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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, June 21, 2011

Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – June 22nd, 2011
Brought to you by the VLT and the MCHT. And that’s very nice of them.
“This ain’t no dump!” – Black Vulture

Highlights : Stalked Jelly, Tidepooling, Wolf’s Milk Slime, Fungus!, Butterflies, Snakes, Vultures not including Condors, Flowers, Coyote sign, Carrion Beetle orgy, Boreal chickadees, Word from the Fluke,and much, much more…

Catchin' dew (and maybe a little rain)

Little bit o’ business – There is going to be a short break in the spewing out of the reports as the family and I will be heading off island for a couple of weeks. Not that all kinds of crazy things won’t be going on here, I’m just not going to write about any of it while in California visiting Leif’s cousin, Julius. We’ll return with another report mid-july. If you have a problem with that then you have a problem. Tough toenails!
 With this is mind we waited until the last day (before we headout) to post this report, which is why it’s officially Jumbo sized! Enjoy!

Sightings – The 6th grade science project of surveying different habitats (working with the “Vital Signs” program with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute - has turned up some pretty cool stuff and taken the kids on some cool outings. Here are a couple of findings.

Horned Stalked Jelly
Crabs and lobster were the main attractions when the Collette Ivy took out a group of 6th graders a few weeks back. While on board the extremely cute teacher Amy Palmer noticed a “blob” on the deck and thinking it was some sort of organ or egg case she plopped it into the “take” bucket for the tank back in the classroom.  A few days went by (and Amy hadn’t seen the blobby thing) when she noticed something attached to the big ol’ piece of kelp in the tank. It was a Horned Stalked Jelly (sorry, I can’t even write the word “Jellyf*sh”. It ain’t no fish, not even a phish) or Lucernaria quadricornis. Yes, I know – what the hell is that?

Well, I wasn’t able to dig up too much information on these dudes, but here’s what I got from the Audubon Guide to Seashore Creatures (recommended book). They are in the Jelly class (Class Scyphozoa) of the Phylum Cnidaria. They are described as a “four-sided cone with each of its eight arms ending in pompoms of 100 knobbed tentacles. … Reproductive organs along length of arms….closely match the color of seaweeds on which they sit.” They are found from Greenland to Cape Cod, found on large, brown kelp, near and below the low-tide line. That’s what we got.

Well. Whatever theie deal is, they look cool and that’s really what’s important. I now know what I’ll be looking for on every piece of kelp we find in the tidepools from now on. Cool find palmer!

Red-fingered Aeolis

Hannah looking close
Tidepoolin at lane’s. – (5/19) Cool day, with a cool group (look at Hannah getting into looking for stuff). 3 nudibranch day! Mostly because Hannah Ames was so good at searching.

jordan with his lobster

Gilly and her razor clam
(6/6) The 3, 4, 5 team was nice enough to invite me along for a tidepooling session. It was a beautiful morning, full of Lobsters and crabs. And even a live razor clam and polyceate worms were found. Hats off to the team for setting up such an exploration and a big thanks for letting me come along and being part of the experience.

Dog winkle and eggs
Fledgers – A fine club made of bird’s who’ve literally inspired the empty nest syndrome/blissfulness by leaving their nest empty by simply leaving. The Hairy Woodpecker nests that I had video of are now empty, baby Chickadees, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and Patience Chamberlin had a family of Brown Creepers (including several young) circling her on the Old Harbor Pond trail. Terry Goodhue just sent in word he found a Flicker nest in a Aspen along the Poor Farm Road
where the youngsters are big and ready to go! Baby bird time is the most wonderful time of the year. Especially for predators.

