Brought to you by

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


Monday, August 4, 2014

dye-maker's polypore
photo by Erin Creelman

Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – August 3rd, 2014

VLT and MCHT supported, thanks to them!


Highlights – Flicker dust bath, Seabirds including Leach’s storm petrel and Cory’s shearwater, Shorebirds, Wood ducks, Snowy Egret, Fungus, Mink,


razorbill dad and juvenile
photo by John Drury
Business - Contact us – send sightings, photos (nature only please, the entire staff of the VSR is happily married thank you very much), concerns and questions to us at


Tiit trick – click on the photos to make them bigger. Not sure how to shrink them back though, probably isn’t too hard.

purple coral fungus
(thanks for the tip Janet!) 

Upcoming events

Fungus thru Binoculars –

“an introduction to Fungus tracking, Mushroom watching and photography”…..


Tonight! - Slide show- Monday August 4th at 7pm up at the Town Hall

Walk - tomorrow - Tuesday August 5th, 9:30 at Skoog Park.

 See ya there, if you are into that kind of thing!

the gull is dead
Thursday morning birdwalk – Thursday August 7th - 8am at skoog to carpool

Congrats to all those who have gotten married recently, and welcome to all those who have been born in the last 24 hours. Exciting times.

Thanks - to all those who sent in photos and stories and sightings. so much to be seen out here...thanks for sharing!!!!

this one wasn't yelling at me
Correction – our goal is to get everything right. Perfectionists at the VSR? You bet, we are not the “other kind” of naturalists (Bullsprainters!), and we appreciate when people let us know when we screw up, especially when it comes from people as nice as Eleanor Gibney, who is a big time plant person. Way back we reported a “Water Hyacinth” of the Eichhornia genus at City Point, when it was actually of the “Camassia” genus, and possibly what’s known as a “Wild Hyacinth”. I know what you are thinking – “wild hyancinth, water hyacinth – who gives a spraint? What’s the big deal?”. Well, in the plant world it’s the latin that really is important (strike one plants!) and while both plants have “Hyacinth” in their common names they are in two completely different families of plants – “Water Hyacinth” being a member of Pontederiacae, or Pickerel-weed family and “Wild Hyacinth” being a member of Hyacinthaceae, or Hyacinth family. Either way I am told they are both invasive to the area. Anyway, thanks Eleanor for bringing this to our attention and I hope this is the last correction we ever have to post, and the last time I write the word “hyacinth”, because it is a tricky word for me to type! Onward….. 


lookin' good
photo by Skin Hill Sally
Sightings – (7/26) Skin Hill Sally ventured Pumpkin Ridge way and spotted this Flicker (state bird of Alabama!) taking a dust bath. We here at the VSR highly advocate everyone taking a dust bath at least once a month. Good for the pores!
getting the dirt behind the ears
photo by Skin Hill Sally


jaeger - photo by John Drury
On the water – ferry ride – (7/31) 4:30 boat out of Rockland – beautiful (judgment) Jaeger flew in front of the boat. Most likely a Parasitic, I watched with the naked eye for the most part as I had just woken up in the car and binos were somewhere. Captain Pete opted to not followed the bird, so strike one pete! Let this be a warning….


From the Skua – Captain John, on the other hand, not only has mentioned seeing multiple Jaegers in the bay on several trips, but he follows them. Granted that’s his job, but still for those keeping track- Captain John gets a thumbs up while Captain Pete has one strike….
tropicbird and tern
photo by John Drury


…anyway (and we digress), seems like John is having a good time out there on his trips lately – check out his montage of photos he has sent in…..

two flavors of cormorants
photo by John Drury


ivory black-backed gull
photo by John Drury

puffins and murre
photo by John Drury

dowitchers flying by Seal Island
photo by John

cory and greater shearwaters
photo by John Drury

John also went "off shore" (not sure what shore he went "off" of) (7/22) - here's a few shots from that one - Cory's Shearwater, Greater Shearwater, Red Phalarope, leach's storm-petrel

fin whale
photo by John Drury

leach's storm petrel
photo by John Drury

red phalarope - shorebird at sea
photo by John Drury

least sandpiper

And thinking of shorebirds….state beach has been great (as usual) Short-billed dowitcher, Semi-palmated and Least Sandpipers, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Semi-palmated Plovers….Folly pond – Rick Morgon and Pete Jaques spotted a Willet on Folly Pond last Thursday….lots of Yellowlegs on the floating Rockweed


semi-palmated plover

and Lucy K. off Brown's Ledge sent in this report about Ruddy Turnstones on the ledge -

