Please enjoy our January edition of Nature Watchers!

What are you seeing out there? We'd love to hear from you! The following posts are from some of our local Harpswell Nature Watchers. All of the contributions below are seen immediately in our Facebook group. Click here to join.

Click here for more information about Harpswell Nature Watchers.
The blizzard did not deter the Woodpeckers from their food! Those feathers must be warm as it was really blowing them when they got on the north side of the feeder!

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. January 30, 2022)
This majestic creature flew over the George Mitchell Field as I was out doing some seascape photography.

(Submitted by Bob Sansonetti. January 25, 2022)
Today we saw a horned grebe off Devil's Back trail - Looked like it took a little jump before it dove! There was one female red breasted merganser, three loons, one seal and then some ducks off the south end of the trail, east side. The west side, Long Cove, has got mostly ice, no birds there today.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. January 23, 2022)
Quite the cold morning. One of the geese did move, so I don't think they are frozen in.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. January 22, 2022)
Red-breasted mergansers are back! They seem to be quite adept at fishing.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. January 19, 2022)
Today at Giant's Stairs.

(Submitted by Barry Coflan. January 17, 2022)
We saw a cute little white face in all that white space! Seen walking the Cliff Trail yesterday. The Northern Woodlands website said weasels and snowshoe hares are the only northeastern animals who turn white in winter. Weasels are said to live in a variety of habitats, to be adept hunters, and have a reputation for being curious and bold. Certainly, this one was both!

To read the article from Northern Woodlands, click here.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. January 16, 2022)
Steller's Sea Eagle spotted in Harpswell on January 3.

I just found this on the Maine Audubon page:

"Interesting Development: Caught in the backlog of emails and messages to Maine Audubon in the wake of the Steller’s Sea Eagle appearance, Maine Audubon staff recently found an email from January 3rd, 2022 with images of the bird along Basin Point Rd. in Harpswell. This site, in Cumberland County on the eastern edge of Casco Bay, is significantly further west than the Georgetown / Boothbay Harbor area, and significantly adds to our understanding on where the bird may be wandering on days that it is not seen elsewhere."

(Submitted by Howard Marshall. January 16, 2022)

To read the article from Maine Audubon, click here.
An odd thing at Long Reach the other day. There was a tremendous amount of slushy-platy salt ice, but at one point along the shore there was an oddly straight swath across the mud flat that looked almost like it had been plowed out from shore. Natural features are rarely so very straight! There were black ducks dabbling at the edge of the channel where the 'cleared' swath met the water.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. January 15, 2022)
A group of long-tailed ducks were fishing near the bridge from Great to Orr's Islands. long-tailed ducks breed in the Arctic and migrate south to winter in large lakes and open ocean. They are very social and may gather in large groups in the winter. They are strong, deep divers capable of diving 200 feet to feed on aquatic invertebrates.

A northern mockingbird was spotted at Mackerel Cove. The northern mockingbird is a permanent resident in Maine, but may move south to escape harsh weather. In winter they are often found defending brushy patches with fruiting shrubs.

(Submitted by John Berry. January 9, 2022)
I believe I saw a razorbill yesterday on Middle Bay off Mitchell Field pier based on the video I took (you really cannot tell from the photo!) Looks like a non-breeding male, according to All About Birds, and it kept disappearing in the troughs of the waves. It has a unique shape, including the bill. Also a female goldeneye was closer to shore. I've seen goldeneyes on Long Reach in the winter but not very often.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. January 7, 2022)
A pair of cardinals foraging for berries in the brambles during today's snow. The female is in the foreground with the male partially obscured by snow covered branches.

(Submitted by Howard Marshall. January 7, 2022)
Haven't seen many birds the past few days on the cove, but today a group of hooded mergansers spent a little time preening - it's nice to see them out there!

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. January 4, 2022)