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Stanton Bird Club plans January event, announces results of Christmas Bird Count

This Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker was photographed during the club’s annual Christmas Bird Count on December 16. Although Sapsuckers breed in Maine, they have usually migrated much further south by this time of year. This was the first one spotted on the club’s Christmas Count since Stanton started participating in 1980. (Photo by Dan Marquis)

The Stanton Bird Club of Lewiston and Auburn will not hold a monthly meeting in January since USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, where the meetings are usually held, will be closed for the holidays. Instead, the club will lead a birding field trip on Saturday, January 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to look for winter ducks, especially Harlequins and King Eiders, at Marginal Way and Ogunquit.

Participants will carpool from the meeting place in the Promenade Mall parking lot, near Staples, at 855 Lisbon Street in Lewiston, and will travel to various viewing places. Bring warm clothes and a portable lunch. For more information, call trip leader Steve Reed at 319-6630. The trip is free and open to all.

Many people who enjoy watching birds keep lists of each species they see. The beginning of a new year is a good time to start a Year List. You might want to keep a small notebook to record in. You could include the name of the bird and the date you first saw it in 2018. You might also want to note where you saw it and a few interesting details. If you keep your Year Lists over time, you can compare when you saw your first Chickadee or Cardinal of the year. This can bring a sense of excitement for each new bird you see, starting January 1st, and can help you be more aware of the birds around your home.

Stanton Bird Club field trips can help you expand your Year List by bringing you out of your usual viewing areas under the leadership of experienced birders who point out and identify dozens of birds on each trip. If you attend enough field trips throughout the year, you have a good chance of listing over a hundred different kinds of birds on your Year List! Birders also keep Life Lists, which generates a lot of enthusiasm to find new birds. Why not start your own Year List this January, and come to the January 13 field trip to get off to a good start?

Just a few weeks ago, the Stanton Bird Club held its 38th Christmas Bird Count. Twenty-two people participated, dividing up into six groups to spread out over Lewiston and Auburn. Jointly, they saw 53 different species of birds in just this one birding event. The first ever Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker seen on this group’s Christmas Bird Count was photographed this year by Dan Marquis’ team. Two other birds sighted that had not been seen for over fifteen years on this area’s Christmas Count were a Yellow-Rumped Warbler and a Northern Pintail. Another treat and record count seen this year was a huge raft of 320 Common Goldeneyes on Lake Auburn.

People of all ages and backgrounds belong to the Stanton Bird Club, but all share a love of nature in general and especially birds. Today there are some 200 club members, including 20 Junior Naturalists. The club manages the Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary and the Woodbury Nature Sanctuary in Monmouth and Litchfield. For more information, find them on Facebook or see

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