Birds On Tap℠ - Roadtrip

The Maine Brew Bus and Freeport Wild Bird Supply are excited to collaborate again in 2022 for the seventh year of our popular Birds On Tap℠ – Roadtrip! series. The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures that you have come to love combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. These tours are a perfect introduction to birding and/or craft beer, and a great opportunity to travel with significant others, friends, and family that have interest in one topic, while your interest is primarily in the other (for now!). Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!

Harlequins and Hops

February 27, 2022; 10:00am - 4:00pm

(REGISTRATION COMING SOON)

Cost - $

The triumphant return of the Birds on Tap - Roadtrip! series takes advantage of some of the amazing birding opportunities right here in Greater Portland in the depths of winter. We’ll begin on the rocky shores of Cape Elizabeth, where the stunning Harlequin Duck joins a wide array of winter seaducks, from Common Eider to all three species of scoters. We’ll also look for Purple Sandpipers, Black Guillemots, Red-necked and Horned Grebes, Common and Red-throated Loons, and much more.

 

Depending on weather and ice conditions, our second stop may include more seaduck searching, or we might check some of the concentrations of gulls in Portland and and South Portland to look for Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, or perhaps seek out a lingering dabbler among the city park Mallard aggregations. We’ll remain flexible to take advantage  - or seek shelter - from whatever winter weather may be at hand.

 

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

 

Breweries TBA

  

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack and water.. Bring binoculars. 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:

10:00am

Freeport Wild Bird Supply

541 Route One, Freeport.

 

or 10:20am

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 3:40pm (Portland) and 4:00pm (Freeport).

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Warblers and Wort

May 8, 2022; 9:00am - 3:00pm

(REGISTRATION COMING SOON)

Cost - $

May means warbler migration, and the destination for Warblers and Wort will hit two of Maine’s most famous springtime migrant traps, Portland’s Evergreen Cemetery and nearby Capisic Pond Park - perfect destinations to take Mom birding! Two oases in the urban jungle, featuring water sources and a mix of various habitats, help concentrate migrant birds that found themselves in or over the city come sunrise. After migrating all night, tired travelers looks for refuge: food, water, and shelter, and urban greenspaces are absolutely critical for refueling.  

 

Warbler diversity will rapidly be increasing, with up to 18 species possible by the middle of May, depending on the progression of the season. Other species, such as sparrows, raptors, and other Neotropical Migrants such as orioles and tanagers are also on the move, increasing our chances of seeing a diversity of species. If the cemetery’s apples and cherries are blooming, we may be in for quite a treat as these are absolute magnets for hungry migrants.  Meanwhile, the trees have yet to leaf out, making them easier to spot! 

It’s sometimes hard to leave Evergreen on a busy spring morning, but if we do, it will be for the very short trip over to Capisic Pond Park, where we’ll continue to seek migrants of all shapes and sizes.

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

 

Breweries TBA

Here is the recap of our last Warblers and Wort from May 2019.

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack and water. Bring binoculars. 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:

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).

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Shorebirds and Steins

August 14, 2022; 9:00am - 3:00pm

(REGISTRATION COMING SOON)

Cost - $

The original BoT Roadtrip!  in 2015, our most popular tour returns to Scarborough Marsh 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 rare 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, wind, and tide.

 

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

 

Breweries TBA

To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 2016 trip report from the two tours we ran.

 

Here are a few recaps from some our past outings to get an idea of what to expect. These are from our tours in 20202018 and 2015 .

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack 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).

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Rarity Roundup

November 6, 2022; 10:00am - 4:00pm

(REGISTRATION COMING SOON)

Cost - $

Early November is a fantastic time of year in Maine for vagrants - birds normally seen in far-off places.  Due to a combination of weather patterns, changing seasonal food resources, falling temperatures, and other factors - some of which are not completely understood - birds that may have ended up in Maine by "accident" begin to concentrate at the coast in "migrant traps" and "hotspots."  In other words, this is the time of year to expect the unexpected.  

A traditional "Rarity Roundup" involves teams of birders heading out on a given day during rarity prime time, looking for species that are not supposed to be around. And in honor of that tradition, that's exactly what we are going to do on this unique tour. We may "chase" a rarity (go to see something that has already been found, aka "twitch") or we might choose a destination known for rare birds in an attempt to find one of our own. Or perhaps, we'll do both!

Anything between Portland and Wells is fair game, unless something truly epic is a little further in a different direction. And we might not even know where we will head until we are on the bus and the latest rare bird alert is received. For those who love adding a bird to your Life or State List, and/or basking in the thrill of discovery, well then this is the tour for you! In between seeing great birds, we'll discuss the complex factors that are involved in delivering rarities to an area, and how we go about finding them.

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

 

Breweries TBA

Here is the recap of our last Rarity Roundup from November 2019.

The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack and water. Bring binoculars. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. A warm layer is highly recommended, as 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:

10:00am

Freeport Wild Bird Supply

541 Route One, Freeport.

 

or 10:20am

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 3:40pm (Portland) and 4:00pm (Freeport).