I have been having some incredible birding luck since I've been back in Maine. I arrived with 242 ABA species and hoped to get around 245 before heading out west. The birding, though, has been better than I imagined, and today I saw my first Harlequin Duck at Biddeford Pool. Here's the list since coming home:
243. Red-Necked Grebe Falmouth Foreside, ME
244. Blue-Headed Vireo Falmouth Foreside, ME
245. Spruce Grouse Shirley, ME
246. Gray Jay Shirley, ME
247. Northern Shrike Shirley, ME
248. Snow Bunting Shirley, ME
249. Iceland Gull Pine Point, Scarborough, ME
250. Harlequin Duck Biddeford Pool, ME
It really was a lovely day at Biddeford Pool's East Point Sanctuary. Low Spring tides meant I could walk out along the jagged rocks and get great views of seabirds fishing in the shallows. The Harlequin (which I think is a nonbreeding male...but it's about time to switch plumages) was basking on some seaweed, and let me get quite close. Pretty bird, though I still want to see one in full winter plumage.
Other birds were my first of the year long-tailed ducks, lots of offshore gannets, some bufflehead and grebes and even a few yellow-rumped warblers. Great day. Here are some pictures.
Female Red-Breasted Merganser:
Ah, Maine. Wood Island Lighthouse with a flock of Double-Crested Cormorants: