Birds On Tap℠ - Roadtrip! Gulls and Growlers

Saturday, January TBA, 2021; 9:00am - 3:30pm

The Maine Brew Bus and Freeport Wild Bird Supply are excited to collaborate on ten great outings for 2020 in the sixth 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!

 

That’s right, we’re taking you on a tour to a landfill! While it might not be our most aesthetically-pleasing destination, the massive concentration of easy food can produce incredible concentrations of birds, especially a variety of gulls, and Bald Eagles.  Up to 40 Bald Eagles can be seen here in the winter, and photography opportunities can be outstanding. Meanwhile, among thousands of Herring Gulls, we’ll learn to identify - and yes, appreciate - the variety of species (yup, it’s not just one “Seagull”), starting with Great Black-backed Gull, the largest gull in the world, and visitors from the north: Iceland and Glaucous Gulls.

 

After we’ve had our fill (pardon the pun), we’ll head into downtown Augusta to work the river for more gulls, eagles, and likely Common Mergansers. If our gull-watching has been productive, and it’s an “irruption” year, we might stop at the Viles Arboretum instead to seek out Bohemian Waxwings or Pine Grosbeaks if they are around. But we’ll leave some extra time to search later for Snowy Owls.

 

After about 3 hours of birding, we will be transported to Bateau Brewing in Gardiner and Black Pug Brewing in Brunswick to sample their offerings and learn their styles.

Bateau Brewing was opened in August of 2019 by Steve Casey, Matt Kendall, and Steve Sommers. Casey owns The Depot Pub around the corner on Maine Avenue in Gardiner, and a timely conversation between Casey and Kendall allowed the brewery plan to really take shape. The brewery is located in a block of buildings from the mid-1800s known as the Dingley Block, built by the Dingley brothers who operated a hardware store there for nearly 50 years. “Bateau” is the name given to shallow draft flat-bottomed boats, the kind that Reuben Colburn, a major in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War, provided to Col. Benedict Arnold in his bid to travel up the Kennebec River to capture Quebec. The brewery abuts “Gardiner Landing” park, and their deck offers commanding views of the Kennebec River.

Black Pug opened in October of 2018, and is the third brewery to call Brunswick home. Sam Wilson first started brewing in the closet of his college apartment in Burlington, VT, and his co-founder and business partner Jason Allen first started drinking beer in his college apartment in New York. The name Black Pug Brewing was inspired by Wilson’s dog, Gir, and the unpredictability of pugs as a breed encapsulate what the business is about. Wilson is the head brewer and is trying to create a really diverse array of offerings. He prefers to use culinary flavors in his beer - including fruits and spices - and is working in as many unique flavors as possible.

 

To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 2017 trip report and 2019 post.

 

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 here 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:

 

9:00 am

Marginal Way Park & Ride

(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.

 

0r 9:20 am

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 3:10pm (Freeport) and 3:30pm (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), email (freeportwildbird@yahoo.com), or visit Freeport Wild Bird Supply  to pay by cash or check (and for more information), or, to conveniently pay online, click on the “Book Now” link below.

 

For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at:

http://www.themainebrewbus.com/

 

For information on our cancellation and refund policy, click here.

Birds on Tap℠ - Roadtrip! Seaducks and Suds

Sunday, February, 2021 TBA; 9:00am - 3:30pm

Cost - TBA
 

The Maine Brew Bus and Freeport Wild Bird Supply are excited to collaborate on ten great outings for 2020 in the sixth 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!

 

This perennial favorite visits the rocky headlands of York County that 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!). We’ll scan the ocean from The Nubble, looking for these species, and more, including Black-legged Kittiwakes and “white-winged” gulls. Afterwards, a casual stroll along Marginal Way will afford us the opportunity to get up close and personal with “Harlies” and Purple Sandpipers.

 

After about 3 hours of birding, we will be transported to York Beach Brewing in York and a second brewery TBA to sample their offerings and learn their styles.

Opened in March 2019, York Beach Beer Company is the sister brewery of SoMe Brewing Company, also located in York. At this location they are focusing on making lower ABV beers such as lagers, session beers, and easy drinking “beach” beers. Located in the old York Beach Post Office, the 3,000-square-foot building on Railroad avenue allows the father-and-son team to expand their brewing capacity and offer a new beer drinking experience in the popular beach community.

 

To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 2020,  20192018 and 2016 trip report. 2020 featured a phenomenal Alcid showing. In 2018, we were treated two two rare Dovekies and 15ft waves, while in 2017, avian highlights included an ultra-rare Northern Pintail x Mallard hybrid, up-close Wood Ducks, and more than 2 dozen Harlequin Ducks.

 

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:

 

9:00 am

Freeport Wild Bird Supply

541 Route One, Freeport.

 

or 9:20 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 3:10pm (Portland) and 3:30pm (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), email (freeportwildbird@yahoo.com), or visit Freeport Wild Bird Supply  to pay by cash or check (and for more information), or, to conveniently pay online, click on the “Book Now” link below.

 

For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at:

http://www.themainebrewbus.com/

 

For information on our cancellation and refund policy, click here.

Workshop: Gull Identification

Part I: Saturday, January 2021 TBA(1:00-4:30pm)

Part II: Sunday, January 2021 TBA (8:00am-12:00pm)

Cost - TBA


This two-part workshop, on Saturday and Sunday, 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 will be indoors at TBA 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: Sunday (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. 

 

To get an idea of what to expect, see our reports from the 2019 and 2014 workshops in partnership with York County Audubon. 

Woodcocks Gone Wild!

April 2021 TBA; 6:30pm - 8:30pm

(Weather date: )

Cost - $7 per person

Join us for our annual evening outing for the sky-dancing of the American Woodcock at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester. 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.

See the recap of our 2019 trip to see what you can expect.

 

Meet in the "Wax Room" underneath the Visitor Center. Pre-registration is not required.

541 US Route One, Freeport, ME 04032             (207) 865-6000           info@freeportwildbirdsupply.com

 

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