Happy Hanukkah to me! I decided to start my day with a little trip to the Saco River walk which is a small trail that hugs the Saco River near the water treatment plant and a CMP (Central Maine Power) right of way with some power lines. I know it sounds delightful, but for some reason, it is a very birdy spot.
I arrived at the parking area by the boat launch and saw at least four, possibly five mockingbirds. One of them was eating berries on a thorny bush and was very cooperative. The early morning light was very warm when I captured the images.
Over the past week there have been several sightings of a rare, Greater White Fronted Goose. I was hoping to get a good look at this bird, but what I found, I believe, was a Toulouse Goose. This is a domestic bird that was bred from Greylag Geese in Europe. I cannot be sure, so I am not going to claim it as a rare bird sighting.
As I scanned the geese on the Biddeford side of the river I spotted a Red-Throated Loon! I have been birding this area for six years and I have never seen one this far up the river. Better still the bird kept swimming and diving closer and closer to the Saco side of the river. I was able to get some really good looks at the loon and some good images too!
I continued to walk on the river walk and spotted a late Nashville Warbler. In the same patch were White-Throated Sparrows, Goldfinches, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Dark-Eyed Juncos, a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, large numbers of American Tree Sparrows and a Winter Wren.
I climbed up a hill after the Nashville Warbler flew up above the trail. When I got to the top a Merlin flew in after a flock of some 47 Cedar Waxwings. Also in the river were a large number of Canada Geese and three hen Common Mergansers. These are the first Common Mergansers I have seen of the season and I am still anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Goldeneyes.