Lubec: Boot Head Preserve

Saturday, May 27

7 – 10:30 am


Guides:  Bill Schlesinger & Lisa Dellwo

This preserve, owned by Maine Coast Heritage Trust, features some of the most dramatic views of the Maine coastline. Enjoy the view, along with fabulous birding, during this circular hike of a little more than two miles. Some trails sections are gradual and smooth, while other sections along the rocky coast requires a lot of up-and-down hiking over a rocky trail.

Please wear sturdy footwear.

A small bog near the trail head offers the possibility of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Hermit Thrush, Nashville Warbler, Palm Warbler, Lincoln’s Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and Purple Finch.

The coniferous forest has large numbers of Magnolia Warblers and Black-throated Green Warblers.  We should also see Red-breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Winter Wren, Black-and-White Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Ovenbird. Spruce Grouse and Boreal Chickadee are often present.  

The stunted spruce stands along the rocky headlands provide habitat for Blackpoll Warbler and Golden-crowned Kinglet. Common Eider and Black Guillemot will be on the water far below. Merlin have nested along the cliffs in some years.      

Where to start:  From Whiting or the CCLC, take Route 189 east toward Lubec. 5.7 miles from Whiting or 4.0 miles from the CCLC, turn right onto Route 191 (Dixie Road). Drive south 2.7 miles and turn left onto Boot Cove Road, then drive east 1.9 miles. (If coming from Lubec or West Quoddy Head via South Lubec Road, turn onto Boot Cove Road at the sharp bend in South Lubec Road and drive west 3.9 miles.) There is parking on both sides of the road. The trail head is adjacent to the smaller parking lot on the right side of the road. Restrooms are not available.

GPS coordinates: 44.775591, -67.031157

Baring/MNWR: Moving Event - Eagle and Osprey Viewing; Rails, Wrens & Night Hawks; Woodcock and Whippoorwills

Saturday, May 27

6:30 - 9 pm


Guide: MNWR staff


Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge has received national attention since a pair of bald eagles started nesting in an osprey nesting platform in 1991. The pair has successfully raised 13 chicks since then.

Join with Moosehorn staff for an hour of eagle and osprey viewing. The Observation Platform is located along the Charlotte Road immediately south of Route 1. It is wheelchair accessible, and includes free permanently-mounted binoculars. There are no restroom facilities.

We will then stroll through the evening forest, listening for the calls of birds, amphibians, and mammals. The tour route will pass through a variety of wildlife habitats, including forests of various ages, managed and natural wetlands, and a pond. While finding rails will be a prime focus of this hike, other birds that may be encountered include marsh wrens, common loons, pied-billed grebes, American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Sora, Wilson’s Snipe, Common Nighthawk, Whip-poor-will, Hermit Thrush, White-throated Sparrow, and Great Horned, Barred, and Northern Saw-whet Owls. 

In addition, a variety of frogs will call during the evening: Spring Peepers, Wood Frogs, Northern Leopard Frogs, Pickerel Frogs, Mink Frogs, Green Frogs, Bull Frogs, and American Toads. We may also see beavers, moose, white-tailed deer, black bears, bobcats, eastern coyotes (also may be heard), porcupines, and bats. 

The hike will continue with a woodcock watch. We’ll visit the singing grounds of the American Woodcock as we hope to see them engaged in their courtship ritual. Once the sun has set (about 8 pm) we’ll set off in search of Whip-poor-will. Along the way we will attempt to call in or elicit responses from owls. Species that may be encountered include Barred, Great-horned and Northern Saw-whet Owls. We will also listen for the calls of local frogs and toads as well as eastern coyotes, Common Nighthawk, and Common Loon. This will be an easy hike.

Where to start: 

Meet at the YCC Building. Directions: From Route 1, turn onto Charlotte Road and continue for about 3 miles. Watch for a Headquarters sign and a road to your right. Make the right. Take the first right to get to the YCC Building.

Pembroke: Pennamaquan River Walk

Saturday, May 27

2 - 4 pm 

Guide: Fred Gralenski

This hike will focus on the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), an anadromous fish that migrates up rivers about this time of year to spawn in lakes. State and federal fisheries managers are studying rivers and streams as nurseries for the Gulf of Maine. Recently the St. Croix River was opened to spawning anadromous fish after an 18 year closure.

We hope to see Bald Eagle, Osprey, and other birds feeding on migrating alewives, and although river herring don’t make spectacular leaps like salmon, they negotiate some very fast water, and their capabilities are impressive.

