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Shorebirds Cruises

Purple Sandpipers

  Our shorebird cruises are tide-based, 3 hours before high tide thru 3 hours after high tide.  Anyone can walk the beach and see the Piping Plovers, from a distance.  In fact we are happy to nose the boat up to the beach for you to see the piping plovers without disturbing them.  The local ferry lines do not offer that option.  You need to get offshore at high tide to see 1000's of shorebirds up close, 15-20 feet away, on the roosts.  We see Sander-lings, Semi Palmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, Spotted Sandpipers, both Yellow Legs, Ruddy Turnstones, Piping Plovers, Semi Palmated Plovers, Black Bellied Plovers, and more. On good weather days and time permitting we will take 'the good-cut' detour for pelagic seabirds, Manx Shearwaters, Wilson Petrels, Terns, perhaps even a Newspaper Syndicate of Northern Gannet will show.  This trip is best late July thru late October.


  Maine Seaduck Guide Service is also offering winter Purple Sandpiper cruises.  Maine is part of the winter range for these hardy shorebirds. Patrick has worked extensively with shorebird biologists locating their offshore roosts.  Purple Sandpipers begin showing up in November and stay through April.  This trip is fantastic for birders wanting to add Purples to their list. Patrick will get you close, 15-20 feet, so you can get the pictures you want.  We will anchor the boat and you can glass for 4 hours, the rest of the 6 hour charter is spent cruising.


 This year 2012-2013 one of our known purple flocks is in excess of 1200 individuals; we have also been seeing razorbills, dovekies and puffins regularly nearshore! Patrick is also in the process of gathering materials for purple sandpiper decoys for the 2013-2014 season.  This will help keep the birds calm as we sit quietly glassing them.

Banded Purple Sandpiper
Right leg Green Flag over Red Band means Maine USA, Green Left leg means Casco Bay

These trips are out of a Bankes Goliath duck hunting skiff. The boat is 21' long, and there are no facilities on board. What goes in must come out! We believe in frank talk, that said we are hunters. But like you we are also birders year round. Many birders dislike hunting for personal reasons. We believe our love of birds, makes us uniquely qualified to lead your group to an up close and personal shorebird experience. If our common love of birds is not something that links us then please call one of the larger boats offering shorebird roost charters.


  Rates are $325 per person per day for parties of more than one; single birders are $450 per day.  Longer days are available by prior arrangement.

Blood sampling
This tells bios where birds where born
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Semipalmated Plovers

Thanks for looking!

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