Current News


February 2, 2023

By Maeve Cosgrove, Maine Conservation Corps Stewardship Intern

Wednesday mornings are special at Coastal Mountains Land Trust, or so I learned when I tagged along to the weekly work crew session on January 25th. Every week, members of the Coastal Mountain Stewardship team are joined by groups of volunteers to tackle trail maintenance and power through construction projects. In weeks past, volunteers have added siding to the stewardship barn, aided in blazing preserve boundaries, and installed new stone steps along trails at Fernald’s Neck. On this particular Wednesday, even amidst icy conditions, Stewardship Project Manager Ryan O’Neill and I met four tenacious volunteers at Beech Hill to remove some well-worn bridges.

The weather was no issue for the volunteers, who each arrived with snowshoes, enthusiasm, and a good sense of humor. Ryan, myself, and the volunteers dug through the snow to collect shards of shredded wood and unearth stringers which had once served as boardwalks for trail patrons. A volunteer and I took turns shuttling down hunks of wood to the truck at the trailhead and as we headed back up to reunite with the rest of the crew, two volunteers and Ryan came down the trail carrying one of the stringers together.

One of the volunteers suggested they whistle while they worked together, but it hardly seemed like work with the laughter echoing through Beech Hill’s wooded trails.


February 1, 2023

By Maeve Cosgrove, Maine Conservation Corps Stewardship Intern

It’s tricky working by a window as a birder. The demands of the day can easily fall to the wayside when there is a portal granting unlimited access to outdoor happenings just beyond or, in my case, above the computer screen. The challenge to look away from the birds is especially daunting at the Coastal Mountains Land Trust office, which overlooks a far-reaching finger of the Megunticook Lake, hidden in the white pines at the wooded base of Mount Battie. On my first day at the office, I was welcomed by bluebirds and their cascading calls. Though less melodic, the squawking nuthatches were equally exciting to watch from my new desk, scurrying up trees and hanging upside down from the bark.

A new window heralds a new window list. It’s a way of getting to know the neighborhood really, keeping track of the avian locals. Tracking the birds in one spot day after day, sometimes called “patch birding,” also reveals clues about our ever-changing environment. While it’s nice to hear the high whistles of robins in Camden during January and catch their red breasts like slashes of ribbons in the winter landscape, their presence could be a symptom of climate change.

A few weeks into my tenure at Coastal Mountains, my office window list has accumulated 18 species. Two pairs of goldfinches were the latest additions, having flown or blown in from over the lake to take refuge in the bare arms of a birch. Luckily for the finches they arrived a few hours after a red-tailed hawk made its debut on the list.