Barbara Guay and I co-led this trip to Maine in mid-June, 2015. Of course, the highlight of all of the trips to this location is getting onto the seabird breeding colony on Machias Seal Island, but we had lots of other great stuff. Our trip report, bird and mammal and plant lists are available as pdf download
After leaving Joppa Flats early in the morning on the 13th, we drove up to Newmarket, NH, to look for the Mississippi Kites that have been nesting there for the past few years. We were not disappointed.
This male was watching out in the vicinity of the
We drove and drove and drove until we reached Downeast Maine - boreal forests, the Bold Coast, seabirds, and lupine in bloom. It's a magical place.
Alder Flycatchers everywhere
Spatulate Sundew in the wonderful Arctic Bog at Quoddy Head State Park
a rare White Lady Slipper
stone turtle (someone with time on their hands was here)
West Quoddy Head Light (Grand Mannan in the background)
Of course, the highlight of this trip is always the visit to Machias Seal Island (New Brunswick or Maine, depending on which country you believe)
heading out from Cutler Harbor,
past the Bald Eagle keeping watch
and to Machias Seal Island (lighthouse staffed year-round by Canada)
The Arctic Tern colony on the island seems to be making a come-back,
with nesting birds
and some sub-adults around.
Atlantic Puffins, especially from the blinds on the island
where they are up-close and personal. Of course, there are also
also Common Murres and Razorbills nesting on the island,
"Bridled" Common Murre in flight
I can remember when we had to search hard to find a Common Murre. They seem to be making a statement.
And the Razorbills are simply fabulous, standing around,
in flight, or
squabbling at sea.
There have been a couple of Northern Gannets hanging around the island this year. I wonder what would happen if they started breeding on this island.
Oh, and the only reliable passerine on the island is
ta-da! - Savannah Sparrow (breeder).
Eventually, we had to leave the island and head back to the mainland,
but we stopped by North Rock to check out
the seals. Here's mom and this year's pup giving us a cautious look.
We had a few field botanists on this trip (not me by any stretch) and ended up with a nice plant list (for a bird trip). Here are a few more pix:
Ah, and the inevitable group photos
most of the group outside the Eastland Motel in Lubec (photo by Subash Pereira)
They call it the Bold Coast! (photo by Subash Pereira)
Subash and VG at Quoddy Head.