We will discuss the life cycle of diadromous fish, and how they can survive in both salt and fresh water; their impact (both real and imagined) on fresh water lakes, and their importance as forage for birds, mammals, and other fish. We will net a few alewives and show their interesting anatomy as plankton feeders. We will also discuss their use as nutrition for soils, lobsters and people.

Where to start: Route 1 in Pembroke. Meet at the parking lot beside the former Crossroads Restaurant & Motel (now closed) by the falls. 

Talmadge: Yacolucci Woods

Saturday, May 27

3:30 – 5:30 pm 

Guide: Colin Brown

Join Colin Brown, Education & Outreach Manager for the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, for an afternoon walk through Yacolucci Woods – a 100 acre parcel that is permanently conserved for wildlife habitat.  An easy walking path passes through several different forest types, allowing for good views of woodpeckers, warblers, wetland species, and many more. 

This walk serves as an excellent stop that immediately follows the “Burn Road” program, located 15 minutes south along Route 1. Anyone planning on attending the Burn Road walk, followed by the Moosehorn evening program, can fill their afternoon with this great excursion!

Where to start:

Yacolucci Woods is located directly along the west side of Route 1, on the Waite/Talmadge town line. If you are headed south from the Burn Road, Yacolucci Woods will be roughly 4 miles south of the intersection of Routes 1 and 6, on the right. We will meet in the parking area along the road, next to the sign.

Trescott/CCLC: Presentation by Bill Kolodnicki: "Ecology of Terns"

Saturday, May 27

1 – 2 pm 

The summer beach has extremes of heat, cold, storms and little cover from predators. How do terns and other shoreline birds survive?


Bill will explore the world of the least tern and its associate beach buddies, other terns, skimmers and piping plovers and shed some light on the factors for survival and how we can help.

Presenter:  Bill Kolodnicki

Where: Festival HQ, CCLC in Trescott

Trescott/CCLC: Presentation by Anne Archie: "Spruce Bud Worm in Maine: Changes in the Boreal Forest"

Saturday, May 27

2 – 3 pm

Discussion: An informative talk about the spruce budworm, its lifecycle and the history of the budworm outbreaks in the boreal forests of the northeast. Also, information about the bird species that spend all or part of their lives in the boreal forest and how the spruce budworm outbreak may affect them.

Presenter: Anne Archie retired from the US Forest Service where she spent 33 years as a Wildlife Biologist, District Ranger and Forest Supervisor in National Forests in Oregon, southeast Alaska, Wisconsin, Idaho and New Hampshire.

Where: Festival HQ, CCLC in Trescott

Cutler: Western Head Hike

Saturday, May 27

1 - 4 pm 

Guide: Kirk Gentalen

The 250 acres that make up Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Western Head Preserve offer an array of habitats and spectacular vistas for any observer. For this walk, we’ll explore the preserve’s spruce forests, beaches and views looking for mushrooms, slime molds, marine mammals, and, of course, birds. Birdwise – an active Bald Eagle nest will be observed, and songbirds including Blackpoll Warbler will be part of the search. This trip offers a great way to see Maine’s bold coast.

Participants should expect easy to moderately difficult trails that will include moderate inclines, uneven footing, and rough terrain. The walk will be three miles round trip. Wear footwear that will provide a measure of protection from the wet undergrowth and provide good footing.

Where to start: From Whiting or the CCLC, take Route 189 east toward Lubec. 5.7 miles from Whiting or 4.0 miles from the CCLC turn right onto Route 191 (Dixie Road) and proceed south 14 miles to Cutler Village. From the village center continue south on 191 for 1.3 miles to Destiny Bay Road which is on the left at a crest in the road immediately after you see a monumental stone wall on the right. Turn left and follow Destiny Bay Road for 1.0 mile to the fork at the end of the paved section. Bear right and continue straight for another 0.2 mile to the parking lot on the right. Restrooms are not available. 

GPS coordinates: 44.653359, -67.209766

Baring/MNWR: Morning Hikes

Saturday, May 27

6:30 – 11 am

Guides: Bill KolodnickiMaurry Mills, and refuge staff

Join us for easy hikes that will follow a 2 1/2 - 3 mile trail through a variety of habitats: various ages of  hardwood and softwood forest, wetlands, and fields. This excursion will include a several mile round trip drive/walk along Barn Meadow and Magurrewock Marsh where we will visit the shores of several wetlands. Given these habitats, many neo-tropical migrant birds might be seen. Birds include Double-crested Cormorant, American Bittern, Wood Duck, mallards, American Black Ducks, teal, mergansers, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Virginia Rail, Sora, Wilson’s Snipe, several woodpeckers and flycatchers, Swainson’s Thrush, Marsh Wren, nearly two dozen species of  warblers, bobolinks, and Evening Grosbeak.

