East Machias: Down East Salmon Federation Open House

Monday, May 29

12:30 - 2 pm

For those of you taking part in the Blueberry Barrens and Addison Marsh trip, you might want to catch the open house on your way back. For those of you leaving town on Monday, you might want to stop for the open house on your way out.

The East Machias Aquatic Research Center (EMARC) is a project of the Downeast Salmon Federation (DSF). EMARC is a research and community outreach facility on the East Machias River and includes a conservation fish hatchery and visitors center. Visit the facility to learn about the unique fish communities in the region and their important connection to birds and wildlife. The East Machias River is one of the last rivers in the U.S. with wild salmon and has one of the largest runs of Alewives in the state. The alewives may still be running so you may see osprey, eagles, and cormorant as they harvest this important species.

Presenter: Kyle Winslow graduated from the University of Maine at Machias in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He worked for the Department of Marine Resources before moving to the Downeast Salmon Federation in 2012.

Where to meet:  13 Willow Street, East Machias. Directions from Rt 1 & Rt 189 in Whiting: Heading south on route 1, continue for 13 miles. You will turn left off Route 1 in East Machias onto Willow Street. There is a Gulf station on the corner of Rt. 1 and Willow Street. BEFORE you cross the river, turn left to the research station. From the south, follow Route 1 from Machias to East Machias. Turn right at the Gulf station, then an immediate left to the research station.

Old Time Music Jam

Monday, May 29

7 – 10 pm

BirdFest participants are welcome to join us on Monday evening of the festival for our Old Time Music Circle. This is a cornerstone event of the Cobscook Community Learning Center line up, and occurs on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Monday of every month, starting at 7 pm. Listeners and Musicians welcome. Refreshments available. Donations warmly accepted. 

Come join us, you’re sure to have a great time!  

Columbia Blueberry Barrens / Addison Salt Marsh

Monday, May 29

7:30 - 10 am

Guide: Anne Archie

Join us for a trip to the barrens of Washington County in search of nesting Upland Sandpipers and Vesper Sparrows. These large, sandy plains were created by retreating glaciers and are ideal for cultivating low-bush blueberries, a major agricultural crop in this part of the state. We’ll be on the look out for additional species that prefer these open and shrubby habitats including Palm Warbler, Lincoln’s and Savannah Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, and Northern Harrier, to name a few. 

While we’re in the area, we’ll swing by Addison Marsh to look for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl such as Black-bellied Plover, Red Knot, and Green-winged Teal. This large salt marsh attracts a variety of waders and dabblers, and offers good viewing opportunities from dry ground.

Where to start:  Meet your guide at the small parking area just west of the Route 1 bridge over the Chandler River in Jonesboro. The lot is adjacent to a church. We will carpool from there up to the blueberry barrens, return to the vehicles after that excursion and caravan together to Addison where we will park in the Post Office parking lot. We will carpool again a short distance to the Addison marshes. If time and weather permit, we may continue our birding in the South Addison or Harrington area for warblers and other migrants.

What to expect:  No strenuous hiking involved.  Bring along snacks and a drink. Restrooms are available at convenience stores along the route.

Campobello, NB: Moving Event - Eagle Hill Bog, RCIP Carriage Trails, Friar’s Head

Monday, May 29

6 - 10 am (EDT)

Time difference: When crossing the border, please note Canada is on Atlantic Time (AT), one hour ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Guide: Susan Cline

Join Susan Cline for this tour within Roosevelt Campobello International Park. Campobello Island is a stopover for thousands of migrating birds. The habitat includes marine shoreline, salt and freshwater marshes, sphagnum bogs, coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forest, forest edges thickets, brushy and open fields, cliffs banks, and ponds. Over 150 species either breed on Campobello and nearby islands or migrate through the area. Selected birds include cormorants, Great Blue heron, American Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Common Eider, Spruce Grouse, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, and many varieties of gulls.

First stop will be a small pond behind the Adventure Center. We can hope to see a variety of warblers, sparrows, finches, flycatchers, vireos & gray catbirds.

Then we will continue on to the Eagle Hill Bog. It will be an easy-moderate hike which circles the bog on a boardwalk. As you traverse through the bog, replete with unique vegetation, we may encounter warblers, sparrows, finches, flycatchers, vireos & thrushes.

After the Eagle Hill Bog, our last stop will be at Friar's Head & beach. We will explore open fields & wooded areas. We may see woodpeckers, raptors, phoebes, thrushes, warblers, sparrows, finches, gulls, cormorants, guillemots & other water birds.

