Shorebird Workshop: August 12, 2020, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
INSTRUCTOR: DEREK LOVITCH
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 on avian research and education projects in nine states from New Jersey to Hawaii and from Florida to Michigan. He also spent three summers as a tour guide on Alaska’s Pribilof Islands; he served as tour director in 2003 and organized and conducted the first comprehensive Fall Avian Survey in the island’s history. Derek and his wife, Jeannette, have settled down in Pownal, 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 9 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 5 p.m., with an hour break for lunch (not included), likely at a place with multiple nearby options.
UPDATED: Our first Down East Adventure this year is May 17. While we have not yet canceled any trips, we will continue to evaluate trip cancellations as state and CDC guidance is updated over the coming weeks. We will notify all participants immediately if we decide to cancel a trip.
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. However, if, due to state and/or federal COVID-19 policies, a lockdown is still in effect, we will refund 100% or offer credit on future trip.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What about transportation?
Participants are responsible for their own transportation.
What should I wear?
The most recommended piece of gear is a pair of sturdy waterproof footwear, with mud likely during outings. We will also be walking on sand. We also like to layer, which usually means a base layer of synthetic, fast-wicking material, and a warm fleece or soft shell. Other suggested items are found below.
– Insect Repellant
– Waterproof Outerwear
What happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate?
Trips will indeed be rain or shine.
What equipment do you recommend I bring?
– Camera (if you would like)
– Bring a spotting scope, if you have one
– Waterproof footwear or shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or muddy