October 16, 2019
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Belfast Bay Watershed heads out for annual Cathy Morgan Bird Week

Community Author: Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition
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Cloe Chun | Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition
Cloe Chun | Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition

BELFAST — Cathy Morgan Bird Week, May 11-18, was an unusually cold and wet week. Many of the usual species such as red-eyed vireos, indigo buntings, scarlet tanagers had not arrived yet . Nevertheless, we persisted all week wearing our winter coats and raincoats, rubber boots on wet rails and fields, and took two trips by canoe.

In all, we spotted 90 species we could identify, and some ducks in flight we could not identify. Mike Shannon’s fans filled a wet hayfield with 22 watchers as one lone woodcock braved thick evening fog to circle and sing to ladybirds hiding around the field.

Species of notice include marsh wrens, a pied-billed grebe and a whippoorwill on Hurds Pond in the rising full moon. On the Goose River paddle, we watched 13 greater yellowlegs sandpipers keep taking off and staying ahead of us, and three American bitterns in flight above the marsh. We also watched a pair of marsh hawks, aka northern harriers, hunt over the marshes.