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Feathers Over Freeport:
A Birdwatching Weekend
Address
541 Route One
Freeport, ME 04032
207-865-6000
freeportwildbird@yahoo.com
Store Hours
Sunday: 10 - 6 PM
Monday: 10 - 6 PM
Tuesday: "Gone Birding"
Wednesday: 10 - 6 PM
Thursday: 10 - 6 PM
Friday: 10 - 6 PM
Saturday: 10 - 6 PM


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            Freeport Wild Bird Supply is pleased to announce an expanded selection of travel, tours,        workshops, and other outings. We look forward to additional offerings in the near future. As soon as     trips and programs are scheduled, they will be added here.

And don't forget to join us for a free local birdwalk every Saturday at 8:00am.
An August Weekend in Washington County! (FULL)
August 26 - 29, 2016

$399 per person.

We simply love birding Washington County, and we know you will too! From the best whale-watching and in-shore seabirds to boreal residents like Spruce Grouse to a host of breeding warblers to clouds of migrating shorebirds, the birding is super in penultimate “Downeast” in late summer.

This short trip will introduce you to some of the wealth of avian riches the area has to offer. After departing from Freeport at 8:00am on Friday, we’ll work our way north and east, with various birding stops along the way. We’re unlikely to stop until we are at least north of Waterville, but anywhere from there to Machias is a possibility as we spend the day birding and traveling.

On Saturday, we’ll join the Lady H in Eastport for a private four-hour whale- and bird-watching charter. We’ll sift through the masses of Bonaparte’s Gulls for Little, Black-headed, and maybe even a Sabine’s Gull around the Old Sow whirlpool, before we head up and into New Brunswick’s Head Harbor Passage. In our converted lobster boat, we’ll be close to the action as Minke and Fin Whales feed in the channel, sometimes at arm’s length! Seabirds can be abundant, especially Sooty and Great Shearwaters. We’ll keep an eye out for Manx Shearwaters, Atlantic Puffins, and jaegers. Black-legged Kittiwakes, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Razorbills, and Common Murres are often seen as well.

After spending the morning on the water, we’ll grab lunch and then spend the afternoon birding around Eastport and on down to Lubec. On Sunday, we’ll pick up where we left off, working our way around the Bold Coast to or from Lubec. Spruce Grouse and other boreal residents, breeding warblers (they won’t be singing, so we’ll have to work hard to find most of them, hopefully by running into mixed species foraging flocks), and migrant shorebirds - especially at the Lubec flats. Black Guillemots, Common Eiders, and lots of Bald Eagles will be commonplace.

We’ll keep it flexible on Monday, birding the area all morning before beginning our trip back home after lunch. We may seawatch from West Quoddy Head (Great Cormorant, tubenoses, alcids), check on the shorebirds once again, and/or work for some of the breeding specialties of the area.

If you haven’t birded this area before, or you are just looking to bird it again, this is a can’t-miss trip! Lots of diversity, and some really great opportunities to get close to birds (and whales!) will be offered. We hope you will join us to bird one of our favorite areas in the state at our absolute favorite time of year here!

Check out the results from our inaugural 2014 tour that included 10,000 Bonaparte's Gulls, 4-5 Parasitic Jaegers, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Boreal Chickadees, and so much more:
http://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/washington-county-in-august-tour-2014/

Terms and Cost:
The trip price of $399 per person includes our round-trip van from Freeport, our four-hour boat charter, and guiding fees for all four days. We’ll eat together, but split the bill. Lodging reservations will also be made on your own at the Machias River Inn (207-255-4861) - be sure to mention that you are with "Freeport Wild Bird Supply". Perched on the banks of the Machias River, birding from the back porch is fantastic, often including fishing Ospreys and hunting Bald Eagles.

Maximum 9 participants.
Birds on Tap! Lecture Series
Fall 2016
Free!

This lecture series is held at one of our best local breweries, allowing patrons to sample beers while learning about some of the most dynamic bird research in Maine. In addition, patrons can support the research direction, as a portion of the proceeds are donated to further the work of the featured speaker.

Our next speaker will be announced soon! For more information, visit: http://www.risingtidebrewing.com/events/

Rising Tide is located at 103 Fox Street in Portland.
The Maine Coast in Fall with Derek and WINGS
Sept 18-25, 2016 (FULL - waitlist available)
Cost - see link below.

This tour with WINGS is designed to sample the highlights of birding Maine's coast in the fall as we travel to and from the migration hotspot and overall rewarding experience of a trip to the famous Monhegan Island.

The coast of Maine is one of those treasures—beautiful, of course, and rugged, yet also accessible. Our short tour will visit three of our favorite places, Scarborough Marsh, Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park, and Monhegan Island.

We'll begin in Scarborough Marsh for Saltmarsh and Nelson's Sparrows, as well as lingering shorebirds. We'll also visit a variety of migrant traps along the coast as we work our way east.

Then it's off to Monhegan Island! Small, isolated, and quite far offshore, it concentrates landbird migrants, attracts off-course vagrants, and provides some of the most pleasant birdwatching anywhere. There are very few motor vehicles, and footpaths lead out in many directions through spruce forests and small clearings to high rocky headlands and tiny coves. Fall is probably the best birdwatching time at Monhegan, as nocturnal migrants drift offshore on northwest winds and find refuge on the island, sometimes in large numbers. We have a chance to see almost all of the regularly-occurring migrants, plus a better chance than anywhere else of seeing rarities. For example, on our 2012 tour, we found 18 species of warblers and Clay-colored Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, and Dickcissel among many others.

