Appleton Ridge

Belfast, Maine

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Appleton Ridge is a geographic wonder—an 8-mile-long backbone of open land with far-reaching vistas on both sides, a scaled-down version of Skyline Drive. Migrating hawks, especially Broad-winged and Sharp-shinned, are key here. Summertime favorites include Meadowlark, Savannah Sparrow, Bobolink, Upland Sandpiper, and Horned Lark. Migrating American Pipit and Short-eared Owl are possible. On still spring evenings you can hear the nasal sound of American Woodcock taking part in their courtship rituals. The ridge also attracts woodcocks in late September and October, as birds from regions far to the north set down in the scrub and pioneer growth alongside many of the large fields. In winter, Snow Bunting are possible. If you stop anywhere along the ridge on a still winter’s night, you may hear Barred and Great Horned Owl.
Birding Maine

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Maine

by Tom Seymour (Falcon Guides)

Appleton Ridge is a geographic wonder—an 8-mile-long backbone of open land with far-reaching vistas on both sides, a scaled-down version of Skyline Drive. Migrating hawks, especially Broad-winged and Sharp-shinned, are key here. Summertime favorites include Meadowlark, Savannah Sparrow, Bobolink, Upland Sandpiper, and Horned Lark. Migrating American Pipit and Short-eared Owl are possible.

On still spring evenings you can hear the nasal sound of American Woodcock taking part in their courtship rituals. The ridge also attracts woodcocks in late September and October, as birds from regions far to the north set down in the scrub and pioneer growth alongside many of the large fields. In winter, Snow Bunting are possible. If you stop anywhere along the ridge on a still winter’s night, you may hear Barred and Great Horned Owl.

©  Tom Seymour/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Belfast
Best Times: Summer and fall are best for grassland birds, especially June, July, and August. Beginning in late August and lasting through September, the fall hawk migration can provide exciting birding.
Local Contacts: Camden Hills State Park, Merryspring
Local Maps: DeLorme: Maine Atlas and Gazetteer: Page 14, C1 and C2
Driving Directions: Directions to Appleton Ridge

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Apr 2018