreal species are always a possibility in the park. Bring binoculars and dress for windy, cold conditions along the coast. For more information, contact Woody Gillies at (207) 726-5570 or email cwgillies@gmail.com.
Best regards,
Woody Gillies