red-billed tropicbird - photo by john drury
Word from the “Fluke” – Life on the high seas is treating Captain John well these days, and his reports are proof of that. It’s common knowledge that his boat trips to Seal Island and Matinicus Rock are truly the best pelagic experience you’re going to find on the Maine coast. Recent sightings include “a wicked beautiful black” Parasitic Jaeger, Harlequin Ducks (Little Roberts), Manx Shearwater (Matinicus Rock), & Minke Whale. If you want to see the Red-billed Tropicbird, its consistently seen on Fluke trips as John knows the Tropicbird’s schedule of appearances. Puffins, Razorbills, Great Cormorants and more. Give him a call and get on board – 596- 1841. see john's photos at

Toad's reading lamp
Flowers – If you haven’t made it to Huber, then put down your computer and go. You don’t even have to leave the parking lot to see 30+ Lady Slippers. A walk down the trail includes views of Bunchberry, Twin Flower, and Shy Maiden/Toad’s Reading Lamp. In the Basin, the Williams trail takes hikers high into the Pitch Pine where you can find blooming Labrador Tea and Golden Heather.  It’s a good time to be a flower child in the woods.

Golden Heather

Dye-makers Polypore
Laccarias - lookin' good
Fungus and slime molds - this week's fungal scene was higlighted with the first Bolete and the first Amanita I've found this season. The Bolete was of the red-mouthed variety, which of course also makes it the first poisonous fungus of the season as well! Yipee! The amanita was Amanita ceciliae, which is an edible amanita. I also found this sweet little patch of Laccarias along the huber trail, as well as this young Dye-makers Polypore, which i imagine will be jumbo sized by the time we get back. A little taste of things to come.
Varnish Shelf

Wolf's Milk Slime

Wolf's milk slime appears to be doing alright with the wet spring we've had. Check any of the bridges in the woods - they seem to be slime attractants - it's like a dream come true!

Why I love my back yard, and side yard, and front yard…..snakes and butterflies
Cozy Garter neighbors
local green

Snakes first- I remember watching my brother try to catch garter snakes that lived in a rock wall out back of the house I grew up in Jersey. I distinctively remember thinking he was insane for doing so. And while my opinion of my brother remains (lovingly) the same, I am so thankful that leify is getting to spend quality time touching with some extremely local snakes. There are at least 5 garter snakes and 2 green snakes living under 2 sets of granite steps on the south side of our place. We go “snaking” on sunny afternoons as the reptilian friends warm up on the on the hot granite or in nearby juniper, and all leify wants to do is touch them. The other day he touched four different snakes! Scared the bejeezuz out of them! Its seems like now they see him coming and bolt, but he’s getting quicker with that pointer finger!

We were hoping the glassy, blue-eyed garter in the picture would leave a shredded skin for us on the step but no such luck!

Question Mark
In the yard as well - Butterflies – Let’s face it, we’re reaping the benefits of years of gardening that the Ewens dedicated to the landscaping around here. And while garden flowers have never “done it” for me (no offense Rhododendrons) I’ve never been opposed to checking out what pollinators are attracted to such inbred blooms.

Take the run of Question Mark butterflies (Polygonia interrogationis) that showed up on the Lilacs a few weeks back. Question marks are members of that wonderful genus known as Anglewings (see photo for explanation of “anglewing”). The underwing is also where they get their common name – if you look closely you will see the two part, silver “question mark” marking. Others in the genus have only a solid mark, and are known as “commas”. And yes, I have learned all my grammar from butterflies. Here’s a fun loving quote on Anglewings

can you see the question mark?

“adult anglewings do not usually nectar on flowers. Instead they can often be seen taking sap from trees, congregating on rotting fruit, or even deriving sustenance from animal scat or carrion” – Butterflies thru binoculars

Tiger on Rhodo.
Well, one day I saw 7 adult Question Marks (at least) on the lilacs out back! I would say that in my experience a “good question mark day” would be finding 2 or 3 individuals, I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen 7 in a single week before!

And then they were gone! Herb Wilson (Maine butterfly dude, and if you know him please refer to him as such) let me in on his take on the scene. These were adults that probably overwintered in Maine, but were doing the yearly migration as they infiltrate the north as these “individuals are largely responsible for repopulating the north” each year. Anyway, it was nicea nice scene for 3 or 4 days.

and then the tiger swallowtails moved in and the neighborhood will never be the same.

