Three Rare Birds in 5 Minutes

American Pipit

Yesterday, Maine was recovering from a nasty ice storm where traveling became impossible and homes lost power and internet services.  About noon Ingrid and I headed out to do a little birding, but fearing the ice would limit our mobility.

We go out of the car at Pond Cove in Cape Elizabeth, a small beach in an upscale part of the community, and immediately saw a sparrow type bird scurrying around on the snow crust. I started flipping through the species flash card in my head: Is it a song sparrow  . . no. How about some type of warbler . . . moving wrong.  A Dickcissel . . . not even close.

Then I realized we were looking at an American Pipit. This is a bird that is occasionally seen in Maine as it migrates to and from the arctic and the American South (and down to Mexico).  But seeing one in February was really surprising. It was walking on the snow eating snow fleas and sand fleas in the sea weed. 

Two minutes later we came upon a Swamp Sparrow . . .  also hundreds of miles out of its normal winter range.

Swamp Sparrow

And then the same Eastern Phoebe I saw two weeks earlier.

Eastern Phoebe

Three e-Bird flagged species in 5 minutes.  I love ice storms!!!

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