Belfast Harbor is sheltered, which offers sea ducks a respite from wind and waves. Anticipate Buffleheads, Common Loons, Long-tailed Ducks, and Common Goldeneyes in winter. Historically, this has been one of Maine's better spots for Barrow’s Goldeneyes. Though their numbers have dwindled in recent years, it's always worth a second look at any distant goldeneye. Start at the town pier. Check the gulls that hang out on the light poles and roofs for any potential Glaucous or Iceland Gull. Focus northward and examine the waters under the bridge that spans the mouth of the Passagassawaukeag River. Depending on the tide, this is the likely spot for Goldeneyes. If the tide is high, they may be in the tidal basin beyond the bridge. At low tide, they are pushed closer to the pier.
Upon leaving the pier, turn right onto Front Street and then onto Water Street. On the far edge of the building, there is an historic footbridge that offers another good opportunity to scan. Roosting gulls tend to congregate at scope range on ice flows or exposed mud flats in the river under and beyond the bridge, intermingled with American Black Ducks and Mallards.
Directions: Route 1 skirts Belfast. From the south, exit onto Northport Avenue and follow into town where it becomes High Street. In the center of town, turn right onto Main Street and the Town Pier is at the bottom of the street. From the north, exit onto Route 137 after crossing the Passagassawaukeag Bridge, turn left onto High Street and left again onto Main Street, following to the end.
GPS: 44.426920, -68.997422