Saturday, October 4, 2008

Monhegan Island

Monhegan Island, Maine

Monhegan Island, Maine
September 25-29, 2008

Val and I recently returned from one of my favorite birding spots in New England, Monhegan Island. This tiny Island is located about ten miles off the coast of Maine just beyond the fringes of Muscongus Bay. Not only is this place one of the finest migrate traps in New England, but is charming beyond belief. Our hour and fifteen minute trip from Port Clyde (weather wise) was uneventful. The unusual birds were encountered on the way out…Black Guillemonts, Double-crested Cormorants, Northern Gannets, Imm. Bald Eagle, and three to four Harbor Porpoises were a nice surprise.

Northern Gannet
Passing lighthouse from Port Clyde to Monhegan

Once on the Island, we loaded ours bags and headed to the Trailing Yew Inn. The next morning was overcast and ultimately would be the best weather day until our departure on Monday. From Friday afternoon until very first thing Monday morning-The weather was your basic “terrible”. Light to heavy rain and dense Fog were the norm for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Despite this wonderful weather, we had a great time, but the birds were scarce and the ones we did encounter-did not come easy.

Some of the early highlights…Lark Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow at Tom Martin’s feeding station, Yellow Breasted Chat at Burnt Head, (2) Cape May and (1) Tennessee Warbler. However, things picked up considerably on Sunday morning, September 28th at 10:00AM. While birding near the Monhegan Library, Valerie and I found a Hermit Warbler. This far western Warbler is currently thought to be a first state record for Maine. Not long after we flagged down Kristen Lindquist and got her on the bird. This bird was less than cooperative, only allowing solid, but quick views. We also informed two other large birding groups, but despite there efforts, were unable to relocate the bird.
Not until after we returned home, did we hear that Becky Marvil also found the bird and snapped two good shots of the warbler. (Nice job Becky)

The next day, Monday…the winds shifted Sunday night and brought in a whole lot of migrates. Bald Eagles (2) Merlins, Peregrines, Blue-headed, Philadelphia and loads of Red-eyed Vireo’s, numerous Blackpoll Warblers, and several Dickcissel’s.

Even with terrible weather….the Monhegan mystique shins through.

Clay-colored Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Lark Sparrow Trailing Yew Meadow/Marsh-Another Foggy morningRing-necked Pheasant Merlin Double-crested Cormorant Blackpoll Warbler Blue headed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo


Swim Beach-Monhegan Island, Maine

Monhegan Island & Harbor

Good birding,