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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


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – April 28th, 2016

Brought to you in part by VLT, MCHT and U (meaning U!)

Happy birthday me!


Highlights – Wood ducks, woodcocks, Osprey, Yellow-rumped and Palm(er) Warblers, Phoebes, Green-winged Teal, Belted Kingfisher, long-eared owl, visit to Calderwood Island, some things about Frenchboro.  Lots of amphibian eggs. And finally will I remember to post some early mushroom photos?


there are two people picking up trash in this photo

Business - Basin clean-up revisited Good to see folks and good to clean up the Basin. Here’s a few random shots
best team award goes to Mia and Dylan
photo by Gabe Peter Harp
checking out the stuff collected

spotted salamander eggs

Contact . we’ll take just about anything.


Tiit trick – click on the photos to make them bigger

black jelly roll!
"ain't nobody gunna steal my jelly roll"

Congratulations – to Cheap Trick on making it into the rock and roll hall of fame. Was never a fan at all, but still – what an accomplishment. The Tiit trick segment was inspired by that band.


Upcoming events –check the VLT website – -  and the MCHT website – – for a vast array of walks and talks being offered this year!

springtails have been especially springy this year

Sightings – Who’s singing – Brown Creeper, Chickadee, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglet, Winter wren,

On the ferry - Walt Day told tales of a pair of Wood Ducks that were spending some time in his pond behind his house. Never a bad sign to see Wood Ducks in your yard…Walt also talked about seeing his first osprey of the season (4/11). Several more have been reported around the island.

lane's island bridge



Speaking of woodcocks Danny Ames mentioned finding a woodcock nest up on Zeke’s Point. Woodcocks are ground nesters (all ground nesters are extra bad-ass) and a female woodcock sits tight on a nest before bolting, almost until stepped on in some cases.


Danny said there were 4 eggs in the ground nest and it wasn’t the first woodcock nest he has found. I would love to see one someday! Good work Danny!
a boy and his nests


Mr. Ames also mentioned some Canada Geese in the Basin and old harbor pond being active. Goslings not too far off.


John Drury reports Yellow-rumped Warblers singing out on Greens since (4/19).

Chuck from the ferry mentioned seeing his first Green-winged Teal (VVNM) over by Indian Creek. It was apparently hanging close to a mallard couple, which is the obvious sign of nothing.
long-eared pellet from lane's


Lane’s Island –Fresh Long-eared Owl pellets found April 9th.


From the ferry – Old-tail ducks – molted and looking good, many surf scoter, red-breasted merganser, bald eagles, black guillemots, common eider, red-necked grebes, horned grebe in breeding plumage.

this kangaroo skeleton was on Calderwood

Calderwood – (4/4) – Oldtails in breeding plumage, surf scoter, red-necked grebe, downy and hairy woodpecker, brown creeper, red-breasted nuthatch, deer carcass, tree climbing, otter latrine still active! That is now 8 years (at least) with this active latrine.

and some other places.....
frenchboro is another beautiful island

Frenchboro -  (4/13,14) – red crossbills, palm(er) warblers, red-breasted nuthatch, golden-crowned kinglets, phoebes, red-backed salamander, put up trail camera at otter den, confirmed 2nd otter den, belted kingfisher, sculpin, merlin falcon flitter flight display,

in case you were wondering this is the way
to rich's head

this nice otter trail and brown out
led to....


this trail covered in spraint
and then to this crevice

where when you looked down ...

where you saw the latrine with hefty use,
undoubtedly the opening of a den.
this was cool

this is Douglas at the other otter den we know of
on Frenchboro. together we are kirk douglas

this sculpin was fun to catch

one shrew and one mouse skull in this
pellet. hungry owl

The marsh -  green winged teals, osprey, bald eagle, Canada geese, wood ducks, great blue heron, belted kingfisher, mallard, spotted salamander and wood frog eggs in vernal pool, otter latrine.

the beginning of the bridge to the lodge

(4/23) with the girl scouts – barred owl pellets with both shrew and vole skulls in a single pellet. Very cool.

Rockport - been checking out a property. great vernal pools -

wood frog eggs

spotted salamander eggs

and a lot of owl pellets. 15 so far.

. plus turkey, pileated woodpeckers and sapsuckers. hard to argue with that.

had a great trip upstate in the new York - chittinango falls

biking the creek

and mine shafts!

crossing the rip van winkle bridge...

learning about minecraft and fishing with uncle tom and aunt linda!

leif and newt

hope everyone is doing well - hope to see you out there!