November 9th, 2017
Brought to you in part by the support of MCHT and VLT
Thanks MCHT and VLT!
Highlights – Snow buntings, Ducks!, Purple Sandpipers, Mushrooms, Winterberry, Gulls including Bonaparte’s and Black-legged Kittiwake, warblers including Hooded
|handsome orange clothing model|
hunter pence would be proud
Business – PSA – get in touch with your inner orange and bring it out! Let it shine! Put on some orange and lower the chances of being shot by like a whole lot of %s. Seriously, do yourself a favor, hunters expect you to be wearing orange. Meet them half way.
|the royal fern...its fern drying season|
Contact us! – send in your sightings and share. firstname.lastname@example.org is the place to share! so send in your photos, your stories, your stretches of imagination and we will post them!
Tiit trick – click on photos to make them jumbo sized!
|dried hay scented fern|
Sightings - Greens island – (11/4) – male hooded warbler, ruby crowned kinglets, hermit thrushes, robins…snow buntings on alligator ledge. .. thanks to John Drury for the report.
Ferry Ride – (11/3) 8:45 to Vinalhaven –
16 Common Loons, 50 Common Eiders, 25 Black Guillemot, 5 Old tailed ducks, 2 Red necked Grebe, 5 Northern Gannet, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Bonaparte Gull, 2 Purple Sandpiper, Bald Eagle.
The story here…this was a great ride, the one we’ve all been waiting for, for so long. Purple Sandpiper, Northern Gannet and Bonaparte’s gull made a nice tri-fecta on this outing. But seeing the old-tails (formerly known as “young-squaw” in certain, small circles) got the juices flowing for winter! A friend of mine asked about what to look for in November and all I could say was DUCKS! And looking out for hunters as to not get shot. Anyway….welcome back to ducky and seabird ferry rides!
|oldtailed ducks - stock photo|
Ferry Ride – (11/4) 7am to Vinalhaven-
33 Oldtailed Ducks, 17 Common Loon, 42 Black Guillemots, 5 crows (heading to the mainland) 25 Bonaparte’s Gulls, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black backed Gull, 6 Bald Eagles, 15 Red-breasted Merganser, Black Scoter, Common Eider (lots), Double-crested Cormorants (lots including lines of 50+ migrating).
The story here…for me is how much can show up overnight. Now granted, I may have missed some oldtails on the 3rd, but I doubt I missed 28. Inclimate weather can inspire migration – be it before, after, or during such an event – and with weather settling down a little compared to prior days the increase in Oldtails, and Bonaparte’s makes you (yes, you) wonder what part of the weather system did these newbies ride in on?
I have an image of waterfowl and seabird migration being a big dance party, with the party goers surfing into your town – by your lighthouse, into your bay or harbor even – riding on the edges and the dregs of a system. Undulating “V”s (“it was undulating so fast” – Yellowstone National Park handout. Thanks BAJ!) and lines of fast flapping, body heavy waterfowl. Some loving it, some just trying to maintain, just trying to keep the pace, keep the rhythm and not screw the whole thing up(anthropomorhisize much?). I wonder if there are individuals ducks who just do not like to migrate (yeah spraint head, keep on anthropomorhisizing). At times and on days, these undulations move along by the “duck loads” as they (the royal “they”) say.
Is this migration connected with shortening daylight lengths? access to food changing? How much does the onset of inclimate weather inspire Zugunruhe, or migratory restlessness? If at all?
Good word to know - Wikipedia – Zugunruhe is a German compound word consisting of Zug (move, migration) and Unruhe (anxiety, restlessness). In ethology it describes anxious behavior in migratory animals, especially in birds during the normal migratory period.
