Pemaquid Point is one of many places along the coast where the mainland extends into the Atlantic Ocean. These are places where alcids, pelagic species, and migrant songbirds are regularly spotted. The depiction representing the state of Maine on the U.S. quarter is that of Pemaquid Point, though a comparison with the real thing suggests that artistic license was taken with the design. Pemaquid is a throwback to Maine’s rustic resort heritage. The Pemaquid Hotel is over a century old and gives the honest impression of being a summer destination, not a stopover.
From the lighthouse, Common Eiders and Black Guillemots are usually observable. Common Loons, Red-necked and Horned Grebes, and scoters are regular in winter and a King Eider is rare but possible. Besides the normal gull species, Bonaparte’s and Laughing Gulls may be present and Black-legged Kittiwakes are seen occasionally. Eastern Egg Rock is six miles east, so its breeders may forage close to shore here: Atlantic Puffins and Common, Arctic, and Roseate Terns. Razorbills, and Common and Thick-billed Murres are uncommon sightings. Great, Sooty, and Manx Shearwaters sometimes approach land from June through September.
In migration season, this is a coastal site to observe Northern Gannets. Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers are seen annually. Check both the fields and the surrounding trees for unusual migrants, especially in fall. Nocturnal migrants “fall out” on Pemaquid with some frequency. Using best birding etiquette, poke around the trees and lawns of the Pemaquid Hotel complex for migrants. Opposite the hotel, drive or walk the small loop road that wraps around the west side of the peninsula. The trees of the loop road are especially good for migrant warblers and finches. Common Ravens thrive in this area. Crossbills have nested here.
Directions: From Route 1, there are two roads that lead to Pemaquid Point. From the south, the more direct choice is Route 129 from Damariscotta, bearing right onto Route 130 through Bristol, on through New Harbor and Pemaquid. From this direction, it is just shy of 12 miles to Pemaquid from Route 1A. From the North, take Route 32 south from Waldoboro. At the end of 19.7 miles, it will intersect with Route 130 in New Harbor and the total distance to Pemaquid will be 22.6 miles.
GPS: 43.834875, -69.513974