Please enjoy our July 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.

Unfortunately we can't share videos in our monthly email, so be sure to check out the Facebook page to see videos!

Click here for more information about Harpswell Nature Watchers.
Sundews on the bog at Long Reach! Cool to see, I don't remember seeing them there before.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 29, 2022)
I'm often surprised at how large baby birds are and still being fed by the adults. The young tern did get food when another adult swept in with a morsel.

Then I saw what looked like a tern trying to fly at Long Reach when an adult came by, but the immature landed and tried again after a rest on the water. I'm not sure if it was a tern, since one doesn't see them land on the water very often.

To see videos, visit our Facebook page.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 28, 2022)
"I would rather feed bad in Maine than feel good anywhere else."
-E.B. White

(Submitted by Stacy Seymour. July 26, 2022)
I have noticed several small branches under our oak tree of late. Yesterday, I took a close look at the ends and decided that they must have been cut off, not broken by wind or some other force. What could have done it?

(Submitted by Bruce Brandt. July 26, 2022)
Spider's web on the Cribstone Bridge.

(Submitted by Barry Coflan. July 24, 2022)
I think perhaps an osprey was learning to fly at Long Reach yesterday. There were two or three, but one would fly up from a tree and go around the island, then land and go up again with great effort.

To see a video, visit our Facebook page.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 23, 2022)
Great blue heron patiently hunting chipmunks.

(Submitted by Barry Coflan. July 23, 2022)
Stunning evening watching the Alert come in.

(Submitted by Liz Incze. July 22, 2022)
There were black-crowned night herons (above) along Orr's Cove during one of those very low tide mornings! I counted four before one of them flew off. There was a great blue heron across the way, too.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 21, 2022)
A catbird with a fly to bring back to the nest, and a bumble bee on white gooseneck loosestrife (an invasive).

(Submitted by Barry Coflan. July 20, 2022)
An eastern bluebird bringing in breakfast.

(Submitted by Liz Incze. July 19, 2022)
This downy woodpecker held very still on the suet cage, potentially waiting out a nearby predator.

To see a video, visit our Facebook page.

Thanks to Germaine Connolly and Sharon Griffith for the ID!

(Submitted by Stacy Seymour. July 18, 2022)
Finch fledgling.

(Submitted by Barry Coflan. July 17, 2022)
Seashore springtails in tide pools on the ledges at Devil's Back. Such active little things!

"Springtails belong to the insect order Collembola, a primitive group of small, wingless, soft-bodied insects with a forked, muscular structure at the tip of the abdomen that enables them to hop about in a springing action." Click here for more information.

To see a video, visit our Facebook page.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 17, 2022)
This thistle just popped up!

Thanks Val Good Rivera and Lynn Knight for help with ID. This is an invasive bull thistle.

(Submitted by Stacy Seymour. July 16, 2022)
Monarchs spotted at Mitchell Field.

(Submitted by Jane Littlefield. July 16, 2022)
Lots of fishing going on today!

To see videos, visit our Facebook page.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 16, 2022)
Two plants along the shoreline just started blooming- Hastate-leaved orache (Atriplex prostrata) and sea coast angelica (Angelica lucida). The first two photos are the Hastate-leaved orache. It has a messy looking prostrate growth habit and very distinctive arrow-shaped leaves. Several species of Atriplex are edible if cooked as you might prepare spinach. The leaves do however, contain oxalate salts, so should not be eaten in large quantities. These plants are found in brackish or salt marshes and along coastal beaches.

Sea coast angelica (the 3rd and 4th photos) is a stunning plant. The flowers, which resemble those of Queen Anne’s lace, are large; and the stature of the plant is sturdy and almost shrublike. According to Native Plant Trust information, some Native Americans ate the young stems and leaf stalks as wild celery.

(Submitted by Lynn Knight. July 14, 2022)
I know we can't ascribe human emotions to non-humans, but the heron in the first picture (above) sure did look happy! Lots of other herons out along Quahog Bay a couple days ago.

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 12, 2022)
These baby bluebirds are getting close to venturing out. Mom was super diligent today, watching me take photos. I honored her and backed away as soon as I saw her concern.

(Submitted by Liz Incze. July 11, 2022)
The dexterity of a squirrel is pretty amazing to see. I'm surprised they don't get into even more than they do!

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 11, 2022)
American goldfinch and a purple finch.

(Submitted by Liz Incze. July 8, 2022)
One unlucky sturgeon in Harpswell Harbor.

This sturgeon was found dead after presumably jumping and landing in the boat. It was not caught. For more about Atlantic sturgeon, click here.

(Submitted by Joseph Neylon. July 8, 2022)
Check out this mink carrying an eel along the rocks by Fire House Road!

Thanks, Colleen McKenna for the corrected ID!

(Submitted by Anna Davis. July 7, 2022)
The rose pogonias are blooming in the Long Reach bog. They are doing well this year! I realized that you should have binoculars or a zoom camera to see the lovely details on these. Robert Frost famously called them "a thousand orchises."

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 7, 2022)
A seal off of Stover's Point.

(Submitted by Jess Marie. July 7, 2022)
An unusual summer sighting, a common loon on the ocean yesterday!

(Submitted by Gina Snyder. July 5, 2022)
Common St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is blooming in fields and by road edges right now. It is a cheery looking plant because of its profusion of bright yellow flowers and bushy stamens. This plant however, can be a nuisance in fields and pastures. It was introduced to North America from Europe where it was used for medicinal purposes since ancient times.

You should take care when handling it because it contains photo-toxins in glandular dots on the leaves that can cause dermatitis especially when exposed to light.

(Submitted by Lynn Knight. July 4, 2022)
A family of common eiders.

(Submitted by Barry Coflan. July 4, 2022)
Beautiful morning on the Sound. Watched a whale for a while outside of Mackerel Cove.

To see a video of the whale, visit our Facebook page.

(Submitted by Ted Merriman. July 3, 2022)
A house wren that may be trying to drive the bluebirds out of the birdhouse. We do have a pair of house wrens in another of the bluebird houses (maybe two). I have watched the house wrens bring similar twigs to the birdhouse that I am fairly certain is occupied by house wrens.

(Submitted by Howard Marshall. July 3, 2022)
Saw these seals today in Gun Point Cove.

(Submitted by Cindy Kirst. July 1, 2022)