If time permits, we may visit another spot near Eagle Hill Bog, before our last stop at Friar's Head.

Where to start: From US Route 1 in Whiting, take Rte. 189 to Lubec. Follow the signs to the border crossing. After you pass through customs (make sure to have your passport), at the top of the hill take a right to the parking lot of the Adventure Center. You will carpool from here. Restrooms are available.  

Please note – Border Crossing:  Documents that comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), such as a passport, passport card or trusted traveler card, are required for border crossings with Canada.

  • For US Border Crossing info call (207)733-4331 or online
  • For Canada Border Crossing info call (506)465-2100 or online

Edmunds/MNWR: Wildlife and Woodcock Management Hike

Sunday, May 28

6:30 - 9 pm

 

Guides: Bill Kolodnicki and Bob Duchesne

On this evening wildlife and birding outing, we’ll explore a diverse selection of forest and field habitats, including areas managed specifically by Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to benefit woodcock, which also provide homes to more than fifty other species that use the same areas. This property is also home to bear, coyote, deer, porcupine, Ruffed Grouse, hare and many other species.

This trip will start from the Cobscook Community Learning Center (CCLC) parking lot following the Sunday evening dinner. There may be a drive to facilitate wildlife sightings, followed by a short hike.

Participants should be prepared to drive/carpool to a designated location. Participants should  also bring a headlamp or flashlight, as it will be after sunset when we return.

Where to start: Meet at the festival headquarters at the CCLC. Restroom facilities are available at the start of the hike.

Trescott/CCLC: Presentation by Woody Gillies: "Birds of the Upper Bay of Fundy"

Sunday, May 28

3 – 4 pm 

Discussion:  In August hundreds of thousands of small sandpipers forage on enormous mudflats in order to double their body weight prior to long flights to their wintering grounds in South America. Mary's Point and Johnson's Mills are sites to see the birds roosting at high tide and in flight; a spectacle that is truly one of great natural wonders of the world. The tides in this region can be over 45 feet! The salt and freshwater marshes north of Fundy Park are home to a large number of birds and other wildlife. Photos will be shown to learn about the wildlife found in this beautiful area. 

Presenter: Woody Gillies has spent 15 years photographing and learning about birds in the Upper Bay of Fundy near Fundy National Park and Shepody National Wildlife Area.

Where: Festival HQ, CCLC in Trescott

Trescott/CCLC: Lighthouse Keeping, Islands & Bird Watching

Sunday, May 28

4 - 5 pm

 

Presenter:  Delia Mae Farris

Delia has a degree in biology from UMO and descends from a tradition of story tellers. She weaves an intriguing blend of facts about island bird-watching with folklore from her mother Ruth Corbett’s lighthouse keeping family. In the 1950s, Delia’s lobster fisherman father Glenn Farris initiated the puffin birding trips from Cutler harbor to Machias Seal Island. Her uncle, Captain Purcell Corbett, followed Glenn as a reliable ocean guide aboard his boat the Audubon Queen that he designed and built. Captain Andy Patterson carries on this able seamanship lineage with his Bold Coast Charter Co. boat tours. Capt. Andy’s vessel, the Barbara Frost, passes around Little River Island on its way to and from Machias Seal Island. Ruth Corbett Farris with her seven brothers and sisters grew up on Little River at the mouth of Cutler Harbor. As an island-loving girl, Ruth laid out the bodies of migrating birds that unfortunately perished when they struck the light tower. Ruth grew up to become a folk art carver of our local sea bird species, including puffins, terns, gulls, and cormorants.

This Festival event appeals to a variety of birding enthusiasts, including historians, families, and home schooled children. 

Trescott/CCLC: Medicinal and Edible Plant Walk

Sunday, May 28

2 – 4 pm

Guides: Fred Gralenski & Amy Zipperer

Join local herbalist Amy Zipperer and naturalist Fred Gralenski on this edible and medicinal plant walk. We'll explore traditional uses of wild weeds as medicine and food, and discuss techniques for harvesting, preservation and preparing medicines. Perhaps we'll nibble a few plants along the way. Participants will discover that the forests and fields are filled with plants that can help nourish and heal.

Where to start: CCLC-Trescott

Edmunds/Cobscook Bay State Park: Forest Ecology Walk

Sunday, May 28:  2 - 4 pm

Monday, May 29:  8 - 10 am

 

Guide: Park Manager Tom Harmon 

Bird along Cobscook Bay State Park’s Nature Trail with park staff.  This 1.5 mile trail moves through mature spruce-fir-pine forests and follows the Mack’s Brook flowage into Burnt Cove. Hikers will be able to mark the progress of the brook as it moves into the estuary and eventually into the open tidal cove. Ledges and a gradual climb will take participants to two overlooks, providing a broader picture of the cove and environs. We will discuss the forest and shoreline ecology and the glacial history of the area along the walk.

