Birder's Guide

DEC 2018

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

Issue link: http://bg.aba.org/i/1062446

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n No recent Maine Big Year is complete without a visit with "Troppy", the Red-billed Tropicbird that returned to Seal Island for its 11th consecutive summer (and counting). It took a "favor" for a friend to nab it this year: "Will work for Year Birds!" Photo © Derek Lovitch n Much of my June guiding season is spent seeking Bicknell's Thrushes, but most of those trips take advantage of roads and gondolas in New Hampshire. In Maine, it calls for a hike, and our July 4th was spent hiking up Sugarloaf and nearby mountains. Photo © Jeannette Lovitch n Two full days of searching the timberlands west of Baxter State Park, and one blown tire, added American Three-toed Woodpecker to the Book Big Year list. Photo © Derek Lovitch 21 December 2018 | Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy Maine, perhaps we'll make birders out of them someday. With a few red-letter rarities and good luck with many of the regular breeding birds in Maine, I finished my June insanity with 258 species after Jeannette and I paid a visit to the King Rail pair breeding once again along Eldridge Road at Moody Point (Site Y5). Glancing over the checklist, I realized that with some dedicated effort, this Big Year-esque project could turn into some- thing. Therefore, in July, Jeannette and I made sure to use our "weekends" together to fill in the holes on the year list. Every Fourth of July weekend, we visit with Bicknell's Thrushes, and this year was no different. Hiking up Sugarloaf Mountain (Site F12) on July 3 added the species to my Maine year list (my June tours all go to New Hampshire for this much-sought-after species). The following week, we went up to the Baxter State Park area. A wildly pro- ductive first full day in the area (July 10) yielded the Black-backed Woodpecker that had so far eluded me this year, as well as the extremely rare American Three-toed Woodpecker, along Harvester Road (Site PS6) and at the Nesowadnehunk Lake Wilderness Campground Road (Site PS7), respectively. White-winged Crossbills were everywhere. A Little Egret returned to the Falmouth– Portland waterfront for its third summer, and, although it was a little more elusive this year, I spotted it from Gilsland Farm (Site C8) on July 14. I needed a few pelagic ticks, the first of which were Manx Shearwaters that I spot- ted from East Point Sanctuary (Site Y12) in Biddeford Pool on my birthday, July 31. From August through early October, I took several boat trips—basically when- ever I had the chance and conditions were decent. The Cap'n Fish's Whale Watch (Site L3) out of Boothbay Harbor was very good to me this year, yielding all of the regularly occurring shearwaters, and a whopping 28 Pomarine Jaegers on October 10. One huge void from not doing my al- most-annual "Birding By Schooner" tour this summer was filled on August 6, when I spotted "Troppy", the Red-billed Tropicbird at Seal Island (Sites KX6 and H1) that had returned for its amazing 11th year. I had accepted an offer to fill in as boat naturalist on the Isle au Haut Ferry's special "Puffins and Lighthouses" evening tour. I said yes for the chance to not miss out on a visit to

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