This exciting tour hits one of the most scenic states on the Atlantic Coast near the height of fall migration for many shorebird, songbird, and seabird species. We will seek a rich diversity of birds along the coast with emphasis on the regional specialties--from beak to claw (lobsters and fantastic seafood, anyone?).

As the Sanderling flies, there are just over 200 miles between the coast of New Brunswick and the coast of New Hampshire. However, the circuitous undulations of Maine's shoreline stretch out to more than 3500 miles! Rocky peninsulas, islands, rivers, and creeks draw a host of coastal migrants: sandpipers, plovers, dowitchers, yellowlegs, herons, and more. The rich waters of the Gulf of Maine attract many pelagic seabirds such as alcids, phalaropes, loons, shearwaters, storm-petrels, jaegers and skuas (if we are lucky). Migrant songbirds like warblers, vireos, thrushes, and sparrows pile up along the coast as well. Most notable among our coastal targets are Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Common Murre, Black Guillemot, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Pomarine Jaeger, Black-legged Kittiwake, Great Cormorant, and the rare Great Skua. Boreal habitat all the way Downeast gives us access to pursue specialties such as Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpecker.

Our birding adventure together starts off with birding along the southern coast, based out of Portland. We will visit shorebirding hotspots like Biddeford Pool and Scarborough Marsh for good looks at sandpipers, plovers, yellowlegs, dowitchers and more. Searching forest and field should turn up a nice diversity of migrant songbirds too. From Portland, we will make our way up to Bar Harbor for four nights.

Bar Harbor will be our gateway to Acadia National Park and Downeast. A full-day pelagic trip organized by Maine Audubon will take us far out into the Gulf of Maine. We will likely see Black Guillemots, Wilson's Storm-Petrels, and Northern Gannets, and we'll remain vigilant for more uncommon encounters with the likes of Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Red Phalarope, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Pomarine Jaeger, multiple shearwater species, and the rare Great Skua! For our time ashore here, Acadia National Park is a national treasure and the gorgeous coastal sites in the park produce good birding as well.

Downeast, a second boat trip will be a private charter out of Eastport cruising the nutrient-rich waters Passamaquoddy Bay as far out as Head Harbor Passage. This adventure visits the mesmerizing "Old Sow," the largest whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere. We will likely encounter Minke Whale and Harbor Porpoise, and our scanning through the flocks of Bonaparte's Gulls might turn up rarities like Little Gull and Sabine's Gull. Great Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes occur here reliably. Razorbills are typically close to the boat in good numbers, and Common Murres are a realistic possibility.

We'll spend the last chapter of our amazing adventure on enchanting Monhegan Island for several nights. This quaint fishing village and artist enclave sits ten miles off the mainland and also happens to be one of the best migration hotspots for songbirds in the Northeast. We will casually bird the small community and neighboring trails while taking life down a notch and disengaging from the rest of the world. Those fall warblers won't be so confusing by the time we take the ferry back to the mainland and head back to Portland to conclude the tour.

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.

Client comment
"The tour couldn't have been better. Humpback Whales breaching, gannets plunging into the ocean, Monhegan Island and the warblers...the Maine coastline and small towns along the way. In the rare event that we run out of birds, guide Eric Hynes talks natural history and greatly enriches the experience. Your tour managers and office staff are first rate." J.P., MAINE IN FALL 2019