The trail moves through a variety of habitats for wildlife such as deer, bear, moose, fox, coyote, snowshoe hare, fishers, squirrels, weasels and porcupines. Birds to keep an eye out for include Osprey, Bald Eagle, Ruffed Grouse, woodpeckers, American Black Duck, ravens, gulls, jays, and herons.

Wear boots or shoes that can get wet and have a good tread. The hike covers varied terrain, with some steep areas. Restrooms are available at the park.

Where to start: To get to the park, take Route 1 to Edmunds and look for park signs marking the turnoff onto South Edmunds Road.  The main park entrance is on the right 0.5 miles from the Rt. 1 turnoff. Meet in the parking lot at the main gate. 

Cobscook Bay State Park sits within the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and is cooperatively managed by the US Fish &Wildlife Service and Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

Trescott/CCLC: Film Screening of The Messenger

CAN YOU IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT BIRDSONG? A critically acclaimed documentary film, directed by Su Rynard

 

Sunday, May 28

1 – 2:30 pm

Where:  Festival Headquarters, CCLC in Trescott

Website:  www.songbirdsos.com

From New York Times Review by Helen T. Verongos, Dec 3rd, 2015:

Watching “The Messenger” — the visuals alone are soothing, at least as long as the birds are flying to the sound of soaring violins — we cling to the beauty and the emotional resonance of birdsong. But we know what’s coming: the tiny cold bodies, their claws curled, littering the sidewalk after smashing into glass; the migrating flocks disoriented by light pollution; the fallen victims of zealous oil drilling in the Boreal Forest.

Shot with a propagandist’s eye for the inflammatory image, the film manipulates us, stoking our instinct to root for the good guys. Vintage news footage depicts Mao Zedong’s 1957 attempt to save China’s grain crops from sparrows by mobilizing the citizenry to eradicate the birds (Boo!), an effort that backfired, contributing to a famine that killed millions.

Young, earnest and, I daresay, charming Frenchmen (yay!) creep through cornfields to photograph evidence of illegal bird-trapping. A local gent, missing a few teeth, threatens the bird lovers with an implement resembling a giant fireplace poker. He rhapsodizes about plump ortolan buntings drizzled with Armagnac and grilled until the bones dissolve. A close-up follows of a diner tearing into a cooked bird, grasping its little head like a handle. (Eew!)

We can’t really expect the director, Su Rynard, to give equal time to bird haters (assuming one or two exist), although the film shows markedly less respect for other creatures. Cats, for one, are branded as invasive and likened to kudzu, but the film wisely stops short of recommending wiping out the species.

Over all, the arguments are persuasive, the message from the birds powerful, and the film a rich and satisfying call to action that is presented with some novel ideas for how to restore the ecological balance.

Eastport: Birdwatching Cruise on the Lady Patricia

Sunday, May 28

1:30 - 4 pm

 

Boat Captain:  Butch Harris

Fee: $55

The Lady Patricia will transport you throughout Head Harbor Passage and the many Canadian islands therein. Amid spectacular scenery and plentiful wildlife, you’ll motor up close to the many islands where you may encounter shearwaters, storm-petrels, cormorants, Osprey, hawks, Bald Eagle, gulls, terns, and alcids. Seals, porpoises, herring weirs, salmon pens, and lighthouses will be part of the 2 1/2 hour tour. Bring your binoculars and camera. It’s a great trip on the water with lots of birding opportunities. A festival guide will be onboard to help out with sightings. Captain Butch Harris has explored these waters all of his life and will be an invaluable asset.

Please wear warm clothing and sturdy shoes. If the trip is canceled due to inclement weather, you will receive a full refund.

Where to start:  The vessel will depart from the main pier on Water Street in downtown Eastport. From Route 1, take Route 190 into Eastport. When 190 ends, turn left on Water Street. The pier is the next right. Parking, and portable toilet facilities, are available at the pier.  Depending on the tide, boarding the boat may require descending a steep ramp.