Sexy?  Maybe. Foxy? Definately

Vultures – Greens Island(6/9)ish a pair of Turkey Vultures were seen over the island. Wasn’t too long ago that you really didn’t see Turkey Vultures on Vinalhaven so much. Over the last few summers Starboard Rock and Fox Rocks have become somewhat consistent, meaning if you sat on either place long enough there’s a fair chance of seeing one or more.  

More on the Black Vulture – lots of info has been gathered/shared/mentioned since the quickee email and photos I sent out a few Saturdays ago about the Black Vulture that’s been hanging at the dump. First off, the Vulture is still here and was last seen yesterday in a snag just past the dump and just before the shooting range. Easily seen from the road. And while its been here for a bit and shows no interest in leaving, its choice of trees by the shooting range and its approachability may not be the best decisions. In other words, take a looky sooner than later. I’m not predicting anything, just might be a good idea.

day trip to north haven
 There were also several colorful comments and a few chats that had nothing to do with the Vulture, which is always fun and appreciated. “Ugly Thing” was one of my favorite comments sent in, but I think I’m going to refer to the Black Vulture as “Foxy”, as it has seemingly made a home on the Fox Islands. And who can blame ‘em?

Back to the vulture though. Good friend of the VSR, Terry Sprague of North Haven sent in a few photos of a Black Vulture (our black vulture!) taken a few weeks back, well probably close to a month now. That’s Terry’s compost pile that the Vulture is sitting on. My first thought was that vultures are attracted to smelly things and well kept compost piles aren’t supposed to smell – so I was going to pick on Terry until I read this -
“Black Vultures are more gregarious and aggressive than turkey vultures and subsist on larger carcasses….they are reported to fish, to attack live prey, especially newborn pigs and other livestock and even skunks, and to eat oil palm fruit. They apparently locate prey not by smell but by watching other scavengers and by frequenting abundant food sources, such as dumps and slaughterhouses.”
-          Clark/Wheeler, “Hawks”. Peterson Field Guides. 1987

Especially newborn pigs? People please, this deserves more of a warning than the coyote in the Basin (more on the Coyote below). If you are someone with newborn pigs, please do not bring them to the transfer station under any circumstances until this situation is resolved.

Kenny was kind enough to point out the vulture on the rocks
I do believe the couch was placed for vulture watchers
Readers will remember that Jamus drury and I photographed a Black Vulture circling high over Isle Au Haut Mtn. in early May and it has to be assumed that this is the same bird. Seeing it again has inspired minds to wonder about it’s whereabouts over the last month or so. Terry’s pictures from North Haven fill in the blanks or one blank a little, but to get the real dirt I went to Kenny Martin to see what he’s noted about the vulture.

Back where you belong - kind of.

The “black headed one” has been frequenting the dump most days pretty much since it was seen from Isle Au Haut Mountain. He seemed a little surprised about the North Haven sighting, I think he has ownership on the bird. Kenny also told me about the day he had to get a gaff hook out to get the Vulture unstuck from the big green trash bin. Ask Kenny about the vulture when you head up there next time.
Leify with binos


“Black Vultures are common and were formerly abundant residents in the Southeast. They are uncommon to rare elsewhere, occurring north to New Jersey, Pennsylvania..” Clark – Hawks, 1987
…and a bunch of other places that aren’t New Jersey (VSR editor’s implied in the quote).

