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

 

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Tours, Events, and Workshops

In addition to custom-designed tours and guided outings (see Private Guiding page), we offer a variety of group tours for all levels of experience and expertise. From dedicated van trips to see the enigmatic Bicknell's Thrush to more casual outings on our way to breweries with our Birds On Tap℠ - Roadtrip! series, we have something for you!  

*We accept checks, cash, and (for some single day tours) credit cards. For detailed information on registering for a tour and refund policy, click here*

Birds On Tap℠ - Roadtrip! Gulls and Growlers

Saturday, January 18, 2020; 9:00am - 3:30pm

Cost - $65

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 two great local producers to sample their offerings and learn their styles.

 

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 16, 2020; 9:00am - 3:30pm

Cost - $65
 

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 two of our great local producers to sample their offerings and learn their styles.

 

To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 20192018 and 2016 trip report. 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.

"Hawaii: Rainbow of Birds" with Derek and WINGS

*WAITLIST ONLY*

Feb 22 - March 4, 2020

Join Derek and WINGS for a birding tour of the tropical paradise of HAWAI'I!  Along with local leaders, we'll visit three of the major islands seeking as many of the endemic species (birds found no where else on Earth) as we can, plus a wide variety of breeding seabirds, migrant waterbirds, and vagrants from both North American and Asia. An incredible birdlist awaits!

Visit the tour's homepage on the WINGS website, where you can see a prospective birdlist, enjoy a photo gallery (with lots of great bird photos from Derek and especially Jeannette), and learn more about our comprehensive itinerary. Needless to say, we'll also be eating well on this trip - like the birdlife, food from all corners of the Pacific melt here into one darn tasty cuisine. We'll have 10 days among the three islands, with a focus on the landbirds and waterbirds found no where else (or not seen easily anywhere else).

Woodcocks Gone Wild!

April 2020 TBA; 6:30pm - 8:30pm

(Weather date: TBA)

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.

Birds on Tap℠ - Roadtrip! Spring Ducks and Draughts

Sunday, April 2020 TBA; 9:30am - 4:00pm

Cost - $65

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 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 about 3 hours of birding, we will be transported to two of our great local producers 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.

 

Next, we will stop by Bath Brewing Company which opened on Front Street in March 2018. It was founded by Terry Geaghan, Mike Therriault, and developer Sean Ireland. The three owners played basketball together at the YMCA, and often talked about how strange it was that Bath didn’t have a brewery yet. So together they found a way to make it happen. When they began brewing their own beer in October of that year under the direction of longtime brewer Peter Heggeman, they became the first locally-based, locally-founded brewpub in Sagadahoc County.

 

To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 2018 and 2016 trip reports.

 

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:

 

9:30 am

Marginal Way Park  & Ride

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

 

or 9:50am

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 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), 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.

Feathers Over Freeport!

April 25 - 26, 2020

All events free with park entry.

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/feathers_over_freeport.shtml

Birds On Tap℠ - Roadtrip! Warblers and Wort

Sunday, May 2020 TBA; 8:00am - 2:00pm

Cost - $65

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!

 

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, 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.

First up is Bissell Brothers Brewing, which was founded in December 2013 by brothers Noah and Peter Bissell, along with Noah’s college friend Seth. Their original brewery was located at the now-famous One Industrial Way. Their first release was The Substance, a hoppy American Pale Ale that was first released in cans in January 2014 and immediately created massive demand from beer lovers. Since those early days they have increased their production by at least 200% a year, necessitating the 2016 move of the entire brewery to Thompson’s Point in Portland. They now brew in a revitalized space 10 times the size of their old brewery that was built in 1904 and once served as a railcar repair location for the Maine Central Railroad. They received a larger brewhouse during 2017, and sent their original system north to begin brewing for their second location in their hometown of Milo, Maine.

The second stop is the brand new production location for Austin Street Brewery. Founded in the spring of 2014, Jake and co-founder Will Fischer were barely able to keep up with demand as they were brewing on a 1-barrel system for the first two years. Now brewing on a 10-barrel brewhouse, they are able to produce and package their well known Patina Pale Ale and Six Grain milk stout right along with more unique beers that are using different yeast strains and wild fermentation methods. And they have recently opened an impressive new production location in Portland’s East Bayside, but smartly are also keeping their tasting room at One Industrial Way that has helped to make their beer so popular.


