AUBURN – Repeated eagle sightings thrilled a small group of bird-watchers and nature lovers out for an Earth Day tour of Auburn and Lewiston.
“They’re making such a remarkable comeback that if they haven’t already, they’re about to be taken off the endangered species list,” said Tom Hayward of the Stanton Bird Club, who led the Saturday event with wife and fellow bird-club member Susan Hayward.
Around 25 people met at the Auburn Mall before carpooling to reach locations along North River Road in Auburn and the riverwalks in Auburn and Lewiston. A final trip to the Gulf Island Pond area also was planned.
Susan Hayward remarked that it was odd driving from point to point on Earth Day, but the areas of interest to be visited were far apart.
A red hawk, an osprey and a kettle of gulls were among the first birds spotted on North River Road. A kettle, Susan Hayward explained, “just means a whole bunch of birds in one place, just sort of circling together or migrating.”
At the second stop on the same road, one bird-watcher spied an eagle high above an old farmhouse. Later on, three more eagles were soaring above Bobbin Mill Brook. The Haywards said it was unusual when one of the birds cried out.
At some of the stops the group explored wooded areas looking for plants such as ferns, rushes known informally as “scouring rushes” (because of their rough texture they were once used for washing cookware), and wood anemones that will emerge and flower quickly before trees unleash leaves overhead and create shade.
Representatives of L/A Trails and the Androscoggin Land Trust were along for the Earth Day outing.
Bird club member Dan Marquis said there are about 200 members of the organization, which plans regular bird-watching events.
To see a list of the birds and plants sighted Saturday, visit stantonbirdclub.org.