All of these birds, sandwiched between beautiful sunrises and star-filled skies – and interspersed with breaks for lobster (even in scrambled eggs) and other great food!

For complete information, including lodging arrangements and a complete itinerary, visit the WINGS website:
http://wingsbirds.com/tours/maine-coast-fall/
MonhegZEN Fall Migration Weekend 2016 - ONLY FRIDAY AVAILABLE
September 30 - October 2
Cost - Per diem; see below.

Join Derek on Monhegan during the height of migration for 1-3 days searching the island for regular visitors, rarities, and vagrants. If you haven't experienced Maine's Migration Mecca, now is the time! And if you're like many of our regular travelers, you know you can't wait to get back.

This is a casual outing, with boat and hotel reservations, as well as meals, on your own. Also, you can come and go as you please, based on whatever boat and departure times and locations suit you best. Sign up for 1,2, or 3 days.

Cost - $50 per person, per day.

Once again, we’ll be staying at the Trailing Yew (although folks are welcome, as always, to stay elsewhere) We have blocked off rooms for 8 people each night. Reservations are made through the Trailing Yew, at: (207) 596-6194. Office hours: 9:00am-noon, 3:00pm-5:00pm. While we don’t have a group rate, the reasonable price includes an excellent breakfast (*note: dinners are no longer included in the room price, but they can be billed to your room as necessary). Rates are $100 for single occupancy, and $150 for double occupancy, per night.

Remember, you do not have to stay or eat with us, but of course, your company is most welcome! Coffee and tea are also available before breakfast, to fuel those first couple of hours of birding. (http://www.trailingyew.com/). A flashlight or a sleeping bag, if you are one to get cold at night, are also recommended.

While the 2015 outing featured a mere 80 species, a "slow" weekend still tallied 15 species of warblers. Highlights included two Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, an impressive Northern Gannet flight, daily Dickcissel, and spectacular sunsets.

In the six years we have run this trip, we have averaged 99 species, including 20 species of warblers! Here are Derek’s tour reports to see what you are missing!:
2013: http://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/monhegzen-birding-fall-migration-weekend-926-3013/

2014: http://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/2014-monhegzen-birding-fall-migration-weekend-trip-report/

2015: https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/2015-monhegzen-fall-migration-birding-weekend/

Don’t miss this year’s excitement!

Please sign up, and make your hotel reservations soon. The trip is limited to _8_ people.
Birds on Tap - Roadtrip! Migration and Malts. (ONLY 2 SPACES LEFT!)
Sunday October 9 - 8:00am to 2:30pm
Cost - $65

After our successful “Birds on Tap - Roadtrip!” inaugural tours in 2015, Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are pleased to offer six great outings in 2016. The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!

Migration is in full swing in early October, with a wide range of species on the move. The tail end of warbler and shorebird migration coincides with the increased movement of sparrows and other short-distance migrants. Raptors are also on the move, and the first of the migrant waterbirds begin to arrive. Early October is often also punctuated by the appearance of a rarity or two. This trip will take us to the southernmost hotspots in the state, sampling a great diversity of habitats sought by migrant birds of all types.

After 2-3 hours of birding, we will be transported to two of our great local breweries to sample their offerings and learn their styles.

The first stop after birding is Tributary Brewing Company. Even if you don’t know the name Tod Mott, you’ll know his handiwork. He’s the brewer who devised the Harpoon IPA recipe back in the early 90s, then went on to run the brewhouse at Portsmouth Brewing Company for many years. Finally, Mott and his wife Galen have taken the reins of their own project, where they’re drawing on Mott’s nearly 25 years of experience to run a rollicking little brewery in Kittery, the city’s first.

Our second stop will be at Hidden Cove Brewing Company, a small brewery located within the former Wells restaurant Fire N Brew. The operation opened only three years ago and has quietly been producing some very interesting beers in their beachside location. Kevin Glessing, the former head brewer of popular Maine Beer Company took over the brew kettle in 2015 and has made some great beers, including a very popular series of wild and barrel-aged offerings.

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack (a delicious vegetarian hand-pie) and water. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. A warm layer is highly recommended, as mornings along the coast can be quite chilly at this time of year.

We'll be doing all of the driving, so you can relax. And to make it even easier, we have two pick-up times and locations:

8:00am
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport

or 8:20am
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.

(Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time at either location, and please let us know where you will be meeting us)

We'll return to these locations to drop you off at 2:10pm (Portland) and 2:30pm (Freeport).

This tour is limited to 13 participants, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won't want to miss! Call (207-865-6000) or email (freeportwildbird@yahoo.com) us to make your reservation.

For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at: http://www.themainebrewbus.com/

Birds on Tap - Roadtrip! Fall Ducks and Draughts
November 13, 2016: 8:30am-3:00pm
Cost - $65

After our successful “Birds on Tap - Roadtrip!” inaugural tours in 2015, Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are pleased to offer six great outings in 2016. The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!

This trip will visit Sabattus Pond at the peak of waterfowl numbers and diversity. A combination of the shallow water, sheltered coves, and an invasive snail combine to make this one of the best locales for duck-watching in all of southern Maine. Hundreds of Ruddy Ducks, Lesser and Great Scaup, Mallards, and Common Mergansers are often present at this season, with smaller numbers of all sorts of species, including American Black Ducks, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Mergansers, and much more. It’s also the time of year that rarities show up, with recent highlights including Redhead, Canvasback, and even a Tufted Duck a few years ago. American Coots are abundant in some years, and Bald Eagles are regularly seen.

After 2 ½ hours of birding here, visiting 3-4 viewing spots, we’ll head into Lewiston to visit the Baxter Brewing Company, located in a restored historic mill. Baxter made a quick impression on the landscape of Lewiston, a city with space for a sizeable operation like this one. The company came out swinging, becoming one of the largest breweries in the state within its first couple of years. It was also the first brewery in Maine to put all of its beer into aluminum containers: no glass bottles, just cans and kegs. The employees are encouraged to get creative with the pilot system, which means the tasting room stays well stocked with experimental small batches.

If time permits, we’ll take a break and look for more ducks, Peregrine Falcon, and perhaps an early Iceland Gull at the Auburn Riverwalk. We’ll then head back south, arriving at Maine Beer Company here in Freeport. Originally located in Portland, Maine Beer Company used its quick success to expand to a much larger location in Freeport that has become a popular destination for beer aficionados from around the country. The company has made a serious name for itself as a producer of coveted hop-heavy ales, including Lunch IPA and its spiritual successor Dinner Double IPA.

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack (a delicious vegetarian hand-pie) and water. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. A warm layer is highly recommended, as the shore of inland lakes can be quite chilly at this time of year.

We'll be doing all of the driving, so you can relax. And to make it even easier, we have two pick-up times and locations:
8:30am
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.

or 8:50am
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport.

(Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time at either location, and please let us know where you will be meeting us).

We'll return to these locations to drop you off at 2:40 (Freeport) and 3:00 (Portland).

This tour is limited to 13 participants, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won't want to miss! Call (207-865-6000) or email (freeportwildbird@yahoo.com) us to make your reservation.

For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at:
http://www.themainebrewbus.com/

A summary of November 2015 "Ducks and Draughts" outing can be seen here:
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/birds-on-tap-roadtrip-ducks-and-draughts-111515/
Birds on Tap - Roadtrip! - Anatadae, Apples, and Ales.
Sunday December 11 - 9:00am to 3:30pm
Cost - $65
New Date and tour! Just for those who have been asking about "perhaps something other than beer!"

Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are pleased to offer an additional 7th tour for 2016! The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!

Diving ducks linger at the famous Sabattus Pond where a combination of the shallow water, sheltered coves, and an invasive snail combine to make this one of the best locales for duck (the family Anatidae)-watching in all of Maine. Hundreds of Ruddy Ducks, Lesser and Greater Scaup, and Common Mergansers are often present at this season, with smaller numbers of all sorts of species, including American Black Ducks, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Mergansers, and much more. It’s also the time of year that rarities show up, with recent highlights including Redhead and Canvasback lingering well into December. Bald Eagles are regularly seen.

After1 ½-2 hours of birding here, visiting 3-4 viewing spots, we’ll head over to Lake Auburn, where its deep water can host lingering waterfowl, as well as Common Loons and Horned Grebes. If we get an early freeze this year and waterfowl numbers are limited, we will substitute another site, perhaps the Auburn Riverwalk or Upper Street in Turner to look for Snow Buntings and Lapland Longspurs.

We’ll also be on the lookout for early irruptive frugivores such as Bohemian Waxwing and perhaps even Pine Grosbeak if it’s a flight year.

The first stop after birding will be Ricker Hill Orchards in Turner. For nine generations Ricker Hill has been growing apples in Turner, Maine. It is with the same farm that they started back in 1803, that they now use to produce Maniac brand hard cider. The entire process of making hard cider (growing the apples, pressing the apples, fermenting the cider, and canning the cider) all happens right on the farm. Not only will you have the chance to go on a tour to see how our hard cider is made, but you will be able to relax in a comfortable environment while enjoying some of their finest cider.

Our next stop is Bear Bones Beer, an independent nano-brewery located in downtown Lewiston, Maine with a focus on making high quality sustainable craft beer. The company was started in the spring of 2013 by Eben Dingman and Adam Tüüri. The two beer aficionados had been brewing individually for almost a decade when they decided to start collaborating with the goal of creating a delicious product with a business model based on sustainability. Their two-barrel system lies in the heart of Lewiston’s downtown, and their beer is now available in area restaurants and their tasting room is open to the public.

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack (a delicious vegetarian hand-pie) and water. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. A warm layer is highly recommended, as the shore of inland lakes can be quite chilly at this time of year.

We'll be doing all of the driving, so you can relax. And to make it even easier, we have two pick-up times and locations:
9:00am
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.

or 9:20am
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport.

(Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time at either location, and please let us know where you will be meeting us).

We'll return to these locations to drop you off at 3:10 (Freeport) and 3:30 (Portland).

This tour is limited to 13 participants, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won't want to miss! Call (207-865-6000) or email (freeportwildbird@yahoo.com) us to make your reservation.

