This weekend I was able to sneak out to Camp Ellis and Ferry Beach in Saco and also to Biddeford Pool. At Camp Ellis, the Barn Swallows that were in the nest last week have fledged. There were still a few Common Terns around, but the number and diversity is pretty low.
I decided to try my luck at Ferry Beach in Saco and I am glad that I did. Immediately upon my arrival I watched as a Herring Gull swooped down and stole the boccino from a group of people playing bocce.
They chased the bird and it flew away trying to crack the shell on what it either thought was a clam or an egg. Then, much to the chagrin of the bocce players, it flew over the dunes and inland.
I told them that the Gull was most likely going to drop the boccino onto the hard pavement. Then we could see it hover and do just that. I ran and watched as the bird dropped the ball a second time onto a private homes driveway. It then rolled the ball and flew off. I retrieved it and returned it to the bocce players to their cheers.
The tide was low and there were some gulls swimming in the surf, but only one shorebird. I approached it slowly and got a few photos before some kids playing in the surf got to close and the bird flew away. This was my first life bird in several months, a juvenile Red Knot.
The Red Knot is a bird that is in some trouble in the states. Last year it was nominated to become a state endangered species in Maine. It is protected in New Jersey.
I watched a young Bonaparte’s gull successful forage for dinner (ewwwww) before heading for home.
This afternoon there were a huge number and variety of shorebirds at Biddeford Pool. I had a lot of luck approaching the birds from the ocean and climbing the rocks to get close to them. There were hundreds of Semipalmated Plovers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers and Sanderlings on the beach and on the rocks. here were several Common Terns and a loud group of young Bonaparte’s gulls. Common Eiders swam by and devoured small crabs and there were also about 10 – 12 Ruddy Turnstones. But the highlight of the day for me was my second life bird of the weekend, a Whimbrel.
Enjoy the images from this weekend!