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A Plan for Monitoring Shorebirds During the Non-breeding Season in

Bird Monitoring Regions Maine – BCR 30 & BCR 14

Prepared by: Sandy Chan

Version *.*

2003
Updated 2008
Table of Contents
Introduction....................................................................................................................................3
Methods...........................................................................................................................................5
BCR 30 Results - Shorebirds........................................................................................................7
Site Descriptions-Maine.................................................................................................................8
Scarborough Marsh......................................................................................................................8
Site 1: Western Beach..............................................................................................................9
Site 2: Eastern Road................................................................................................................9
Site 3: Pine Point......................................................................................................................9
Site 4: Dunstan Landing.........................................................................................................10
Site 5: Jones Creek................................................................................................................10
Site 6: Winnocks Neck..........................................................................................................10
Site 7: Ocean View Lane.......................................................................................................10
Biddeford Pool...........................................................................................................................11
Sampson Cove, Cape Porpoise..................................................................................................13
Ox Cart Lane, Lower Wells.......................................................................................................15
Bluff and Stratton Islands..........................................................................................................17
BCR 14 Results – Shorebirds......................................................................................................19
Site Descriptions-Maine...............................................................................................................20
Presumpscot River and Mackworth Flats..................................................................................20
Presumpscot River.................................................................................................................20
Seawall Beach and Popham Beach State Park...........................................................................22
Reid State Park...........................................................................................................................26
Weskeag Marsh .........................................................................................................................28
Over Point and Cove..................................................................................................................30
Back Bay................................................................................................................................32
Mill River...............................................................................................................................33
Flat Bay..................................................................................................................................34
Lower Wass Cove, Upper Wass Cove, and Pleasant River........................................................35
Crowley Island...........................................................................................................................38
Sprague Neck, Cutler.................................................................................................................40
Lubec: Gravel Bar, Flats, Center, and Medical Center..............................................................41
Lubec Gravel Bar:..................................................................................................................42
Lubec Flats:............................................................................................................................42
Lubec Center:.........................................................................................................................43
Lubec Medical Center:...........................................................................................................44
Carrying Place Cove, Eastport...................................................................................................45
Acknowledgements......................................................................................................................46
References....................................................................................................................................47

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Introduction
The bird conservation initiatives - waterbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds and landbirds - are
cooperating to design a comprehensive “integrated bird monitoring” (IBM) program for Canada
and the United States. The conceptual framework for IBM (Fig. 1) includes strong emphasis on
detecting species at risk and helping to protect them. These broad goals are achieved by
estimating population trends and defining requirements for viable populations. These objectives
in turn are accomplished by population modeling based on population levels, demographic rates
and habitat information. Population trends are estimated by surveying breeding populations
whenever possible, and by surveying the species for which this is not feasible at other times of
year. Surveys of all species are made throughout the year to help identify and monitor use of
suitable habitat.

Figure 1. Conceptual framework for integrated bird monitoring.

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Most surveys in upland habitats are designed at a large spatial scale (e.g., southern
Canada and the United States) and do not require detailed information at the local level. Surveys
of wetland habitats, in contrast, must be carefully designed to insure that the habitat is well
covered, and different methods may be needed in different environments. A series of “regional
assessments” is thus being prepared to help design the wetland surveys. Regions were formed by
intersecting a Bird Conservation Region (BCR) map with a Province and State map, deleting
small polygons and smoothing the borders (Fig. 2). The resulting “Bird Monitoring Regions” can
be used to scale up results to either BCRs or Provinces and States.

Figure 2. Shorebird Planning and Bird Conservation Regions in Canada and the United States.

Adapted from: USFWS-U.S. Shorebird Plan and CWS-Canadian Shorebird Conservation Plan

The regional assessments summarize current information about wetland bird distribution,
abundance, habitat relationships and timing of use within the Region and identify information
needed to design reliable monitoring programs. These “needed pilot studies” are then prioritized
by people concerned with monitoring birds in the region and a plan is developed to carry out the
work. Carrying out the pilot studies is expected to take 1-3 years. Long-term surveys will then be
implemented. Additional details are provided in “Managers Monitoring Manual” available at
http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/monmanual/techniques/shorebirdsnonbreedingsites.htm. More
information on regional progress can be found at the U.S. Shorebird Plan’s Regional
Conservation Plan website (http://www.fws.gov/shorebirdplan/RegionalShorebird.htm).

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Methods
Focal wetland species of shorebirds were first identified. The initial list included all
wetland species of shorebirds that are common or abundant at any time of year within the
Region, according to Brian Harrington and based largely upon data from the International
Shorebird Surveys (ISS). Sites in which any of the focal species are common or abundant at any
time of year were then identified using a list prepared for this project and supplemented by
information provided by birding guides, ornithologists and birders knowledgeable of the Region.
Most sites were single areas, such as a National Wildlife Refuge, but dispersed sites, such as
“lakes >10 ha”, could also be identified.

Figure 3. PRISM sites in BCR 13, 14, 30, 27, and 31.