Rubber boots are highly recommended.

Where to start: These hikes will begin at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Baring.

Perry: Birding at Pottle Tree Farm

Saturday, May 27

6:30 – 9 am 

Guides: Fred & Linda Gralenski

The area has diverse habitat, including hayfields, grown-up farmland, a working forest of mixed hardwood and softwood through which Boyden Stream runs, and surrounding lowlands. Apple trees and overgrown cellar holes are scattered throughout, mixed with alders, cherries, roses, and other shrubs.

We will look for Wood Duck, sandpipers, American Woodcock, and warblers along the stream; American Kestrel and other raptors; Ruffed Grouse, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and woodpeckers in the apple trees; and warblers in the bigger forest – perhaps four dozen different species in all. 

The trails are well maintained and offer easy walking. At this time of year, there will be some moderately muddy spots, so appropriate footwear is recommended. There is an outhouse on the trail.


Where to start: The tree farm is located at 507 South Meadow Road in Perry. From Route 1, just north of the intersection of Routes 1 and 190, turn west on the South Meadow Road (near the Perry Farmer’s Union). The farm is 2 1/2 miles from this turn. At the split in the road, stay left. Look for signs for the tree farm on your right. Park anywhere, though please do not block the driveway to the house or the barn. We will meet at the tree farm sign.

Edmunds/MNWR: Afternoon Hike - Medicinal and Edible Plant Walk

Friday, May 26

3 - 5:30 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, then car pool to MNWR at Edmunds

Trescott/CCLC: Welcome Social and Presentation by Malcolm L. Hunter

Friday, May 26

6 – 8 pm  

Includes dinner, $20 per person
(Soups, breads, salad, and dessert)

Guest Speaker: Malcolm L. Hunter, Jr., Libra Professor of Conservation Biology, Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology, University of Maine

Program: "Of Birds and Beetles: Conserving Biodiversity in a Dynamic World"

Maintaining the variety of life forms on Earth is a challenge; indeed, some would argue that it is the single most important issue we face. This is daunting work given the pace of global change, most notably climate change, but thenatural world can be robust if we give it a half a chance and bird conservation provides some excellent examples of what we can accomplish.  

Where to start:  The CCLC is located at 10 Commissary Point Road in Trescott Township, between the towns of Whiting and Lubec, in the Cobscook Bay region of Downeast Maine. Easily accessible from Route 1 in Whiting, take Route 189 toward Lubec and Campobello Island, New Brunswick. After 1.8 miles, turn left on Commissary Point Road. The CCLC is the first driveway on the left. 

Edmunds/MNWR/Trescott: Afternoon Hike - Warbler Walk

Friday, May 26

3 – 5:30 pm

Afternoon Hikes will take place in 4 locations:

  • Edmunds–Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
Guides: Maurry Mills/Refuge staff
    • CCLC campus
    • Commissary Point
    • Bell Mountain Road
      Guides: Maurry Mills, Bob DuchesneWoody GilliesBill Kolodnicki, and Colin Brown

      Join us for an afternoon of birding at the refuge or three other sites in the area. Groups will be limited to ten people each and assigned as registrations come in - if you have a strong preference for a location, please let us know in the Comments box on the second registration page (the page that comes up after you hit the "Register" button at the bottom of the online form).

      The exact routes will depend on recent bird sightings and the interests of the group. The refuge area contains a variety of habitats - grasslands, freshwater wetlands, and several forest types, and the trips will explore a variety of these habitats through a combination of driving and walking.

      Plan to look for boreal species as well migrating flycatchers, vireos, and warblers. We will also pass Bald Eagle nesting areas. Other raptors we may encounter include Osprey, Broad-winged Hawk, American Kestrel, and Merlin. Refuge wetlands may contain Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Spotted Sandpiper and Belted Kingfisher. Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, Spruce Grouse, and woodpeckers also have been spotted. Grassland nesting birds such as Savannah Sparrow and Bobolink also may be seen.

      Please wear waterproof footwear.