In other words 20 years ago these Vultures hadn’t even crossed the Delaware on a regular basis or taken the path train under the Hudson to 14th street (and then the quick walk to Washington square park of course), much less cross Penobscot bay. This is a special sighting and some folks have made their way up to the dump to see it. some folks have even come from the mainland!
we like the views from huber

Warning: Within this next section there is what some would refer to as a “swear” word.  The word is “shit” (there, I just used it). It’s not used as a “swear”, (such as “I hate this shit!”) but more as a descriptive. It’s the only word I can come up with that clearly describes when a domestic dog drops their load on the trail and that domestic dog’s owner can’t be troubled to flick it into the woods or off the field on Lane’s. It’s “poop” if flicked off the trail, “scat” if out of a wild animal’s butt. What i am talking about below is totally shit. It’s not very often that I find shit on the trails, maybe a handful (not literally, but some piles can be impressive) of times a year, so I wouldn’t say it’s a big deal or anything – there is no negative energy intended  towards dog folks or your doggies. It just is what it is, and its shit. There you have it. So if you have a problem reading the word shit, then please skip over reading this next section – but don’t skip the videos, because that shit is cool.

And if you are a dog owner who can’t find a stick in the woods to flick the shit off the trail, I’d be more than happy to share some of my sticks with you. I’m pretty good at finding sticks in the woods. Anyway, it’s also some of my favorite habitat on the island. Take a look -  

 “Just when you thought the day couldn’t get any better”
Basin, Dogtown trail  (6/18) “This is the shit!”  

American Carrion Beetles (Necrophilia americana) have a cool scientific name, but Coprophilia americana – “american shit lovers” – would be more applicable from my experience with them over the years on Vinalhaven.

“Both adults and the black larvae feed on decaying flesh, adults are sometimes also attracted to fungi and rotting fruit”.
 – Evans, NWF Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America 
I find carrion beetles every year on Vinalhaven and always on Vinalhaven dog shit. Never seen any on decaying flesh, or on a fungi or on the rotting fruit I leave in the yard. Always on the shit, and while I’ve been seeing them for years I have never seen a shit scene like this before – take a look:

Shocking shit orgy. At least 7 different “couples” can be seen “hooking up” Carrion Beetle-style while knee deep in it. At the bottom of the screen a lone, horny male with his “willie dillie-dillie” hanging out back runs in circles hoping to hop on a mate.

Here’s what it looks like when Carrion Beetles “hooking up” is taken up a level. Watch the pair that’s just below the middle as the male extends his special purpose and they connect. And a lone individual cruises and stirs up another beetle out of the duff and leaf litter .its cool.

grassy scat - classic coyote

old, crispy and full of fur

Coyote sign - Other than the fact that the coyote is scatting out grass (they'll do that) he/she seems to be doing well. this month i found 2 scats and a few tracks around muddy puddles. these have been around the basin... 

Safety first when weedwackin'
And so the leif man has been active with his "weed wacker" on the shrubs in the neighborhood as well as mowing the lawn to help Raymond - "Raymond will be so happy".

nice to meet you
Frog catchin' has been a focus at times - it can take a while with Leify shaking hands with everyone we catch. "Nice to meet you" is consistently heard while we are scooping.

Dock time is good with snail searches while on the bellies.

 Oh yeah - Boreal Chickadees on calderwood island, as well as Eastern Towhee among others.

See you in July!, but not if i see me first.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Foggy days
Welcome to the Vinalhaven sightings report – June 1st, 2010

Brought to you by VLT and MCHT as always…
“this place is a dump”
– female wood duck

Highlights – Mink, Ducks featuring Wood and Harlequin, Snowy Egret and Green Heron, Puffins & Razorbills, Manx Shearwater, Warblers, Red-billed tropicbird, Fungus photo gallery, Harbor Seal pups and so much more

seal bay pollen slick

Thanks to all that sent in sightings! Its been really fun hearing about what you are seeing. Here we go…

Pollen and Fog go as a consistent side with most of the sightings below -

Sightings: Wood duck drama unfolds! – Ocean view swamp – (5/15)

Readers with memories will recall Cynthia Dyer’s report (a few reports back) where it was reported that 2 different pairs of Wood Duck were reportedly clashing over the best nest box in the swamp behind her house. Let’s catch up with the action on May 15th – in Cynthia’s words…

On 5/15 at 7:45 a.m. Tim told me the mother wood duck was acting different and so we watched with binoculars.  She came out of the house and stayed near the bottom of the tree that the house is in.  Sure enough, a little tiny head came into view and as we watched a DOZEN babies jumped into the water.  I happened to be talking with Dawne when this happened and she and Adam saw them, too.

