Summer Shorebirds Workshop – $175
August 10, 2023
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 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.
Summer Shorebirds Workshop Description
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.
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, a warm fleece or soft shell, and a down jacket for cool mornings. We also recommend
- insect repellant
- waterproof outerwear
Should I be concerned about ticks?
- Yes. All outdoor activities in New England carry the risk of picking up these nasty hitchhikers. Please use bug repellent that you can apply to your skin, or even better, permethrin, which you apply to clothes you plan on wearing in the field. Also, give yourself an extensive review when you get home at night to check for ticks.
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)
- Waterproof footwear or shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or muddy
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.
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