Please enjoy our March 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.
Walking through the woods here one often sees evidence of pileated woodpeckers, but it's a rare time that you get to spot one. Today at Devil's Back someone must have disturbed one and that "Woody Woodpecker" sound came through the
treesthe only way I knew where to look!

Not great photos (look for the red patch on the back of the head) but these guys are often very shy. Seeing it flying through the trees was such a treat!

Then on the east side of Devil's Back, I saw a red-necked grebe! And a sharp-shinned hawk on a lawn near Lowell's Cove. Thanks to Colleen McKenna for the hawk identification!

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 30, 2022)
Spring sightings include seeing great blue herons again. This is the first one I've seen this spring, at the south end of Long Reach.

To see a video, visit our Facebook group.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 30, 2022)
Elizabeth Gundlach also saw her first great blue heron of the season this month.

(Submitted March 29, 2022)
I'm sure you are noticing the first signs of Spring! If you have crocuses and snow drops, they are probably blooming. The pussy willows (Salix discolor) are sporting their silvery furry catkins. Some started emerging last week. As the stamens mature over the next couple of weeks, catkins on some twigs will produce golden stamens (male flowers) and others will produce greenish pistils (female flowers).

Like other willows, pussy willows contain salicin, a natural version of aspirin. Native Americans chewed the leaves and bark for pain relief. The wood frogs are starting to sing as well. Listen for them and for spring peepers, too!

(Submitted by Lynn Knight. March 28, 2022)
The seals were arguing about who gets to sit next to whom on the ledges at Devil's Back today!

To see a video, visit our Facebook group.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 27, 2022)
The vultures are back! This turkey vulture drifted over my yard, then let the wind carry it up and away, whew!

To see a video, visit our Facebook group.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 26, 2022)
A female red-bellied woodpecker stopped by this morning.

(Submitted by Elizabeth Gundlach. March 25, 2022)
A bald eagle soared over Ash Cove this afternoon.

(Submitted by Howard Marshall. March 22, 2022)
There is a section of the rocky shoreline at my house with a very interesting structure. It features somewhat geometric shapes ringed in glittery pyrite. The rocks in this section are uplifted schist with igneous granite intrusions. These patterns form because the rock has split at regular angles as a result of some compressional stress. There is a lot of pyrite in this particular schist from the sediments deposited on the sea floor long ago in geologic time. Pyrite is a sulfide mineral that is produced by organisms decomposing organic marine sediments in anoxic conditions (without oxygen). The rock cracks and splits along different planes as it weathers and water seeps in along these fractures. The pyrite rings are revealed as the outermost layers of the schist flake off.

(Submitted by Lynn Knight. March 21, 2022)
First picture of each species this year. Clockwise from left: pileated woodpecker, song sparrow, northern flicker, and black-capped chickadee.

(Submitted by Howard Marshall. March 19-20, 2022)
A pretty bird with a high call, the tufted titmouse doesn't get a lot of press usually!

To see a video, visit our Facebook group.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 19, 2022)
View from Orr's Island.

(Submitted by Reed Stockman. March 18, 2022)
I've been hearing a red-bellied woodpecker in the mornings and managed to get a video of the display! I couldn't tell if this was just a morning ritual for this time of year or if there was a female nearby.

To see a video, visit our Facebook group.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 17, 2022)
Seal rock at Devil's Back Trail is busy (or lazy)...

(Submitted by Barry Coflan. March 17, 2022)
This morning a mink swam straight across Orr's Cove, leaving quite a broad, silvery wake, curving at the end to go under a wharf where it disappeared.

To see a video, visit our Facebook group.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 15, 2022)
I am new to this group and look forward to participating. I live in Card Cove and am just learning a bit about bird photography. Yesterday "my" kingfisher returned to our willow. It was the day after ice out, and she successfully caught some lunch. Details best seen when you enlarge the photo on your screen.

(Submitted by Elizabeth Gundlach. March 16, 2022)
Birds of the day.

(Submitted by Reed Stockman. March 13, 2022)
There were surf scoters on Orr's Cove yesterday, an unusual sight so far up the Bay.

To see videos, visit our Facebook group.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 9, 2022)
Brown creeper really blending in on a tree at Otter Brook!

To see a video, check out our Facebook group.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 8, 2022)
Could be the last of the ice going out (and coming back in on the tide, but disappearing) and this loon was really interested in it!

To see a video, visit our Facebook group.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. March 8, 2022)
Caught a glimpse of this guy hanging out.

Shout-out to Germaine Connolly for the red-shouldered hawk identification!

(Submitted by Dawn Webster. March 7, 2022)
A mourning dove and a northern cardinal on the feeder.

(Submitted by Donna Matthews. March 4, 2022)
Fresh snow is always fun for investigating animal tracks. I found a new fox hole I didn't know about by following those distinctive footprints to a high spot in the woods nestled in some very dense spruce underbrush.

(Submitted by Lynn Knight. March 1, 2022)