For a couple weeks we had another pair of wood ducks who seemed upset about the house already being rented!  She would sit on the roof and peek down into the hole.  We are wondering if she might have laid some eggs in the house, too.  We have seen the babies come out twice before and there were seven each time. 
  The mother and babies stayed in the swamp for the day, but didn't see them the next day.

Great observations and thanks for sharing!. Great call on the wondering  about ducks lay eggs in other duck’s nests. Ducks are somewhat famous or this behavior, an act know lovingly as brood parasitism, or tough love – stash and run style.

Wood ducks visiting the creelman pond
-photo by Erin Creelman

Laying eggs in the nest of another from your own species is called intraspecific brood parasitism, as opposed to interspecific brood parasitism as the ever popular Brown-headed Cowbirds do where they lay eggs in just about any nest they can find. Some folks are just like that. Anyway….

Intraspecific brood parasitism can be found in Swallows and Cuckoos, as well as  Ostriches (not found locally, but with global warming I’m sure they’ll turn up soon). Ducks, however, appear to “do it” more than others – “it” being intraspecifically parasitizing someone else's brood, how rude!

The actual process of parasitizing another nest is sometimes called “egg-dumping” or “dump nesting” and the resulting nest is referred to as a “dump nest”. The word from the Birder’s Handbook (bible) is that Redheads (ducks that is) are the “most persistent parasitic duck” with one study of  625 nests finding that 19% were parasitized with and average of 2.68 eggs additional eggs being laid per nest. They even mention a single hooded merganser nest that had 35 eggs in it. That may be a record of some sorts. So not only do they do it, but they do it well.

For a taste of specifics and vagueness’ses concerning Wood Duck dump nests we turn to the Stokes and Bird Behavior vol. 3 – Take it away don!

“While most female wood ducks lay about 14 eggs in their own nest, many nests contain 15 to 20 eggs or more”

“in one study, 37 percent of the eggs found in nests in a given area were the result of egg-dumping. Thus, it is a common practice in female wood ducks”

Maze Polypore - i have never seen one with a Wood Duck
The first quote is interesting, kinda sums up what a dump nest is in general.

The second quote is classic stokes boldness to me- To conclude that it is a “common practice in female wood ducks” from this one study one would think it must have been a huge study! How big was is “a given area” – Where was the study done? How many nests were involved?  Wood ducks breed across this beautiful continent of ours, from the California Redwoods, across the northen US Rockies, south to the Florida Cypress Swamps, and north to the Black Spruce swamps of Ocean View Drive. (isolated populations in the southern Rockies, somewhat absent from the Great Basin). Surely there is some variety in dump nesting behavior between populations.

I’m not sure why I find it so much fun to poke fun at the stokes. Their bird behavior books changed my life. But have I ever told you about the time they tried to sell me their books in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge? Uncomfortable! Some other time…Anyway...

After all this, and in all fairness it should be noted that Wood Ducks typically lay between 11-14 eggs, so all the young that came out of the nest technically could’ve been laid by one female. But with a history of less than 8 fledging per year, and the interesting interactions between Wood Duck pairs one would think there would be a more than fair chance that some of those youngsters jumping from the nest box are milking (not literally) and mooching off someone else’s mother. This thing happens in nature for sure. More often than most might think, I’d think.

so cute when little
Mink visit – (5/22) Leify and I were moving some wood around for a “fire” we were going to make when Jen Wadleigh pulled into our zone with Evelyn, Virginia, and Bailey. They had “something  to show you (me)” and with that they present this….. Apparently Bailey’s cat “Moracco” located a mink den with fresh, tasty mink babies and snagged this one as a gift to Bailey. The youngster was still alive (a little punctured but who isn’t) and stunk up the car on the way over (weasels being weasels).

