DownEast Adventures Tours
We are very excited to be partnering with DownEast Adventures, the travel department of the esteemed DownEast Magazine! We are honored to be their provider for a series of unique and exclusive birdwatching endeavors.
Winter Waterbirds Workshop
January 2023 TBA
Winter is a wonderful time for birding in Maine – at least when you are dressed appropriately! Colorful seaducks that breed in the high Arctic grace our shorelines – including all three scoter species and dapper Long-tailed Ducks, along with everyone’s favorite: striking Harlequin Ducks. Purple Sandpipers and Great Cormorants replace our summertime shoreline denizens. And if the winds are right, very sought-after alcids – including Dovekies and Thick-billed Murres – join our regular Black Guillemots and Razorbills. Black-legged Kittiwakes, Northern Gannets, and “white-winged” gulls add to the mix. On this new workshop, we’ll hit a few of the prime viewing locations along Maine’s southern coast. But we won’t just be working on the checklist today. Instead, we’ll be focused on learning how to search for these birds – the how, when, and why – and how to identify them. We’ll learn about microhabitats, weather considerations, and seasonal timing to aid our search today and in the future.
By visiting several seasonally-productive sites, we’ll compare similar species while taking time to savor the splashes of color offered by winter seaducks in an otherwise gray and white landscape. We’ll meet at 9 a.m. (please arrive 15 minutes early so we can depart on time) at the Perkin’s Cove parking lot in Ogunquit (end of Perkin’s Cove Road, off of Shore Road). We’ll begin with a walk here, so get your layers ready! We’ll then carpool to the rest of the day’s birding destinations, based on tides, weather, and especially the birds themselves! We’ll return to Perkin’s Cove around 4 p.m.
Stay tuned for details about a special lunch opportunity! If that doesn’t come to fruition, we’ll stop at a location with multiple options for dining individually.
Spring Migrant Songbird Workshop
May 2023 TBA; 7:00 - 11:00am
This half-day workshop (offered on two dates) will focus on the migrant songbirds, especially warblers, that are passing through Maine’s most famous migrant trap, Portland’s Evergreen Cemetery. At the peak of warbler migration, we’ll learn how to identify these charismatic birds and we’ll discuss their mind-boggling migration and what they’re up to in Maine.
Whether it’s the kind of migration day that legends are made of, or a slow day (every day of migration is different), we’ll take advantage of whatever species are present to truly get to know them. Sure, we’ll work on “the list,” but our focus will be on preparing for your next birding outing, giving you the tools to identify birds on your own, maximize your time in the field by predicting where and when to be birding based on NEXRAD radar, geography, habitat, and much more. Of course, if there are too many warblers around, we might just have to simply enjoy them!
To get an idea of what you may see, read the 2022 trip report.
We’ll meet at the main entrance (Stevens Ave.) to Evergreen Cemetery at 7 a.m., near the first building on the right to carpool into the best birding location that day, returning to the entrance around 11.
August 2023 TBA; 9:00am - 5:00pm
With more than 35 species of shorebirds (a diverse group including plovers and sandpipers) regularly appearing in Maine, this workshop is designed to appreciate the diversity and beauty of this fascinating family.
We will hit some of the marshes, beaches, and rocky roosts that shorebirds prefer at the peak of their migration. The ebbs and flows of the season, daily and recent weather, and other factors could produce more than 20 species of shorebirds in our time together. Our focus will be in comparative experience, learning how to recognize each species both near and far. Starting with the basics, such as plover vs. sandpiper, we’ll work our way up to the identification quandaries such as the “peeps” and the yellowlegs. We will provide you with a “toolkit” to approach shorebird identification on your own, using a combination of habitat, shape, size, structure, behavior, and plumage to identify this wonderfully diverse and attractive group of birds. Migration, conservation, and natural history will also be discussed.
We’ll meet at the public Park & Ride lot between Famous Dave’s BBQ and Cabela’s off Payne Road at exit 42 of the Maine Turnpike at 9 a.m. (please arrive 15 minutes early so we can depart on time) to carpool to the day’s birding destinations, based on tides, weather, and especially the birds themselves! We’ll return by 5 p.m., with an hour break for lunch (not included), likely at a place with multiple nearby options.
For an idea of what to expect, see the trip report from our 2020 outing.
Fall Migrant Songbird Workshop
September 2023 TBA, 2022; 7:00 - 11:00am
This half-day workshop will focus on the migrant songbirds, especially warblers, that are passing through Maine as they are returning to the tropics. As we approach the peak of fall warbler migration, we’ll not just learn how to identify these charismatic birds, but learn about their mind-boggling migration as well. We are going to dispel the myth of the “confusing fall warbler,” but we will go well beyond that. Instead of just “what” these birds are, we’ll also learn about “how” these birds got here, “why” they are here, and what they do when they are here.
Whether it’s the kind of migration day that legends are made of, or a “slow” day (every day of migration is different), we’ll take advantage of whatever species are present to truly get to know them. Sure, we’ll work on “the list,” but our focus will be on preparing for your next birding outing, giving you the tools to identify birds on your own, maximize your time in the field by predicted where and when to be birding based on NEXRAD radar, geography, habitat, and much more. Of course, if there are too many warblers around, we might just have to simply enjoy them!