The

International Shorebird Survey (ISS) provided species numbers for some of the identified sites.
The ISS is a volunteer based survey initiated in 1974 by Brian Harrington. Volunteers select
their survey sites and are given guidelines on census frequency and data collection for spring and
fall migration. The ISS guidelines ask volunteers to survey once every 10 days from April 1st to
June 10th for spring migration, and once every 10 days from July 11th to October 31st for fall
migration. ISS records provided the maximum counts recorded for species where the identified
site is also an ISS site.

Survey methods for sites include appropriate tide levels for surveys, if that information is
available. Tide levels for surveys are based on the advice of biologists and birders with
knowledge about the sites. Due to the different geography of the sites, different tide levels

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are recommended to concentrate the birds for a survey. While high tide at one site may bring in
birds that are spread out over an expansive area at low tide, high tide at another site may
completely cover the habitat or food resources and scatter the birds elsewhere. Therefore,
different tide levels may be recommended for different sites.

Additional site information may also include information about visibility. Excellent/good
visibility simply means that the birds can be seen without obstruction clearly enough to identify
to species, either by physically getting close enough or with a good scope or binoculars.

Maps showing land ownership, roads and wetlands were prepared for the region. Maps of
each site were also prepared and information useful in designing surveys for the focal species
was presented. The survey objective was assumed to be estimating the average number of birds
of each focal species present within the site during a specified interval. Up to three types of
habitat were described for each focal species: Type 1 habitat, outlined in purple on the maps,
included regularly-used areas that should be sampled using a well-defined sampling plan. Type 2
habitat, which was outlined in red, included areas used sparingly by the focal species. Type 2
habitat is not surveyed as often or with rigorously defined methods, but is surveyed less formally
every few years to document continued low use by the focal species. Type 3 habitat receives
virtually no use by the focal species during the study period and is not surveyed as part of the
monitoring program. Requests, however, are circulated for any records of the focal species
occurring in substantial numbers in these areas.

A description of each site was prepared with the following headings:

Boundaries and ownership
Focal species using the site and timing of use
Location of type 1 and 2 habitat within the site
Access to the type 1 and 2 habitat and visibility of the birds
Past and current surveys
Potential survey methods
Description
Selection bias
Measurement error and bias
Needed pilot studies

We assume for any survey that the study area and study period (within years) have been
defined. The goal of the survey was assumed to be estimating the trend, across several years, in
the average number of birds present during the study period. Bias means a long-term trend in the
ratio (number recorded)/(average number present). Selection bias ensues when some portion of
Type 1 habitat has zero chance of being surveyed, usually due to access problems, and there is a
long-term trend in the proportion of birds using the non-sampled portion. Exclusion of some
Type 1 habitat does not necessarily cause selection bias because trends in the sampled areas
might be the same as trends in the non-sampled areas. Anytime some portion of Type 1 habitat
could not be included in the sampled areas, the potential for selection bias and ways to reduce it
were discussed. Measurement error means not detecting all birds present in the surveyed area at
the time of the survey. Measurement bias is a long term trend in the proportion of birds present at

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the time of the survey that are detected on the survey. Measurement error does not necessarily
cause measurement bias because the proportion of birds detected might not change through time.
Anytime measurement error was probable, its magnitude and probable stability through time
were discussed along with ways to reduce the proportion of birds missed on the surveys.

BCR 30 Results - Shorebirds

Table 1. Focal shorebird species for BCR 30

CODE SPECIES
BBPL Black-bellied Plover
SEPL Semipalmated Plover
AMOY American Oystercatcher
GRYE Greater Yellowlegs
LEYE Lesser Yellowlegs
SOSA Solitary Sandpiper
SPSA Spotted Sandpiper
WHIM Whimbrel
RUTU Ruddy Turnstone
REKN Red Knot
SAND Sanderling
SESA Semipalmated Sandpiper
LESA Least Sandpiper
WRSA White-rump Sandpiper
DUNL Dunlin
SBDO Short-billed Dowitcher

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Site Descriptions-Maine
Scarborough Marsh

Description: Scarborough Marsh is located about seven miles southwest of Portland, ME. The
marsh consists of sand beach, intertidal mudflats and estuarine marsh with an extensive complex
of flooded ditches and pannes. It is owned by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and
Wildlife (MDIFW) and managed as part of the Scarborough Wildlife Management Area. There
are seven survey hotspots within this site, mostly roost sites, which have been marked with
dashed circles on the map above. All areas are easily accessible from roads or parking lots.

The most numerous species from ISS maximum count data are: BBPL (120), SEPL (200), GRYE
921), LEYE (38), WHIM (34), RUTU (60), SESA (300), LESA (20) and SBDO (100).

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Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted throughout the marsh. Scarborough
Marsh is a vast area and may require several volunteers to survey. Lindsay Tudor, MDIFW
biologist, has divided the marsh into seven survey areas.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement error: *

Measurement bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

Site 1: Western Beach

Description: Western Beach consists of sand beach and intertidal mudflats. The flats are
used extensively by feeding shorebirds. The sand beach experiences heavy human use
and therefore receives minimal shorebird use. The outstanding feature in this site is an
intertidal shoal, which becomes an island during certain parts of the tide, concentrating
large numbers of shorebirds. Numbers increase until the bar becomes covered at high
tide, but birds quickly return as soon as it is exposed again feeding along the receding
tide. Access is from the beach parking area.

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted on the rising tide, but not at high
tide.