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. 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.

 

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

 

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), 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.

Monhegan Spring Migration Weekend 2020

May 22 - 25, 2020

Cost - $50 per day, see below.

Join Derek on Monhegan during the height of spring migration for 1-4 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, 3,or 4 days, we will let you know the time and place to meet based on your arrival.

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 Monhegan 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..

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:
 

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!

During the 2017 tour, we had good looks at Summer Tanagers, Cattle Egrets, and Orange-crowned Warbler. 
 

On our 2018 tour , 97 species were highlighted by 18 species of warblers including lots of Blackpoll, Tennessee, and Blackburnians and 1 Mourning; a Brant and 3 Eastern Bluebirds (rare on the island), Summer Tanager, Red Crossbills, and a whole lot more. 

And, the 2019 tour produced a warbler fallout along with White-winged and Eurasian Collared Doves (Maine's second state record!).

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED (with us). Hotel and ferry reservations must be made on your own. The trip is limited to 10 people per day.  

Birds On Tap℠ - Roadtrip! Grassland and Grains

Sunday, June 2020 TBA; 8:00am - 2:30pm

Cost - $65

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!

 

Kennebunk Plains is an annual pilgrimage for Maine’s birders, and one of our favorite BoT outings. 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 about 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 will stop by a multi-faceted company called Batson River Brewing Company. Their operations include a hybrid brewery/distillery in Biddeford, a farm and orchard in Kennebunkport, and a tasting room in Kennebunk. The partners in the project are Tim Harrington, a co-founder and creative director of the Kennebunkport Resort Collection; Kevin Lord, owner of Thomas & Lord Custom Builders; and Matt Dyer, a former beverage director of Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunk. The partners planted the seed for their new business in 2014 by growing hops and lavender on their farm and orchard. Those ingredients are now being used to make their first spirits and ales. Dyer is the lead distiller, and Wade Benker-Ritchey is the head brewer.

 

To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 20192018 and 2016 trip reports.

 

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. 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 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), 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.

Rangeley Birding Festival

June 4 - 7, 2020

We are excited to be a co-sponsor of the second annual Rangeley Birding Festival, in honor of the late John Bicknell!

The Rangeley Lakes region is the premier birding destination for rare and sought-after species in New England. Deep in the heart of Maine's lush boreal forest, Rangeley provides a convenient hub to find northern specialties like Black-backed Woodpecker, Spruce Grouse, and Boreal Chickadee, as well as breeding warblers including Cape May, Bay-breasted, and Mourning. One of the trips offered - a day hike on Saddleback Mountain – will focus on Bicknell’s Thrush, one of North America’s rarest and most localized breeders.

What sets the Rangeley Birding Festival apart from all others is the breeding grounds. While other festivals hope to catch birds as they migrate through, in Rangeley they've reached their destination and are on territory. This means that birds are more reliable and displaying different behaviors than in migration. No other festival in New England provides such convenient access to so many boreal birds.

The Festival features highly skilled guides who are excited to share their knowledge of rich bird life that flourishes at the intersection of northern forest, stunning, clear lakes and the High Peaks of western Maine. For more information about the festival, the guides, and John Bicknell,  go to http://www.rlht.org/birding-festival or call Gina Sawin at (207) 680-0611. A full schedule will be posted soon, including the field trips being led by Derek.

Birds On Tap℠ - Roadtrip! Terns and Taps

Sunday, July, 2020 TBA; 9:00am - 3:30pm

Cost - $65

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!

 

There’s no true “beginning” or “end” to migration as something is always on the move. Shorebirds are a perfect example: as the last immature and non-breeding shorebirds are moseying their way northward in late June, the first southbound “fall” migrants are already arriving!  This tour is designed to capture the ebb and flow of the season, including shorebirds that may be “oversummering” here, breeding locally (including Piping Plover and Willet), or already returning from the Arctic.

