Date: 6/29/18 10:53 am
From: Sean S <therefromhere168...>
Subject: [Maine-birds] 9 Black-crowned Night Herons over SMCC (6/28)
I've been putting less effort into looking for BCNHs near the shore along
SMCC's Spring Point Trail and more into just watching the skies. Their
direct, non-buoyant flight profile is so different than the way gulls
usually wheel around that it becomes very easy to ID them as flyovers. If
anything it would be easier to mistake them for Crows from a distance...
except they don't appear as dark, and Crows are not commonly seen flying
between the islands and the mainland in the late hours of the day.

Between 7:35 and 8:30 (approximately dusk) yesterday 5 adults and 4
individuals in subadult plumage were seen, with most (along with 1 Great
Blue Heron) flying toward the island rookeries. Nearby Ram Island was
found to have 68 active BCNH nests during the 2009 USFWS survey (
https://maineheron.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/2009colonialwadingbirdcensus2.pdf
), which seems the easiest explanation for the high numbers of flyovers and
less frequent hunting individuals that occur in this area. It should be
noted that these sightings rarely happen from the vantage point of Willard
Beach... one has to proceed past the beach along the upper trail that goes
up and down a couple flights of stairs to get to the panoramic viewing
spots between Spring Point and the marina.

Full checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46874130

Sean Smith

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