Report on Scarborough Marsh trip, April 7, 2018
by Gordon Smith
Seven birders, led by Maurice and Cathie Dauphin, headed on down to Scarborough Marsh on the annual â€œWelcome-to-Springâ€ outing to observe early returning migrants.
Our first stop was Scarborough Marsh at Dunstan Landing where we tallied 23 species (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44333167), including a Great Egret and Glossy Ibis.
Following, we journeyed to the Pelreco Building (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44333623) where often there are good views of marsh birds. By this time, a cold wind had sprung up from the northwest, but didnâ€™t deter us from our observations. We were rewarded with a great view of an adult Peregrine Falcon perched on a low stump in the marsh. An adult male Northern Harrier (â€œGray Ghostâ€) was another nice sighting as it floated low over the marsh. Another Northern Harrier (a female) was also observed nearby.
Our Scarborough Marsh portion of the trip ended with a stop at Pine Point. At warmer times of the year, this is a great location for shorebirds. But today (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44334113) there were only the usual eiders, Long-tailed ducks and Common Loons.
All told, the total tally for our Scarborough Marsh stops was 35 species. Our next stop was Biddeford Pool.
At Vines Landing in Biddeford Pool, 15 species (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44334576) were observed, including 5 Brant and various sea ducks.
The next stop is a favorite of many, Maine Audubonâ€™s East Point Sanctuary. Sixteen species (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44334760) were noted, but we missed a Snowy Owl and Rough-legged Hawk, East Point being one the best locations to observe these birds.
At Great Pond, our next stop (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44334912), we observed two Great Egrets, one of which landed on the lawn close by, affording real nice views.
Our last stop at Biddeford Pool was the public parking area (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44335131), where two Sanderlings were huddled on the beach against the cold wind. We tallied a total of 27 species for the Biddeford Pool birding sites.
On the way home, three of us decided to stop at Mercy Hospital Pond along the Fore River in Portland (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44335442), often a reliable spot to find Black-crowned Night-Herons. We werenâ€™t disappointed, as we spotted two well-hidden adults in the thick alders along the pond edge.