17906
Maine
Birding Acadia National Park
Discover a wealth of unique birding in Acadia National Park, where you’ll spot native species alongside experts as you learn about the region’s ecology, wildlife and natural history.
Rating (5)
Program No. 17906RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,179
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 5 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check In and Intro discussion with Michael Good
Bar Harbor, Maine
D
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Afternoon: We'll check into the Quality Inn between 2:30 and 3:15, having an introductory session to get to know each other. Then we’ll take our first outing of the week, walking with Michael along the famed shore path of Bar Harbor. We’ll do some birding as we go, but this is also an introduction to Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay and the entire region where we’ll be spending the next few days. We’ll look for coastal birds like Common Loon, Black Guillemot, Bald Eagle and Common Eider. This classic trail along the “rocky coast” of Maine allows for study of the intertidal zone pools and the flora and fauna. Find out how Balance Rock and The Porcupines Islands got their names.

Dinner: We’ll dine at a local restaurant in downtown Bar Harbor.

DAY
2
Field trip to a bio-rich bird area.
Bar Harbor, Maine
B,L,D
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: We'll take a field trip to the ruins of Oldfarm, which was the home of George B. Dorr, who is considered the father of Acadia National Park. Here we’ll learn how Mr. Dorr and Charles Eliot cultivated the idea of preserving the island’s beauty for generations to come. This forest contains many old growth trees and is home to Warblers including Pine, Blackburnian, Black and White and Parula. Then we’ll explore the eastern and southern sides of Mount Desert Island, dominated by Acadia National Park. Michael will lead the field trip and focus on migration traps along the eastern coastal and inland hotspots. There will be numerous opportunities to see many of the 20 species of Wood Warblers, Flycatchers, coastal birds and Bald Eagles. We will visit the famous Asticou Gardens and many stream and wetland habitats.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a picnic lunch "in the field."

Afternoon: We'll continue our birding in a species-rich area of the island.

Dinner: We’ll again dine at a downtown Bar Harbor restaurant.

DAY
3
Field trip focusing on bird migration patterns in Maine
Bar Harbor, Maine
B,L,D
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: We’ll board an excursion boat for a puffin-watching expedition, headed towards Petit Manan Island. Once there we will have excellent views of Atlantic Puffin, Razorbills, Common Murre, Laughing and Greater Black-backed Gulls. There are healthy populations of Common and Arctic and a few Roseate Terns. Islands are hunting grounds for Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles as well. (For your comfort, DRESS FOR WINTER)

Lunch: We'll enjoy our picnic sandwiches "in the field" during our bird-watching expedition.

Afternoon: Michael will conduct the first session on Gulf of Maine Ornithology. There will be discussion and a general description of boreal/temperate ecosystems; flora and fauna of Mount Desert Island; and an overview of birds of terrestrial, marine and pelagic ecosystems of “Down East” Maine. Then we'll spend some time in a few locations around Bar Harbor known for good birds and habitat. Depending on the weather we will go to Sieur de Mont Springs or the carriage roads near Paradise Hill and Witch Hole.

Dinner: We’ll again dine at a downtown Bar Harbor restaurant.

Evening: We’ll drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard of North America, noted for its stunning 360-degree views. As the day comes to an end, Michael will lead a walk to a special place for the sunset and continue the discussion about Mount Desert Island glacial geology, seek out some of the unique semi-alpine plants while searching for Brown Thrashers, Eastern Towhee, White-throated Sparrows, Common Yellowthroat. We’ll explore in an intimate way the place that often receives the first rays of the sun in the United States.

DAY
4
Birding time in the morning, free time in the afternoon
Bar Harbor, Maine
B,L
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: For those who wish to rise early, Michael will lead an early (6 a.m.) bird walk to Schooner Head. This walk will take us to a coastal cave where there might be Cliff Swallows nesting. We're looking for coastal birds like Black Guillemots as well as forest species like Warblers, Hermit Thrushes, Woodpeckers and Ruffed Grouse. This easy walk is a great way to start the day. After a break, we'll visit Valley Cove, located on the shores of Somes Sound, the only fjord in the continental United States. Michael will lead us to the home of a nesting Peregrine Falcon through an emerging old-growth red spruce forest; these woods are home to such species as Blackburnians, Magnolias, Black and White Warblers, Black-throated Warblers and Parula Warblers. This is excellent habitat for Swainson's and Hermit's Thrushes, Winter Wrens and Blue-headed Vireos.

Lunch: We'll have a picnic lunch at Albert Meadow on the shores of Frenchman Bay.

Afternoon: This afternoon and evening is free to explore Mount Desert Island on your own.

Dinner: Dinner tonight is on your own at one of Bar Harbor's fine restaurants.

DAY
5
Birding expedition to western side of Mount Desert Island
Bar Harbor, Maine
B,L,D
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: We'll head to the western side of Mount Desert Island for our birding expedition today -- often called "the quiet side" or "the back side" of the island. Michael will lead us on a journey through some of the most vital areas of that region, looking for difficult-to-find species like White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Bay-breasted Warblers and Nelson's Sharpe-tailed Sparrows. We'll also be on the lookout for migrating sandpipers and other shorebirds, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers and many others. The western mountains are a "wilderness" region on MDI, with many places seldom visited by humans. This old-growth forest is an excellent place to study multiple forest habitats including bogs, fens and cedar swamps. These old-growth forests provide an opportunity to study a diversity of habitat and birds. We'll walk on roads and trails at an easy pace.

Lunch: We'll picnic among the scenic splendor of Mount Desert Island's west side.

Afternoon: We'll continue our quest for many different bird species on the "quiet side" of the island.

Dinner: Tonight we'll enjoy an old-fashioned Down East shore feast, featuring the state’s most well-known crustacean, the cold-water lobster.

DAY
6
Morning birding, then farewell picnic
Bar Harbor, Maine
B,L

Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: Michael will lead us on a trip to Hadley Point and a few stops on the northern side of MDI. Hadley Point is the northernmost point on MDI and the confluence of two major fresh watersheds, with sea water making them some of the most bio-productive around MDI. There are many small and isolated places that can produce Canada Warbler and a myriad of other Neotropical migrants, Bald Eagle, Rufous-sided Hummingbirds, Alder Flycatchers and the possibility of Barred Owls, Bald Eagles and other raptors. If time allows, we’ll make it to the fields of the Old Stone Barn, where we’ll seek out Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows, Bluebirds and Swallows.

Lunch: We'll bring our Road Scholar week to an end with a picnic lunch at Albert Meadow, a small seaside park in Bar Harbor.






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