Site 2: Eastern Road

Description: Eastern Road runs through the middle of Scarborough Marsh. The habitat
adjacent to the road includes estuarine marsh and intertidal flats. Areas can be observed
from Eastern Road and the golf course. Access is from Eastern Road.

Survey Method: Ground surveys from Eastern Road and the golf course.

Site 3: Pine Point

Description: This area contains sand beach, estuarine marsh and inter-tidal mudflats.
Some roosting occurs in the sand beach areas. The major use occurs by feeding birds
using the intertidal areas. Birds begin arriving in numbers two hours after high tide and
increase through the falling tide. Access is from the Town landing parking lot or Public
Beach lot.

Survey Method: Ground surveys of the inter-tidal areas should be conducted from two
hours after high tide through the falling tide.

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Site 4: Dunstan Landing

Description: This area consists predominantly of estuarine marsh and pannes used both
for feeding and roosting around the higher ranges of the tide. Access is through the Maine
Audubon parking lot on Route 9.

Survey Method: Ground surveys of the pannes should be conducted around the higher
ranges of the tide.

Site 5: Jones Creek

Description: This area consists of irregularly inundated inter-tidal and brackish marsh,
characterized by large areas of sparsely vegetated pannes and flats. Because this area is
above the influence of tides, birds use it throughout the tidal cycle for roosting and
feeding. Access is from Borden’s Seafood products lot, off Route 9.

Survey Method: Ground surveys. Tidal stage is not a factor at this area.

Site 6: Winnocks Neck

Description: This area consists of estuarine marsh and pannes. Shorebirds use the pannes
for feeding and roosting predominantly around the higher ranges of the tide. Intertidal
mudflats of the Scarborough River are exposed at low tide. Large numbers of shorebirds
concentrate in this area, just up river from the railroad bridge, as the incoming tide begins
covering the flats. Access points are located at Winnocks Neck Road, Salt Marsh Road
and the railroad tracks.

Survey Method: Ground surveys of the pannes should be conducted at the higher ranges
of the tide for feeding and roosting birds; and/or ground surveys of the river mudflats
north of the railroad tracks should be conducted on the incoming tide.

Site 7: Ocean View Lane

Description: This site consists of estuarine, emergent marsh and pannes. Shorebirds use
the pannes for feeding and roosting predominantly around higher ranges of the tide.
Access is by a dirt road at the end of Ocean View lane.

Survey Methods: Ground surveys of the pannes should be conducted at the higher
ranges of the tide for feeding and roosting birds.

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Biddeford Pool

Description: Located about 7.5 miles south of Scarborough Marsh on the coast of Maine,
Biddeford Pool is a tidal inlet formed by two spits of land connecting to an island. The Pool
consists of large mudflats interspersed with shallow pools in the grassy areas. The beaches along
the outer shores of Biddeford Pool are rocky, but the two barriers are made up of long stretches
of sandy beach. The shorebird hotspots within the site are Fletcher Neck and Back Bay within
the Pool and Fortunes Rocks to the southwest of the Pool.

The emergent marsh along the north side of Fletcher Neck is used extensively as roosting habitat.
Observers can stand in the marsh just as the incoming tide covers the last areas of exposed flats

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and watch large numbers of shorebirds coming in to roost. Fletcher Neck can be accessed from
Route 208, parking behind Hattie’s Deli (one mile from Route 9-208 junction) or parking spaces
along Mile Stretch Road (Route 208).

Another particularly important roost area is the emergent marsh on the north side of Biddeford
Pool, in Back Bay. There is a small sand/gravel/cobble beach that often supports large numbers
of roosting shorebirds. This location is accessed across private property on Hills Beach Road.

Fortunes Rocks consists of a long narrow sandy beach with patches of rocky shoreline and at low
tide sand and mud flats. Shorebirds frequently roost in fair numbers on the rock areas. The east
side of this site, South Point and Beach Island, also supports large numbers of Purple Sandpipers
during winter. Access is from Public Beach Parking Lot, Northwest corner of 5th street, and
parking spaces along Mile Stretch Road.

Biddeford Pool is easily accessed from Route 208. Visibility is good for the entire site and
observation points can be found easily from Fletcher Neck right behind Hattie’s Deli and the
Back Bay marshes right off Hills Beach Road. Another important survey area is the sand bar
located between Hills Beach and Basket Island.

The most common species from ISS maximum count data are: BBPL (434), LBPL, GRYE (57),
LEYE (21), WHIM (34), RUTU (75), REKN (10), SAND (200), SESA (650), LESA (322),
DUNL (81), SBDO (105) and SEPL (60).

All inter-tidal areas in Maine are public. However, the area above the high water mark
surrounding Biddeford Pool is privately owned.

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted three hours before high tide when the
flats are almost covered and birds are concentrated on the last bits of mud or beginning to
concentrate at the roosting areas (dashed circles on the map). Survey should take about three
hours, before and during high tide. The Fortunes Rocks area should be walked end to end.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement error: *

Measurement bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

Local Contacts: Kate O’Brien, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge; Nancy McReel, ISS
Cooperator.

