For those arriving early or staying late
ABF is proud to offer
pre-fest and post-fest trips for those who wish to extend their birding
Saddleback Mountain in search of Bicknell's Thrush
May 29 (Wednesday) 5am-6pm
This is a full day trip to Saddleback Mountain, leaving from Burger King in Waterville, ME (not Festival Center). It is best to plan on staying in Waterville the night before. There are three motels near Burger King in Waterville (Econo Lodge, Hampton Inn Waterville, and Budget Host Airport Inn). Bicknell’s Thrush unique breeding ecology above 3000 feet requires a steady climb to the barren bald peaks of Saddleback Mountain tucked away in the western mountains of Maine. Many northern specialty birds will be found among the rocky summit heaths and boreal krummholz ecosystems of the Rangeley Lakes region, offering opportunities for a variety of hard to find boreal species like Gray Jays, Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpecker. We will study bird communication and ecology of the spruce and fir forest and dwarf shrub summits where Nashville and Blackpoll Warblers, Swainson’s Thrush and Blue-headed Vireo are calling from the spruce zone. On the return trip, we can make a few stops for Black Terns and Purple Martin around the Belgrade Lakes. A busy but rewarding day. We will travel by van for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes to reach the Saddleback Mt from Waterville. Participants should bring snacks, lunch, beverages, bug repellent and sunscreen. Dress in layers as it could be cold. The trip starts and ends at Burger King in Waterville (approximately 1 hour 45 minutes from Festival Center).
Tour guides are Michael Good and Josh Fecteau. This daytrip requires 5+ miles (round trip) of hiking straight up and down difficult steep ski slopes with 2000 ft elevation gain, some places with rocks and roots, only for those in very good physical walking shape (walking sticks helpful). Participants should bring binoculars, snacks, lunch, beverages, bug repellent, sunscreen, and good hiking/walking shoes. Dress in layers as it could be cold. There will be some opportunities to stop for food and refreshments at local convenience stores. Transportation will be by 12-passenger van.
(Meet at Burger King in Waterville at I-95 exit 127 at 5am - This is an hour and 45 minute drive from Festival Center, so we recommend you stay in Waterville the night before).
Fee is $90/person. Limit 9 participants.
Katahdin Woods and
Waters National Monument (TWO DAY TRIP)
June 2 (Sunday) 5pm to June 4 (Tuesday) 8pm
This two-day 12-passenger van trip starts at Festival Center at 5pm on Sunday and heads directly up to Sherman, ME to the Katahdin Valley Motel (about a 2.25 hour drive) where the group will stay for two nights. Guides are Michael Good and Anita Mueller.
The following two days (Monday and Tuesday) will be spent exploring nearby Katahdin Woods and Water National Monument by van and walking accessible trails. The scientific purpose of this trip will be to catalogue Maine breeding bird data with eBird and designate potential "Birding Hotspots” for the Monument. Our goals are to locate and photograph migratory and breeding birds while locating key boreal species like Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Black-backed and Three-toed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, Boreal Chickadee and Spruce Grouse. KWWNM is an understudied and recently added national gem to the Maine North Woods, giving ABF participants an opportunity for deeper understanding about boreal habitats and avian ecology.
This two-day trip will require slow walking on level roads through good habitat. Depending on recent weather, there may be some spots that are muddy. Water resistant footwear is advised. Participants should bring binoculars and wear clothing appropriate for the time of year. Dawn temperatures can start in the 40s in May/June. Bring bug dope (or netting) for black flies and mosquitos.
Participants are responsible for making your own motel accommodations at the Katahdin Valley Motel in Sherman, ME (207-365-4554). You have a choice of a standard room, efficiency, or apartment. Several rooms have been blocked for the group under the name Acadia Birding Festival. When making a reservation, let them know you are with the ABF group. Meal costs are not included in the trip fee, and are each person's responsibility. You can choose to bring your own food or buy locally. For breakfast and lunch, there is an Irving station convenience store adjacent to the motel with breakfast sandwiches, coffee, hash browns, lunch sandwiches, wraps, pizza, etc and refreshments. They are open 24 hrs so you can get food early in the morning before heading into the monument each day (where there are no stores). For dinner, the group will go to local restaurants.
Fee is $160/person. Limit 8 participants. Trip starts at Festival Center at 5pm on Sunday and returns to Festival Center about 8pm on Tuesday.