Perry: Passamaquoddy Walking Path

Sunday, May 28

7 - 10 am

Guide: Anne Archie

Join us for an enjoyable stroll along the Passamaquoddy walking path as we look for birds through diverse coastal habitats. This paved path is located on the Passamaquoddy Reservation at Pleasant Point, also called Sipayik, and was once part of a railroad bed that ran to it's terminus in Eastport. A wide variety of migrating warblers and other passerines can be seen feeding and singing all along the path during early morning including American redstart, Wilson's warbler, blue-headed vireo, and ruby-crowned kinglet. Savannah sparrow and Nelson's sparrow nest in the open fields next to the ocean. Look for shorebirds such as short-billed dowitcher and wilson's snipe around the edges of the brackish pond. Swamp sparrow and common yellow-throat can be found in the marshy areas.

This is an easy, flat, paved path, with short forays on grassy paths and beaches. There are no bathroom facilities.

Where to start: From Route 190, turn onto Bayview Drive at Pleasant Point; continue straight onto Treatment Plant Road and park in the lot where the road ends. 

Calais/Red Beach: Saint Croix International Historic Site

Sunday, May 28

11 am - Noon

and

2 - 3 pm

 

Guide: National Park Service Ranger

Learn the story of Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, a monument to the beginning of the United States and Canada. In 1604, Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, accompanied by Samuel Champlain and 77 other men, established a settlement on Saint Croix Island. Preceding Jamestown (1607) and Plymouth (1620), Pierre Dugua's outpost was one of the earliest European settlements on the North Atlantic coast of North America.

From Saint Croix Island, Samuel Champlain explored and charted the coast of Norembegue (Norumbega), including the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic coast as far south as Cape Cod. The valuable insights gained from both the Saint Croix settlement and further exploration formed the foundation for a more successful settlement at Port Royal, and an enduring French presence in North American continuing to the present day. While the focus of this session is local history, our ranger will also connect you with some fun birding facts from this earliest settlement.

Where to start: Saint Croix Island International Historic Site is located 8 miles (13 km) south of Calais, Maine, on US Route 1. For drivers using GPS, the site's physical address is 84 Saint Croix Drive, Calais, Maine 04619. The park is well marked; look for the signs

Lubec: Moving Event - West Quoddy Head Hike, Lubec Sand Bar, Pikes Puddle

Sunday, May 28

6 - 10 am 

Guides: Jennifer & Woody Gillies

Join us for an early morning coastal foray. West Quoddy Head State Park is the easternmost point of land in the United States, and is a must-see for any visitor to the area. Carrying Place Cove Bog is considered one of the most significant peatlands in the eastern United States, and the dramatic cliffs are often some of the foggiest on the coast.

A variety of habitats exist at the park. The Green Point path passes through low dense balsam fir and red spruce forest. The Peat Bog Trail includes a boardwalk over a 7-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 Jay, Common Raven, Boreal Chickadee and White-winged and Red Crossbills. Some other species include Common Eider, Merlin, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, kinglets, Swainson’s, Bicknell's, and Hermit Thrush, two dozen species of warblers, Lincoln’s Sparrows, Dark-eyed Junco, and seabirds. (We may see some migrating shorebirds, though most are seen in August and September on their way south after breeding in the far north of Canada.)

 

Where to start:  From US Route 1 in Whiting, take Rt 189 for 9.6 miles, then turn right (south) onto South Lubec Road. Follow signs to the park, about an additional 5 miles. Meet in the upper parking lot. An outhouse is available at the trailhead.

Trescott/Cobscook Bay Region: All Day Van Excursion

Sunday, May 28

7 am - 4 pm

Guide: Bob Duchesne

Fee: $35

This all-day excursion is limited to ten people and fills quickly. 

During the day, we will bird in five or six special habitats in the Cobscook Bay area to have the opportunity to see a variety of birds. Stops will be in spruce-fir forests, brush and pole stage timber, ocean and tidal flats, and fresh and tidal marshes - habitats for a great variety of birds, from hummingbirds to gannets.

This excursion will be at a leisurely pace to allow you to focus on new and/or favorite birds. Over the course of the day, it will be possible to see most of the birds expected to be in this area.

Please bring along: waterproof boots, bug repellent, a refillable water bottle, snacks, and a lunch (we will stop and enjoy a picnic at some point in the day).

Where to start:  Meet at Festival Headquarters, CCLC in Trescott, at 7 am. We will return to the CCLC around 4 pm. 

Lubec: Moose Cove, Bog Brook Preserve

Sunday, May 28

6:30 - 10:30 am

Guide: Kirk Gentalen

The Moose Cove area of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust's Bog Brook Preserve is full of beauty and wildlife, especially birds. We will start this walk with a little sea watching from an open panoramic view shed and then walk the nearby Moose Cove Trail which cuts through a variety of habitats while affording several different views of Moose Cove and the open ocean. Alder thickets, hardwood forest dominated by maple and birch, cedar and spruce forest will all be explored. Open canopies and vistas will provide abundant views of local birds and other wildlife. 

