No, not a bird

Luna Moth

Today it rained all morning. Yes, I went on a bird watching field trip in the rain today. The birds are still there when it rains, just harder to find.

This is, I think, a Luna Moth. He was looking very wet and clinging to a piece of tall grass around lunch time.


Great place for lunch

I ate lunch at the Stress Free Moose Pub & Cafe in Greenville. It was indeed stress free. I especially enjoyed the piece of apple spice carrot cake that I ate for dessert. It had come out of the oven that morning and was still a tad warm. It was *very* good.

Where Is Miss Muffet?

Dangling Spider

This creepy crawly was riding a long string of spider silk across the fire road. I managed to get one shot that had trees in the background, and thus suitable contrast in order to see the spider.


The Great Flying Moose

This is the only moose that I have seen this trip. Oh well.

Moosehead Lake from Rockwood

Moosehead Lake

Today I drove out to Moosehead Lake to do a little exploring. This picture was taken from a tiny little town named Rockwood, on the western side of Moosehead Lake. That hunk of rock on the left edge of this picture is Mount Kineo. It had been raining, so things are all dreary and gray looking.

To get your bearings via a map, the town of Greenville is at the southern end of Moosehead Lake.

What did I do in Rockwood? Well, I took this picture and then turned around to drive back towards Greenville. There was a fire road near Greenville that I wanted to bird.

Behind By One Day

Tonight I posted a bunch of pictures that I took on Thursday during the boat trip. I set the date of those Thursday pictures so that they show up under Thursday instead of Friday. I found more pictures worth posting than I expected, so it took a lot longer to post them. Now I am behind by a day.

Today I went out west towards Greenville. I took a lot fewer pictures today (it was rainy), but I will not be able to post them until tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am on another field trip (dry land). The destination is much closer to Bangor than the previous field trips, so the start time is later. I do not have to get up until 4:30am tomorrow morning :-)

It is nearly 11pm now, so I will be tired tomorrow morning. But, after the boat trip yesterday I grabbed a fast-food dinner (last night was the one night where the convention did not feed you), came back to my room and was asleep by 7:30pm. I slept until 5am this morning, so that caught me up a bit.

Downtown Bah Hahbah

Bar Harbor

Back on land. Here is a shot of "downtown" Bah Hahbah.

Hats Are Required

Hats are required

These are researchers on Petit Manan Island. The birds are Terns of various varieties. If I remember correctly, they are trying to establish a nesting colony for Roseate Terns in particular. Looks messy.

Common Murre

Common Murre

This Common Murre was floating near Petit Manan Island. Pretty cool looking bird.

Ya Gotta Love Puffins

Atlantic Puffin

A fairly crisp shot of a couple of Atlantic Puffins. Check out Project Puffin. They will even let you adopt a puffin!

Petit Manan Island

Petit Manan Island Lighthouse

This is the lighthouse on Petit Manan Island.

Northern Fulmar

Northern Fulmar

Northern Fulmar

A couple pictures of a Northern Fulmar. We got nice looks at him. He just calmly floated along while the boat slowed down and drifted next to him long enough for everyone to see. They have a funky bill.


Lounging Seals

I think these are harbor seals. They are lounging on Mount Desert Rock, and quite curious about the boat I am on.

Mount Desert Rock

Mount Desert Rock

Mount Desert Rock Lighthouse

If there ever was an "island" that deserved its name, this is it! Mount Desert Rock is literally a bump of rock that barely juts above sea level. But it is enough to put a lighthouse and a boat house on. And the birds and seals like it.

Greater Shearwater

Greater Shearwater

You have to go out in a boat to see Greater Shearwater (unless you want to rely on a hurricane or something to blow them joke). There were lots of them to look at on this boat trip. Here is a sample.

Northern Gannet

Northern Gannet

I managed to get a decent photo of a Northern Gannet while on the boat. This species takes about four years to get their adult plumage. The bird in the photo is somewhere between year one and two.

Great Duck Island

Lighthouse on Great Duck Island

Lighthouse on Great Duck Island

This is the lighthouse on Great Duck Island. If you look closely on the left side of the lighthouse, you will see a group of College of the Atlantic students doing something that I must assume is productive.

Thinking of Buying This

Nice Place

This house is in Bar Harbor. I took this from the boat as we were pulling away from town. I think I will buy it.

