Summer Shorebirds Workshop
Scarborough to Biddeford, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
|Derek Lovitch has made a career out of his lifelong passion for birds. After graduating with a degree in environmental policy from Rutgers University, he worked in avian research and education projects in nine states, from New Jersey to Hawaii, Florida to Michigan. He also spent three summers as a tour guide on Alaska’s Pribilof Islands, serving as tour director in 2003 and conducting the first comprehensive Fall Avian Survey in the islands’ history.
Derek and his wife, Jeannette, live in Durham, where they own and operate Freeport Wild Bird Supply, a retail store that caters to birders of all levels. The store serves as a vehicle for Derek to continue sharing his enthusiasm for birding, birds, and bird conservation.
With more than 35 species of shorebirds (a diverse group including plovers and sandpipers) regularly appearing in Maine, this workshop is designed to appreciate the diversity and beauty of this fascinating family.
We will hit some of the marshes, beaches, and rocky roosts that shorebirds prefer at the peak of their migration. The ebbs and flows of the season, daily and recent weather, and other factors could produce more than 20 species of shorebirds in our time together. Our focus will be in comparative experience, learning how to recognize each species both near and far. Starting with the basics, such as plover vs. sandpiper, we’ll work our way up to the identification quandaries such as the “peeps” and the yellowlegs. We will provide you with a “toolkit” to approach shorebird identification on your own, using a combination of habitat, shape, size, structure, behavior, and plumage to identify this wonderfully diverse and attractive group of birds. Migration, conservation, and natural history will also be discussed.
We’ll meet at the public Park & Ride lot between Famous Dave’s BBQ and Cabela’s, off Payne Road at exit 42 of the Maine Turnpike, at 8 a.m. (please arrive 15 minutes early so we can depart on time) to carpool to the day’s birding destinations, based on tides, weather, and especially the birds themselves! We’ll return by 4 p.m., with an hour break for lunch (not included), likely at a place with multiple nearby options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What about transportation?
Participants are responsible for their own transportation, and carpooling from our first site will be highly encouraged.
What should I wear?
The most recommended piece of gear is a pair of sturdy waterproof footwear, with mud likely during outings. We also like to layer, which usually means a base layer of synthetic, fast-wicking material, and warm fleece or soft shell. Most sites we are likely to visit will not have shade, so light, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat are useful on warmer days. Other suggested items are found below.
- Insect repellant
- Waterproof outerwear
What equipment do you recommend I bring?
- Binoculars and spotting scope if you have one
- Waterproof footwear or shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or muddy
What happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate?
The trip will only be canceled if road conditions are unsafe or expected to become unsafe before the conclusion of the tour.
The payment is 50% refundable in the event you have to cancel, as long as the cancellation is made 21 days before the trip. After that time, your payment is non-refundable. Alternately, 100% of your payment will be refunded if a replacement can be found prior to the trip.
Please refer to the CDC website< for the latest guidance on COVID-19 and travel.