 

We’ll start at Hill’s Beach, where shorebirds that are both coming and going can often be found. We’ll also look through the masses of Common Terns for the Federally Endangered Roseate Terns that often come here to feed. Glowing white, with slim bodies and longer tails than the common Commons, you’ll learn how to pick these stunning - and rare - birds out of the flock. Piping Plovers usually breed here, and we’ll look for them too, while keeping an eye out for any other shorebirds.  

 

Our next stop will depend on the tides, but will focus on seeing more shorebirds, likely via Biddeford Pool Beach or the mudflats of “the Pool” itself.

 

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.

 

Our first stop will be Nuts & Bolts Brewing in Biddeford. Patrick Doherty and Deedra Zeeh opened Nuts & Bolts in Biddeford in April of 2018. Located in one of the city’s many former textile mills, their combined brewing space and taproom is certainly not large with just over 1,000 square feet. They are operating a truly nano-brewery as well, they only have the ability to produce one barrel – or 31 gallons of beer – at a time. But this allows them a lot of creativity and experimentation, and the results in the glass show that they are skilled at coaxing some amazing flavors out of their small footprint.

Our second stop is Island Dog Brewing. Island Dog was established in 2016 by Jim Denz and Tim Francis, and are now the third brewery to call South Portland home. They produce primarily Belgian and German-inspired beers (including herb and spice ales), and the company name comes from the owner’s love of rescue dogs and the sheer beauty of Coastal Maine. Jim spent time in the Army, worked as a high school teacher, and spent many years working in technology. Jim met Tim, who has experience with home brewing (in addition to a diverse background including retail, food service, and communications) at a beer festival a few years ago. Enjoy their spacious tasting room as you sip on beers infused with ingredients that you didn’t know would taste so good in beer.

 

To get an idea of what’s in store - in both the birding and beverage departments - check out the 2018 and 2017 reports.

 

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. 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 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.

Bicknell's Thrush Tour (to be named later)

June 2020 TBA

We are revamping our Bicknell's Thrush tour offerings. Details to be posted soon.

Seal Island Charter: The Search for Troppy, the Red-billed Tropicbird (and puffins, too!)

July 11th, 2020

1:00 - 6:00pm

Cost: $85

After two successful stints (read: we saw Troppy!) as the Guest Naturalist aboard the Isle au Haut Ferry Services’s Otter outings to Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge, we have decided to take the boat over – at least for one special afternoon!

 

And make no doubt about it – our goal is “Troppy,” the world’s most famous Red-billed Tropicbird that has called the island home since 2005! Seal Island is the best place to see this West Indian vagrant in North America or the “ABA Area.” (See Derek’s article in the Nov/Dec 2019 issue of Birding magazine).

 

Our special charter will provide us with extended search time, covering the best window of the day to see Troppy. While calm seas and clear skies will be most helpful, we’ll at least have plenty of time to look around no matter what.

 

And if we don’t see this “target?’  Well, I guess we’ll have to suffer through hundreds of Atlantic Puffins and countless Black Guillemots!  Razorbills and Common Murres are expected, and we’ll visit Maine’s last remaining colony of Great Cormorants. Thousands of Arctic and Common Terns will be wheeling around adding to the impressive show at this amazing seabird breeding island. For those who don’t like to visit cold climates, here’s your chance to see all of these species at one time!   And where else in the world can you see Arctic alcids side-by-side with a bird that has “tropic” in its name?

 

It’s likely we’ll already be seeing some southbound migrant shorebirds, and depending on conditions, we have a chance to see Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, Northern Gannets, Great and Sooty Shearwaters, and, since it’s the open water – who knows what else!?  Our 2018 trip produced a single Manx Shearwater.

 

Time permitting, we’ll check Saddleback Ledge for immature Great Cormorants among the abundant Double-crested, a variety of gulls, and migrant shorebirds. Expect Harbor and perhaps Gray Seals, while Harbor Porpoise and whales – especially Minke – are possible, as are several very large fish like Mola Mola and Basking Shark.

 

The trip includes the boat charter and guiding fees. The Otter has ample seating and indoor space, as well as a head (bathroom). Parking is available at the dock for $12 on a first come, first serve basis. Alternatively, there are a variety of parking options in the town of Stonington.

