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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, October 4, 2016

middle tip toe
photo by Norbert Leser

Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – October 2nd, 2016

Thanks to the “more than they realize” generosity of VLT and MCHT

“1 merlin = 0 shorebirds”


photo by Banner Moffat

Highlights – Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Pileated Woodpecker, Nighthawks, Cooper’s hawk, Hawk Watch, Bald Eagles, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Sparrows featuring Swamp Sparrows,
inky cap

photo by Banner Moffat

Business Contact us! - send your sightings, photos, questions, concerns, requests for being added to the email list, or requests for being removed from the email list to


Note on Monarch – (9/14) Mia Mather writes about her butterfly bush being “littered by Monarchs”. So nice to have them this fall!

let the dance begin (Viagra motto)
photo by Jim Conlan

Tiit Trick - click on photos to enlarge!

SightingsPatience Chamberlin had her “best birding of the season” (and she knows what “best birding” means!) last weekend on island. Here’s what she reported -

Geese and Wood Ducks
photo by Rick Morgan

“A 4 woodpecker weekend - Pileated, Sapsucker, Downy and Flicker


 (9/30): My first pileated on VH at Huber.  A couple of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers on Reach Rd

Black-bellied Plover
photo by Rick Morgan

State beach cove mudflats; a lot of Semi-p plovers and peeps. 1 Black-bellied Plover and 1 Dunlin


(10/1)Norton’s Pt rd.  AWESOME looks at yellow-billed cuckoo that flushed and landed at eye level in birch next to rd. 

fall colors
photo by Banner Moffat

(10/1) State beach; 1 merlin= no shorebirds but tons of sparrows in marshy area…Song, Swamp, Savannah, White-throated.  Good numbers of swamp sp.  They must be migrating.

mink crossing!
photo by Rick Morgan

(9/29) – Last “bird walk” of the season - Folly Pond, Lanes Island and State Beach.  Rick Morgan (thanks for the report Rick!) and group saw/heard quite a variety of birds:

post flower
photo by Banner Moffet

Double crested cormorant, Song sparrow, White throated sparrow, Purple finch, Blue jay, Goldfinch, Common yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped warbler, Herring gull, Common crow, Raven, Robin, Black capped Chickadee, Common eider, Gray catbird, Bald eagle, Canada geese, Black duck or mallard, Wood ducks, Common Loon, Black guillemot, 2 White-crowned Sparrows. 


Lots happening out there! Here’s some more from Rick -

hawk watchers!
photo by Norbert Leser

Hawk Watch -   3 marsh hawks, 2 sharp-shinned hawks, 1-2 osprey, 1 merlin, who circled us as we were leaving, ~8-10 ravens,  Flickers, Red breasted nuthatches, Herring gulls, Blue jays, golden-crowned kinglets


brown's head
Ferry Ride to Vinalhaven – “Chuck from the ferry” reported seeing a Common Nighthawk fly over the ferry in the Reach recently. It was on the last run, as the day was transitioning into night (some might even call it “early” crepuscular).

Right around sunset is a great time to look for these and many have been reported/mentioned to me recently from numerous spots along the mid-coast – Blue Hill, Mount Desert, Tenants Harbor even!
5 surf scoter


(9/26) – Surf Scoter, Black Guillemot, Lots of loons,


(9/26) Red Sea – Flicker, Belted Kingfisher, 20+ Surf Scoter


my dad would have liked this picture

Ferry Ride to North Haven (9/29) – Cooper’s Hawk crosses the boat, Bald Eagle on the loaves, 10 Surf Scoter, Loons, Eider…the cool thing here was the eiders going into breeding plumage while guillemots and loons are coming out.
there were actually two eagles on the loaves
only one by the flag

North Haven (9/29)– lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers. Bald Eagles, Flicker. Otter, Mink and Raccoon sign.
long rounded tail
head projecting
coopers hawk

starting to see more of these moultin' males

loons are molting too
into non breeding plumage!

we really enjoyed these brown cups
for weeks they pumped out spores

Mushroom gallery - fun Coprinus/ Inky cap
deliquescing over a 24 hour period

coprinus - inky cap. mica cap
9/20 7:59am

9/20 9:38am

9/20 9:38am

9/20 11:39am

9/20 11:39am

9/20 2:57pm

9/21 8:06am

he absolutely loves being a cub scout

nice Cortina!
cobwebby veil covered in rusty spores
gotta be cortinarus. gotta be a cort!
deliquesce - to liquefy. Inky caps liquefy their cap into a dark sticky, inky type glob full of spores. interesting way of dispersing spores.

can we help you?
and loves coming to the store

on the ducktrap....

mr. Leif!

see you out there!