Lots of sights and sounds and smells at the festival. A Maine-sized thank you to trip leaders Fred Galenski, Amy Zipperer, Woody Gillies, Maury Mills, Amy Meehan, Bill Kolodnicki, Susan Cline, and Capt. Andy Patterson of the Barbara Frost, who took us on a safe but thrilling ride to Machias Seal Island for the first lifers of my trip.
My big target for this trip was Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), but upon further inspection, I find the thin white lines on a Razorbill (Alca torda) more appealing.
I’ve seen Common Murres (Uria aalge) before, but only in the Pacific, so the bridled form (peculiar to the Atlantic) was new to me.
Back on land, Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum) was new to my ABA Area list (#419), a pleasant surprise when I compiled my notes from a visit to the Edmunds Unit of Moosehorn NWR. Guides pointed out the bird along this alder-lined stream. In the Barings Unit of the refuge, we heard Whip-Poor-Will (Caprimulgus vociferus) responding to recordings (no tick for me, since I don’t count heard-only birds).
I was prepared to see craggy shores and tumultuous headlands, as at West Quoddy Head
and Campobello Island, but
I wasn’t expecting an abundance of bogs and bog-specialty plants: Baked-apple Berry (Rubus chamaemorus) and Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea). Nor was I expecting to see bluets blooming like weeds in people’s yards.
I was looking specifically for Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) and found it in several places. Guides also pointed out Starflower (Trientalis borealis), as well as
a clump of Alder Leaf Beetles (Agelastica alni). A rather larger animal, a Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), crossed the road in front of me on my way to the dock at Cutler. In the category of even-larger mammals, we saw Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina) and one or two Gray Seals (Halichoerus grypus) on the way back from Machias Seal Island.
Interrupted Fern (Osmunda claytoniana) is common here (as at home): I’ve never seen such strong color difference between the spore-bearing part of the plant and the rest of it.
Mystery lichen of the trip was a bright orange species, particularly fond of calcium-rich stone, like those used in the Lubec town cemetery.
Bonus francophone music for the road provided by ICI Musique.
Still working on a cumulative bird species tally for the trip.
And I do like my lighthouses: Little River Light at left, West Quoddy Head Light at right.