 

**Payment in full is required to guarantee your space, and we are limiting the trip to 40 people to give us plenty of room to move about the boat. If the trip is cancelled due to sea conditions, there will be a full refund. If Troppy does not return for his 15th summer in Maine, everyone on the list will have the opportunity to cancel for a full refund. If you sign up and need to cancel, and we are able to fill your space, you will also receive a full refund. Unfortunately, refunds will not be given if the trip runs but we fail to make it to Seal Island for any reason, and this is at the sole discretion of the captain.**

Directions to the dock:

From Points South - take Interstate 295 and 95 to Augusta, pick up Rte. 3 to Belfast, and then take Rte. 1 & 3 east through Bucksport to Orland, follow Rte. 15 south to Stonington. Turn left onto Seabreeze Ave upon entering town.

From Points North - take 95 to Bangor then 395 to Brewer, then take Rte. 15 south to Stonington. Turn left onto Seabreeze Ave upon entering town.

 

  

Birds on Tap℠ - Road Trip! Shorebirds and Steins

Sunday, August 2020 TBA; 9:00am - 3:00pm​

Cost - $65

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!

 

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.

 

First up will be Foulmouthed Brewing. Veteran homebrewers Craig Dilger and Bill Boguski have joined forces to bring Foulmouthed Brewing to life in South Portland. Their brewpub has been built inside a former auto and boat repair facility, and the brewery is also well designed for large scale production. Opened in June of 2016, Foulmouthed provides a unique assortment of beers that have been crafted to pair with the food turned out from their sunny kitchen. Learn about the origin of the name as you tour one of the most unique breweries in Maine.

 

Next we will visit Lone Pine Brewing in Portland. After working in the retail side of beer for over a decade, Tom Madden decided that the time was right to break into producing his own beer. A long-time home brewer and Certified Cicerone, he reconnected with his longtime friend John Paul who had been working in the music industry in California. Together, they opened Lone Pine in March of 2016 in a former countertop production space in Portland’s East Bayside and quickly enjoyed tremendous success and popularity. In late 2017, Lone Pine announced they had purchased the former Sebago Brewing brewing facility in Gorham, a move which has increased their production volume by ten-fold.

 

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.

 

And here’s the recap of the Birds on Tap - Roadtrip! outings from 2019 and 2015 .

 

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. 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), 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! "Sod-pipers" and Sips

Sunday, September 2020 TBA: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Cost - $65

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!

 

After a successful inaugural tour in 2018, we'll return inland to the farms and fields of Fryeburg Harbor. We’ll be a little more specific in our targets for this trip, as we’re heading this way to seek the sought-after group of birds affectionately known as “Grasspipers,” but for both accuracy and alliteration, we’re calling them “sod-pipers.”  Our goals include the uncommon American Golden-Plover, but we’re heading to one of the most reliable places in the state for Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Baird’s Sandpiper, two rare-but-regular species that visit us in very small numbers each fall.  While Killdeer is probably our only sure bet, other shorebirds are always hoped for, with our focus on the fields and turf farms that are best for Buff-breasted and Baird’s.

In the open areas we’ll also look for Sandhill Cranes (a flock usually begins to assemble here by early September), American Pipits, and Horned Larks, while riparian edges could produce some migrant warblers. Raptors are regular as well, including Bald Eagles and American Kestrels.

This is a very special tour, as after about 3 hours of birding, we'll first be transported to one of the most famous beer bars in the world! 

 

Ebenezer’s Pub, in Lovell that was founded by Chris and Jen Lively in 2004. Chris comes from seven generations of family working in the beer business, and after working in the corporate world he was inspired to open a European style beer bar in the western part of Maine on property that his wife’s family owns. Within three years, Beer Advocate listed Ebenezer’s as the No. 1 Beer Bar in the World. Ebenezer’s has also been rated as Top Beer Destination in the World by ratebeer.com and Top Beer Destination in America by Travel + Leisure and Men’s Journal.

