#3 Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Maine
Ok I know what you're saying: "Isn't this a DC blog? Can you please stop talking about Maine?" Yeah well look, I've only been living in DC a little while and when I get more things to say about birding here, I'll let you know. Until then, just bear with me, word? Alright. Well read this post and you'll get the inside track on probably the best birding site in Southern Maine, Evergreen Cemetery in Portland. It's not far from the city, isn't particularly natural or outdoorsy, but has given me better looks at warblers that anywhere else, including Point Pelee.
The first time I remember going to Evergreen, I was probably 14 and running in a race on Halloween. The race was only 2 miles long, but my breathing was seriously obstructed by the tiny mouth-hole on my 'hilarious' plastic wonder woman mask I insisted on wearing. It was not a good time, except I met Red Sox player Phil Plantier right afterwards [note: I wanted to say "Red Sox star Phil Plantier or Red Sox great Phil Plantier...but let's be honest. Even 'player' is a stretch...]. Well, all of this is a long way of saying that my second visit to the graveyard was much better. After finally winding my way to the very back of the cemetery and parking near the ponds, I was immediately rewarded with great looks at warblers feeding on the ground just a few feet from me.
In the first 5 minutes I saw Magnolias, Redstarts, Blackpolls and Black and Whites. In subsequent visits I saw Wilson's Warblers (several times), Canada Warblers (several times), Northern Waterthrush, my only Maine Northern Mockingbird, Red-Eyed Vireo, Great Crested Flycatcher and Black Crowned Night Heron. Also, nearly every time a rare passerine turns up in southern Maine, it is at Evergreen. A quick scan of last springs RBAs reveals Golden-Winged, Cape May, Blue-Winged, Prairie, Hooded and Mourning Warblers, Summer Tanagers, Evening Grosbeaks, and Louisiana Waterthrush. All this in about 5 acres. Even though it wasn't the top birding spot of the year for me, I would probably go back there before any other spot. If you're in the area in spring, you can't miss. [Note: I was there last weekend...and literally saw 1 bird the whole time. Strictly a spring/summer spot.]