Video Bird Watching on the Coast of Maine

Sunday, July 3, 2011, 6:14 a.m. EST, 65 degrees F

This morning we were at the beach overlook very early and at low tide—a light fog cast a magical light on everything. The bird life was amazing with more birds than I can ever remember seeing there. We saw many different gulls and ducks, and we could hear but didn’t see songbirds.

The morning’s highlight, however, were three Great Blue Herons (scientific name Ardea herodias; affectionately dubbed GBH by bird watchers). You can (very faintly) see one of these GBHs in the video, just off shore on the left side above the tree. The GBH is the largest wading bird in Maine, but it is found almost everywhere in the United States. Its wingspan is about 4 feet—and if you’re lucky enough to see one of these birds (flying or wading), they are mesmerizing.

Ardea herodias, Great Blue Heron

I was also pretty surprised to see two beach visitors I’ve never before seen: crows and a chipmunk! The chipmunk ran right down to the water!—and since they are omnivores, I wonder if it was looking for shellfish?

The new seedlings surrounded by magenta yarrow (far left),
yellow coreopsis, right, and blue-purple violas (back right);
Siberian irises are in the back (spiky foliage)

Meanwhile in the garden… yesterday we planted some new annuals in the perennial flower bed (to add a little mid-summer color): margeurite daisy seedlings, gerber daisy seedlings, and zinnia and larkspur seeds.


  1. I love great blue herons, though my mom might have a different feeling. When I was young, she left me outside in an unfilled plastic kiddie pool while she went to get the hose, and a great blue heron landed IN it WITH me. She freaked out to say the least! (This is in my home state of PA).

    These prehistoric-looking birds make several appearances in my first novel. They were very common around our home.

  2. Melissa! That is an incredible story — and I can well imagine why your mom may not like GBH’s! I would have come unglued….so thank goodness I wasn’t your mom! Very interesting about the birds frequently appearing in your first novel; they have always been an “important bird” in my life (LOL, that sounds weird, huh?)….. another similarity!

  3. Cynthia Robertson says:

    Love the video…looks nice and moist and cool there. (In contrast to HERE.) Can hear the little birds singing all around you.
    Beautiful Blue Heron. Aren’t the big birds so majestic?

  4. Ann says:

    You can really hear the birds singing in the video – and I agree with Cynthia…it looks very cool there. Here there isn’t a cloud in the sky and it’s in the 90s…but I just love it that way! I hope you are well!

    P.S. The flowers look lovely

  5. Leah says:

    Look at all the color in your garden? It’s so pretty! So what’s the weather like? It looks overcast. Is it? Or humid? It’s in the 80s here, a little humid, but also a slight breeze. Not bad at all for the July 4th weekend!

  6. Hi Julia…love the Great Blue Heron and the garden. Its absolutely colourful and pleasing to the eyes. I envy you the visit to the beach, there is no beach where I stay.

  7. HAPPY 4th OF JULY to all of you!! Cheers for a happy day wherever you are!! I’ll be on the same bridge overlook as in the video tonight, watching fireworks in several directions!

    Cynthia, Glad you enjoyed the video! It IS moist and cool here, perhaps too much so. It’s so frustrating, knowing what AZ is going through! The bird life is quite amazing right now.

    Ann, I’m glad you enjoy the hot weather — not my cup of tea BUT it’s much too cool and rainy here. The garden is not doing so well consequently!

    Leah, The flowers are beautiful but a bit rangey and weedy due to the rain — not enough time to work in the garden! 80s and breezy in San Diego sounds AMAZING! Here, rainy and cool again today after 80s yesterday!

    Rachna, Thank you so much for the visit to my blog and for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the heron and the color in the garden — the beach is a huge bonus to living in Maine, I must agree…. hope you make it to a beach sometime soon!

  8. BIKE LADY says:

    Great Blue Herons. They ARE mesmerizing to watch. We have them here in Arizona. You’ll see them on lakes, on golf course ponds and creek beds. I love to watch them wade across the water’s edge. So graceful. I wrote about this a while back on my blog. I was supposed to be golfing one afternoon, and instead got caught up with watching these amazing birds. It’s a peaceful memory that I’m glad to be reminded of here.