Next up, we will visit Saco River Brewing Company in Fryeburg. Founded in 2016 by Mason Irish and Kevin Antonucci, Saco River Brewing is located in an empty industrial building behind Two Black Dogs Country Pub, just a stone’s throw from Fryeburg Academy and a short walk from the eponymous Saco River. After college at UMO, homebrewing grew from a hobby for the two into something they wanted to do professionally. The brewers at nearby Moat Mountain Brewing Co. in New Hampshire helped the two friends make the leap from homebrewers to commercial brewers. Saco River Brewing Co. is starting small, brewing on a seven-barrel system. The tasting room, which formerly housed a sheet metal fabrication shop, maintains an industrial feel with concrete floors and rustic woods and with a red Old Town canoe hanging above the poured concrete bar.

To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the report from the original trip in 2018, and the 2019 summary.

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. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. 

 

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

The Maine Coast in Fall with Derek and WINGS 2020

September 13 - 20, 2020

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 footpa ths 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.

For more detailed information and how to register, see the WINGS website.

Monhegan Fall Migration Weekend 2020

September 25 - 28, 2020

Cost - $50 per day; 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, 3, or 4 days, we will give you the time and place to meet us on the island based on when you arrive.

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 TBA for single occupancy, and TBA 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. A flashlight or a sleeping bag, if you are one to get cold at night, are also recommended.


In the nine years we have run this trip on this weekend, we have averaged 94 species, including 18 species of warblers! Here are Derek’s tour reports to see what you are missing!:

2013, 2014, 201520162017, 2018, 2019

Don’t miss this year’s excitement!

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED (with us). Hotel and ferry reservations must be made on your own. The trip is limited to 10 people per day.  

Birds On Tap℠ - Roadtrip! Fall Ducks and Draughts

Sunday, October 2020 TBA; 9:00am - 3:30pm

Cost - $65

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 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 Greater 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 found in some years, and Bald Eagles are regularly seen. We'll also be early enough this year for shorebirds, many quite rare inland except for here, such as White-rumped Sandpiper, along with more regular migrants such as Pectoral Sandpiper and Dunlin. 

After about 3 hours of birding here, visiting 3-4 viewing spots, we’ll head to our first brewery stop.

Matt Johannes and Ben Low founded Side By Each Brewing in 2018 with the vision of creating a diverse range of beers that they are proud of. They have turned the 10,480-square-foot former Hammond Tractor building into a welcoming space that’s part brewery, part tasting room, and part cafe. Ben Low was Director of Brewing Operations at Baxter Brewing Co. in nearby Lewiston from shortly after its opening until 2017, after several years at Gritty McDuff’s in Portland, where he first brewed professionally after pursuing a Ph.D. in ancient Roman literature and history. Matty J was until recently the head brewer at Baxter Brewing Co. after a career in theater, including a stint as crew chief for Sesame Street Live. Matt and Ben earned professional brewing certification at the American Brewers Guild, and they love brewing and drinking just about any kind of beer. Side By Each’s unconventional name is an old Franco-American expression, a nod to the community that also gets at their venture, two guys making beer together.

We’ll then head back south, arriving at Maine Beer Company in Freeport.

Maine Beer Company was started by brothers Dan and Dave Kleban after learning how to brew at home on a $300 system they found on online. Their first location was started in 2009 at One Industrial Way in Portland, a location later occupied by the Bissell Brothers. They moved their brewery to a brand new brewery in Freeport during early 2013. The brewery has gained national attention from beer drinkers, particularly for Lunch - a popular India pale ale - and for its spiritual successor Dinner Double IPA. We will explore their newly expanded facility that was completed in early 2018 and has more than tripled their production volume.

 

To get an idea about what’s in store - check out the tour reports from our 20192017 and 2015 outings, and this Facebook post from the 2016 trip.

 

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), 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! "Rarity Roundup"

Sunday, November 2020 TBA; 8:00am - 3:00pm

Cost - $65

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!

A brand-new itinerary for 2019, we're going to try something a little different. 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.