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Sampson Cove, Cape Porpoise

Description: Sampson Cove is located just east of Kennebunkport and Cape Porpoise in Maine.
The site is at the end of Fisher Road, off of Route 9. Ownership is mixed with some portions of
the area owned by Rachel Carson NWR and other portions privately owned. This site contains
approximately 66,432 square meters of creek bottom, approximately 95% of which is exposed at
low tide due to it being wide and shallow. There are also approximately 34,698 square meters of
marsh grass within this site and visibility can be hampered by it. But disturbance is relatively low
and large portions of the marsh, across from the survey point and to the west, are owned and
managed by Rachel Carson NWR.

Kate O’Brien, wildlife biologist for Rachel Carson NWR, has provided shorebird survey data
from Samspon Cove. The most common species from 2004 peak survey count data are: SEPL
(100), BBPL (27), SESA (100), SBDO (38) and PEEP (150).

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Access: Sampson Cove can be accessed off of Fisher Road. Take Route 9 to the center of Cape
Porpoise and turn east at the intersection where the road heads towards the harbor. Fisher Road is
on the left hand side. The access point to Sampson Cove is private. Rachel Carson NWR must be
contacted in advance to arrange for permission.
The main survey areas and vantage points within this site are located at the end of Fisher Road.
One vantage point is directly ahead and towards the ocean to the east. A second vantage point
can be accessed by walking along the shore and slightly to the west. Birds tend to concentrate on
the mudflats at low tide and also along the salt marsh across the river.

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted within two hours of low tide. The survey
area is large and there are often a lot of birds, so a scope is a must. According to Kate O’Brien,
surveyors will have a good view of the creek bed if they walk out onto the rocks. The visibility
of birds is good on the creek-bed, but there is a small grass island to the northwest which
obstructs vision. Walking down to the second survey point should provide a better view of birds
that may be behind the grass island.

Selection Bias: Selection bias will be a factor if the grass island at this site prevents certain
portions from being surveyed and changes occur in shorebird habitat use within these areas.

Measurement error: The visibility of birds occurring in portions of this area is poor. This could
lead to measurement error in information reported from this site, particularly if there are many
birds present behind tall grass. It is anticipated that measurement error will remain relatively
constant over time and will not impair monitoring.

Measurement bias: Changes in vegetation or survey method at this site may result in this bias.

Pilot Studies: Low detection rates may result from visibility problems; detection rates should be
calculated to adjust surveys accordingly. Vantage points may need to be adjusted to reduce
measurement error at this site.

Local Contact: Kate O’Brien, Wildlife Biologist, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.
(207) 646-9226.

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Ox Cart Lane, Lower Wells

Description: Ox Cart Lane is located on the Webhannet River, just inside Wells Beach in
southern Maine. This site is in the Lower Wells Division of Rachel Carson National Wildlife
Refuge. It consists of 60,973 sq meters of tidal creek located at the end of Ox Cart Lane. In this
area approximately 90% of the muddy Webhannet River bottom is exposed at low tide. Human
disturbance at this site is relatively low and the area is protected for wildlife by Rachel Carson
NWR. Access to refuge sites, including all salt marsh, is restricted and advance permission with
refuge personnel is required.

Kate O’Brien, wildlife biologist for Rachel Carson NWR, has provided shorebird survey data
from Ox Cart Lane. The most common species from 2004 peak survey count data are: SEPL
(250), LEYE (15), GRYE (40), WILL (15), SESA (208), LESA (75) and PEEP (250).

Access: To reach this site, take Mile Road heading east off Route 9. The intersection of Route 9
and Mile Road is less than a mile north of the village of Charles Chase Corner. Coming down
Mile Road, you will see the Ox Cart Motel on the left. Follow Ox Cart Lane until it becomes a

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dirt road. Stop where the dirt road ends and park. Walk to the top of the rise where there is an old
foundation and survey to the north. Then survey the area from the vantage point of the muddy
ramp on the left. Walking further down the dirt road takes one to the marsh edge and the south
point of the survey area.

Visibility on the mudflats is good, but in the salt marsh, it is reduced due to light conditions and
vegetation height. According to Kate O’Brien, surveyors would do well to begin with the north
section first and then count from the southern point, looking north/northeast.

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted within two hours of low tide by driving to
the end of Ox Cart Lane. Park your car and walk to the top of the hill with the old foundation.
After the northern section is surveyed, walk down the dirt road surveying birds in the southern
section of the river bottom and marsh. Use caution so as not to flush birds. Surveys of this area
should take less than one hour. A spotting scope is a must.

Selection Bias: The larger marsh at this site is partly obscured by tall grasses and birds foraging
along the margins may not be visible from points along the road.

Measurement error: This can be a problem when viewing and counting distant birds, such as
yellowlegs, which are visible at greater distances than small “peeps.” A pilot study is needed to
establish how measurement error varies among species at this site.

Measurement bias: Future management and/or restoration of the marsh involving vegetation
removal could result in bias over time. To determine the extent of such bias, changes in
vegetation from year to year should be documented. Additionally, the vantage points for counting
shorebirds may have to be adjusted between surveys if viewing conditions change in response to
vegetation growth.

Pilot Studies: Low detection rates may result from visibility problems; detection rates should be
calculated to adjust surveys accordingly.

