Harlequin romance: great opportunity for birders

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Ready to romance a harlequin? Here’s a wonderful and rare opportunity to spy threatened harlequin ducks in Maine. On Saturday, March 30, Bob and Sandi Duschene (Bob’s the founder of the Maine Birding Trail and author of the guidebook) are leading a 2.5-hour cruise, departing from Stonington, to sight the duck named for the vivid markings that call to mind the Italian clown.

The shores of Isle au Haut and surrounding islands are thought to be principal wintering grounds in the United States for the harlequin duck.  Other expected sightings include surf, white-winged, and black scoters, horned and red-necked grebes, red-throated and common loons, long-tailed ducks,buffleheads, red-breasted mergansers, purple sandpipers, and, according to organizers, “at least one other surprise.”

The cruise, organized by Island Heritage Trust, is $30 per person and advance reservations are required. Call 207-348-2455.