 

Root Wild Kombucha was founded in 2018 by Reid Emmerich, a long-time kombucha brewer and former partner in Urban Farm Fermentory—along with Tom Madden and John Paul, co-founders of Lone Pine Brewing Co. Kombucha is a craft alcohol product that is made with fermented black and green tea. The result is a pleasing low-alcohol base product, to which they add locally foraged fruits, herbs, roots, and more. The 12 taps feature the brewery’s “core flavors” of kombucha on draft: Wild Blueberry, Ginger, and Vanilla Rooibos, along with tasty flavors in seasonal rotation. Alongside the kombucha are special beers brewed by Lone Pine for Root Wild that are also clearly a departure from the norm. Their goal is to blur the lines between their products and experiment with beer-kombucha blends. Root Wild is one of the first kombucha producers in the country to package their kombucha in 12-ounce aluminum cans to allow for greater distribution of their products.

Goodfire Brewing is located in East Bayside, a well known hub within the booming craft alcohol industry of Portland. Founded by David Redding, a physician, they first poured their beers during 2017 Portland Beer Week and opened their tasting room doors shortly after. The comfortable 4,000 square foot space includes a private meeting and event room. The brewing equipment was produced by Tigpro, right here in Portland. The first beers produced by head brewer Gordon Jones were both takes on IPA’s, named Prime and Waves, and were surprisingly immediately available in cans by utilizing their own 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. 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.

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

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 2:40pm (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), 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 with York County Audubon

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

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

Cost - $20 (YCAS or Maine Audubon members), $25 (non-members)


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 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: 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. 

York County Audubon is sponsoring this Workshop. The fee is 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 .

For more information and to sign up, click here

 

To get an idea of what to expect, see our reports from the 2019 and 2014 workshops.

Maine and New Hampshire Tour with Derek and WINGS 2021

June 11 - 20, 2021

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!. 

The Thrushes of Maine Weekend at Claybrook Mountain Lodge

Date TBA

Cost - $419

We’ve redesigned this tour to be (nearly) all-inclusive and offer more birding time, including a chance to see all seven species of Maine’s breeding thrushes – yes, including Bicknell’s!  Of course, the real highlight is spending time with Greg and Pat Drummond at their charming Claybrook Mountain Lodge in Highland Plantation!

 

The trip begins on Friday morning at 7:00am at the store, from which we will carpool our way to Claybrook, with several stops on the way. We’ll hit one or two local sites for Wood Thrush, before beginning our drive northward. Messalonskee Lake with its Black Tern and Purple Martin colony - along with the chance for Sandhill Cranes - will likely be on the agenda, along with Gilman Pond Road for a chance at American Bittern and Wilson’s Snipe, along with Bobolinks and much more.

 

We’ll arrive at Claybrook in the mid to late afternoon, allowing us some time to relax and look for Veeries and Hermit Thrushes around the property before our first of Pat’s scrumptious dinners. 

 

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 with his van, 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. 

 

Pat will pack us a picnic lunch to fuel our birding through a wide variety of habitats from agricultural fields to boreal forest. Depending on how far we travel, we may have a chance for 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 Mourning, Alder Flycatchers, Lincoln’s Sparrows, and others could be encountered with much shorter drives.  We’ll also be on the lookout for nomadic finches: White-winged and Red Crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks, although their presence fluctuates widely from year to year. 

 

After dinner, if weather and recent observations allow, we’ll take a walk for the chance at an owl or two, and whatever other night sounds are to be experienced.

 

Before and/or after breakfast on Sunday morning, we may take a short walk around 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 then cross over to the Carrabassett Valley with Greg via the Carriage Road (with another chance at Wood Thrush if needed). If weather conditions permit, and the Sugarloaf Mountain chairlift is running, we’ll be whisked up the mountain and up to the realm of the Bicknell’s Thrush!*  There will be some light hiking up and downhill at elevation, so be prepared with some good hiking shoes and perhaps walking sticks.  Blackpoll Warblers are among the boreal species we usually encounter up here.

 

Afterwards, we’ll likely visit the Carrabassett Valley Snowfluent ponds for Wood Ducks and who knows what else, before we begin our drive back to Freeport.

During our 2018 trip, we did indeed get great looks at all of the thrushes, especially Bicknell's. Nesting warblers, Whip-poor-wills, and moose were icing on the cake. Click on the blog link to see what else we saw!