      Where to start: CCLC-Trescott. One group will walk on the trails on the CCLC campus, the rest will carpool to MNWR at Edmunds, Commissary Point, or Bell Mountain Road.

      Trescott/CCLC: Maine Audubon Presentation - Birding Optics with Carroll Tiernan

      Friday, May 26

      1 – 2 pm

      Where: Festival HQ, CCLC in Trescott 

      In this session, you will learn about the tools of the trade when it comes to birding. What guide book is right for you?  Which binoculars should you choose?  What’s the right clothing to wear? What other gear is available to enhance your birding experience?  

      These questions and more will be covered by Carroll Tiernan, who has been selling optics for Maine Audubon for over 20 years.  She has trained with several manufacturers, taught many optics clinics, and is very familiar with the optics and range of other gear available to today’s birders.  As for optics, you’ll have a chance to test out several varieties that Carroll will have on hand. You will learn the key binocular specifications and how to pick the right binoculars for your use and budget.  You also will see how spotting scopes can be useful and how to pick the right scope.  

      ** Carroll will have a staffed exhibit on Friday, 1-4 pm and Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm at Festival Headquarters at the CCLC.

      Trescott/CCLC: Birding by Ear Presentation with Bob Duchesne

      Friday, May 26

      Noon - 1 pm

      Opening Presentation: “Birding by Ear” with Bob Duchesne

      Where: Festival Headquarters, CCLC in Trescott

      Join Bob Duchesne as he helps you demystify birding by ear. In this popular presentation, Bob will offer simple tips for mentally organizing what you’re hearing and will help you take advantage of what you already know. Advanced birders will be encouraged to share their own tips. Bob is a frequent field trip leader for Maine Audubon and a regular trip leader with the Down East Birding Festival.

      Bob Duchesne is an avid bird guide and author of Maine Birding Trail: The Official Guide to More than 260 Accessible Sites. He also writes a regular birding column for the Bangor Daily News.

      Cutler: Puffin Trip to Machias Seal Island

      Friday, May 26:  Noon – 5 pm

      Saturday, May 27:  1 – 6 pm

      Boat Captain: Andrew Patterson

      Guest Guides: Chris Bartlett on Friday, Woody Gillies on Saturday

      Fee: $130  

      Machias Seal Island has the largest Atlantic Puffin colony along the Maine coastline. Your trip from picturesque Cutler Harbor to the island aboard the Barbara Frost will take about 60 minutes; you should have over two hours on the island, weather and sea conditions permitting. If you are able to go ashore, you’ll have up to 45-60 minutes in a blind with puffins all around you. The rest of the time on the island, you’ll be on a ground-level, open-observation platform.

      If you are interested in alcids, this is your trip. Avian occupants during late May include thousands of Atlantic Puffins, as well as Razorbills and Common Murres. Arctic Terns and Common Terns have also historically nested on the island but recent years have seen a decline in these species. Black Guillemots, Common Eiders, and of course gulls are other likely sightings. Additional seabirds, such as Northern Gannet, Black-legged Kittiwake, shearwaters, and storm-petrels, are possible. Bald Eagles and seals are spotted regularly. A camera and binoculars are musts. You may also want to bring a snack and a bottle of water.

      Wear sturdy footwear. Transfers to and from the island require a degree of physical mobility and surefootedness. Once at the island, landing conditions will be slippery. Landing is dependent on calm sea conditions and is at your own risk. If the boat is unable to land, the captain will cruise around the island affording an excellent opportunity to view the island’s birds. Landing and going ashore will be at the Captain’s discretion. Your safety will be his first concern.

      The Barbara Frost, a 40-foot Coast Guard certified passenger vessel, has a restroom and an enclosed heated cabin. Bring warm clothing nonetheless.

      If the trip is canceled due to poor weather, you will receive a full refund.

      Where to start: Cutler is located on Rt. 191. You can reach Cutler by traveling south/east from Route 1 in East Machias, or by taking Rt. 191, north off of Rte 189 between Whiting and Lubec. Once in the harbor area, look on the water side of the road for the blue street sign marked “Wharf Road" as well as a white sign marked "Little River Lobster Co."  This is the town landing. Park along the road or in the small landing parking lot and meet your captain, Andy Patterson, along the water at the boat ramp.

      Please dress warmly and in layers.

      For GPS navigation, the precise coordinates of our tour departure point are:
      Latitude 44.65768
      Longitude -67.20724