For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at:
http://www.themainebrewbus.com/
Workshop: Gull Identification with York County Audubon.
Winter 2017
Cost - TBA
This two-part workshop, on Saturday afternoon,TBA and Sunday morning, TBA, will get you started on unraveling the mysteries of gull identification.

Actually, most gulls are not very difficult to tell apart, though adult and juveniles of most species look very different. We’re going to give ourselves confidence with identifying the easier plumage’s of our common species, and then tackle the more challenging intermediate plumage’s and the less-common species.

Part I
Saturday, TBA will be indoors at the Mather Auditorium of the Wells Reserve at 342 Laudholm Farm Road in Wells will be divided into two sections (you need not be present for both):

1:00 pm-2:30 pm – Beginning Gull Identification. Using Powerpoint and book resources, we’ll start with the basics of gull identification, such as feather topography and aging. We’ll then focus on our most common species: Ring-billed, Herring, Great Black-backed, Laughing, and Bonaparte’s Gulls.

3:00 pm-4:30 pm – Advanced Gull Identification. Now comfortable with the basics, we’ll move on to the uncommon species: Lesser Black-backed, Iceland, Glaucous, and Black-legged Kittiwake. Next up will be the rarities: Little, Black-headed, and yes, even Thayer’s. We’ll touch upon “Megas” such as Mew, Slaty-backed, and Sabine’s, and we’ll discuss hybrids. Finally, we’ll apply what we have learned to tackle and understand some identification quandaries, such as the famous “Westbrook Gull” before we finish up with some photo quizzes to test our new-found knowledge.

Part II:
Field Workshop: TBA (8:00am – 12:00pm):

We’ll meet in Portland (Back Cove parking lot on Preble Street Ext, opposite the Hannaford’s) to carpool around the area to apply what we have learned. We’ll spend some time with our most common species: Herring, Ring-billed, and Great Black-backed, and then seek out Iceland and Glaucous, and perhaps we’ll find something even better!

We hope that you will join Derek for this workshop to foster appreciation for this fascinating group of birds.

York County Audubon is sponsoring this Workshop. We are asking for a $10 fee to participate, payable by cash or check at the Saturday session. Space is limited. Please register by signing up on this website. Weather dates or Workshop updates will be posted on the York County Audubon website and Derek’s Web Page (freeportwildbirdsupply.com/birdingtoursinMaine.asp).

Link to sign-up and more information:
http://www.yorkcountyaudubon.org/events/gull-id-workshop-with-derek-lovitch

And for a review of our inaugural 2014 workshop, check out Derek's blog, here:
http://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/gull-identification-workshop-wrap-up/
Birds on Tap - Roadtrip! Surf and Suds.
Feb 2017
Cost -TBA

(The snow date will be the following Sunday, TBA).

After our successful “Birds on Tap - Roadtrip!” inaugural tours in 2015, Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are pleased to offer six great outings in 2016. The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!

The rocky headlands of York County host impressive concentrations of some of the most beautiful ducks in the world. This tour will head to two of the hotspots, seeking Harlequin Ducks, all three scoters, Common Eider (and maybe even a King, one of the most sought-after of North American waterfowl), and many others. Purple Sandpipers and alcids (including Razorbill, Black Guillemot, and if we’re lucky, Common or Thick-billed Murre, and perhaps, if the winds align, a Dovekie!). A casual stroll along Marginal Way will afford us the opportunity to get up close and personal with “Harlies” and Purple Sandpipers and many of the seaducks. Afterwards, we’ll scan the ocean from The Nubble, looking for these species, and more, including Black-legged Kittiwakes and “white-winged” gulls.

After 2-3 hours of birding, we will be transported to two of our great local breweries to sample their offerings and learn their styles.

York’s only brewery, SoMe (like “that’s some good beer”) was founded by father and son team Dave and David after years of homebrewing and an unexpected career change. The duo have already expanded their young company with a brand new brewhouse and much more operational space. Thanks to a strong local following, their bottles of flagship Crystal Persuasion, Apostrophe IPA, and popular Whoopie Pie Stout are available throughout Southern Maine.

Next we will visit South Portland’s first brewery operation in over a decade. Fore River Brewing Company just opened in January of this year. John and TJ - two friends and avid homebrewers - teamed up with Alex the property owner (who had just sold his landscaping business) to open the brewery. They worked for months to hand craft their beers and also the beautiful tasting room, which has both classic and modern barn elements in the stunning design.

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack (a delicious vegetarian hand-pie) and water. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. And dress warm; it can be frigid along the coast in winter, especially when we’re standing still.

We'll be doing all of the driving, so you can relax. And to make it even easier, we have two pick-up times and locations:

8:00 am
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport.

or 8:20 am
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.

(Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time at either location, and please let us know where you will be meeting us)

We'll return to these locations to drop you off at 2:10pm (Portland) and 2:30pm (Freeport).

You can read about our successful 2016 tour here;
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/birds-on-tap-roadtrip-surf-and-suds-22816/

This tour is limited to 13 participants, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won't want to miss! Call (207-865-6000) or email (freeportwildbird@yahoo.com) us to make your reservation.

For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at:
http://www.themainebrewbus.com/
Birds on Tap - Roadtrip! Spring Ducks and Draughts
Sunday, April 2017
Cost - $65

After our successful “Birds on Tap - Roadtrip!” inaugural tours in 2015, Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are pleased to offer six great outings in 2016. The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!

This tour will focus on the impressive springtime concentrations of waterfowl that stage on Merrymeeting Bay. Awaiting the opening of ponds and lakes further north, large number of Green-winged Teal, American Black Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, and Common Mergansers build in the bay. Among the regulars, less common species such as American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, and Northern Shoveler are often found, along with rarities including Eurasian Wigeon. Visits to a few of the hotspots will seek the densest concentrations of ducks, and in doing so, we may see a dozen or more Bald Eagles. When conditions align, the concentration of ducks and the predators that seek them is one of the true spring birding spectacles in Maine.

After 2-3 hours of birding, we will be transported to two of our great local breweries to sample their offerings and learn their styles.

Our first stop is Oxbow Brewing Company. Founded in 2011, Oxbow is an American farmhouse brewery specializing in traditional Belgian-style ales with contemporary American influence. They brew small batches of beer exclusively in a renovated barn in rural Newcastle, Maine. Their destination is truly special, with the properties of the well water as well as fruits from their orchards playing an important role in their various beers.

The second stop is Ebenezer’s Brewpub, the home of Lively Brewing Company. After Chris and Jen Lively opened their Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell in 2004, the Belgian themed bar alongside a rural golf course became very popular and has been named the best pub in the USA numerous times as well as top beer destination in the world 7 times. But Chris had always dreamed of opening a European style brewpub called Ebenezer’s Brewpub, complete with its own Lively Brewing Company. This honorary Belgian knight (for contributions to the Belgian beer industry) created a truly unique spot that takes pub fare to the next level and always has something on tap and on the menu for everyone.

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack (a delicious vegetarian hand-pie) and water. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. A warm layer is highly recommended, as the shore of the bay can be quite chilly at this time of year.

We'll be doing all of the driving, so you can relax. And to make it even easier, we have two pick-up times and locations:

9:45 am
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(Opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.

or 10:05am
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport.

(Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time at either location, and please let us know where you will be meeting us)

We'll return to these locations to drop you off at 3:40 pm (Freeport) and 4:00pm (Portland).

This tour is limited to 13 participants, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won't want to miss! Call (207-865-6000) or email (freeportwildbird@yahoo.com) us to make your reservation.

For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at: http://www.themainebrewbus.com/

Read about the 2016 tour in Derek's blog here:
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/birds-on-tap-roadtrip-spring-ducks-and-draughts-2016/
...and in the Portland Press Herald!
http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/13/a-lesson-in-the-birds-and-the-beers/
Woodcocks Gone Wild! at Pineland Farms
Saturday, April TBA, 2017
Cost - $7 per person

Join us for our annual evening outing to Pineland Farms in New Gloucester for the sky-dancing of the American Woodcock. Witness the spectacular show as this cryptic and secretive species erupts in a swirling and twirling display of sound and flight. Displaying Wilson's Snipe are also possible.

Meet at 6:30 pm at the "Wax Room," below the Visitor's Center at Pineland Farms. We'll caravan onto the farm for a short walk to our favored viewing location. Bring a light-weight chair if you wish. Pre-registration is not required.

Feathers Over Freeport!
April 2017
All events free with park entry.

The full schedule of events for this year's 5th Annual Feathers Over Freeport: A Birdwatching Weekend has now been posted. Check it out - new events for this year include a program on soft shell clam biology and ecology and...FOOD TRUCKS!

Free birdwalks will be offered at 8:00am each day, and there will be a Hawkwatch Workshop at the summit of Bradbury Mountain on Sunday, among many other events, walks, and programs.

For a full schedule of this weekend full of fun, birds, and family-friendly events, check out:
http://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/discover_history_explore_nature/activities/feathers_over_freeport.shtml
MonhegZEN Birding Spring Migration Weekend
May 2017
Cost - Per Diem, see below.

Join Derek on Monhegan during the height of spring migration for 1-3 days searching the island for regular visitors, rarities, and vagrants. This is a casual outing, with boat and hotel reservations, as well as meals, on your own. Although we are likely to eat meals together, we'll have more flexibility on rooming and eating arrangements this way. Also, you can come and go as you please, based on whatever boat and departure times and locations suit you best. Sign up for 1,2, or 3 days.

Late May is a fantastic time to visit Maine’s Monhegan Island. Warblers in their summer finery are pouring through the Northeast, and many will drift over the Gulf of Maine on their nocturnal flights. Come dawn, the birds seek refuge on land, and Monhegan Island is perfectly positioned to catch arrivals. Rapidly changing weather conditions can result in massive “fallouts” of tired migrants, many of which will forage in the rocks on the shoreline. The possibility of overshoots from the south and vagrants from almost any direction adds icing to the cake of the fantastic birding afforded by this quaint little island.

Once again, we’ll be staying at the rustic Trailing Yew, featuring delicious breakfasts and home-cooked dinners. Our comfortable European-style accommodations only enhance the “turn-back-the-clock” mystique of the Mohegan Island experience (although folks are welcome, as always, to stay elsewhere, but there isn’t much open this early in the year). We have blocked off rooms for 8 people at this time (under “Derek Lovitch”). Reservations are made through the Trailing Yew, at: Please call (207) 596-6194. Office hours: 9:00am-noon, 3:00pm-5:00pm. Rates are TBA for single occupancy, and TBA for double occupancy, per night, and include a great breakfast.