morning dew - red-belted conk
At birth baby Mink (here referred to a “minkette”) are 1-2 inches long, weigh about an ounce and have a few white downy hairs on their backs. Their eyes open at about 3 weeks, they are weaned at five weeks, and don’t leave the den without the aid of a cat for several more weeks. Hard to tell if this one’s eyes can open when they are sleeping, but since they are said to be born in early May it could only have barely reached the 3 week threshold for eye opening if it was born on the 1st. anyway, under surviving circumstances this little dude would be sexual mature at 10 months ad live about 3 years (average) of an extremely fast lifestyle and pace before moving on.

Cats are cats, and cats are more impactful on wildlife more so than we can really grasp. “my cat’s too old to catch anything” is one of my favorite denial quotes. If its gotten “too old” its probably already lived a lifetime (or 9 lifetimes depending on how you look at it) of catching critters. I do like cats, something about their attitude I guess. There’s a little Jersey in every cat.  

Tinder conk - found on a foggy day
Migration and FogLots o’ birdies are finding their way out to our island paradise (IP) even as we have days (and weeks) of fog thick enough to make finding the IP a hassle. Some get help on the way, be it wind or lobsterman Walt Day.

Out in the thick fog about 3 miles off Hurricane Walt watched an exhausted warbler fly low just over the tops of waves, apparently lost and confused (they often go together, but don’t necessarily have to). The water logged, sleepy tweeter landed on his boat and let Walt approach and handle him. He was brought into the cabin, where a makeshift bed was made and the warbler got cozy and warm for a 4 hour drive. Dried, refleshed and relieved, this little birdy stretched out and flew at first sight of land (Little Hurricane). Gotta think there are plenty that aren’t so lucky to find Walt.

Pileated Woodpecker – Walt also mentioned that Peter Day has been seeing a Pileated Woodpecker just north of the tower on the North Haven Road. If I am not mistaken, this is also were a Barred Owl spent some time a few years back (Barred Owls are seldom experienced out here). Good yard.

green heron at the creelman pond
- photo by erin creelman
Snowy Egret – Another not-so-regular visitor to our IP, a Snowy Egret was first reported seen by the Old Harbor Pond Bridge (fantastic place to scan for critters) by Skip Thompson. Henley and Ethelyn Day later saw the Egret from the Granite Island Bridge! Great spotting!

Green Heron – (5/22) Erin Creelman sent in this photo of a Green Heron that visited their “pond out back”. Great sighting and good job getting the photo.

Yards can provide important habitat for wildlife and Erin also included a shot of three wood ducks in the same pond. Thanks for sharing.

First Bike ride in forever (5/30)– Round the island plus Poor Farm. Healing an ol’ soccer wound that resurface in a not so gentle way has limited bike rides to zilch for a few weeks. The weather has made this easier on me, but still - bike rides are such a great way to get a feel for the bird scene out here that I was (big al) jonesin’ to get out there. Here’s what I found  

Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, Nashville’s, Black and White, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Canada, Chestnut-sided & Yellow Warblers, Redstart, Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, Parula, Eastern Towhee (singing), White-throated & Song Sparrow,  Alder Flycatcher, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Hairy Woodpecker nest, …

The Blackburnians are back in a zone of historic use (zhu) & this time a young male (not so flame-throaty) was just down the road (zhu outskirts), doing a sort of call and reponse (he was responding) with the male at the heart of the zhu.

This hairy woodpecker nest is in my favorite aspen grove on the poor farm road (towards the Pequot end of things). Known for pumping out delicious Leccinum Boletes in the fall, the trees going to be pumping out little hairy woodpeckers.