Local Contacts: Kate O’Brien, Wildlife Biologist, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
(207) 646-9226

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Bluff and Stratton Islands

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Description: Bluff and Stratton Islands are located in Saco Bay, about 1 ½ miles due south of
Prout’s Neck. The islands are 20 feet high and grass covered, supporting seabird colonies as well
as significant numbers of roosting shorebirds. Both islands are owned by the National Audubon
Society. This site is an active research station and therefore not readily accessible to most
individuals. Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) biologist, Lindsay Tudor,
believes a large percentage of the shorebirds that roost here feed in Scarborough Marsh.

National Audubon Society - Seabird Restoration Program owns and manages Stratton Island as
the Phineas W. Sprague Wildlife Sanctuary. A field team stays on the island from the early part
of May through mid-August. They have worked with MDIFW in the past to provide shorebirds
surveys for the ISS, and will continue to monitor shorebird use during their summer research.
According to Scott Hall, they may be able to provide a few additional counts in April, September
and October provided that transportation to the island can be arranged.

The most numerous species from ISS maximum count data are: BBPL (250), DUNL (13), GRYE
(17), LEYE (30), REKN (354), RUTU (300), SAND (111), SESA (1,050), LESA (75), SEPL
(300), SBDO (845) and WHIM (65).

Survey Method: Access to the islands is by boat. Ground surveys should be conducted on site.
For practical reasons, island research staff would be best qualified to survey the site.

Selection Bias: This site supports colonies of breeding birds during the summer and access is
restricted for research and monitoring work. There is a potential for selection bias if a surveys
cannot be arranged under the supervision of island research staff.

Measurement error: *

Measurement bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

Local contacts: Scott Hall, Research Coordinator, NAS - Seabird Restoration Program.

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BCR 14 Results – Shorebirds
Table 1. Focal shorebird species for BCR 14

CODE SPECIES
BBPL Black-bellied Plover
SEPL Semipalmated Plover
AMOY American Oystercatcher
GRYE Greater Yellowlegs
LEYE Lesser Yellowlegs
SOSA Solitary Sandpiper
SPSA Spotted Sandpiper
WHIM Whimbrel
RUTU Ruddy Turnstone
REKN Red Knot
SAND Sanderling
SESA Semipalmated Sandpiper
LESA Least Sandpiper
WRSA White-rump Sandpiper
DUNL Dunlin
SBDO Short-billed Dowitcher

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Site Descriptions-Maine
Presumpscot River and Mackworth Flats

Presumpscot River

Description: The lower Presumpscot River contains an expansive mudflat area that provides
very productive feeding ground for many birds. There is a waste water treatment plant nearby,
which seems to provide a great deal of forage for shorebirds. Shorebird species seen at this site
include: Black-bellied Plover, Killdeer, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher and
both yellowleg species. Protected by Maine Audubon Society, this site is accessible from
Gilsland Farm Wildlife Sanctuary or through the waste water treatment plant.

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Survey Method: Ground surveys of the mudflats should be conducted at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

Mackworth Flats

Description: This site is characterized by extensive mudflats and some marsh lands. Boundaries
extend from Route 1 on the western edge to the Brothers Islands on the eastern point. Mackworth
Flats may be accessed either by the bridge to Mackworth Island or by way of the Portland
Country Club. The most common species from MDIFW data are: SESA, yellowlegs species and
unidentified peep.

Survey Method: Ground surveys of the mudflats should be conducted at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

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Seawall Beach and Popham Beach State Park

Seawall Beach:

Description: Seawall Beach is a major shorebird roosting area that consists of a long private
sandy beach bordered by a salt marsh and the Sprague River to the north. Large concentrations of
shorebirds have been found roosting and feeding on the sandy beach. The salt marsh along the
Sprague River also supports roosting and feeding habitat for shorebirds. Seawall Beach and
Popham Beach are separated by the Morse River. During an August, 1994 survey by MDIFW,
approximately 1,000 shorebirds were observed flying back and forth from Popham Beach,
Seawall Beach and three rock islands located just off the mainland. Species observed included
Semipalmated Plover, Least Sandpiper, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper and Piping Plover.
Seawall Beach is owned by the Small Point Association, which also owns Small Point Beach to
the south. The inland shores are owned by the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area
Corporation, which is dedicated to managing the area for scientific research and education. The
area is further protected by an easement held by the Nature Conservancy.

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The most numerous species from ISS maximum count data are: BBPL (30), GRYE (12), LEYE
(15), LESA (40), SESA (2,500), WRSA (14), RUTU (24), SAND (500), SEPL (400) and SBDO
(30).

Access: There is no car access to Seawall Beach, but there is a parking lot off Route 216. Park
here and take the dirt road leading over Morse Mountain down to the beach.

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted at high tide. On the eastern point of
Seawall Beach, it is worth looking across the Morse River outflow for shorebirds that can be
seen feeding and roosting on the southwest end of Hunnewell/Popham beach area.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: The heavy interchange of birds moving back and forth between Seawall
and Popham presents a potential for double-counting and measurement bias.

Measurement Bias: Coordinated surveys, with an observer fitted to each of the two beaches,
will help to minimize this bias. It will be helpful too if surveyors could report whether or not
they observed shorebirds moving back and forth between the two beaches.

Pilot Studies: None needed.

