The #WEOUTSIDE crew had its first outing in the Maine woods on Wednesday, to the Perham Stream Birding Trail. This quiet spot in the valley between Mount Abraham and Saddleback was once home to the settlement of East Madrid, Maine, but is now a quiet intervale between Perham Stream and Orbeton Stream. The former farmland has reverted to blueberry meadow and forest, making it ideal habitat for migratory birds! The trail is located on land conserved by the High Peaks Alliance and hosts many birding festivals and walks throughout the year. It’s an ideal spot to introduce this group of kids who are new to Maine to what a wonderful place it is.
We started out with lunch (of course) since food is a great motivator. After eating along the quiet banks of Perham Stream, Pete McKinley, an ecologist with The Wilderness Society, led our group along the trail through the blueberry fields. Pete’s skills in hearing and identifying the calls of migratory bird species really engaged the kids, who had great questions about behavior (“Why do they call to each other? What makes a mate choose one over another?”). Since this group are native Portuguese speakers we had a translator with for the hike and she did an excellent job. Birds are fascinating for all ages, whatever the language.
It was a fairly hot day but on the way back things were livened by a rare summer moose sighting! The moose, a juvenile presumably interested in other young people fooling around in the hot weather, stayed around for a few minutes, allowing everybody to get an up-close view. Couldn’t have worked out better if we had staged it for this first expedition!
We ended the day back by Perham Stream, where several kids predictably got soaking wet despite trying not to. Check back for info on next week’s hike on the Appalachian Trail in the Mahoosucs!