We will hope to see sea birds, including alcids, sea ducks & great comorants, warblers, vireos and other songbirds.

Trail conditions will be mostly level with uneven stretches and a short, steep incline section to get up Moose Ridge. Make sure to wear good walking/hiking shoes, and bring water, binoculars, and a camera. Spotting scopes are also useful for the sea watch portion of this session. Kirk will have his scope available for participants.

Where to start: Moose Cove

Through Cutler: Turn right on East Machias onto Rt. 191. Follow 191 through many twists and turns for 19.5 miles (passing through Cutler). Turn right onto Moose River Road (look for signs to Moose Cove on 191). Go roughly a mile to the end of the road where there is a parking lot.

Through Whiting: At Whiting Corner, turn right on Rt. 189 from Rt. 1 toward Lubec. Travel 5.8 miles and turn right onto Rt. 191. In 7.2 miles turn left onto Moose River Road (look for signs to Moose Cove on Rt. 191). Go roughly a mile to the end of the road, where there is a parking lot.

North Lubec: Pike Lands

Sunday, May 28

6 - 9:30 am

Guides: DECC, Bill Sallie Satterthwaite

This event walks two short trails that are managed by Downeast Coastal Conservancy and that have considerable habitat diversity. The Cove trail to Cobscook Bay (an easy 0.5-mile out-and-back walk) goes through an apple orchard and boreal forest to the coast and a salt marsh. The orchard area of this trail includes some exotic trees and shrubs, such as Royal Azalea and a small Dawn Redwood, that were planted by the late Radcliff Pike, a former owner and noted botanist. The Huckins Beach / West Loop combined trail to South Bay (a 1-mile loop with somewhat challenging walking at the far end) passes through open woodland and spruce-fir and cedar forest, ending at the shore and including a small circular esker. The birding will depend upon the timing of the season, but we have had good luck with common field, forest, and coastal species of the region, including Blackburnian Warbler and Ovenbird. 

Where to start:  From Whiting or the CCLC take Route 189 toward Lubec. 9 miles after Whiting or 7.3 miles after the CCLC, soon after the Eastland Motel, turn left at McFadden's Variety onto the North Lubec Road. Drive 5.3 miles and shortly after Bailey Lane and house #1043, as the road rises, you will see the first Pike Lands parking lot on the left. There is a second parking lot about 0.1 mile further along, on the right. Park only in these lots or along the road. There are no restroom facilities.

GPS coordinates: 44.899060, -67.051364

Baring/MNWR: Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge Open House

Saturday, May 27

1 – 5 pm

Where:  Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, off the Charlotte Road in Calais.

The new Moosehorn NWR headquarters building will be open for visitors on Saturday, May 28, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  There will be several exhibits for viewing, including a showcase of items that have been seized at our borders from smugglers.  Photos of wildlife captured by our trail cams will be running throughout the afternoon, and there will be displays showing refuge habitat, wildlife, and management activities. There will also be two tours of the Refuge in areas not usually open to cars.

Refuge staff will be present to answer questions and provide recommendations on hiking trails, fishing, hunting, birding hot spots, wildlife inventory and monitoring projects, and habitat management.  Refuge maps and brochures, posters, and the “Where People Care about Wildlife” DVD will be available.

Topsfield: Burn Road Excursion

 

Saturday, May 27

7 am – 3 pm 

Guide: Marion Bates

Fee: $10

The Burn Road is known for its excellent boreal birding. Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, plus both Red- and White-winged Crossbill are frequently seen here. We will also look for Mourning Warbler on several of the nearby roads. 

We will likely walk 3 – 4 miles, at a slow pace, on flat and dry gravel surfaces. This trip is appropriate for birders with any level of skill or experience. Black flies and mosquitoes will be swarming, so be sure to bring insect repellent and wear clothing that covers your skin (hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, and closed shoes. You should also bring water and a snack or pack a lunch.

Where to start: Topsfield is in northern Washington County. Allow just under two hours to get there from the Cobscook Bay area. We will meet at 7:00 am at the (closed) Topsfield Irving station, located at the junction of Routes 1 and 6. As the Topsfield Irving is no longer open, the closest location to fill up on gas, pick up drinks and snacks, and use the restrooms is the Irving station in Princeton, 16 miles south on Route 1.