30 October 2015

Migration and Monhegan

One of my fondest memories of this past summer was the night we spent with campers on Monhegan Island.  Monhegan sits far our in the Gulf of Maine and it a perfect land beacon for migranting birds as they travel south. We hiked up to a open hillside for sunrise and watched the migrant show at it's best. Flyover warblers, shorebirds, and raptors graced the skies above and a few even landed for closer inspection.

We watched raptors diving over the Monhegan forests and heard Bobolinks calling high in the sky.  We were even given great views of a couple of Whimbrels that made repeated flyovers that morning.

Whimbrel over Monhegan taken by Tom Johnson
Of course the main attraction was after sunrise when we hiked the Monhegan trails in search of migrants busily feeding on trees and bush.  We were able to identify 19 species of wood-warblers that day in addition to seeing three species of vireos in one binocular field of view!  In addition, we had a rare Black-crowned Night Heron at the Ice Pond and so many Merlins you couldn't count them all.  

Prairie Warbler on Monhegan taken by Tom Johnson
If you're thinking about joining the Hog Island Audubon Camp on Monhegan next year, you're in luck!  We have two weeks of migration camp with two different sets of prices.  The first session will be a lower price as we will just do a day trip to Monhegan.  The second session of Living on the Wind: Migration and Monhegan will be higher in price but will include an overnight on the island and a chance to see this sunrise birding firsthand!  Of course spaces are limited and we are selling out fast.  I hope you'll consider joining us next summer. 

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