The cavity was loud with the chatter of baby woodpeckerettes. Within minutes the female showed up. Note that she had to go way in to feed them and then was able to get into the cavity with them to check for fecal sacs, so the youngsters still have a long way to go before even thinking about leaving the nest. We'll keep visiting the nest as the young get bigger and start feeding at the cavity opening.

 I found this Hairy Woodpecker nest along the Dogtown Basin Trail. The male spent a bit of time in the nest with the young as you can see.

No fecal sac (bag of poop) removal was observed at either nest and the adults certainly were spending a lot of time in the cavity with the young. This combo makes me wonder if the young aren't so little and their digestive systems so undeveloped that the fecal sacs they are pooping out  are full enough of unprocessed nutrients to make it worth the parent eating. Caprophagy, or the eating of the poop, is a common practice in bunnies (filthy animals) and apparently is somewhat of a "common practice" in birds that produce fecal sacs. The point of the scat sac is to make it easier for an adult to clean up a nest as to not attract predators. If there are still goodies in the scat sac (and word is that the younger the fecal sac producer the more goodies are left behind) some parent birds opt to re-use the poop, or "eat scat and live". Its kinda gross (judgement), but apparently works for some and thats cool - just don't push your Caprophagy on me!

Woodpecker nests will be getting easier to find over the next few weeks. Listen for the sound of begging woodpeckerettes in areas where you regularly seen woodpeckers or see evidence of feeding or cavities from years past. Check Birches and Poplars. If there is a nest around, you'll hear a low, constant chatter coming from maybe 10-30 ft up you can try and find the nest on your own or wait for an adult (woodpecker preferably) to come in with grub and follow he/she to the nest. Good luck!

Huber (5/24) – Afternoon walk. Pollen, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Cape May, Magnolia, Yellow-rumped, Black and White, Black-throated Blue & Chestnut-sided Warblers, Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, Redstart, Downy Woodpecker (cloacal kissing), 25 species of Fungus (Huber kicks ass for fungus year-round), Owl Pellet, Lady Slippers (almost there), Bunchberry. 45 Surf Scoter. Canada Geese

Huber owl pellet - vole jaw
Nice walk this afternoon, a 10 warbler species flock descended on me on the lollipop loop, with most notably a Cape May Warbler and a female Black-throated Blue Warbler mixed in. Downy woodpeckers doing it is always an exciting (for them) and slightly awkward (for me) sight. Lady Slippers should be rockin’ soon (if not already by publish time) and the Canada Goose pair had gave me the feeling that they might have had a connection with one of the grassy ledges off the preserve. And of course, the fungus scene was wonderful.  

nice rack - of turkey tail
Greens Island - (5/15) 15 Warbler morning - Black white, black green, black blue, blackpoll, black burnian, magnolia, myrtle, Parula, chestnut sided, nashville, yelowthroat, yellow, ovenbird, redstart, bay breasted
(5/20) - 3 Razorbills at the mouth of the tombs.

(5/21) - Wilson's warbler, many other warblers

orange peel cups
On the water -

Fluke stories - (5/24) 5 Manx Shearwaters at Matinicus Rock, Red-billed Tropicbird at Seal Island, 14 Great Cormorant nests at Seal Island, 15 Great Cormorant nests at Little Roberts.20 Harlequin Ducks at Little Roberts.

(5/26) - Red-necked Grebe off Monroe Island, Purple Sandpiper on Bull Rock, 3 Bonaparte's Gulls, Gannets, Razorbills at Seal Island, lots of Puffins, a few Wilson's Storm Petrels
To go for the pelagic boat ride of your dreams (as long as you dream about birds and whales and shark and tuna and stuff) give John a call at 596 -1841. You wo't be sorry - this is the premier pelagic wildlife experiece!
Basin - (5/25) Harbor Seal pup video with pup riding on mom's back.
the pup is a week or so old.i spotted 4 mother and pup pairs, but it was the wrong tide for hauling out.
leify and mom enjoying an evening kayak ride
there is a time to not follow signage on the trail

So hey - its sunny - we'll see you out there!