August 27 @ 4:00 pm - August 31 @ 2:00 pm
NEW ITINERARY. This tour will spend each night in the cozy accommodations at Schoodic Institute surrounded by the mainland portion of Acadia National Park. From here, day trips will venture offshore for pelagic birds and whales, and search the coastline for a great variety of foraging songbirds. Nearby intertidal areas flood with migrating shorebirds while wood edges are peppered with restless flocks of southbound warblers. Our location is ideal for exploring nearby blueberry barrens and hotspots on the preserved lands of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Frenchman Bay Conservancy, and the mainland portion of the Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, participants must provide their own ground transportation to and from Schoodic Institute and during all field trips. All field trips will be caravan style. All participants must wear a facial mask that covers nose and mouth during all tour activities, especially when social distancing is not possible. Changes to the status of COVID-19 precautions are monitored closely by Schoodic Institute and are subject to the guidance of the Maine CDC (and U.S. CDC).
Participants should bring binoculars. A camera (optional) can be fun as all tours are fairly scenic. Spotting scopes are useful but optional and your guide will provide one for group use, as well as guidebooks. None of the tours require strenuous hiking. Birding will be slow moving and on level ground. There may be some spots that are muddy, uneven, and slippery, but large boots are unnecessary. Boat tours can be cold and damp. Bring appropriate clothing.
Day 1: begins on the Schoodic Institute campus at 3 pm, as the group convenes for this 5-day, 4-night tour. Check-in and orientation is at Rockefeller Hall. After checking in, the afternoon will be spent exploring this section of Acadia National Park. Dinner is at 6 pm in Schooner Commons. Following dinner, we will have an evening presentation to get acquainted with the history and ecology of the region.
Day 2: takes us offshore into the Gulf of Maine where whales and pelagic birds congregate (this can be as much as 5 hours on the boat).
Day 3 and 4: will be spent birding the area east of Acadia National Park which is the quintessential “downeast” Maine experience. Small fishing villages dot the coastline. While Acadia’s shoreline is rockbound, mudflats become more prevalent above the park, and shorebirds become abundant. This is the time of year when they are migrating through Maine, often in big numbers.
Day 4: we’ll continue to explore all of the secret spots, and may make it a longer day to travel to the Cobscook Bay area near Lubec or take a boat out on Head Harbor Passage which lies between the U.S. and Canada – with a tide so strong that the world’s second largest whirlpool, “The Old Sow,” swirls in the middle. So much sea life congregates in this channel that minke whales are usually sighted from land. The channel fills with Bonaparte’s Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Common Eiders, Black Guillemots, and Razorbills, feeding off mackerel and herring.
Day 5: is leader’s choice, giving us a good portion of the day to make up for any bad weather or missed opportunities. The tour ends at 2 pm. It is likely that we will checkout and depart from the institute following breakfast. Have a packed lunch in tow to enjoy somewhere afield before wrapping up (checklist review and goodbyes) at 2 pm.
Should You Need to Cancel Your Event Registration
There is a $35 processing fee for any cancellation made 15 days or more prior to the conference date. No refunds will be given for cancellations within 14 days of the conference date.