Back From Boat Trip

I am back, and I am very tired. The boat trip was very nice. I saw eleven birds for the first time ever ("lifers") on today's trip. The weather and waves were very cooperative. And most importantly, I did not create my own chum :-)

The trip essentially went to three places in and around the Gulf of Maine. First we went to Great Duck Island. Next we went to Mount Desert Rock. This one was 25 nautical miles south of Bar Harbor, or, put another way, way out in the ocean. The last location we visited was Petit Manan Island.

I took pictures along the entire trip, but I have my doubts on their quality. I have enough problems getting pictures to not be blurry with that 100-400mm lense when I am standing on solid ground. The fact that I was taking pictures with that lense while on a moving boat will probably significantly reduce the number of quality pictures. But, the jury is still out. If I can stay awake, I will post some pictures tonight.



Tomorrow is another field trip day. I have to be up at 3am again. I am taking a field trip on a boat tomorrow in order to see Atlantic Puffins. I bought supplies tonight in preparation for that trip.

Wool Hat. To keep my ears warm while the boat cruises along fast enough to create its own wind. I chose the University of Maine hat instead of the NASCAR hat, or the one with flames on it.

Gloves. Got to keep the fingers warm.

Dramamine. I am trying to avoid getting seasick.

Ginger Snaps. These are the "organic" kind, which means they actually are made with ginger. The stuff you get on the cookie aisle usually have zero ginger in them. Ginger is supposed to help with an upset stomach.

Kleenex. Well. If I do end up creating my own chum (see bullets three and four if you follow this link), then I will want kleenex.

I am up way too late. I need to go to bed so that I can get up in the morning.

Nice View


I took this on the way off Mount Desert Island. Somehow I missed this on the way in this morning. This view is from the town of Somesville.

Bass Harbor Head Light House

Bass Harbor Head Light

Read all about the Bass Harbor Head Light House. This one is all automated, and you can't go inside. Maybe it was because I was getting tired and my stomach was full, but this lighthouse was somewhat anti-climatic.

What The Hell?

Herring Gull

This is a Herring Gull. They were floating in the water like ducks, and then every now and then they would jump up out of the water and then immediately dive under. Kind of like a little bath. I caught this one in the act.

Herring Gull

Herring Gull

This is what a Herring Gull looks like when it acts like a duck.

Wonderland Again

View from Wonderland Trail

Another picture from the Wonderland trail.

One reason to call it Wonderland

View from Wonderland Trail

This is at the end of the Wonderland trail. The Song Sparrow was chipping at me in the background. The view was great. Maybe the sparrow wanted it all to himself.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

I think I was disturbing this Song Sparrow. He kept hopping around this tree and making this chipping noise. As long as I was near, he was acting that way. A small price to pay for me getting a pretty good picture of him.


Black-throated Green Warbler

I took this picture on the Wonderland trail. This is a Black-throated Green Warbler. He was really close, but he never came all the way out to give me the "full monty".

Southwest Harbor

Southwest Harbor

The town of Southwest Harbor is located on the left shore of this inlet.

The little round blob in the upper left corner of this picture is something on or in my camera (look in the blue sky, about a third of the way down and a third of the way in from the left edge).

There are two white spots in this picture that are caused by sunlight reflecting in the camera, not by anything in or on the camera.

Echo Lake

Lake Meets Sky

A picture of Echo Lake taken from Ike's Point. I stopped here because there was a brown sign announcing Ike's Point on the road I was driving down. It turns out that Ike's Point is simply a parking lot and a boat launch :-)

Mount Desert Island

Today was workshop day, which meant no field trips and a regular person start time. I blew off the work shops (they aren't that great and the weather was too nice to stay indoors) and went on my own personal field trip to Mount Desert Island (with my personal "get out of bed" time being 5:30am). This is the island where Bar Harbor and most of Acadia National Park are located. I avoided that part of the island and instead went to the "quiet side", visiting Somesville, Southwest Harbor, Seawall, Wonderland and Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. I have a few pictures from each of these places. I will post them later this evening after dinner.

Today = Long Day

As I mentioned yesterday, I needed to be up at 3am this morning to get ready for today's field trip. From the pictures below, you can tell that I managed to get up and go on that field trip. Since it is nearly 9pm, I have been up for 18 hours. I am a tired puppy.

