DSA 2010 Day 0

As promised, here’s the first day of my trip to Maine for the Dragonfly Society of the Americas annual meeting.

Thursday 6/24:

The meeting was scheduled to begin with a late afternoon social thing. Since it’s about 5 hours to Orono, I decided to head up early and make a couple birding stops along the way. I left the house a little after 6 and reached the Kennebunk Plains at about 8:30.

The plains are a big open grassland with all sorts of interesting birds. My main target was Upland Sandpiper and I wasn’t even 50 feet from the car when one made several passes overhead.Uppie in Flight

It circled and called quite a bit and landed occasionally. Most of the time on the ground, it was hidden in the grasses, but I did manage one shot.


Upland Sandpiper was a long-overdue life bird so I spent a good bit of time enjoying them (there were at least two right there). Very much a curlew.

Once I had my fill of the sandpipers, I continued down the trail hoping for a few of the other specialties. Grasshopper, Vesper, and Clay-colored Sparrows all apparently breed here but I was only able to find Vesper. Fortunately, there were several and they were very cooperative.





I eventually worked my way down to some water, which was pretty quiet. It was getting hot, so I headed back to the car (stopping for the sparrows again) and moved on.

My next stop was to be Scarborough Marsh. However, I got somewhat lost along the way (not sure if there’s been new development since the birder’s guide to Maine was written or if I was just in the wrong spot for the entire time) so it took an extra hour. Once at the marsh, it was drizzling a bit. I decided that I didn’t feel like carrying the scope and would just take a quick walk out.

On the way, a Seaside Dragonlet posed nicely:


The usual birds were around including many egrets, a few Glossy Ibis, and Willets.


Sharp-tailed Sparrows were singing a good bit and I got some brief views. I suspect most were Nelson’s but one appeared noticably brighter, so that was probably a Saltmarsh. After following the path most of the way out, I headed back to the car for lunch (stopping for these neat flies on the way).


From here, I headed straight up to Orono, arriving early afternoon. I checked into my hotel, showered, rested a bit, and then headed to the main conference hotel. The group was taking over the lobby and I quickly was saying hello to many of the people I had met last year and meeting many others that came from further away.

After an hour or so here, we moved in a large group for dinner. This wasn’t the best idea as the nameless (only partially because I don’t remember it) restaurant was not capable of dealing with 30 people at once. The waitstaff was new but almost had things under control but the kitchen did not. My table got food probably 20 minutes after the other tables. For a slightly more expensive place, I wasn’t impressed with the obviously frozen green beans and packaged rice pilaf.

Once we finally managed to get away from the restaurant, we returned to the hotel where the initial meeting had already just about finished. Fortunately, they ran it again, so we were briefed on possible locations for tomorrow’s field trips.

After that, it was off to the hotel and bed for a fairly early start.