April 2023

Vol. 51, No. 2

Birds of Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island, Maine, Part Two: Somes Sound, Central MDI

Michael J. Good

Mount Desert IslandThe scenery of Down East Maine is surreal and spectacular. Amid dense forests, breath-taking views emerge from ridgelines, opening to expanses of water sprinkled with islands big and small. The land is harsh—a mix of rock, pine needles, serpentine tree roots, and wintery streams. Spring is usually bug free, summer tends to be delightfully cool with black flies and mosquitoes, autumn presents a brilliant display of color, and winter is pronounced with thick lake ice and a solitude seldom experienced elsewhere. Coastal Maine abounds in rocky fields of wild blueberries and green outcroppings festooned with reindeer lichen. Lakes and freshwater ponds dot the landscape, and the surrounding coastal waters in Frenchman and Blue Hill bays boast abundant islands and ledges. Every turn reveals new habitats, breathtaking vistas, and excellent birds.

This Where to Go Birding article is the second of a three-part series, “Birds of Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island, Maine.” Following the seminal watershed work of Steve Perrin (1996), I continued the tradition of dividing Mount Desert Island into three major watershed drainage districts. “Part One: Eastern MDI,” covered hotspots in the watershed drainage district flowing east into Frenchman Bay, including Bar Harbor and Jordan Pond (Good 2022). This article explores birding hotspots and the watersheds flowing centrally into Somes Sound. Part 3 will run in Bird Observer’s June 2023 issue and will describe amazing places to bird in the watersheds flowing west into Blue Hill Bay, known as the quiet side of MDI.

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