Day 36 – Baxter State Park – in two halves

Philadelphia Vireo saved us from a ‘dot day – a subtle version of Red-eyed Vireo, with less distinct head stripes and a lemon throat (photo courtesy of Jane) An uncommon vireo which breeds in southern Canada and north Maine

Baxter State Park is a 200,000 acre block of mountainous forest which includes Mount Katahdin, 5269 ft – the highest peak in Maine. There is a 40 mile drive which connects the north and south gates to the park. We got up early and drove the 140 mile drive to the north gate ready to enjoy a leisurely drive through the park to exit at the south gate, close to our base in East Millinocket. All was going well until the Park Ranger who greeted us at the north entrance told us that the road was still closed! We were able to drive nine miles into the park before turning back, and tomorrow we plan to do the southern half, as far as the road is open. Apparently the whole route is unlikely to open for the summer for another couple of weeks. We did however see a nice selection of warblers – all of which we’d seen at some point on our travels north from Florida – and other species of interest. The best birds of the day came within the first half mile of entering the park and at the very end, just after we’d left. A very vocal Philadelphia Vireo saved us from the anticipated ‘dot day’ and a Black-headed Woodpecker, flying low over the road on our way home, was a totally unexpected bonus, though unfortunately not seen by all the occupants of the vehicle.

Broad-winged Hawk sat on roadside wires
This Common Loon (Great Northern Diver) was our lunch-time entertainment, fishing in one of the many lakes
We’ve seen Blackburnian Warbler in various places during our journey north, following Spring migration – stunning nonetheless
This entry was posted in Birding.

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