Mill River is a meandering tidal river with extensive saltwater marsh and pannes on both banks and on adjacent Cole Creek. Mill River empties into Flat Bay, which together with Blasket Point, has substantial mudflats at low tide. The flats are easily viewed from Oak Point.

Ornithological Summary

The mudflats in this area are extremely productive, feeding thousands of shorebirds, primarily Semipalmated Sandpipers, but also Least Sandpipers, Black-bellied Plovers, Semipalmated Plovers, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, and Short-billed Dowitchers. The Mill River offers salt pannes for feeding and roosting shorebirds at high tide when the flats are unavailable. This area also hosts wintering Bonaparte?s gulls and an abundance of waterfowl.

Conservation Issues

This site is designated as an Area of Shorebird Management Concern by the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and qualifies as Significant Wildlife Habitat under Maine?s Natural Resources Protection Act. This requires permit review regarding placement of permanent structures within the intertidal zone or saltwater marsh. Upland and marsh habitat on Mill Point have been acquired recently by the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Although surrounding upland areas are presently undeveloped, the potential for future developments and associated human disturbances is a concern.

Ownership

Surrounding lands are mostly privately owned though the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does own a parcel in Mill River as well as a conservation easement nearby. Public boat launches are available on Rays Point Road in Milbridge and Ripley Neck in Harrington. These provide the best opportunities for viewing this area from the water. Only limited views of Flat Bay can be made from Rays Point Road. A primitive boat launch at Oak Point provides decent views of Flat Bay and an opportunity to launch as well.

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