Today was hot! I am sure it was much warmer back home, but it was toasty up here in the Maine woods. I was worried this morning when everyone was queuing up for the field trips and I was the only person wearing shorts. Lots of folks were going on a boat, so I could see where they would not wear shorts, but my field trip was going inland and the forecast was calling for temperatures in the 80s by noon. So I wore shorts. I had to spray on more bug spray to cover my legs, but I know I was much cooler than everyone else. They all wore long pants with socks pulled up over the bottom of their pants. Even in bird watching circles I manage to do my own thing.

Tomorrow is a workshop day, which means there are no scheduled field trips. I am thinking about skipping the workshops and doing some more exploration on my own. I have not done any research, so I am not quite sure where to go. I do not want to go to the same place that one of my upcoming field trips will take me. I need to read and pick a place. Problem is, I have been up for 18 hours. Oh well. Who cares. It is vacation.

Just for comparison

Northern Parula

This is the original photo that produced the first Northern Parula picture below.

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

This bird is vivid. The second picture is pretty low quality, but shows off the flame orange color on the breast of Blackburnian Warbler.

Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler

This picture was almost too blurry to post. But since you can clearly tell that this is a Nashville Warbler, despite the low quality, I figured I would share it.

Northern Parula

Northern Parula

Here are a couple slightly fuzzy pictures taken today of a Northern Parula, a type of warbler. These were taken using the big 100-400 lens. They are fuzzy because I was not using a tripod, I had the lens extended out to 400mm and the bird seemed like it might be in Canada because it was so far away. The second picture shows an interesting color patch on the bird's back that you usually do not see. Northern Parula are usually in the tree tops so often all you see is their underside.

Northern Parula



My field trip today took me north into boreal habitat and the potential to see lots of warblers and a few boreal specialties. We were birding about halfway between Topsfield and Brookton, using loggings roads. The company that actually owns the forest agreed to cease logging for the entire week in order to accomodate the field trips on their property. They did not want to risk a big logging truck running into a group of birders who generally look up and not where they are walking.


I have posted enough for today. I have a bunch of other pictures from today that I decided were not blog-worthy. I must get ready for tomorrow. It is nearly 10pm at the moment, and I must be getting out of bed at 3am tomorrow morning for a field trip. That is correct: 3am!!! Egad.





More Rocky Coast

Rocky Shore

Ain't nuthin growing there.

Two Tone

Diabase Dike

See anything funny here? The rock is two-toned. The whitish rock is granite. The dark rock granite. It was lava that got between layers of granite, or something like that. There was a sign in the parking lot that explained it all, but I did not take a picture of that. The dark rock erodes much quicker than the granite.



This was at the very tip of Schoodic Peninsula. I was about twenty feet from the edge. I knew that if I got too close, then I would either get an unwanted shower, or even worse, end up in the ocean wondering how the heck to get back out again. The most precious moment (*sarcasm*) was when somebody let their kid go running towards the edge (he looked like he was five or six years old). The kid slipped and fell about FIVE feet from the edge before one of the parents yelled to them "Be careful honey. The water is very cold." Uh...yeah.


Rocky Coast

Not much to say about this. Typical Maine coastline.

Summer Home of a Winter Wren

Mossy ground

I heard a bird singing a very complicated song while I was walking back down The Anvil. The song was familiar to me, but I just could not place it. So I trudged up into the woods to find that bird. It was a Winter Wren. It might be in this picture, but that would be an accident. They are tiny little birds with a big song. I recognized it from one of my ultra-geeky birg song CDs. I have seen a Winter Wren before back home, but they are only there in winter and thus not singing.

Note that the forest floor was covered in moss and decaying wood, and my feet would mush in a couple inches each step I took. It was quite a weird feeling, almost like I could break through and sink up to my knees at any point.

The Anvil

On top of Schoodic Head

Towards the southern end of the Schoodic Peninsula is a little hill called The Anvil. It is about 450 feet high and provides wonderful views. Assuming that it is not foggy. Since it was foggy today, I could not take pictures of the views. So I instead took pictures of what the top looked like. That is my pile of junk towards the bottom of this image. A sign on the left points you down various trails. There are rocks. There are trees. And fog. Did I mention the fog?

Quaint Fixer Upper

Lighthouse in Frenchman Bay

I am trying to imagine what it would be like to live in that house. You cannot tell, but that is an island, not a part of the mainland. A very small island. I am not sure, but it might be the Ned Island that is in this map (south west of Frazer Point, towards the ocean). It looks like it is a lighthouse.