Fundy's Rewards - The Birds, Whales and Beauty of Grand Manan
Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick and a Touch of Maine
September 11-17, 2016
Lying off the mainland of New Brunswick in the Bay of Fundy, Grand Manan Island is the perfect confluence of songbird migration, massing seabirds, and marine mammals. Our time will be spent enjoying the birdlife of varied habitats, sorting through an incredible diversity of warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and shorebirds on their way south, and birds of the boreal forest and maritimes like loons, Boreal Chickadee, Common Eider, Great Cormorant and Black Guillemot. We’ll be in the shadows of raptors passing overhead, such as Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, and Northern Harrier. A highlight of the tour is sure to be our boat trip into the bay, where amazing pelagic birds and whales take advantage of its bounty – we’re likely to have great looks at shearwaters, storm-petrels, jaegers, kittiwakes, and phalaropes, as well as Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, and Northern Gannet - not to mention Finback and Humpback Whales, and the strong possibility of sighting the endangered Northern Right Whale. South Polar Skua and Thick-billed Murre are just a couple of the rarities we hope to encounter.
Grand Manan is a wonderful mix of rocky headlands, spruce forests, marshes, and coastal ponds. Its enduring maritime history is evident in the lighthouses, lobster traps, and passing ships. Comfortable autumn days are the norm, with butterflies and wildflowers adding to the scene. All this on an small island full of charm - so much to enjoy in an incredible setting!!!
Day One: Arrive at the Bangor, Maine airport by late afternoon and take a shuttle to our nearby accommodations. We’ll meet and get acquainted at 5:30 p.m., and then we’re off to a relaxing dinner and an introduction to the tour. Overnight Bangor.
Day Two: We’ll start the day off right with some nearby birding in Orono, noted for bog specialties like Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Palm Warbler, and Lincoln’s Sparrow, as well as a nice selection of other warblers. Then it’s off to catch our ferry in Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick. The ninety minute crossing affords our first looks at pelagic birds, such as Black-legged Kittiwake, Northern Gannet, Great Shearwater, Parasitic Jaeger, and Red-necked Phalarope. We’ll settle into our comfortable accommodations at an historic inn on Grand Manan, with some nearby birding to complete our day.
Days Three, Four, and Five: We’ll have three full days on the island to take in all the magnificent sightings and views. Early morning forays for new migrant arrivals will start the days, and after breakfast we’ll explore many areas of the island. Long Eddy Point to the north harbors birds of the spruce forest, while concentrations of landbirds will occupy us at places like The Whistle and Swallowtail Light. Over twenty species of warbler are possible, along with vireos, thrushes, sparrows, and blackbirds, such as Philadelphia Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, Dickcissel, and Rusty Blackbird. In irruptive years, White-winged Crossbills are a possibility. The marshes at Castalia and The Thoroughfare are magnets for shorebirds, from plovers to sandpipers. We’ll sort through Black-bellied and American Golden-Plover, Red Knot, Ruddy Turnstone, Pectoral Sandpiper, Whimbrel and more, and hope for a rarity like Ruff. The cliff tops of Southwest Head, southern point of the island, provide more than exceptional views of the bay’s famous tides, as Merlins and Peregrines “play” and hunt overhead and other raptors consider the water crossing ahead of them. One afternoon will find us taking a short ferry ride to nearby Whitehead Island, whose spruce forests host adorable Boreal Chickadees, as well as more warblers, kinglets, and thrushes.
A certain highlight of the trip will be an afternoon pelagic for birds and whales into the rich offshore waters of the Bay of Fundy. This is an incredible chance to see large numbers of seabirds like Great, Sooty, and Manx Shearwaters, Northern Gannets, Atlantic Puffins, and Razorbills, particularly around schools of herring. Jaegers could be represented by Parasitic or Pomarine, with an outside chance at the elusive South Polar Skua. Migrating flocks of Red or Red-necked Phalaropes may be encountered, and both Wilson’s and the uncommon Leach’s Storm Petrels may be pattering on the water’s surface. Sea mammals will also take center stage, with sightings of Humpback, Fin, or Minke Whales likely. A special effort will be made for the rarest Northern Right Whale, with a small concentration in the Bay of Fundy and a world population of less than 500.
Day Six: We’ll check a few productive spots during our last morning on the island, targeting species we may have missed so far. Our ferry ride back to the mainland will give us one last chance at the graceful seabirds of the bay, symbols of the unique birding of this region. Once back in Maine, we’ll stop at the Baring Division of the Moosehorn NWR to appreciate some migrating waterfowl, Bald Eagles, and songbirds. Dinner in Bangor will give us an opportunity to summarize our sightings and have a relaxing conclusion to the tour.
Day Seven: Participants may depart at any time during the day, with shuttle service available to the airport.
Tour Pricing: $1895.00 per person based on double occupancy. Single occupancy supplement is $375.
Tour Services: This tour includes six nights of comfortable accommodations – two at a hotel in Bangor and four at a charming inn on Grand Manan. All meals, from dinner on Day Two to dinner on Day Six, are included, excluding any alcoholic beverages. Ground transportation throughout the tour, starting at and returning to the accommodations in Bangor, will be provided, as well as any ferry or entrance fees. This tour does not include airfare to/from Bangor, special gratuities, or items of a personal nature.
Also included are professional guide services for the duration of the tour. Brett M. Ewald will be the tour leader on this exciting excursion. As well as being an accomplished birder, naturalist, and biologist, Brett has traveled and birded extensively in North America, including time spent birding and leading tours in Maine and New Brunswick. He looks forward to sharing the wonders of Grand Manan with you!
Terms and Conditions
Please fill out completely and sign the Extended Tours Registration Form and mail to Lakeshore Nature Tours, along with a $500.00 per person deposit. Make your check or money order payable to Lakeshore Nature Tours. Any balance due is required July 15, 2016. Confirmation and an informational packet, with finalized tour itinerary and details, will be sent upon guarantee of tour departure, based on adequate participation. Tour participants should not secure their flights to/from Bangor until directed from Lakeshore Nature Tours. A full refund of tour payments will be executed from Lakeshore Nature Tours for any cancellation resulting from inadequate participation. If the tour is full, a waiting list will be taken, and filled according to the date of registration. A $75 service fee will apply to a participant cancellation before July 15, 2016. Cancellations between July 15 2016 and August 15, 2016 will forfeit the $500 deposit. After August 15, 2016, no refund will be available, unless you are able to fill the vacant position. Transportation to/from the hotel in Bangor is the responsibility of the tour particiapant(s).
Photo: © Ann Tagawa
Photo: © Al Stout
Photo: © Ann Tagawa
Photo: © Ann Tagawa
For more information, call, email or write:
12398 Platten Road
Lyndonville, NY 14098
Lyndonville, NY 14098