Cost - $415
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.