Recently, while walking Mitchell Field with my dog, I took an informal bird count. On the lower field, I chalked up a bobolink sighting right off the bat. These seasonal migrant birds are endangered and need the open meadows for raising their young. June is their time. There are incentives for farmers and communities to help these populations by not mowing until after nesting season. Mitchell Field has also adopted this late-mow policy.
I noted bluebirds, song sparrows, Canada geese, swallows in the fields. In the brush and woods along the perimeter there was song from chickadees, American redstarts, blue jays, cardinals and warblers. In the past I have seen owls and been entertained by veeries, and my dog has encountered a porcupine.
At first glance, Mitchell Field may seem like a big, open space, but don’t be fooled that it’s an empty space. The more you look, the more you listen, the more you can observe. From insects and butterflies pollinating wildflowers to the vista along the perimeter, there is much to enjoy. On a clear day you can see Mount Washington, which is 100 miles away.
Concerts will soon begin on Thursday evenings, the beach will open with a swimming area and there will be events like the lobster boat races. The Community Garden is going full swing and little spat (baby oysters) and macroalgae are growing under the watchful eye of the Running Tide team near the shore.
The Mitchell Field Committee has been discussing issues, desires and dreams that such a space is able to offer. Enjoy the busy, important, open field, its inhabitants and its visitors. Support and frequent your own favorite space. Make a commitment to your piece of the world, volunteer and enjoy the birdsong!
Lee Cheever, Harpswell