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Popham Beach State Park:

Description: Popham Beach State Park is managed by the Maine Department of Conservation
(DOC). Park habitats include tidal flats, dunes, sandy beach, salt marsh and coastal woodland.
The Morse River separates Popham Beach from Seawall Beach. The salt marsh behind the beach
is roosting and feeding habitat for shorebirds. The park is easily accessible from Route 209 in
Phippsburg.

During the summer there is high level of disturbance from beach-goers along most of the sand
beach. In the August 1994 survey by MDIFW, shorebirds were found on almost every part of the
beach except near the parking lot, where human concentration was highest. Near the center of the
beach there is a protruding mud flat that remains exposed through most of high tide. Many
shorebirds were found feeding and roosting there among people walking the beach. Species

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observed included Semipalmated plovers, Least Sandpiper, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper
and Piping Plover.

Survey Method: Ground surveys of the beach should be conducted at high tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: The heavy interchange of birds moving back and forth between Seawall
and Popham presents a potential for double-counting and measurement bias.

Measurement Bias: Coordinated surveys, with an observer fitted to each of the two beach sites,
will help to minimize this bias. It will be helpful too if surveyors could report whether or not
they observed shorebirds moving back and forth between the two beaches.

Pilot Studies: None needed.

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Reid State Park

Description: Reid State Park is managed by the Maine DOC. Park habitats include sand beach
and dunes, tidal river, lagoon, salt marshes, rocky headlands, and woodland. The park is located
at the end of Seguinland Road.

MDIFW surveys observed shorebirds at five separate areas (A-E). There are two very large sand
beach communities, a small sand/gravel beach, a salt hay marsh, and a brackish pool. Site A is
located along both sides of the road leading to Todd’s Point. This site is a roosting and feeding
area with some shallow pools and mud flats. Least Sandpipers and Semipalmated Sandpipers
were seen feeding and roosting in a small pool when the tide was two-thirds high and rising.

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Todd’s Point, Site B, is a large sand beach with an adjacent marsh that is used for roosting and
feeding. When beachgoer disturbance is high, most of the shorebirds congregate at the very tip of
the point. At other times, many shorebirds were seen roosting and feeding at the water’s edge
around seaweed and other beach debris on the upper slope, and on exposed mud flats in the
adjacent marsh. Shorebirds observed included: Ruddy Turnstones, Semipalmated Plovers, Least
Sandpipers, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpipers and one Whimbrel (feeding in the salt marsh).
Griffith’s Beach, Site C, is the larger sand beach in the park, which usually has higher levels of
human disturbance than Todd’s Point. At the northern end of the beach, the shoreline changes to
a feeding area. A brackish pool and salt marsh, Site D, is located directly behind the northern end
of Griffith’s Beach. Black-bellied Plovers and one Least Sandpiper were observed feeding and
roosting in the brackish pool and in the marsh. Site E is located at the northern-most end of the
park and consists of a small sand/gravel beach and some rock islands just offshore. Black-
bellied Plovers and Ruddy Turnstones were seen roosting on the offshore rock islands.

The most numerous species from ISS maximum count data are: BBPL (347), LESA (41), RUTU
(43), SAND (443), SEPL (266) and SESA (193).

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted at high tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

Local Contacts: Ted Allen, ISS Cooperator

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Weskeag Marsh

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Description: Weskeag Marsh is a salt hay salt marsh community with abundant ditches, pools
and pannes. The site is located at the head of the Weskeag River and accessible off Buttermilk
Lane in South Thomaston. Large numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl congregate here to feed
and roost. Shorebirds observed include Black-bellied Plover, Killdeer, Semipalmated Plover,
Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Short-
billed Dowitcher, Willet, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. The most numerous species from ISS
maximum count data are: BBPL (800), DUNL (125), SEPL (475), LESA (250), SESA (2,000),
SBDO (400), WILL, GRYE (92) and LEYE (300).

Survey Method: Ground survey the marsh at high tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

Local contacts: Ron Joseph, Biologist, USFWS.

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Over Point and Cove

Description: Over Point and Cove are located on the west side of Petit Manan Point. At high tide
this site is very good for supporting a variety of roosting shorebirds on the sand-gravel and
cobble point. At low tide, in the sand and gravel, no shorebirds were observed feeding during the
one observation by MDIFW. The most common identified species from MDIFW data are:
BBPL, SESA, SEPL, LESA, SBDO, GRYE, and LEYE.

To access the site, take Pigeon Hill Road past the gate and parking areas for the Petit Manan
NWR. The road will be the first right hand turn down to a big cottage and a small church.
On the left there is a small parking area, which looks out onto Over Point.

Survey Method: Ground surveys at high tide.

Selection Bias: None. Measurement Error: * Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

30
Back Bay, Mill River, and Flat Bay

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Back Bay

Description: Back Bay in Milbridge, Maine is an extensive flat of sand, mud and boulders. At
high tide this site has a small roost located directly in front of an observation point about 1/8 mile
out on exposed rock ledge. When this is full of birds, other birds are seen flying out of the bay in
a southeast direction. At low tide this is a highly productive feeding site hosting thousands of
shorebirds at a time. The most common species from MDIFW data are: SESA, SBDO, GRYE,
LEYE, and numerous unidentified peep.

