Chickadees, Grouse, Puffins and More: A Birder’s Dream in Down East Maine
Cobscook Bay is a haven for birds and birders alike. Come find out why as you join expert birders in spotting puffins, spruce grouse, cormorants and many more.
Rating (4.77)
Program No. 21046RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 3 L 5 D
Getting There
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Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Trescott, Maine
Heartwood Lodge

Afternoon: Arrive at Heartwood Lodge to pick up registration packet and housing assignment. Settle in, enjoy the CCLC campus with a walk about. Drive about the community and get a feel for the bay area. Do a little self-guided birding.

Dinner: Gather at The Commons dining hall for Dinner and orientation.

Evening: Resident guide and co-coordinator Doug Hitchcox will lead a discussion about program expectations.

Birding Machias Seal Island & South Lubec Sand Bar
Trescott, Maine
Heartwood Lodge

Activity note: Watch the Atlantic Puffin in the waters surrounding Machias Seal Island

Breakfast: Enjoy a nutritious breakfast at Heartwood Lodge dining room

Morning: After breakfast, we'll depart for Cutler where we'll meet with Captain Andy Patterson for a trip to sea in search of the puffins who have left their nests now, but are still frequenting the waters near Machias Seal Island. We'll still be encountering porpoise and seals and, at this time of year, are likely to encounter other species of marine life.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch prepared by the Heartwood staff

Afternoon: After lunch we'll head for South Lubec Sand Bar which is a staging area for tens-of-thousands of shorebirds that are migrating from their northern breeding grounds to southern wintering areas. Semi-palmated sandpipers and semi-palmated plovers are the most abundant bird species feeding on the inter tidal flats. Other, less common and more sought after mall shorebirds include Baird's sandpiper, white-rumped sandpiper, and buff-breasted sandpiper, to name a few. Black-bellied plovers are seen throughout. Small groups of red knot, short-billed dowitcher, ruddy turnstone, sanderling, dunlin, pectoral sandpiper, Hudsonian godwit, and marbled godwit are seen annually as well.

Dinner: Dinner at Heartwood Lodge dining room

Evening: First, we will enjoy a discussion of our "Lobster Lady" Sara who will engage us in the story of a lobsterman's family business. Following, we will have a discussion about today's finds and expectations for tomorrow's birding.

Head Harbor Passage Birding by Boat, Visit Eastport, ME
Trescott, Maine
Heartwood Lodge

Breakfast: Nutritious breakfast at Prince Cottage

Morning: We'll travel to the historic seaside village of Eastport, Maine for a bird watching excursion aboard the Pier Pressure an authentic 47' lobster boat, which leaves off the Eastport breakwater. Once aboard we'll journey to Head Harbor Passage, located between Campobello Island and Deer Island, New Brunswick, is listed as an "Important Bird Area" (IBA) in Canada. Thousands of Bonaparte's gulls flock to the region in August to fatten up on the abundant fish, krill, and copepods that are brought to the surface by 18' tides. Other less common gull species can be found among the "bonies": such as little gull, black-headed gull, Sabine's gull, and Franklin's gull. Great, Sooty, and Manx shearwaters are also regulars near shore, and razorbills, common murre, and black guillemot are common in small numbers. Both parasitic and pomarine jagers are seen annually. We should also encounter minke and finback whales, as well as harbor porpoise, and seals.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in historic Eastport, the easternmost city in the continental U.S.

Afternoon: After coming ashore, we'll enjoy a couple of hours in Eastport catching some of the local scene.

Dinner: We'll return to Heartwood Lodge for a leisurely dinner

Evening: Discussion of day's birding finds and slide-show of tomorrow's birding expectations will follow. Optional movie.

Birding West Quoddy Head State Park & South Lubec Sand Bar
Trescott, Maine
Heartwood Lodge

Breakfast: Get up with the sun and enjoy a healthy breakfast at Heartwood Lodge

Morning: Travel from Trescott to West Quoddy Head State Park, the easternmost point of land in the continental United States. You'll see one of our more spectacular lighthouses and then on to the trails. A variety of habitats exist in the park. The Green Point path passes through low dense balsam fir and red spruce forest as it meanders along the shore with cliffs plunging to the water. The Peat Bog Trail includes a boardwalk over a seven-acre boreal peat bog that is surrounded by black spruce. Many neo-tropical migrant birds may be seen along the coastal and inland trails and the bog walk. Permanent residents include spruce grouse, gray jays, common ravens boreal chickadees and white-winger and red crossbills.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a picnic lunch at the park.

Afternoon: We'll return to the South Lubec Sand Bar for another tidal exchange. You'll remember the Sand Bar from Tuesday, as a staging area for tens-of-thousands of shorebirds that are migrating from their northern breeding grounds to southern wintering areas. Each turn of the tide brings new species. Expect something new and different today!

Dinner: Enjoy a leisurely dinner at Heartwood Lodge

Evening: Discussion of day's birding finds and slide-show of tomorrow's birding expectations. Live entertainment to follow discussion.

Birding on Campobello Island, Free Time, Farewell Evening
Trescott, Maine
Heartwood Lodge

Activity note: IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE: A U.S. Passport is required to enter Canada and visit Campobello Island.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hot breakfast buffet at Heartwood.. Take in the beautiful light over the bay in the early morning.

Morning: Leaving Heartwood Lodge, we'll head for Campobello Island, covering the carriage trails, Liberty Point, Herring Cove, the Upper and Lower Duck Ponds. Campobello lies on the Atlantic flyway and it is a convenient stopover point for thousands of shore birds and other migrants. The Park's 1,134 hectares of bird habitat include marine shoreline, salt and fresh marsh, sphagnum bogs, coniferous, deciduous and mixed forest, forest edges, thickets, bushy and open fields, cliffs, banks, and ponds. IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE: A U.S. Passport is required to enter Canada and visit Campobello Island.

Lunch: Enjoy a lunch prepared by the Heartwood Lodge kitchen staff.

Afternoon: You'll have a chance to explore the Fundy Bay region on your own this afternoon. You may even want to return to the Lubec Sand Bar for another turn of the tide. If you aren't going to be around on Friday, you will definitely want to take the time to see FDR's summer cottage and visit the Visitor's Center for a peek into the Roosevelt past. There are two "Eleanor Roosevelt" teas each day. We'll help you get tickets if you want to join in the fun.

Dinner: Enjoy an authentic Maine lobster dinner at The Commons.

Evening: Graduation Festivities

Buffet Breakfast at Heartwood, Program Concludes
Trescott, Maine

Breakfast: Scrumptious breakfast buffet at Heartwood's Commons. Eat your fill and linger over that last cup of coffee while bidding farewell to your new birding acquaintances.

Morning: The program will conclude after breakfast. Don't leave Cobscook Bay area without exploring all of the nooks and crannies of the water's edge. Enjoy a self-guided birding expeditions before you leave. Have a safe trip home!

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