Date: 7/5/20 7:30 am From: Charles Duncan <charles.d.duncan...> Subject: [Maine-birds] CWWI yes and SEWR no
Thanks to the input of many people here, Laura and I were successful in our search for Chuck-wills-widow at the Great Pond Mtn Wildlands—Hothole Valley Parcel last night, as have been a few others in the last few days.
I hope the details below are useful to any birders who may want to search and are a small pay-it-forward to those who helped us. We started at 8:00 pm and biked in from the South Gate, the intersection Valley Rd and US 1 in Orland. We travelled 2.0 miles to the Mushrall Meadow with its picnic table and fire pit. (The gravel road is excellent for bikes.) We flushed a couple of woodcocks from the road and heard Hermit Thrushes—and loud fireworks—constantly. We arrived at Mushrall at 8:30 and soon heard N. Saw-Whet Owl just a little farther along the road, and soon thereafter, we had a nighthawk booming and calling, a single distant whip-poor-will, and another woodcock calling. This was distinct from the numbers of those birds reported by Sean Hatch the night before. Around 9:05 we started hearing a Chuck-wills-widow and walked another 0.1 mi toward the north beyond Mushrall to record it (and the sounds of distant but loud fireworks.) It stopped by 9:20 and we left at 9:35.
By contrast to our success with night birds, we dipped in our effort earlier in the day to find Sedge Wren off Turnpike Rd in Searsport. We and two friends spent some two hours looking and listening at the spot first described by Doug Hitchcox where Charlie Todd had discovered the bird(s). For anyone looking, one point on Doug’s description that “When you find the wet spot in the road, you’ll know you're there (and probably have heard the bird by then).” Now that there has been rain, there are, in fact, a couple of wet spots on the road. The correct one is (was?) farther along and has a small (backyard-pool size) pond with grasses around it, not large trees.