by Seth Davis
Five of Maine’s elite young birders ventured to Mt. Agamenticus last Saturday in an effort to do some hawk watching and catch some of the late fall migrants. We were greeted at the top by Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows, two Common Ravens, and an excellent view of a Red-tailed Hawk searching for a meal remaining almost motionless in the sky with the wind! We started out by birding the trails on the east side of the mountain. Hermit Thrushes seemed to be the dominant species having seen at least a dozen of them rooting on the ground, but we found patches of mixed-flocks of Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice (Titmouses? Still not sure on that one!) and Ruby-crowned/Golden-crowned Kinglets among others.
On our way back up (having only gotten a little lost) we came across a nice warbler flock. They were primarily Yellow-rumped Warblers, but among them was a late Black-throated Green Warbler, which sadly only a couple of us got a view of.
When back at the top, we decided to test our skills at hawk watching from the viewing platform. Due to the fairly strong westerly winds, hawks were not too prevalent, though we did pick up some distant Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures. While the majority of us were focused miles away, Weston was keenly aware of what was going on under our noses and amazingly spotted a Baltimore Oriole that landed right in front of us! Due to the lack of excitement of distant hawks, and the renewed excitement from Weston’s excellent spotting we moved our efforts to the immediate area and sure enough we spotted goldfinches, and Eastern Phoebe, Gray Catbird, and a Blackpoll Warbler!
We then walked down the mounting (Seth drove because he’s lazy) and on the way down the group saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker and Ian got a brief glimpse of a Ruffed Grouse flushing into the trees!
At the base, we made our yearly visit to Center for Wildlife to look at all the ambassador birds and wildlife there. It was exciting to get to see these birds up close and learn more about all the good that the center does for the animals in the area. We picked up a few additional “wild” species while there brining our final species count to 27, which is very decent for mid-October! The full eBird checklist can be seen here.
We had a blast, and can’t wait until next year to get to do it all over again! Our next trip will be in mid-November so be on the lookout for our trip announcement ~2 weeks prior to the event.