"about 2 hours off high tide, about 7 or 8 ruddy turnstones, sharing the rock with terns and eiders. Beautiful. A few flew up as I rowed near with my niece so she could see them; so amazing."

we do love ruddy turnstones

ruddy turnstone
awesome name

state beach
snowy egret

Around the island -….lots of Cedar Waxwings around, Common Terns and young seen everywhere as well…. State Beach – my first Vinalhaven Snowy Egret sighting (VVNM!)…Folly Pond – Rick and Pete also report Wood Ducks out there …Reach Road - Carolina Wren singing…Lane’s Island – turkey vulture eating a dead gull….Calderwood Neck – Janet Ghores reported a Pileated Woodpecker spending a day in her yard, sounds lovely…


just hatched
and the local 31 reach road robins have pumped out another pair of little ones....


only two hatched

only a few days left in the nest

roger is starting to lose his red belt. and some chunks
on the left
not necessarily a good thing for roger
 Fungus – first, a moment of recognition to a red-belted conk lovingly referred to as “Roger”. It looks as though it may be time for Roger to “hang up his pores” and quit pumping out the spores! This behemoth has been dazzlin’ hikes for at least the last ten years

Lots of fungus celebrating the rains by pushing up some fruiting bodies. heavenly bodies to some...let's show some highlights....

random first....

black earth tongues at Huber!

blood tooth

these were on Calderwood
thanks for the tip JA!
these earth tongues
are irregular!

these were found in town, two were poisonous
but were taken anyway to show mom.
pretty tiny

yellow patches,
one of the top two amanitas we have growing
and we (the royal "we") think the sexiest

and now for some amanitas......

full dorsal blusher
note the red stains where the cap was torn or sratched

the blusher
probably the most common fruiting
amanita in the woods these days
species conglomerate!

another group of amanitas that are "easy on the eyes"
are the grisettes. they have the striate edges on the cap

""i'm an amanita man" and our woods are amanita forests....
amanitas are mychorrizal with spruce (apparently), 
helping trees absorb nutrients and getting sugar in return...
like the sugar junkies fungus they are."

and our favorite for sure is the tawny g.
one day on the Huber trail

and the next. with mammalian protrubence
mimic on the top. how fine

and we love how amanitas erupt and state their presence with authority...with egg shell fragments

pushing dirt
not sure yet, will return
tis an amanita, if by any other name

this one made me laugh

and we like how some change color....

faded white
fresh and yellow

have seen a handful of cleft-footed "ams"
as well

refreshingly cleft-footed

this one made me laugh too.
I think something was wrong with it



 and amanitas are funny...
they make you laugh
as they attempt to tempt a morsel or two.
some are poisonous, and only a few deadly
but why would you want to eat an amanita.

chantrelle and dwarf rattlesnake plantain
worst common name.

indian pipes parasitize fungus, not trees
I have read recently that it's often russula
not sure if that's an observation or a fact.
or both. anyway - they get the "wannabe fungus award"

while we are at it....randoms

lawn mower mushrooms may or
may not have psilocybin in them.

Hygrocybe laeta
a few waxy caps

fading scarlet waxy caps

"this species is edible, but flavorless"
Audubon guide to mushrooms

and russulas


fragile russula

just another dye maker

...and some boletes....
glandular dotted bolete- quite the name

boletes are fun to find

boletes have mushrooms
that look like mushrooms

last year was a good one for bay boletes

this cracked capped variation
is past its prime, or is it?

red mouthed kind are poisonous
red on the pores = red-mouthed

here's how the red-mouthed stains...

some consider this a Tylopilus
But the book says Porphyrellus
either way, its a decomposer

they were plentiful

a bolete attacked by this bolete. maybe.
if it is a bolete.
photo by Erin Creelman

chocolate milky
Gerald's milky
or Gerald's game?

and don't forget the dancing tree videos

maple and oak

 aspen tremblin'

and leif with the turtle he caught....
studying arrowheads and gems
when we went "camping"

and hiking with mom