Pennamaquan falls and fish ladder

During their three-week run each year, 30,000 alewives a day press up this fast-moving fish ladder beside the small dam and waterfalls on their way to breeding grounds upstream.
The current is strong but the six-inch fish are stronger.
The added touch of the birdhouse makes me smile.
The Pembroke United Methodist Church overlooks the lake just above the dam, with some much bigger ones miles ahead.

When the alewives run

Around mid-May across the New England coast, the alewives migrate en masse upstream to freshwater breeding grounds. Sometimes identified as river herring, they have played a role in the region’s heritage, from Indigenous peoples on.

They’ve made it halfway up the ladder. They’re also quite strong, considering the speed and force of the rushing water.

They still attract fishermen to the riverbanks and bridges, as well as eagles and osprey overhead.

And here’s a bald eagle that’s about to catch another of them. The osprey weren’t about at the moment.

And though bony, many folks consider them a seasonal delicacy, often worked into an appetizer. More commonly, they’re a common lobster bait.

A year of puffin-viewing tours to Machias Seal Island sells out in 45 minutes

The narrow, mile-wide island, claimed by both Canada and the U.S., is treasured by many birdwatchers for having the largest colony of nesting puffins along the Maine coast.

Trips to the island are limited, so much so that when online reservations for daily summer visits opened at 8 a.m. on January 10, all the tickets were booked in 45 minutes – at $180 a seat.

Sounds like a real bucket-list item, even if the boat sails from Cutler in my own Sunrise County.

Be warned, too, that the weather can be iffy, meaning that reservation might be cancelled on short notice.

Should I start considering a trip to Newfoundland if I really want to see any of the distinctive birds?

Deer are everywhere in this city

Eastport is a city, after all, and many of the homes are packed in close together. Not that it matters to our local wildlife.

Here’s one in our driveway.
And crossing over to our neighbors.
They frequent a large lawn overlooking Shackford Cove and the sea.
This yard’s only a few blocks from downtown.
And these critters are just a block from the Breakwater.

They’re so much a part of the place they even have their own Facebook page, Deer Eastport, and it is very active.

No matter how cute, though, they’re a gardening challenge. As are the raccoons.

 

Nesting osprey

Mama’s head keeps a vigilant watch. For some reason, osprey often build their big nests atop power poles. This one is in Cutler.
Once alarmed, she’ll take flight, raise a racket, and threaten to attack. So beware. As I learned in East Machias.
Here’s an active nest in Princeton, atop a post in a human family’s yard, actually.
In Pembroke, there’s this impressive nest atop a piling at a landing. Almost looks like the structure was built for these majestic birds.