 

*Please note that this is NOT a “Bicknell’s Thrush Tour.” 

 

Price:  $419 per person includes:​

  • 3 days of guiding, with Greg Drummond joining us for Day 2 & 3.

  • 2 nights lodging (shared bathrooms and one to three people per bedroom).

  • Dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.

  • Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

  • Picnic lunch on Saturday.

  • Sugarloaf Mountain chairlift.

 

Not included:

      -    Lunches on Friday and Sunday.

      -    Alcohol, soda, etc: Claybrook is BYOB.

 

Minimum participants needed: 6

Maximum participants: 8

Birding by Schooner!

July TBA​

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.

Trip reports are also available for 2015, 2014, and 2013.

Hope to see you aboard!

Coastal Quick Hit Tour

THIS ITINERARY IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING OFFERED

This one-day van trip is designed for local and visiting birders to “clean up” holes on their ABA-area or Life Lists. Traveling between Freeport and northeastern Massachusetts, we’ll visit a series of sites (exact locations will be dictated by where and when birds are in the given season) as we seek:

  • Manx Shearwater

  • Piping Plover

  • Roseate Tern

  • Least Tern

  • Nelson’s Sparrow

  • Saltmarsh Sparrow

 

IF the Little Egret returns to Maine (present in the summers of 2015 - 2017) and it is being seen reliably, we’ll attempt to add that into the itinerary as well.

 

Other species we are likely to encounter that might be of interest to visitors from afar include:

            - American Black Duck

            - Common Eider

            - “Eastern” Willet

            - Black Guillemot

 

We’ll take a maximum of 10 people on this trip, and priority goes to folks taking part in the weekend’s “Bicknell’s Thrush and the White Mountains” tour (maximum 8 participants).

And, to see what may be in store, check out our trip report from 2017.

Bicknell's Thrush and Mt. Washington

THIS ITINERARY IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING OFFERED

We are very pleased to introduce a brand new format for our popular “Bicknell’s Thrushes of the White Mountains Tour.”  We have filled this tour for over a decade, and we have seen this enigmatic species every time. In order to put ourselves in the best position to have success, we are making some changes. Furthermore, these changes will provide a much more exciting tour, with a lot less driving, and more services for less money! What’s not to like about that?

 

Now, we’ll be staying at the brand new The Glen House Hotel at the foot of the Mount Washington Auto Road. Close to energy self-sufficiency thanks to geothermal heating and cooling and off-site, local solar and hydropower, The Glen House combines classic New England architecture and materials with modern technology. 

 

Our tour begins at 9:00am, meeting at The Glen House Hotel (we’ll encourage carpooling from Maine) where we will bird the grounds, forest edge, and poke around some low-elevation trails.  We’ll break for lunch (not included in the cost), likely eating together at the hotel, followed by some relaxed afternoon birding after checking in. We may take a hike, or we can carpool to a local birding destination.  

 

We’ll have an early dinner together (not included) at The Glen House, before the first of our exclusive Mount Washington Stage Line charters high into the realm of the Bicknell’s Thrush at dusk. Like previous tours, we’ll make a stop for breeding American Pipits and perhaps visit the summit, weather permitting. As dusk approaches, we’ll drop down in elevation to the stunted “krummholz” fir and spruce forest where will work hard for our first chance at seeing this most-desired species.

 

It’ll be a short commute home, and just as short of a commute early the next morning as we once again head uphill on Mount Washington for our second chance at seeing Bicknell’s Thrush. We might not need it, but since weather is so unpredictable up here, all of our thrush tours offer two chances. Being out in the am also provides the remote chance of seeing a bird with enough light to snap a photograph – if we’re really lucky, and you’re really quick! Blackpoll Warblers and other high-elevation breeders are also much more likely to be observed in the morning than during our evening outing.