To access Back Bay, take Back Bay Road off of Rt. 1A to Ray’s Point Road. Back Bay can be
seen on the right, 1/4 mile down Ray’s Point Road. There is parking on the right used by
clammers.

Survey Method: Ground surveys at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

32
Mill River

Description: This site consists of the lower Mill River located in Milbridge and Harrington. At
high tide there is a small roost, used mainly by yellowlegs on the west side of the mouth of Mill
river on a rock ledge. Many more birds may roost in the salt marsh up river. Most birds observed
feeding, were located on the east side, half-way up river on the last bit of mudflat exposed before
high tide, next to a summer home and small farm. The most common species from MDIFW data
are: BBPL, SEPL, SESA, SBDO, GRYE, LEYE, and numerous unidentified peep.

The best access to the site is at the end of Oak Point Road.

Survey Method: Ground surveys of the rock ledge and salt marsh at high tide.

Selection Bias: Potential for bias if birds are roosting out of sight of observers.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: Marsh up-river should be surveyed initially to determine if birds are using it as a
roosting area.

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Flat Bay

Description: Flat Bay is located in Harrington. It has substantial mudflats that host thousands of
feeding shorebirds. There are no roosting areas at this site. The most common species from
MDIFW data are: BBPL, SEPL, SESA, SBDO, GRYE, LEYE, and numerous unidentified peep.
Easy access also makes this a very popular area for clammers and wormers.

This site is accessed from the end of Oak Point Road.

Survey Method: Ground surveys at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

34
Lower Wass Cove, Upper Wass Cove, and Pleasant River

35
Lower Wass Cove

Description: Lower Wass Cove is located in Harrington on the west side of the Pleasant River.
The cove provides highly productive mudflats at low tide, attracting hundreds of Semipalmated
Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers, a few Black-bellied Plovers, and Greater and Lesser
Yellowlegs. There are no high tide roosting areas within this site. This is a very popular site for
wormers and clammers.

To access the cove, take a left off of Ripley Neck Road onto Wards Cove Road, turn left at the T
and park on the side of the road next to the first camp on the right.

Survey Method: Ground surveys at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

Upper Wass Cove

Description: The inside of Upper Wass Cove provides very productive mudflats for feeding at
low tide. The outer portion of the cove consists of large mussel beds and may not be as
productive for the smaller shorebirds. The most common species from MDIFW data are: SEPL,
SESA, LESA. This cove is also a popular area for clammers and wormers.

To access the cove, take a left off Ripley Neck Road onto Wards Cove Road, go left at the T, and
take the second right at the bottom of the hill. There is parking there for the clammers/wormers.

Survey Method: Ground surveys at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

36
Pleasant River

Description: The east side of the Pleasant River, opposite of Dyer Cove and Upper Wass Cove,
has extensive mudflats exposed at low tide. This cove is an excellent feeding area. The most
common species from MDIFW data are: BBPL, SEPL, SESA, LESA, SBDO, GRYE, LEYE,
and numerous unidentified peep.

The best way to access this site is to pull off to the side of the South Addison road and walk the
shoreline the length of the site.

Survey Method: Ground survey by walking the length of the site at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

37
Crowley Island

38
Description: Located about 2 ½ miles due west of Jonesport, Crowley Island is a large island in
close proximity to the mainland and surrounded by the Indian and the West rivers. It is a
productive feeding area with extensive mud flats on either side of the island at low tide. This site
also serves as a limited roosting area with protection from the elements. Roosting has been
observed on large boulders exposed at high tide on both sides of the island. An unfinished bridge
leading to the island is used by anglers and as an access point for many worm diggers and
clammers. Human disturbance is minimal with no houses near this area and boat traffic is light.
Development of this island could deter shorebirds from frequenting it. The most common species
from MDIFW data are: BBPL, SEPL, SESA, SBDO and numerous unidentified peep.

Access to the island is by taking Route 187 to Indian River, then taking the dirt road on the right
at Grange Hall to the end of the road at Crowley Island Bridge.

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: This site may need to be sub-sampled if the mudflats are too expansive to cover
completely.

39
Sprague Neck, Cutler

Description: Sprague Neck is property of the U.S. Navy in Cutler. The Navy maintains a Naval
Computer and Telecommunications Station, which comprises 3,000 acres on Sprague Neck
Peninsula. Sprague Neck Bar is designated as an Ecological Reserve and Watchable Wildlife
Area allowing for easy access.
Sprague Neck Bar is a long cobble bar vegetated predominantly by grasses. There is a large open
area at the end of the bar with temporary and highly saline ponds. Both areas are primarily high
tide roosts, with some feeding at other tides as well. Most numerous species from ISS data are:
BBPL (120), SBDO (82), SEPL (199), and SESA (2,377).

Survey Method: Ground surveys the bar area at high tide.

Selection Bias: None Measurement Error: * Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

40
Lubec: Gravel Bar, Flats, Center, and Medical Center

41
Lubec Gravel Bar:

Description: Lubec Gravel Bar is an exposed cobble spit with a tidal lagoon between the
sandbar and west Quoddy head. This site is a roost used by many of the shorebirds observed
feeding over on Lubec flats. It may have light human disturbance. The most common species
from MDIFW data are: BBPL, SESA, SEPL and numerous unidentified peeps. The gravel bar
may be accessed by walking behind the house with the solarium or past the “Eastern Most Gift
Shop” on the left off of West Quoddy Head Road.

