This exciting tour hits one of the most scenic states on the Atlantic Coast at the start of nesting season. We will seek a rich diversity of birds on their breeding grounds with emphasis on the regional specialties -- from beak to claw (lobsters and fantastic seafood, anyone?).
Our first destination will be famous Scarborough Marsh, the largest saltmarsh on the coast of Maine. It is not unusual to see Saltmarsh Sparrows and Nelson's Sparrows singing side-by-side here while "Eastern" Willets display overhead. A few miles inland, the Kennebunk Plains blueberry barren supports grassland birds such as Upland Sandpiper and Grasshopper Sparrow.
In early June, lingering migrant shorebirds forage along Maine's 228 miles of spectacular coastline. The coast stretches out to nearly 3500 miles of tidal shoreline, the most on the eastern seaboard. Rocky peninsulas, islands, rivers, and creeks draw a host of terns, herons, ducks, and alcids. Most notable among our coastal targets are Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Common Murre, Black Guillemot, Arctic and Roseate terns, Piping Plover, Common Eider, and Great Cormorant. We'll have legendary Acadia National Park as backdrop to some of our landbirding, and a nature cruise to Petit Manan Island on one of the world's best boats for pelagic birding will have puffins and terns swirling around us.
Venturing inland to Rangeley, we'll explore boreal forest loaded with singing warblers, thrushes, vireos, and northern finches. Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, and Moose will be foremost on our minds as we bird this region. Our tour route sneaks across the border to New Hampshire at the end for a run at Bicknell's Thrush on the slopes of Mount Washington from the Auto Road. We'll return to Portland (perhaps one last lobster roll?), where the trip concludes.
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