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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


Friday, October 17, 2014

couple of nights ago

Welcome to the
Vinalhaven Sightings Report
October 17th, 2014

thank you VLT and MCHT!

highlights - sparrows, shorebirds, raptors, fungus,

freestyle edition - been off island a bit-pretty low effort really.
enjoy nonetheless

we've all been there
fernald's neck stinkhorn

Got myself a new hat and met some nice folk at the coastal mountains land trust mushroom walk a few weeks back now. Good to make new friends along the way, and we appreciate anyone who takes interest in what we all are doing here in this blog. Quick shout out to anyone who is reading the VSR "off island", down east and anywhere else. thanks for showing  up

Tiit trick - click on photos to make them bigger!

Contact us -
send us your sightings! send us your comments!

you may get mistaken for orange jelly...

You Should be Wearing Orange if you go in the woods these days - it's huntin' season. Don't be hunted!

...or false chanterelle.
(which looks nothing like real chanterelle)

yellow-billed cuckoo
photo by John Drury

sampling sightings - Spring (Chronic) Peepers still peeping, an every evening thing these days so common "it's chronic" - everywhere.

Greens - Yellow-billed Cuckoo and photo
Thanks John!

dunlin on the beach
this dunlin spent several days at state beach. picture and video attached. hung with the semi-palmated plovers - high up in the washed up (sea)weeds. might be the first dunlin I've seen on Vinalhaven(VVNM), a popular October shorebird in Maine. Closest breeding zone is the Hudson Bay region. Love the "long drooped bill".

other shorebirds this week - Greater Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plovers

Active dunlin video....

you must pipit

this American pipit also hung at state beach (first seen with dunlin), but split after first sighting (or during it really). Photo and action video attached. buntings and larks can't be far behind!.

Pipit in "inaction" video:

state beach is also a good place to look for sparrows (if that is the kind of thing you are into).
White-crowned, Savannah and lots of song sparrows have been observed lately. and merlins trying to eat them.
here's a video of some young white-crowned sparrows (with the red crowns!) and a song sparrow working the roadway out at state beach >>>>>>

both kinglets - ruby crowned and golden crowned - seen on preserves. Creepers, Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches too!

Around the island - Merlins, Peregrines, Harriers, Flickers, robins, song sparrows, lots of Great Blues and Kingfishers

surf scoters are nice, unless you are a mussel

Walk to school- leif wants to walk to school so we park in town or at the ferry terminal and stroll from there. So far on the walks we have found 2 new (for us) otter latrines at the ball ground, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Greater Yellowlegs, Goldfinch.

"Walking is a good pace for observing"

Surf scoters - in the thorofare, from the ferry, state beach, and Polly Cove

White-winged Scoters from the Ferry

3 woodpecker day - Red-bellied, Sapsucker and Flicker.

may not look like much, but the split gill is super cool
and already decomposing the juniper out on Calderwood
fungus - been a dry fall, but with a little rain and some of these warmer days the fungus are starting to respond. here's a few favorites from the last stretch...

split gill - a fungus of personal significance - found to be decomposing juniper skeletons from last may's burn on Calderwood.

it has to be darker to see this one glow
luminescent panellus

luminescent panellus - one that glows! - seen fruiting on dead stuff along many trails these days.

there is nothing regular about this
earthtongue - irregular earthtongue

"irregular earth tongue days" are here again. look for this yellow club fungus along Huber and basin trails. an old friend indeed.

bashful destroying angel

destroying angels are still coming up, this one in the photos along the granite island trail I think. always good to see a super deadly fungus to remind us how things might go.

We also love Destroying Angels, and all amanitas since they are mychorrizal with the trees. A symbiotic relationship that keeps the forest growing. We live in a Spruce/Amanita forest. still shouldn't east them.

destroying angel fully exposed

the porer side of roger
the porus side of roger

roger, a favorite Red-belted Conk at Huber appears to be having a 'resurgence" these days.

After a summer of being chewed on by iron-clad beetles and having a porus side (undercarriage) that frankly looked a little bit more than just "past prime", Roger putting on a fresh pore layer is refreshing to see.
sweet as honey
(not really)

Honey Mushrooms - this is the Honey time out there, if the forest is grown by Amanitas (and boletes, and russulas, and....) and then it's broken down by Honeys (and conks, and....). The Honeys were just about to burst when last seen - with recent rain and warmth could be expecting (anticipating?) a nice fall bloom in the fungal realm.

topless honeys
note how the stipe (stalk) changes color over time
"Honey mack" - And with that, we (the royal we) have noticed several early blooms of Honeys being preyed upon. By humans? Maybe - honeys are fine tasting, haven't had one in years come to think of it. Looked a bit sloppy for a human and they (the humans) then left a lot of other honeys along the trail. Each of the "honey mack" had some features that reminded one ( the royal "one") of deer browse. Got a funny feeling (not that funny) deer are behind the recent mackin' of honeys. And if that is true then they have crossed the line and all need to be removed from the island (the deer that is).

fresh VTP, is the best VTP

Polypores are showing up fresh these days - lots of fresh Birch polypore and Tinder conk. As well as this Violet-toothed Polypore (VTP!) looking really violet (freshy).
this year's birch polypore

scaly pholiota

Another favorite decomposer Scaly Pholiota is showing up at Huber. We like it cuz it's scaly, judging it by its looks, it is aesthetically pleasing for some reason.

Leif at state beach

and at lake megunticook! one of our favorite words to say.

see you out there!