So.ME Shorebirding!

By Seth Davis

On September 7th the Maine Young Birders Club sought out shore/seabirds during the beginning of Fall migration. During the previous two days some really interesting rarities were reported in the area including a Western and Buff-breasted Sandpipers. Many of us were fixated and extremely hopeful to see these birds, but long story short… we dipped. Turns out creatures that can fly don’t always like to stick around so a group of young birders can stare at them. The day was not lost however, we saw lots of interesting birds!

Our first stop was at Biddeford Pool Beach (aka Southpoint Sanctuary). This was our obvious first stop as it is where the two aforementioned birds were seen the day(s) before. Here we saw several Ruddy Turnstones and a LOT of Semipalmated Sandpipers and Plovers. When looking out on the ocean, Weston noted that there were a bunch of Northern Gannets gliding past.

Then we moved up to Hills Beach as this is a hotspot in the Fall. Right at the beginning we had an awesome experience where we saw a Cooper’s Hawk dive and try to attack a Whimbrel out in the marsh! It was very unexpected to A. see a Whimbrel and B. see a hawk go after a bird 2-3x its size! Out on the marsh we also saw a bunch of Black-bellied Plovers, Willets, and Short-billed Dowitchers, and out on the beach as we were headed back a single White-rumped Sandpiper, so our efforts to see a Fall migrant weren’t lost!

Lastly, we stopped by Timber Point, which surprisingly we haven’t taken MYBC to on a dedicated trip and we really ought to because it’s one of if not the author’s favorite birding spots in Maine! Plus they have sported and MYBC sign at the entrance for years! Sadly it was fairly quite at Timber Point despite the recent surge in Fall migrating warblers. We did get lucky and at the end of the trail picked up a Cape May Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and a Northern Parula. We also spent some time eating rosehips and learning about some of the insect life that was very present there.

All in all, it was a successful trip, shore birding in Southern Maine is always fun, and we look forward to doing it again next year!