Remember, you do not have to stay or eat with us, but of course, your company is most welcome! Coffee and tea are also available before breakfast, to fuel those first couple of hours of birding. (http://www.trailingyew.com/).

With room and travel arrangements made on your own, the cost for this trip is only $50 per person, per day.

Check out Derek's blog for a rundown of the 2014 tour in which a first state record Brewer's Sparrow was the icing on the cake of a weekend that included 94 species (including 19 species of warblers), and many other goodies, such as a Summer Tanager, 2 Orchard Orioles, a Clay-colored Sparrow, an exceptional Eastern Kingbird show, and some outstanding views of many species of warblers:
http://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/2014-monhegzen-spring-migration-birding-weekend/

Our 2016 tour featured 98 species including 20 species of warblers, along with a Purple Martin, White-eyed Vireo, both Red and White-winged Crossbills, a roosting Common Nighthawk and an exclusive bird-friendly beer!
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/birds-on-tap-monhegan/
Birds on Tap - Roadtrip! Grassland and Grains
Sunday June 2017
Cost - $65

After our successful “Birds on Tap - Roadtrip!” inaugural tours in 2015, Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are pleased to offer six great outings in 2016. The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!

Kennebunk Plains is an annual pilgrimage for Maine’s birders. There are few places - and none this easy - to observe state Endangered Grasshopper Sparrows and Threatened Upland Sandpipers. Throw in what is perhaps the densest concentration of Vesper and Field Sparrows and Prairie Warblers in the state, along with lots of Chestnut-sided Warblers, Eastern Towhees, and many more. Then, add a rarity like a near-annual Clay-colored Sparrow to the mix or a visit with one of the local pairs of American Kestrels, Brown Thrashers, or Eastern Kingbirds, and you have the recipe for a tremendous day of birding. We’ll visit a couple of hotspots and take some short to moderate (but easy and flat) walks to sample the best corners of this prized habitat.

After 2-3 hours of birding, we will be transported to two of our great local breweries to sample their offerings and learn their styles.

Our first stop is Funky Bow Brewery and Beer Company. A young business seeing some astounding growth, Lyman’s only brewery involves a father and son team leveraging the success of their organic landscaping operation into a successful brewing operation. Funky Bow has recently expanded, and now cans many of its offerings to greatly increase the brand’s retail presence. The atmosphere at this out of the way spot is excellent, and usually involves a wood-fired pizza oven going at full bore.

Next we visit Banded Horn Brewing Company. The Pepperell Mill, long abandoned, now houses a buzzing business and arts community. Banded Horn Brewing Co., led by Mainer Ian McConnell, has been at the forefront of the growth. With McConnell’s experience as head brewer at Sixpoint Brewing Company, the brewery hit the ground running, offering well-tuned beers in a range of styles. The space is just as impressive as the line-up, with plenty of room for ping-pong and foosball tables. Plan to take home some bottles from the company’s new canning line.

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack (a delicious vegetarian hand-pie) and water. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. Light-colored, long-sleeve shirt and pants are highly recommended to reduce the nuisances of biting insects.

We'll be doing all of the driving, so you can relax. And to make it even easier, we have two pick-up times and locations:

8:00am
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport.

or 8:20am
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.

(Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time at either location, and please let us know where you will be meeting us)

We'll return to these locations to drop you off at 1:40pm (Portland) and 2:00pm (Freeport).

This tour is limited to 13 participants, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won't want to miss! Call (207-865-6000) or email (freeportwildbird@yahoo.com) us to make your reservation.

For a summary of our inaugural 2016 excursion, visit Derek's blog here:
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/birds-on-tap-grassland-and-grains-6516/

For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at: http://www.themainebrewbus.com/

Bicknell's Thrush and the White Mountains
June 2017
Cost - $219

We’re pleased to continue our annual "Bicknell's Thrush and White Mountains Weekend" tour, complete with round-trip transportation. We’ll meet that store on Saturday at 7:00am and drive towards the White Mountains. We’ll might make one birding stop in southern Maine (such as the Kennebunk Plains and/or Brownfield Bog) on the way into New Hampshire, or we'll get a lunch to go and make a run for the hills. Either way, we'll spend the afternoon birding in the White Mountain National Forest for boreal specialties such as Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, and a variety of northern warblers if time, weather, and circumstances permit. The exact itinerary will be developed based on weather, road conditions, and participant's "wantlists."

After an early dinner, we’ll head to the Mount Washington Auto Road for a private after-hours tour up the mountain. We’ll visit the summit and look for breeding American Pipits, and then get in place by sunset to hear the ethereal song of the enigmatic Bicknell’s Thrush. We’ll put ourselves in the best position possible for both hearing, and yes, seeing, this charismatic species.

We’ll spend the night in Gorham and then head out early Sunday morning for some more woodland birding before we make another excursion into the realm of the Bicknell’s Thrush. In addition to breathtaking views, we’ll be effortlessly whisked into the krummholz, where we’ll get a second dose of Bicknell’s and Swainson’s Thrushes, Blackpoll Warblers, and more before slowly birding our way back to Freeport by the late afternoon.

