Travels with Jacey… foggy birding

Outdoor Adventure (Unique lifestyle/travel/personal experience)

Each winter, we try to find some time to head up the coast of ME for birding. Some years, we head all the way to Quoddy Head, in other years we’re content with the Portland area or NH’s (short) coast. Yesterday was our first birding adventure of this winter and we decided to head to Cape Elizabeth ME, so Mike could check out Dyer Point, an area that he’s heard some other birders talk about lately.

Step 1 – load the car. Our goal is to have more clothing, diapers and food than we could hope to use. There’s nothing worse than being cold while birding. Except maybe a unhappy, hungry, or cold toddler…

Step 2 – Plot the route. As I mentioned, Dyer Point was the main goal, so Mike plotted a route accordingly. The map below shows the 4 stops (represented by blue dots) we planned. From North-South, they were Fort Williams, Dyer Point, Two Lights State Park, and Scarborough Marsh Trail. Mike was targeting good birding, but the perk was there were also some great lighthouses on our travels.

Step 3 – Go birding! The fog cleared a bit as we drove, so we had a decent view in most locations.

Fort Williams Lighthouse

Foggy Family Portrait

SUP’ers coming in from a morning paddle

Jacey has decided that birding = swinging. This was at our first stop, at Fort Williams, and we spent the rest of the day trying (unsuccessfully) to convince her that there are not swingsets at every birding stop.

Taking a break at Dyer Point.

Heading out for a hike on the Scarborough Marsh section of the Eastern Trail. We’ve never actually seen any new species here, but it’s a great place to stretch our legs, admire the scenery, and take Baby Doll for her first backpack ride.

All told, we saw some great birds (list below), enjoyed the fresh air and coastal scenery, had a happy toddler well entertained all day, and still made it home for the Pats game. Great day for all!

The gear list: The requisite “keep us warm” outfits. Food (pretzels, cheese, apples, bananas, raisins, fruit snacks, juice, water, and Coke, plus egg sandwiches for breakfast). Micro-spikes. Four pairs of binoculars (mine, 2 for Mike, and 1 for Jacey). Three dolls (I’m sorry, one “Baby”, one “Pink Dolly”, and one “Purple Dolly”).

Highlights of the bird list: Harlequin Duck (my favorite New England bird), Black Guillemot, Common Eider, Razorbill (new life bird for me!) Black Scoter, White Winged Scoter, American Pipit (a small brown tweety bird that’s quite rare to see), Horned Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-Tailed Hawk, Common Loon, Long-Tailed Duck, and more. I’m not at all a fan of birding for tweety birds – those little brown jobbies flying around the trees are fun to listen to, but aren’t something I enjoy hunting for by binoculars. Sea birds, now those are cool!

Beth Marchand


Beth's love of skiing and summer camp led her to a career in the outdoors. After spending 13 summers at Girl Scout camp on Lake Winnipesaukee, obtaining degrees in wildlife & environmental education, and working 4 years with NH Project Learning Tree, Beth joined Eastern Mountain Sports. As marketing manager, she handles media & advertising, events & sponsorships, new store openings, conservation projects, and more. On the weekends, Beth and her husband, daughter, and dog can be found roaming the mountains, waters, and woods of Northern New England.

1 Comment

  1. January 20, 2013, 8:29 am

    What a perfect combination: adding birds to your life list while having a great time with the family! I’ll bet convincing Jacey that every stop didn’t have a swingset was quite a task-LOL!

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