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Puffins & Grouse - June 26-28, 2013

Atlantic Puffin
Atlantic Puffins
Commoni Murres
Chestnut-sided Warbler
It's a 2-Nation Vacation. This 3-day/2-night tour heads downeast to visit the Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island. Bring your passport, as we'll also spend time on Canada's Campobello Island and in the spruce forests along the Maine coast searching for Spruce Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, and Boreal Chickadees. Songbirds will be in full voice, so expect at least 18 species of warblers, plus a multitude of thrushes, flycatchers, and kinglets. Pelagic species such as shearwaters, storm-petrels, and gannets are likely.

We'll be staying at the Eastland Motel, which is located just ten minutes from Campobello and Quoddy Head State Park, and a mere fifteen minutes from Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and a Maine Coast Heritage Trust site that is one of the most notorious Spruce Grouse spots in the state.

Without question, the highlight of the trip is the Bold Coast Charters tour to the puffin colony on Machias Seal Island. Thousands of Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Common Murres, and Black Guillemots make the island home during nesting season. Historically, this has been a large breeding colony for Common and Arctic Terns, too. When weather conditions permit a landing, as they do much of the time, we'll spend an hour or more in blinds within touching distance of the puffins. 

Roosevelt International Park is just over the border on Campobello. Spruce Grouse and Northern Goshawks inhabit the maritime forest. Seals sit on the rocks just offshore. At the north end of the island, the world's strongest tide surges through Head Harbor Passage. Whales and porpoises sometimes come close to shore to feed on the abundance. Even pelagic bird species can be found here when the winds are right.

The Edmunds Division of Moosehorn Wildlife Refuge is infested with warblers and flycatchers. We seldom miss Boreal Chickadees in this spot, and Gray Jays and Black-backed Woodpeckers are seen sporadically. Several land trusts have preserved unique habitat in the area and we'll sample the best of the best.

Fee is $440 per person double occupancy. $590 single occupancy. $220 deposit required upon booking; balance due at the end of the tour by check or cash. In the event that bad weather cancels the puffin trip, the cost of the boat will be refunded. Tour guide is Bob Duchesne, founder of the Maine Birding Trail and author of the trail guidebook. For more information or to reserve, call Bob at 207-827-3782 or e-mail

Tour is limited to 10 participants to insure proper attention. Package price includes two nights lodging at Eastland Motel, two breakfasts, three lunches, two dinners, the puffin trip, and guided transportation by 15-passenger van. Rooms are simple but comfortable. WIFI service provided. Free long distance phone service in room!

The 3-day tour officially begins in Bangor on June 26th, and ends there around 6pm on June 28th. This midweek tour has been scheduled at a time that allows it to be fit flexibly into the vacation plans of participants. Alternative transportation and meeting places are possible in order for participants to fully enjoy their time in Maine.
Spruce Grouse
East Quoddy Head
Arctic Terns