For those arriving early or staying late
ABF is proud to offer
pre-fest and post-fest trips for those who wish to extend their birding
Boreal Big Day
May 26 (Tues) 5pm - May 27 (Wed) 5pm
This special pre-festival trip begins on Tuesday evening, at Schoodic Institute, with dinner followed by an engaging presentation on Acadia's Changing Birds. Cozy lodging accommodations are available right on campus so that you can roll out of bed in the morning, grab a boxed breakfast and bagged lunch to go, and begin birding right off the bat. From the Schoodic Peninsula we'll work our way along Maine's downeast coast stopping at a variety of the region's pre-scouted hot spots to maximize species possibilities. We'll encounter warblers immediately and will scan the ocean for any lingering waterfowl or near-shore alcids on the outgoing east side of the Schoodic Auto Loop. As we progress through spruce/fir forest habitats, we'll have a good chance of spotting both Red and White-winged Crossbills. Some of these same areas are known breeding grounds for Spruce Grouse where we sometimes find Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, and the much more hard-to-find Black-backed Woodpecker. Our precise route will depend somewhat on how well we do finding target species, and if time allows we'll visit other habitats so that we will be sure to encounter many other species. Your provisions (breakfast and lunch) are included in this trip package, however you'll be able to purchase beverages and other items when we make bathroom stops. Binoculars, long-sleeved shirts, hats, sunscreen, and bug repellent are recommended. Scope and bird guides will be available to all. (You are certainly welcome to bring your own scope if you so desire). We recommend lodging at Schoodic Institute the night before this field trip. The institute is located in Acadia National Park's eastern district, a one hour drive around Frenchman Bay from the Festival Center in Somesville. Schoodic Institute is located near Winter Harbor, Maine.
Tour guides are Seth Benz and Margaret Viens. Transportation will be by 15-passenger van. (Meet at Schoodic Institute by 5pm on Tuesday, near Winter Harbor. This is an hour drive from Festival Center. We recommend you stay the night at Schoodic Institute so you can enjoy the dinner and talk Tuesday night and be refreshed for the early morning start on Wednesday.
Fee is $130/person (includes dinner, box breakfast, and bag lunch, but does not include lodging). Limit 11 participants.
IMPORTANT: After you are registered for the trip, you'll need to select your food choices (cost covered by your registration) and book your own lodging (not covered in the registration fee) at Schoodic Institute by navigating to this link https://schoodicinstitute.org/event/boreal-big-day/
Monhegan Island Trip
May 27 (Wed) 6:30am - 5:30pm (starts and ends at The Monhegan Boat Line dock in Port Clyde)
This pre-festival trip starts a the Monhegan Boat Line dock in Port Clyde where we board the boat to Monhegan Island. Twelve miles offshore, scenic Monhegan Island has long been recognized as a migrant trap where anything might turn up, even species that you won't see anywhere else in Maine! (Summer Tanager, Lark Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, and Dickcissel are all "regulars.") While much of the island is forested conservation land laced with trails, the best birding is often in the tiny village, where old apple trees and spruce stands serve as the backdrop for warblers (20+ species is average) and a wide diversity of other songbirds as they pass through. Atlantic Puffin and other seabirds are possibilities on the boat trip out and back! This outing is all on foot (2-3 miles) over easy to moderate trails and dirt roads, with some uneven and
Tour guides are Doug Hitchcox and Kristen Lindquist. Participants should bring binoculars, snacks, lunch, beverages, bug repellent, sunscreen, and good hiking/walking shoes. Dress in layers as it could be cold (especially on the ferry!). There will be some opportunities to stop for food and refreshments at a few places on the island. Keep in mind that the group will not have any place to stash extra items, so be sure to bring a backpack or the equivalent to carry extra clothing or food (if you bring you own).
Participants are responsible for purchasing
their own round-trip Monhegan Boat Line ferry tickets ($38)
out of Port Clyde for a 7:00am departure and 4:30pm return from Monhegan.
To purchase tickets, call (207) 372-8848 or visit
the Monhegan Boat Line website at https://monheganboat.com.
If you live far away, we recommend that you spend the night near Port
Clyde so you can easily meet the group at 6:30am at the Port
Clyde ferry dock. Port Clyde is over 2 hours from Festival
Fee is $70/person. Limit 12 participants.
Saddleback Mountain in search of Bicknell's Thrush
May 27 (Wednesday) 5am-6pm
This is a full day trip to Saddleback Mountain, leaving from Burger King in Waterville, ME (not Festival Center). It is best to plan on staying in Waterville the night before. There are three motels near Burger King in Waterville (Econo Lodge, Hampton Inn Waterville, and Budget Host Airport Inn). Bicknell’s Thrush unique breeding ecology above 3000 feet requires a steady climb to the barren bald peaks of Saddleback Mountain tucked away in the western mountains of Maine. Many northern specialty birds will be found among the rocky summit heaths and boreal krummholz ecosystems of the Rangeley Lakes region, offering opportunities for a variety of hard to find boreal species like Gray Jays, Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpecker. We will study bird communication and ecology of the spruce and fir forest and dwarf shrub summits where Nashville and Blackpoll Warblers, Swainson’s Thrush and Blue-headed Vireo are calling from the spruce zone. On the return trip, we can make a few stops for Black Terns and Purple Martin around the Belgrade Lakes. A busy but rewarding day. We will travel by van for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes to reach the Saddleback Mt from Waterville. Participants should bring snacks, lunch, beverages, bug repellent and sunscreen. Dress in layers as it could be cold. The trip starts and ends at Burger King in Waterville (approximately 1 hour 45 minutes from Festival Center).
Tour guides are Michael Good and TBD. This daytrip requires 5+ miles (round trip) of hiking straight up and down difficult steep ski slopes with 2000 ft elevation gain, some places with rocks and roots, only for those in very good physical walking shape (walking sticks helpful). Participants should bring binoculars, snacks, lunch, beverages, bug repellent, sunscreen, and good hiking/walking shoes. Dress in layers as it could be cold. There will be some opportunities to stop for food and refreshments at local convenience stores. Transportation will be by 12-passenger van.
(Meet at Burger King in Waterville at I-95 exit 127 at 5am - This is an hour and 45 minute drive from Festival Center, so we recommend you stay in Waterville the night before).
Fee is $90/person. Limit 9 participants.
Katahdin Woods and
Waters National Monument (TWO DAY TRIP)
May 31 (Sunday) 5pm to June 2 (Tuesday) 8pm
This two-day 12-passenger van trip starts at Festival Center at 5pm on Sunday and heads directly up to Sherman, ME to the Katahdin Valley Motel (about a 2.25 hour drive) where the group will stay for two nights. Guides are Michael Good and Anita Mueller.
The following two days (Monday and Tuesday) will be spent exploring nearby Katahdin Woods and Water National Monument by van and walking accessible trails. The scientific purpose of this trip will be to catalogue Maine breeding bird data with eBird and designate potential "Birding Hotspots” for the Monument. Our goals are to locate and photograph migratory and breeding birds while locating key boreal species like Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Black-backed and Three-toed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, Boreal Chickadee and Spruce Grouse. KWWNM is an understudied and recently added national gem to the Maine North Woods, giving ABF participants an opportunity for deeper understanding about boreal habitats and avian ecology.
This two-day trip will require slow walking on level roads through good habitat. Depending on recent weather, there may be some spots that are muddy. Water resistant footwear is advised. Participants should bring binoculars and wear clothing appropriate for the time of year. Dawn temperatures can start in the 40s in May/June. Bring bug dope (or netting) for black flies and mosquitos.
Participants are responsible for making your own motel accommodations at the Katahdin Valley Motel in Sherman, ME (207-365-4554). You have a choice of a standard room, efficiency, or apartment. Several rooms have been blocked for the group under the name Acadia Birding Festival. When making a reservation, let them know you are with the ABF group. Meal costs are not included in the trip fee, and are each person's responsibility. You can choose to bring your own food or buy locally. For breakfast and lunch, there is an Irving station convenience store adjacent to the motel with breakfast sandwiches, coffee, hash browns, lunch sandwiches, wraps, pizza, etc and refreshments. They are open 24 hrs so you can get food early in the morning before heading into the monument each day (where there are no stores). For dinner, the group will go to local restaurants.
Fee is $160/person. Trip starts at Festival Center at 5pm on Sunday and returns to Festival Center about 8pm on Tuesday. Limit 9 participants.