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The Vinalhaven Sightings Report is organized and edited by Kirk Gentalen on behalf of Vinalhaven Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Out and about on Vinalhaven, MCHT steward Kirk Gentalen reports on what he and others have seen in their travels. Contributions of stories and photos are welcome, and can be sent to


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – May 20th, 2013
Brought to you by MCHT, VLT and U
Drury trifecta with 3 brothers reporting – Quadfecta with Elaine’s observations as well
Good times

shaggin' at fox rocks - mother's day
note the 3 shags flying over

there are plenty of these guys around these days
Highlights – Songbirds including…..Baltimore Oriole, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak (beauty trifecta!), Warblers, Otters (not songbirds), Swallows, pellets, raptors….man it’s all happening these days – butterflies… Tropicbird is back!

Email issues – The email lists have hit a snafu or something when I send out the reminder announcements for when a new post is posted Yahoo is not on the team currently. So you may have noticed things are coming from . That is probably the way things will continue to be sent.

i like black and white
warbler butts and i can
not lie
If you have sent in addresses recently they will be added...I swear! Got to get over the hump, so to speak, with yahoo first.

other issues - this one is a little thing on meat, but full of photos. there have been some distractions as of late. so it goes...
And a quick reminder – if you send in sightings to the your sightings will make it into the post for sure. If you send them to baldfulmar, they may get buried and never see the light of day again. These things happen. And have probably happened here…

Tiit Trick - don't forget to click on images to make them larger than life.

photo by sally.

Sightings …. So lots of songbirds coming thru these days – let’s start with Sally…


photo by Sally
Skin HillSally has a magic touch – first orioles of the season – or FOOTS – (5/14), as well as Ruby-throated Hummingbird – both genders!…..

here she comes
photo by sally

Lots of warblers stopping in her yard – Yellows, Yellow-rumpeds, Black-throated Greens, and this wonderful photo of a wonderful White-crowned Sparrow. Thanks again Sally!


photo by sally
Quick green’s Island Report from John Drury – (5/12) Blackburnian & Black-throated Green Warblers, American Redstart, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Northern Parula…..

(5/19) Blackburnian, Palm(er), Black and White Warblers, House Wren, etc – “etc” undoubtedly stands for a slew of warblers that coming thru in big numbers these days – “the regulars”. We love it when they are regular….

black and white singing

(5/15) Great Egret fly by on Green's headed for town.


And from Willie and Elaine – Indigo Bunting and Rose-breasted Grosbeak spent about 5 days at feeders…two males….what a beautiful sight that must have been….”they came together, and they left together” as Willie put it. Insert first comment that comes to mind here.


Armbrust Hill – it’s just right there, and yet it can be full of birdies. (5/8) Yellow-rumped, Parula, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-bellied Plover, Goldfinch...(5/13) parula, Black and white, Black-throated Green (BTG), Yellow-rumped, Common Yellowthroat,

philly vireo
soft face


Lane’s Island (5/17) – Philadelphia Vireo, Redstart, Magnolia Warbler, “etc”

Northern Parula - belting it out!

got your back
cool marking -
olive patch on a parula's back
Species focus – Northern Parula – Parulas are one of the top 5 breeding warblers on vinalhaven.


does this look good to you?
Makes a hammock/pendulum nest out of old man’s beard lichen in New England, Spanish moss in the south. Check out this happy couple checking out a bunch of Old Man’s Beard (not mine!) in the yard……
she isn't completely sold


Classic song – a rising trill with a firm drop off on the “shoot” - “ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,shoot” –one of our favorite warblers.
this Blackburnian Warbler is eating a winter moth caterpillar


And here’s something cool – kinda – I have seen 4 species of Warblers eating winter moth caterpillars. Black-throated Green, Yellow-rumped, Blackburnian and Northern Parula. In no way does this make the situation any better. But we do have the birds on our side.
sometimes black and white warblers
camoflauge with birch.


From the Ferry - Captain Pete Report –  (5/7- 5/13)  we had fog this week. Did not see much else…Migration - There were large flocks of ducks and cormorants.

Lots of Scoters probably Surf. On the 10th and 11th. We saw many flocks of 50 to 75 birds.

On the 11th the first Terns this year. We saw only 4-5 razorbills. I also saw Bonaparte’s Gulls.

Thanks Pete!


From me from the ferry – (5/7) – Barn Swallow trying to land on the boat in the fog. Trying. Red-throated Loon as well. Razorbill too!


injured, rehabilitated, and ready to go
photo by john drury
On the water… more from John Drury – 3 red-throated loon on rockland  to mutinous rock run, two nice summery looking

peregrine, Merlin, ww scot in matinicus roads.

three hundred gulls worming in the reach last week. (very cool, and very late)

(5/18) -Iceland gull at Matinicus Rock.

this moss is turned up by otters.

Around the island - ….(5/8) Poor Farm Road – Broad-winged Hawk (don’t worry – they don’t like to cross water), Parula, Brown Creeper…

3 otter getting ready to tear it up

Tip-toe Mtn area – (5/8) Golden-crowned Kinglet, Winter Wren, Black-throated Green Warbler….a nice Great Horned Owl pellet – full of Snowshoe Hare remains….and Otter Stuff.

snowshow hare in the form of a pellet

its all in the belly, its all in the slide
The otter rolling site has been expanded, and with the trail camera we are able to see that a group of three otters have been “turning up the moss”. Only one returns a few days later – all the tracks and trails in the snow this winter were from a solo otter. The group of three is a cool find.


got a pellet on my leg


Another owl pellet – from the long cove area – this looked more like a Long-eared Owl pellet – but very cool with a shrew skull in it!
and there is too much more to remember or report. and that's a good sign.



And then there is Leify. We made a quick run to Cape Cod a few weeks back (old stomping grounds for me). Best shots I have of the little man from May.


Enjoy, rock on and everything else good……