This package tour includes:
- Mount Washington Auto Road after-hours, private charter.
- Transportation up a second mountain, TBD on the second day.
- Guiding services.
- round-trip transportation from Freeport

The price does not include meals and your room at the Royalty Inn. However, rooms have been blocked off and you will receive a discounted group price. Make sure to mention that you are part of the “Freeport Wild Bird Supply/Derek Lovitch” group. Visit www.royaltyinn.com or call 1-800-43-RELAX for reservations.

This trip is limited to 8 people, and it fills up rapidly, so make your reservations soon!

You can read about previous trips here, via Derek's blog:
2013:
http://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/the-2013-bicknells-thrushes-of-the-white-mountains-tour/

2014:
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/bicknells-thrush-and-the-white-mountains-trips-report/

2015:
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/the-2015-bicknells-thrush-and-the-white-mountains-van-trip/
2016:
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/the-2016-bicknells-thrushes-of-the-white-mountains-tour/

Suggestions for participants:
1) Bring layers - expect it to be windy, and likely at least 20 degrees cooler at the mountain summits than what is forecast for the towns below. Temps could easily be in the 40's and windy at the summit of either mountain.
2) Study walking shoes/hiking boots highly recommended, even though most of the trails we will take are fairly well-trodden and short. One particular trail is uneven and often muddy, howevever
Maine and New Hampshire Tour with Derek and WINGS
June 16-25, 2017

Join Derek on this comprehensive Maine-New Hampshire tour for WINGS. 159 species were recorded on his 2015 tour, including including 20 species of warblers, 9 species of flycatchers, 7 species of thrushes, 5 species of terns, 5 species of vireos, and 4 species of alcids. Some of the highlights included a remarkable experienced with Bicknell's Thrushes, Gray Jays literally eating from our hands, pelagics off of Bar Harbor that included amazing views of Leach's Storm-Petrels, and of course – Machias Seal Island with it's thousands of Atlantic Puffin, Razorbills, and hundreds of Common Murres. Unexpected highlights were led by a Little Egret, along with unseasonable Black and White-winged Scoters.

Other sought-after species seen in 2015 included Northern Fulmar, Great and Manx Shearwaters, American Oystercatcher, Roseate and Arctic Terns, Black Guillemot, Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Philadelphia Vireo, Bay-breasted and Blackpoll Warblers, Saltmarsh and Nelson's Sparrows, Upland Sandpiper and Grasshopper Sparrows...and Moose!

And of course, we see many great and scenic places, and enjoy lots of food - including plenty of lobster, if you so desire!

Here's the itinerary and other details: http://wingsbirds.com/tours/view/111. Also be sure to check out the 2015 trip report and species list for this amazing trip!
Birding by Schooner!
July 2017

Join Derek and Jeannette aboard the Schooner Lewis R. French, America's Oldest Windjammer (and National Historic Landmark) for a truly unique birding experience.

Enjoy peace, quiet, and tranquility (and environmental friendliness!)of wind-powered locomotion as we spend a week aboard the French enjoying great food, lots of rest and relaxation, and some great birding!

We'll have the chance to visit one or more seabird breeding colonies (Eastern Egg Rock, Matinicus Rock, Seal Island, and/or Petit Manan Island - wind and weather permitting, of course), to place us among thousands of breeding seabirds, including Atlantic Puffins, Common Murres, and Razorbills. Roseate, Common, and Arctic Terns will likely be seen, along with other local breeding species from Common Eiders and Black Guillemots to Ospreys and Bald Eagles. Other likelihoods include Great Cormorants, and southbound migrant shorebirds.

In the open waters, we'll be on the lookout for Greater, Sooty, Manx, and perhaps even Cory's Shearwater, along with Leach's and Wilson's Storm-petrels. We will also hope for Parasitic Jaegers and perhaps a surprise such as a South Polar Skua or the Red-billed Tropicbird that has spend the last 11 summers in the Seal Island area and which put on a truly extraordinary show for us during five of our six visits to this remote colony.

Circumstances permitting, we'll spend at least one day chumming offshore to bring seabirds in close, and we'll also spend a few hours on most mornings looking for breeding birds on short land-based excursions - perhaps including Monhegan Island.

For more information, visit the Schooner French's website:
http://www.schoonerfrench.com/birding.htm
and
http://www.schoonerfrench.com/

To read all about our 2016 tour, take a look at Derek's blog here:
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/2016-birding-by-schooner-trip-report/

And for more trip reports:
2015: https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/birding-by-schooner-trip-report-2015

2014: http://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/birding-by-schooner-2014/

2013: http://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/birding-by-schooner-2103/

Hope to see you aboard!
Birds on Tap - Road Trip! Shorebirds and Beer
August TBA - 9:00am to 3:00pm.
Cost - $65

After our successful “Birds on Tap - Roadtrip!” inaugural tours in 2015, Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are pleased to offer six great outings in 2016. The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!

This tour will include 2-3 hours of birding at Scarborough Marsh, with Derek as your guide, at prime time for a good variety of migrant shorebirds. We’ll learn how to identify our common species, and search for the rare. Up to 20 species of shorebirds are possible! We'll practice identifying our "peeps" (Least, Semipalmated, and White-rumped Sandpipers) and attempt to tease out a Western or even a Baird's among the masses. We'll look for local breeding American Oystercatchers and Willets, while searching for migrants such as Red Knots on their way from the high Arctic to the southern tip of Argentina.

