Great Blue Heron and Northern Shoveler

Great Blue Heron

On a trip to Vermont for a Bed and Breakfast weekend, Ingrid and I made a few stops along the Maine Coast to see what birds might be lurking about. In New England, March is the cruelest of months, with a few signs of spring (melting snow banks, maple sap being tapped for syrup, and an occassional Red-winged Blackbird) but the weather can still be nasty. The weather prognosticators predict -13 below windchill factor on Saturday and a foot of snow on Tuesday. So we headed out the door not expecting to see much.

Our destination was Wells Beach where we immediately came upon the Northern Shoveler couple that had been reported for the last week. Rare for Maine, seen only during migration, this most distinctive of dabbling ducks seems to have found a nice layover spot before they continue their trip northwest.

While the Northern Shoveler was exciting, another sign of spring was seen in the marsh . . . our first Great Blue Heron of 2017. Ingrid insists that this was “Herbert”, the nickname for the GBH that lurks in the shallows near our house. eBird claims that a small population of Great Blues winter in southern Maine . . . but we’ve never seen one.

Also saw our first Lesser Scaup of the year, the usual Loons, Eiders and another Wood Duck

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