 

We’ll return to the hotel around 8:00am, for breakfast (including in the tour cost) and hotel check out. We’ve also arranged to have boxed lunches prepared (a variety of freshly-made wraps plus a drink and a dessert – also included in the tour price) and then we’ll once again join the Stage Line. This time, however, we’ll head out for a 4-5 hour tour, checking local birding hotspots. Depending on weather and road conditions, we will hopefully head into Jefferson Notch for an outside chance at some boreal breeding species, such as Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee. A variety of warblers may include Mourning Warblers (not present in the vicinity every year), more Blackpoll Warblers, and forest species such as Magnolia and Black-throated Green.

 

We’ll return to the hotel around 1:00pm, do some relaxed birding around the property, or perhaps just celebrate our “lifer” Bicknell’s Thrush with a beverage before saying our goodbyes and heading our separate ways.

 

The low tour price includes ALL of the following:

  • 2 days of guiding by Derek

  • 1 night stay at The Glen House Hotel

  • Private, after-hours charter up Mount Washington at dusk

  • Private, before-hours charter up Mount Washington in the early morning

  • 4-5 hour van charter for local birding

  • Breakfast and boxed lunch on Day 2

  • Stage line driver tips

 

Not included:

  • Meals on Day 1; Dinner on Day 2.

  • Room tip

  • Transportation to and from New Hampshire

 

This trip is strictly limited to 8 people, so don’t hesitate! Sign up soon (please call or email for registration, on-line registration is not available for this tour).

 

For an idea of what to expect from this tour, check out Derek’s blogs from 2013201420152016, and 2017.

Suggestions for participants:
1) Bring layers - expect it to be windy, and likely at least 20 degrees cooler at the mountain summit than what is forecast for the towns below. Temps could easily be in the 40's and extremely windy at the summit. And be prepared for rain.
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, however.

An August Weekend in Washington County

THIS ITINERARY IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING OFFERED

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 Pier Pressure 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.

 

In 2016, highlights included Sabine's Gull, Black-headed Gull, Spruce Grouse, and Fin and Mike Whales.

Terms and Cost: 
The trip price 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). Reserve as soon as possible. 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℠ - Roadtrip! Harlequins and Hops

THIS ITINERARY IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING OFFERED

Cost - $65

Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are excited to collaborate on twelve great outings for 2018 in the fourth 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 itinerary 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.

 

The first stop is Eighteen Twenty Wines. Founded in 2017 and located in Portland’s East Bayside, Eighteen Twenty is named for the year that Maine became a state. Pete Dubuc and Amanda O’Brien first met when they were both working in radio, now they are together making rhubarb wine and hard apple cider in small batches using simple ingredients from Maine. Their flagship wine, ‘rha’, is a refreshing dry wine made with rhubarb from two area Maine farms. They named their hard cider 'ohm' with a nod to their space in the old Rockingham Electric building. But also be prepared to observe Ohm’s Law, a version of their cider that is aged in cinnamon whiskey barrels.

 

The second stop is Goodfire Brewing Company, the latest beer producer to open in East Bayside, a well known hub within the booming craft alcohol industry of Portland. Founded by David Redding, a physician, they first poured their beers during 2017 Portland Beer Week and opened their tasting room doors shortly after. The comfortable 4,000 square foot space includes a private meeting and event room. The brewing equipment was produced by Tigpro, right here in Portland. The first beers produced by head brewer Gordon Jones were both takes on IPA’s, named Prime and Waves, and were surprisingly immediately available in cans by utilizing their own canning line.

To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 2018 trip report.

 

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. 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 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), 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! Migrants and Malts

THIS ITINERARY IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING OFFERED

Cost - $65

 

Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are excited to collaborate on twelve great outings for 2018 in the fourth 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!

 

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 producers to sample their offerings and learn their styles.

 

The first stop after birding is Blue Current Sake Brewery in Kittery. Maine’s first sake brewery was founded by Dan Ford, a master sake taster and one of about a dozen American craft sake brewers. Sake — technically rice beer since rice is a grain rather than a fruit — is growing in popularity as Americans discover the beauty of well-made versions of the Japanese beverage, which should generally be served chilled. Naturally, Blue Current is honoring tradition while also putting a unique American spin on the classic drink.

 

Our second stop will be 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.

 

To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 2017 and 2016 trip reports.

 

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. 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 2:40pm (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), 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.

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