And not to worry, we'll take a look at everything else, such as Common, Roseate, and Least Terns; herons and egrets, and who knows what else? We may even get a chance to see Nelson's and Saltmarsh Sparrows depending on time and wind.

After 2-3 hours of birding, we will be transported to two of our great local breweries to sample their offerings and learn their styles. First up will be Saco's Barreled Souls Brewing Company.

By now you’ve surely heard of beers aging in oak barrels to acquire unique flavors. Well, this may be the only brewery in the country fermenting 100% of its beer in oak barrels. The basement-level brewery is making a huge variety of unusual styles in wooden fermenters, even adding in produce and botanicals grown in the gardens just outside the front door when possible. The attractive tasting room has a shuffleboard table and chairs made of oak barrels, as well as a distinct speakeasy vibe.

Then, we'll head back to Portland to visit with our friends and Birds on Tap! Speaker Series partners, Rising Tide Brewing Company. The name Rising Tide Brewing Company, inspired by the famous quote, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” encapsulates the collaborative spirit of the craft beer industry. The loyal following of locals speaks to the company’s community engagement as well as to the quality of its beer. This husband- and wife-owned brewery expanded from one great brewery cluster to another, and many of its offerings are available in bottles or even cans.

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack (a vegetarian hand-pie) and water. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. Sunscreen, a light jacket in case the wind turns onshore, and sturdy comfortable walking shoes are also recommended.

We'll be doing all of the driving, so you can relax. And to make it even easier, we have two pick-up times and locations:
9:00am
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport.

or 9:20am
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.

(Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time at either location, and please let us know where you will be meeting us)

We'll return to these locations to drop you off at 2:40pm (Portland) and 3:00pm (Freeport).

This tour is limited to 13 participants, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won't want to miss! Call (207-865-6000) or email (freeportwildbird@yahoo.com) us to make your reservation.

For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at:
http://www.themainebrewbus.com/

By popular demand, we ran two outing in 2016. They are both recounted here:
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/the-two-shorebirds-and-beer-birds-on-tap-roadtrips-of-2016/

A summary of our August 2015 outing can be seen here:
https://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/birds-on-tap-roadtrip-shorebirds-and-beers-trip-report-8215/
Claybrook Mountain Lodge Birding Weekend
TBA
Cost - TBA

Join Derek for a weekend of birding and relaxation at the Claybrook Mountain Lodge!

As predicted before our first visit here in 2012, once you spend some time with Greg and Pat Drummond at their charming lodge in Highland Plantation, you won’t be able to wait to go back! And now is the time!

The trip begins on Friday evening with one of Pat’s scrumptious dinners (6:00pm is dinnertime, you are free to arrive in the late afternoon). We’ll rise early on Saturday to spend the day birding and enjoying other wildlife, scenery, and habitats. Greg will be our co-leader for the day, and in addition to his local knowledge of birding hotspots, we’re more than likely to learn about the tracks and signs of other wildlife, from White-tailed Deer to Coyotes to Black Bear. Greg is a wealth of Maine Woods expertise, and you’ll really enjoy spending time in the field with him.

We’ll have plenty of room in Claybrook’s 15-passenger van, and Pat will pack us a picnic lunch. We’ll bird a wide variety of habitats, but will focus our time in boreal forest. Depending on how far we travel, we may have a chance for all of the boreal specialties including Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Tennessee, Cape May, Bay-breasted, and Blackpoll Warblers and others. A variety of warblers – including goodly numbers of Mourning Warblers, Alder Flycatchers, Lincoln’s Sparrows, and others could be encountered with much shorter drives. We’ll likely check out some meadows for American Bittern and Bobolinks, and we’ll be on the lookout for nomadic finches: White-winged and Red Crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks, although their presence fluctuates widely from year to year. However, "target" birds such as these are only the icing on the cake. This is a trip for "immersion" into the birds of the Maine Woods, and we'll be sampling a variety of habitats, practicing our skills, and seeing a wide range of species.

Returning to the lodge for a little rest before dinner, we might – energy permitting – just have to take a walk to try for an owl or two after sunset.

Sunday morning will be laid back and relaxing. We’ll bird the lodge’s fields, garden, edges, and extensive trail system to enjoy a myriad of breeding species (over 100 species have been recorded from the property). Black-backed Woodpeckers have been seen within a short walking distance, as has Olive-sided Flycatcher and many others. At the very least, we’ll be entertained with Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Eastern Bluebirds in the garden. We’ll do a short walk before breakfast, and then a longer stroll before lunch. We may also caravan to one or two local birding hotspots to build our trip list. After lunch, it’s time for a little R&R, reading, or casual birding as you begrudgingly depart for home.

We are only going to take 10 people, so sign up soon!

Price: $TBA per person includes: lodging (shared bathrooms and one to three people per bedroom), ALL MEALS from Friday’s dinner through Sunday’s lunch, guiding for both days including a van tour with Greg on Saturday, and good company!
Single Person supplement (for a private bedroom): $70

Take a look at Claybrook’s website (http://www.claybrookmountainlodge.com/) and when you’re ready to join us, give us a call here at the store – we’ll be handling the reservations and shared room assignments. It's BYOB, by the way.

And have a look at the sights and stories from our 2014 tour:
http://mebirdingfieldnotes.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/the-2104-claybrook-mountain-lodge-birding-weekend-trip-report/