Survey Method: Ground survey should be conducted at high tide for roosting birds.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

Lubec Flats:

Description: At low tide, Lubec Flats is an extensive mud flat with a gravel bar. The flat and
gravel bar are feeding sites. At high tide, this site supports a moderately sized estuarine salt
marsh with salt pannes. The shoreline consists of sand/gravel beach. There are no man-made
structures on or near the gravel bar, which is owned by MDIFW and a Wildlife Management
Area open to the public. MDIFW has observed some human disturbance, mainly from bird
watchers and people walking their dogs along the beach. There is evidence (garbage, burned
debris, etc.) that there may be more disturbance at night. The most numerous species from ISS
maximum count data are: BBPL (1,000), LESA (226), SAND (1,000), SEPL (1,700) and SESA
(1,389).

Access to Lubec Flats is from Route 189 on Lubec Neck. Heading south from Rte 189, take
South Lubec Road toward West Quoddy Head State Park. Then turn left onto a dirt road across
from the “Wheel Magic” wool shop.

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

42
Lubec Center:

Description: Lubec Center has two separate survey areas (LC Site A and LC Site B on the map).
Lubec Center Site A is a sand/gravel flat that supports a small, estuarine system with salt pannes
surrounded by a sandy spit. Lubec Center Site B consists of rocky, cobble shoreline just south of
Woodward Point in the midsection of the entire Lubec site. LC Site B is an estuarine system that
empties out at low tide. There are scattered homes within 200 feet of the entire shoreline, no boat
traffic and only light human disturbance (beachgoers) was observed during a survey by MDIFW.
The most common shorebird species from MDIFW data are: SESA, LESA, SEPL and numerous
unidentified peeps.

Access to the Lubec Center sites is from South Lubec Road off of Route 189. LC Site A may be
accessed at the small town park on the left off of South Lubec Road. Lubec Center site B is just
past the bridge over the river system on South Lubec Road, on the left at the house with the
pyramid structures.

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

43
Lubec Medical Center:

Description: Lubec Medical Center also consists of two separate survey areas (LMC Site A and
LMC Site B on the map). Both are primarily feeding areas and very few shorebirds have been
observed roosting. Lubec Medical Center site A consists of a sand and gravel beach with some
cobble just southeast of Mowry Point and the Lubec Narrows. There is light human disturbance
here and no boat traffic. There is a water treatment plant nearby and a pier on the eastern edge of
the survey area. The sand/gravel flat supports about 40% algae mat cover.
Lubec Medical Center site B consists of a large sandbar located further out from shore, which is
exposed at mid to low tides. Numbers of roosting birds on the sandbar here increased during later
fall season observations by MDIFW, perhaps because the area is protected from northern winds
in September and October. The most numerous species from ISS maximum count data are:
BBPL (200), LESA (100), SESA (2,000), SAND (100) and SEPL (300).

To access the survey areas at Lubec Medical Center, turn right on the street just before the
International Bridge over to Campobello Island. Lubec Medical Center is at the end of the street
past the waste water treatment facility. Surveys of the large sandbar at site B should be done by
walking the beach with the aid of a high-powered scope.

Survey Method: Ground surveys should be conducted at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: This may be a problem when viewing and counting distant birds in so far
as yellowlegs species are visible at greater distances than small peeps. A pilot study may be
needed to establish how measurement error varies among species at this site.

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: None needed.

Local contacts: Lindsay Tudor, Biologist, Wildlife Resource Assessment Section, ME Dept. of
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

44
Carrying Place Cove, Eastport

Description: Carrying Place Cove in Eastport is an extensive mud flat with a 90% algae mat
cover at low tide. Mathews Island, although never surveyed, could be a potential roost site with a
rocky shoreline. No boat traffic or human disturbance was observed. There are a few buildings
within 200 feet of the high water mark. This site was resurveyed by MDIFW in 1998 and was
heavily used by feeding sandpipers during September when the tide was 2/3 high. Over 1,500
birds were observed on two occasions. The most numerous species from ISS maximum count
data are: BBPL (24), LESA (37), SESA (3,500), SAND (21) SEPL (25).

The best access to the cove is along Route 190 south on the right hand side of the road. Another
access point is at the end of Eastport Municipal Airport road, via private property. Parking is
available on Route 190 at the Watchable Wildlife Sign.

Survey Method: Ground surveys at low tide.

Selection Bias: None.

Measurement Error: *

Measurement Bias: *

Pilot Studies: Initial survey of Matthews Island should be conducted at high tide to check for
roosting birds. Also, best survey time should be determined (falling or rising tide).

45
Acknowledgements
I would like to thank Lindsay Tudor for her help in providing the list of sites and information
about them for this report.

46
References
Canadian Wildlife Service. Canadian Shorebird Conservation Plan. Accessed August 2008.
http://www.cws-scf.ec.gc.ca/mbc-com/default.asp?lang=en&n=D1610AB7 .

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. U.S. Shorebird Plan. Accessed August 2008.
http://www.fws.gov/shorebirdplan/RegionalShorebird/RegionsMap.asp

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