Were these oldtails chomping at the bit to migrate before the most recent inclimate weather started to set in? Probably. Did this restlessness – ZUGUNRUHE! – increase when air pressure changed? I bet it did. Just thinking out loud here. Whatever the case - welcome back!
|apparently the buck does not stop there|
Ferry Ride (11/7) – 7am to Vinalhaven
67 Oldtailed ducks, 21 Bufflehead, 36 Common Eider, 46 Black Guillemot, 8 Surf Scoter, 22 Common Loon, 9 Bonaparte’s Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 20 crows heading to the mainland, Bald Eagle, 2 Harbor Porpoise, 41 Harbor Seals, White-tailed Deer swimming,
The story here…..as if that weren’t enough – look at that old tail number just 3 days later – with 49 in Rockland Harbor alone! Pretty sweet….Kittiwake flyby was a nice greeting, more to come for sure!...a three mammal ferry ride is not that common….seeing the buck swimming was very cool (crappy photo included) …never seen a murder of crows over the bay, (19) in one group heading to the mainland. It’s that time of the year as well I guess. It should be mentioned that it was so clear and sunny that the above list was essentially tallied from only ½ a boat view. Anyway, I’m not going to go down that road now, you can breathe a sigh of relief!
Huber Preserve – (11/3) – wolfs milk slime, brick tops, turkey tail, orange jelly, false chanterelles, orange delicious milky, honey mushrooms, common scaber stalk, violet toothed polypore. Chickadees, Golden crowned Kinglet, 45 Bufflehead, 10 Black Guillemot. Pileated Woodpecker. Chuck Gadzik.
|close up of what remains of Roger|
the fungus behind the mushroom
The story here…goes to show what a little rain (and wind) and then some warmth can do in November. More mushrooms than expected – which in an effort to remain transparent I will admit were low (the expectations that is or was). Lots of false chanterelles! …always great to run into Chuck Gadzik who reported crossing paths with a Pileated Woodpecker on the lollipop loop at Huber. Nice to hear.
|stalked woolly polypore|
Basin – Wharf Quarry Road/Williams access – (11/4) – juvenile Hermit Thrush and Robins eating winterberry, Blue Jays (what a year for them, huh?), Red Crossbill, Black-capped chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, False Chanterelle, Woolly Stalked Polypore, Ravens.
Carrying place (11/4) – 6 Surf Scoter, 9 Black Guillemot, 2 Common Loon, Golden-crowned Kinglet
|late season honeys|
Folly Pond – (11/4) 3 Bald Eagles – all 3 year olds (white belly 2) – 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 5 Hooded merganser, 4 black duck
Pleasant River – (11/4) – 4 Greater Yellowlegs
Old Harbor Pond/Macks Pond – (11/7) – lots of Goldfinch, Dead deer, Grey catbird (eating winterberry), Golden-crowned Kinglet, Black capped chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Hairy Woodpecker, Robin, irregular earth tongue, false chanterelles, emetic russula
Carver’s pond – (10/26) – 15 hooded merganser… (11/7) 21 Bufflehead
|what remains of the dead deer from last spring on lane's island|
Lane’s Island – (11/7) 7 butterbutts - yellow rumped warblers (flycatching over the beach), flicker, barberry!
|in case you were wondering what my kayak looked|
like after the storm last week
The next day was November 1st
of course, and so Leif and I took our yearly trek to Taco Bell to get our free “steal
a taco” taco. You see, if someone steals a base in the world series taco bell
gives everybody a free taco. Last year
it was Francisco lindor from the Cleveland Indians , and this year it was guy named “Maybin”
from the Houston Astros who was the hero and stole a base.
|rat in the woods? too gooey to take home|
yes, I have cleanliness standards when it comes to bringing
home dead things
|Another glorious winter berry shot|
In telling my mom this story I gave her a wonderful opening to make comments like “well, if you shaved your beard…..” . I kind of asked for it.
|no matter how poorly...|
Not necessarily the best use of my time…but my new project at Hannaford’s when I have like 5 extra minutes to burn is to document any and all “limited edition” food items that I come across. If you come across any limited edition food items where you live, please photo and send to the VSR. They will be posted – no questions asked. I didn’t even know they still made Twinkies. Pumpkin spice though? Bet it tastes like spraint.
This is by far the scariest section of any VSR.
|...you feel like you ate today....|
|....I hope that you can say.....|
|...that you didn't eat....|
|...any of these crappy foods. (judgement)|
And we end with a Halloween poem by Leif
Pumpkins at night
“As the moon rises
And the pumpkins glitter and sparkle…like a star.
And the stars lay an eerie glow on the scene.
And eight hours later
Someone will pick pumpkins…Carve a face on a pumpkin
see you out there!!!!!