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!
This trip will visit Sabattus Pond at the peak of waterfowl numbers and diversity. A combination of the shallow water, sheltered coves, and an invasive snail combine to make this one of the best locales for duck-watching in all of southern Maine. Hundreds of Ruddy Ducks, Lesser and Greater Scaup, Mallards, and Common Mergansers are often present at this season, with smaller numbers of all sorts of species, including American Black Ducks, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Mergansers, and much more. It’s also the time of year that rarities show up, with recent highlights including Redhead, Canvasback, and even a Tufted Duck a few years ago. American Coots are abundant in some years, and Bald Eagles are regularly seen.
After about 3 hours of birding here, visiting 3-4 viewing spots, we’ll head into Lewiston to visit the Baxter Brewing Company, located in a restored historic mill. Baxter made a quick impression on the landscape of Lewiston, a city with space for a sizeable operation like this one. The company came out swinging, becoming one of the largest breweries in the state within its first couple of years. It was also the first brewery in Maine to put all of its beer into aluminum containers: no glass bottles, just cans and kegs. The employees are encouraged to get creative with the pilot system, which means the tasting room stays well stocked with experimental small batches.
If time permits, we’ll take a break and look for more ducks, Peregrine Falcon, and perhaps an early Iceland Gull at the Auburn Riverwalk. We’ll then head back south, arriving at Maine Beer Company here in Freeport. Originally located in Portland, Maine Beer Company used its quick success to expand to a much larger location in Freeport that has become a popular destination for beer aficionados from around the country. The company has made a serious name for itself as a producer of coveted hop-heavy ales, including Lunch IPA and its spiritual successor Dinner Double IPA.
To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 2016 trip report:
And the tour report from our 2015 outing:
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. A warm layer is highly recommended, as the shore of inland lakes can be quite chilly at this time of year.
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:
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport.
(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 3:10 (Freeport) and 3:30 (Portland).
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: