For our tour description, itinerary, past triplists, dates, fees, and more, please VISIT OUR TOUR PAGE.
See this triplist in printable PDF format with media only on page 1.
A breaching Humpback Whale has to be one of the most dramatic wildlife sightings one could ever hope to see while at sea and we experienced it not once but a half dozen times! Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
Thank you all so much for choosing Field Guides for your fall migration adventure along the Maine coast. I truly enjoyed birding with each one of you and have nothing but fond memories from our experience together. We were fortunate to enjoy nearly ideal weather conditions, lots of interesting birds, delicious food, beautiful scenery and a memorable boat trip.
We began our adventure with an afternoon introduction at the hotel and brief evening out. Several flocks of Wild Turkeys and a Great Blue Heron teed up high atop a towering white pine were noteworthy en route to dinner on the coast. Lobster rolls and more were enjoyed at Dyer Point in Cape Elizabeth while we watched Black Guillemots, Common Eiders and Common Loons.
Our first full day together was spent searching for shorebirds along the coast. Our itinerary that day started at Goose Rocks Beach, then over to Timber Point where we had excellent views of White-rumped Sandpipers and a Baird's Sandpiper among the more numerous Semipalmated Sandpipers, Sanderlings and Semipalmated Plovers. Fortunes Rocks Beach was pretty quiet but Biddeford Pool Beach hosted an impressive concentration of Sanderlings and a Merlin made a strafing flight along the dunes. The afternoon was spent in the Scarborough Marsh area where we added two hunting Peregrine Falcons and a number of wading birds and shorebirds.
Wednesday morning we returned to Scarborough Marsh and picked up a late Purple Martin, an excellent comparison of Lesser versus Greater yellowlegs and some beautiful juvenile Short-billed Dowitchers. After checking out of the hotel, we worked our way up to Port Clyde and caught the ferry over to Monhegan Island. Quite a few Northern Gannets were seen in passage.
Thursday was our full day on Monhegan Island and the charming hotspot did not disappoint. We spotted a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, lots of Merlins, flocks of Cedar Waxwings, a White-eyed Vireo, a Lark Sparrow and plenty of warblers and vireos. Most of our birding was around the village but we managed to get to Lobster Cove, the ice pond and across the island to White Head in the afternoon.
The legendary migration fallouts that birders dream of on Monhegan Island are entirely dependent on the weather. Lucky for us, there were offshore winds all night so dawn on Friday produced one of those magical mornings. A Common Nighthawk was practically the first bird we saw that morning but the wave of warblers passing over and all around us stole the show. We made our way up to the lighthouse and simply marveled at the phenomenon. For about the first hour after sunrise, hundreds, likely thousands, of warblers were working their way back to the mainland or settling in on Monhegan to forage and rest. It made for a spectacular morning and an ambivalent departure but the midday ferry had to take us away. The afternoon was spent driving up Route 1 to get to Bar Harbor.
Saturday we joined many others birders from Maine and "away" on Maine Audubon's annual pelagic out into the Gulf of Maine. Planning a pelagic is a bit like playing the lottery -- you hope for a winner but you never know what you are going to get. Mother Nature made for a pretty challenging day but we added Leach's Storm-Petrel, Northern Fulmar, Atlantic Puffin, Great Shearwater, Atlantic White-sided Dolphin, Pomarine Jaeger and Great Skua (barely) to our list. You might forget all of those sightings but I bet you will never forget "Victim" and "Churn" -- the Humpback Whales that did all those spectacular breaches.
Sunday was spent exploring Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. The scenery was stunning but there were some good birds to be had along the way as well. The handsome Wood Ducks, close scope views of Red-necked Grebes and those marvelous flycatching Red-breasted Nuthatches were a few of the noteworthy moments. Sites visited were Sieur de Monts Spring, MDI High School ponds, Seawall, Bass Harbor Head and Valley Cove.
Day eight of the tour we worked our way up the coast all the way to the US - Canada border at Lubec. Off West Quoddy Head we spotted Harbor Porpoise, Great Cormorant and Black-legged Kittiwake. Bald Eagles seemed to be around every turn and playing "Where's Waldo" at the jetty produced two Lesser Black-backed Gulls. After lunch we explored the enchanting boreal forest at Boot Head Preserve and lucked into a handsome Spruce Grouse to punctuate the outing.
Our last full day together was primarily a travel day but got some fun birding in as well. More boreal birding was needed so we headed out into the working forest on Stud Mill Road, which is northwest of Bangor and managed to add another half dozen species to our list.
For those who had time before their flights, we headed back to Scarborough Marsh on the tenth morning and were rewarded with additions of Pectoral Sandpiper, American Oystercatcher and improved looks at Whimbrel.
Thanks again for choosing Field Guides for your Maine birding adventure. I hope our birding paths cross again sometime soon. Until then, take care and good birding.
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant
This obliging male Spruce Grouse was one of the highlights of the tour. We were thrilled to spot it up in the tree but even more excited when he descended to the ground for killer looks. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis)
WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa)
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)
AMERICAN BLACK DUCK (Anas rubripes)
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis)
COMMON EIDER (DRESSER'S) (Somateria mollissima dresseri)
SURF SCOTER (Melanitta perspicillata)
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (NORTH AMERICAN) (Melanitta deglandi deglandi)
HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
RING-NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus colchicus) [I]
SPRUCE GROUSE (Falcipennis canadensis)
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)
The charming village on Monhegan Island is pleasing to humans and migrant songbirds alike. This was the view from up on the lighthouse hill and Manana Island sits just across the harbor. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
RED-NECKED GREBE (Podiceps grisegena)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus erythropthalmus)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor)
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris)
The dauting feeling of trying to identify "confusing fall warblers" really starts to dissipate with repetition and we were fortunate enough to see Cape May Warblers over and over again on Monhegan Island. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)
SANDERLING (Calidris alba)
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (Calidris fuscicollis)
We ventured all the way to the easternmost point in the United States at West Quoddy Head. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos)
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla)
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus)
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata)
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus)
RED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus fulicarius)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Stercorariidae (Skuas and Jaegers)
GREAT SKUA (Stercorarius skua)
POMARINE JAEGER (Stercorarius pomarinus)
Alcidae (Auks, Murres, and Puffins)
BLACK GUILLEMOT (Cepphus grylle)
ATLANTIC PUFFIN (Fratercula arctica)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE (Rissa tridactyla)
BONAPARTE'S GULL (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)
HERRING GULL (AMERICAN) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus fuscus)
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus marinus)
COMMON LOON (Gavia immer)
Oceanitidae (Southern Storm-Petrels)
WILSON'S STORM-PETREL (Oceanites oceanicus)
Hydrobatidae (Northern Storm-Petrels)
LEACH'S STORM-PETREL (Oceanodroma leucorhoa)
This Lesser Black-backed Gull was one of two birds we spotted in the large gull flock loafing on the jetty in downtown Lubec. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
NORTHERN FULMAR (Fulmarus glacialis)
GREAT SHEARWATER (Ardenna gravis)
MANX SHEARWATER (Puffinus puffinus)
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
NORTHERN GANNET (Morus bassanus)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo)
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
One of the behaviorial highlights of the tour was watching a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches flycatching -- not something you expect to see a "red nut" doing. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
This juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was an unexpected discovery on Monhegan Island. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus)
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
DOWNY WOODPECKER (Dryobates pubescens)
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus)
PILEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus pileatus)
NORTHERN FLICKER (YELLOW-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus luteus)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
MERLIN (Falco columbarius)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus)
EASTERN PHOEBE (Sayornis phoebe)
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus)
BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius)
PHILADELPHIA VIREO (Vireo philadelphicus)
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLUE JAY (Cyanocitta cristata)
AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis)
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus)
TUFTED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus bicolor)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis)
It seemed like every patch of flowers we came across on Monhegan had Painted Ladies all over it. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (EASTERN) (Sitta carolinensis carolinensis)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
WINTER WREN (Troglodytes hiemalis hiemalis)
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus satrapa)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis)
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
We really had a lot of fun exploring the boreal forest and bog at Boot Head Preserve all the way Downeast. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (Spinus tristis)
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)
DARK-EYED JUNCO (SLATE-COLORED) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis)
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)
SWAMP SPARROW (Melospiza georgiana)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
BOBOLINK (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
COMMON GRACKLE (Quiscalus quiscula)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) [*]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia)
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina)
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)
CAPE MAY WARBLER (Setophaga tigrina)
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana)
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Setophaga magnolia)
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea)
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica)
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata)
PALM WARBLER (YELLOW) (Setophaga palmarum hypochrysea)
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata)
PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor)
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens)
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)
Given the sea conditions and strong wind, I sure am glad we were out on the Friendship V -- such a large and stable boat. Photo by guide Eric Hynes.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)
DICKCISSEL (Spiza americana) [*]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
PLAIN EASTERN CHIPMUNK (Tamias striatus)
EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus carolinensis)
RED SQUIRREL (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
ATLANTIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN (Lagenorhynchus acutus)
HARBOR PORPOISE (Phocoena phocoena)
HUMPBACK WHALE (Megaptera novaeangliae)
We got the windows up just in time to not get dusted by the logging truck. Maine's northern forest is very much a working forest. Video by guide Eric Hynes.
HARBOR SEAL (Phoca vitulina)
GRAY SEAL (Halichoerus grypus)
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)
Totals for the tour: 135 bird taxa and 9 mammal taxa