Weekly Notes – August 25, 2013

Office of MNNMonday morning I had good intentions of getting an early start on this week’s Nature Notes.  However, I left my chair empty for only a moment to refill my coffee and find my shoes and came back to discover the cat had stolen my place.  Then I realized a giant fly had somehow found its way in the house…. I won’t venture a guess on what kind it might be, if you can identify it please email me.  Up to that point it was a typical Monday in any office.

 Giant Fly

It is that time of year when things seem easy for creatures, the heat has passed, birds have fledged and flocks of cormorants are in the sky.  Juvenile animals become independent and parents have a reprieve from their duties.  Fruits and seeds mature providing plentiful nutrition and opportunities for nature observation are everywhere.  Here is a sampling that I was able to capture on camera from this past week.

fawns under appleThere are three fawns and two does in this group feeding under an apple tree.  I observed  another doe and fawn earlier but for some reason they prefer to browse alone.  All of the deer enjoy the clover and plantain that grows in a nearby field and are able to quickly scoot into the shrubbery when they feel the need to hide.

Red-tailed hawk jThis juvenile Red-tailed hawk is keeping an eye out for mice in the tall grasses.  I have heard it in the middle of the day making a rather annoying nasal-whistle screech in the trees overhead.  Apparently its teenage voice change hasn’t happened yet.

Great EgretThe afternoon sun shines on these Great Egrets in a salt-marsh tidal pool.  The smaller bird to the left is a Snowy Egret.

The Great Egret, Ardea alba, is all white with a yellow bill and black feet and legs.  It breeds in colonies with other species such as the Great Blue Heron and can be found along the coastal marshes in late summer/early fall.  It is documented that this species may even fly further north after breeding.  In my experience I see them only for a few weeks as the southern most part of Maine is the northern limit of their range.  These were observed behind Seapoint Beach in Kittery, Dma&g map 1.

Eagle juvenile backA large bird flying into a stand of red oak trees caught my eye.  It was an immature bald eagle, curious to look around at me and other sounds in the area, but didn’t seem to be interested in hunting.  I watched it for about a 1/2 hour before it flew off.

Eagle juvenileWhen you have a moment, look out the window, look up in the sky, listen carefully and you will have success in seeing the many wonders that share our beautiful State of Maine with us.