Hello again, dear reader! Last week I took you on a journey along the Maine Birding Trail. We only covered a portion of the trail because the Moosehead Lake Region is so vast. We left off on the west side of the lake. Today, we look at the east side and explore some of the areas and species that it has to offer. Put on your best wide-brimmed hat and let’s get started!
Our first stop takes us to Gulf Hagas, a beautiful hiking area about nine miles to the east of Moosehead Lake. There is a checkpoint, Hedgehog Checkpoint, that charges $10 per person for non-residents, and $6 for residents. Not only is the birding beautiful in this area, with many of the species discussed in the previous post, but Gulf Hagas is a National Natural Landmark.
Our next stop is Scammon Ridge, a ridge that rises about Wilson Pond. The suggested road to take is Mountain View Lane, and the species you may encounter are mostly warblers, blackburnian, northern parula, black-throated green, and black-throated blue. You’ll also find Swainson’s thrushes and ovenbirds. If you keep driving, you might find some beaver flowages as well.
Lily Bay State Park is next on our list. With beautiful trails, camping sites, and beaches, Lily Bay State Park is a wonderful place for family fun and some bird watching on the lake. The species you’ll find here are the same mentioned above, a variety of warblers, vireos, and thrushes. There are fees to get into the park $3 for adult Maine resident and $4.50 for adult non-Maine resident.
Elephant Mountain is a great place for birdwatching and day hiking. There are areas around the mountain that have been logged and the regrowth with mixed hardwoods, spruce, and pine. In these regrowths you might find, as ever, warblers! Some American redstarts, magnolia, chestnut-sided, and Nashville species. And, if you catch them during migration, you might see Tennessee warblers. Another quick stop you can make here is the B-52 crash site, which was covered in a previous blog.
Further up the lake, before you reach Kokadjo, the Frenchtown Road will take deep, well, deeper into the woods along First Roach Pond. Here you might see different species of warblers, the common yellowthroats, American redstarts, black-throated blue, magnolia, and chestnut-sided. This road will bring you to the Number Four Mountain trailhead off Meadowbrook Lane, which is a wonderful hike.
If you continue up to Kokadjo, a very small community with a population of “not many” you might catch sight of some different species of swallow, the barn, tree, and cliff swallows are common here. On the water of the pond, you might also catch sight of some common loons and mallards.
Beyond Kokadjo, which I know doesn’t seem possible, you’ll find Lazy Tom Stream, a wonderful spot to find northern harriers, warblers, grosbeaks and maybe some white winged crossbills. Just a ways beyond you’ll find Big Spencer Mountain, another fabulous hike and an opportunity to see Bicknell’s thrush.
The last leg of the trip is a doozy. The Golden road is a well used log road that is above Moosehead Lake, and that brings you around Seboomook Lake. Be careful on this road, as mentioned earlier, it is a logging road, meaning there will be big trucks, so give them the right of way. This road will connect you to either side of Moosehead Lake. Gas stations are few and far between this far north, so make sure you’re prepared for that. Along this road you may see spruce grouse, chickadee, gray jay, Cape May warbler, yellow-bellied flycatcher, and the black-backed woodpecker. In the clear cuts you mays see some mourning warblers or Lincoln’s sparrows.
These two blogs have discussed over forty birds that are found in the Moosehead Lake Region! Our region is truly a diverse place! Keep a look out for these amazing species of birds on your travels. As ever, dear reader, I invite you to come visit our region and give birding a try for yourself.