Scarborough Marsh

Salt Marsh Sparrow

A doctor’s appointment in Portland provided a great excuse for Ingrid and me to hit Scarborough Marsh, one of the finest birding spots in Maine.

A muggy, 88-degree day tempered our enthusiasm for long hikes in the sun, so we stopped at a few places where we could leave the air conditioned car nearby.

Stop 1 – the Pelreco Building.  Pelreco sells restaurant equipment and supplies and abuts the south side of the marsh.  Their parking is a great place to observe ducks, herons and shorebirds and the owners are kind enough to allow well behaved birders to park and observe.  We saw Egrets (Snowy and Great), Willets and aerial flocks of Least Sandpipers.

Stop 2 – the Clambake Restaurant. The Clambake is a huge seasonal fried clams and lobster place, nearby and across the street from Pelreco . . . and the best place in Maine to find a Saltmarsh Sparrow.  We parked near the rear of the restaurant, and immediately saw a beautiful Glossy Ibis, and a few minutes later the Saltmarsh Sparrow flew over and posed for us.

Stop 3 – Scarborough Marsh (cross marsh walk).  An incredible 1 mile trail across the marsh (it’s actually a gas pipeline) brings one close to tidal rivers and salt pans and lots and lots of birds.  A handful of Great Blue Herons, Yellow Legs, Terns and Little Blue Herons posed for photographs and observation.  I particularly enjoyed a dozen Barn Swallows sitting on rocks . . . rarely have I ever seen them not in flight.

Barn Swallow

A very satisfying day of birding!!

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