Brownfield Bog: June 4, 2011

Brownfield WMA sign

The Brownfield Wildlife Management Area protects the bog and the surrounding area.

Brownfield Bog is located near the Maine/New Hampshire border in Brownfield, Maine. It is an ideal location for multiple state listers, lovers of pristine Maine woods, and searchers for specific target species. Without question it is one of the top birding spots of interior New England. Maintained by the State of Maine as the Brownfield Bog Wildlife Management Area, it is comprised of 5,700 acres of shallow wetlands that are bisected by the Saco River and interspersed with forested tracts. Spring migration and the early breeding season are ideal times to visit this site.  York County Audubon sponsors a field trip there annually.

Brownfield Bog trip leader Lisa Thurston

Lisa Thurston leads field trips to Brownfield Bog.

June 4th was our scheduled event. We were led through the bog by Lisa Thurston of South Brownfield. Lisa has become a local expert and the bog is her patch. Thirteen individuals joined in the birding party. We had some old timers and two new field trip participants. Thanks to everyone, our newest birder was coaxed onto most birds and her exclaims of “I see it” were as welcome as the bird itself. Our target species for this trip, the Yellow-throated Vireo, showed well. But the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and cuckoos were not as cooperative. We have missed the cuckoos the last couple of years so we will consider a later date for next year’s trip.

Highlights for one new participant included the winnowing and then seeing Wilson’s Snipe as she thought snipe hunting was just a game that her mother had dreamed up. The Common Yellowthroat that was appreciated by the others and dubbed the Lone Ranger. The social aspects of the walk were appreciated by some while those who like to listen moved to quieter areas. The award for best sound goes to the Willow Flycatchers that were so busy calling RITZbew/RRRITZbeyew that we almost missed the calling Virginia Rail.

Thanks to all who participated in this 45 species walk. “It was a fun day,” to quote Ellen Doubleday, in a unique area of southern Maine.

About Harlequin

Harlequin is a pseudonym for content not attributed to a specific author. It echoes the name of the YCAS newsletter, The Harlequin. Watch for Harlequin Ducks along the rocky portions of the York County coast in winter. ¶ The avatar is by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, who sketched and painted the species during the Harriman Alaska Expedition. ¶ "When we got before the glacier, I saw my first pair of harlequins... the glass showed them plainly to be a ♂ + ♀ histrionicus." — L.A. Fuertes, June 7, 1899
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