Freeport Wild Bird Supply and The Maine Brew Bus are excited to collaborate on ten great outings for 2017 in our popular and growing “Birds on Tap - Roadtrip! series. The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures that you have come to love combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. These tours are a perfect introduction to birding and/or craft beer, and a great opportunity to travel with significant others, friends, and family that have interest in one topic, while your interest is primarily in the other (for now!). Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!
There’s no true “beginning” or “end” to migration as something is always on the move. Shorebirds are a perfect example: as the last immature and non-breeding shorebirds are moseying their way northward in late June, the first southbound “fall” migrants are already arriving! This tour is designed to capture the ebb and flow of the season, including shorebirds that may be “oversummering” here, breeding locally (including Piping Plover and Willet), or already returning from the Arctic.
We’ll start at Hill’s Beach, where shorebirds that are both coming and going can often be found. We’ll also look through the masses of Common Terns for the Federally Endangered Roseate Terns that often come here to feed. Glowing white, with slim bodies and longer tails than the common Commons, you’ll learn how to pick these stunning - and rare - birds out of the flock. Piping Plovers usually breed here, and we’ll look for them too, while keeping an eye out for any other shorebirds.
Our next stop will depend on the tides, but will focus on seeing more shorebirds, likely via Biddeford Pool Beach or the mudflats of “the Pool” itself.
After about 3 hours of birding, we will be transported to two of our great local breweries to sample their offerings and learn their styles.
Our first stop will be Barrelled Souls in Saco. By now you’ve surely heard of beers aging in oak barrels to acquire unique flavors. Well, this may be the only brewery in the country fermenting 100% of its beer in oak barrels. The basement-level brewery is making a huge variety of unusual styles in wooden fermenters, even adding in produce and botanicals grown in the gardens just outside the front door when possible. The attractive tasting room has a shuffleboard table and chairs made of oak barrels, as well as a distinct speakeasy vibe.
Our second stop is Fore River Brewing Company. They opened in South Portland in early 2016, and they are already the oldest of three breweries in the city. John and TJ - two friends and avid homebrewers - teamed up with Alex the property owner (who had just sold his landscaping business) to open the brewery. They worked for months to hand craft and perfect their beers and the beautiful tasting room, which has both classic and modern barn elements in the design. Look for an outside beer garden at this spot just across the river from Portland.
The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus will supply a light snack (a delicious vegetarian hand-pie) and water. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. Sunscreen, a light jacket in case the wind turns onshore, and sturdy comfortable walking shoes are also recommended.
We'll be doing all of the driving, so you can relax. And to make it even easier, we have two pick-up times and locations:
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport.
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.
(Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time at either location, and please let us know where you will be meeting us)
We'll return to these locations to drop you off at 3:40pm (Portland) and 4:00pm (Freeport).
This tour is limited to 13 participants, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won't want to miss!
For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at: