Posted in Atlantic Canada Birding

The Wells Reserve at Laudholm National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Wells Reserve at Laudholm National Estuarine Research Reserve Posted on May 6, 2015

First I must credit the Nova Scotia Bird Society‘s Facebook page and many knowledgeable members for making it possible to identify these birds more easily.  I don’t have a field guide yet but recognize many of the birds I see from other people’s photos and from ID help from some serious birders who are good enough to share their knowledge with us newbies.  PS if someone could check my IDs here that would be great too  🙂

I drove across the border into Maine early this morning (May 5th).  I’m here to visit pet stores and that is my first priority but when I crossed the border I realized that the time was earlier and that I had an extra hour I didn’t plan to have so spent it birding this morning before my first scheduled visit.

There was a small wildlife preserve just outside the border in Maine so I stopped but didn’t see anything.  Just around the bend I stopped to get a pic of a Belted Kingfisher though.

male Belted Kingfisher
male Belted Kingfisher

Then a minute or two later I stopped on the side of the road because a Heron like bird was on the side of the road.  A woman saw me stop and she stopped too on the other side of the road.  Susan, if you read this let me know if you think that might have been a Green Heron or an American Bittern we saw.  The stripe on the eye seems to be the giveaway.  Of course, no photo before he flew off into the woods.  Memory is rarely accurate but I feel it was one of those two.

I have this thing when I go birding that I never see what I went to see and often spot birds I never thought I would see instead.  Of course if you go to a nature reserve all bets are off you just see everything.  What a spectacular place the Wells Reserve is!  Many of the same birds that are in our marshes and conservation areas in Nova Scotia are here too of course.  Anyway, in a place like this even the Crows look extra special.

The Wells Reserve at Laudholm
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm
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The Wells Reserve at Laudholm where even the Crows look better
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm

As soon as I walked onto the property I was great by two Eastern Phoebes who were chasing each other around and making their scratchy Fee-Bee calls.  I didn’t even have my camera out so of course they posed on the park bench and I didn’t get the photo.  But off to a great start I thought anyway.  I vowed to be ready for the next bird though.

And I got my Eastern Towhee finally, who turned out to be a female.  The photo is dreadful but I didn’t bother to crop it because you can just click on it twice to enlarge it.  I think there were tons of Towhees there scratching in the bushes but they stay in the brush for the most part so I only got this one bad shot.  But still happy to have discovered a Towhee in it’s natural habit when I did not expect to.  Birding serendipity, my favorite!

female Eastern Towhee
female Eastern Towhee

There weren’t many Robins around, and not a Bluejay to be found (uncommon here apparently) but I did find a Porcupine and a Ground Hog.  Go figure.

Porcupine
Porcupine
Groundhog
Groundhog

Next up was a real treat as when I looked up high to see what birds were making the new to me noise, it was a pair of Brown Headed Cowbirds.

male and female Brown Headed Cowbirds
male and female Brown Headed Cowbirds
male and female Brown Headed Cowbirds
male and female Brown Headed Cowbirds
male Brown Headed Cowbird
male Brown Headed Cowbird
female Brown Headed Cowbird
female Brown Headed Cowbird
female Brown Headed Cowbird
female Brown Headed Cowbird

I even found a Northern Mockingbird!

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird

There were 4 male Red Winged Blackbirds staking out their territory in the marsh.

male Red Winged Blackbird
male Red Winged Blackbird

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male Red Winged Blackbird
male Red Winged Blackbird

And if all that weren’t enough in one day I grabbed a couple more lifers on the way out.  Mixed in with the Song Sparrows on the grass were a group of White Throated Sparrows, and I believe at least one White Crowned Sparrow (orange beak).  My apologies as I ran out of light for the Sparrow shots but I think they are good enough for IDs.  And to that a good night.

White Throated Sparrows ?
White Throated Sparrows
American Tree Sparrow ?
White Throated Sparrow  – thank you for the ID help this one confused me
White Crowned Sparrow ?
White Crowned Sparrow – thank you for the ID help

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