News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Compass, May 8, 2014
Spring migrants arrive on Deer Isle for ninth annual birding festival

Celebrating migratory birds in Deer Isle, Maine

Guides Bob and Sandi Duchesne lead a morning walk at Mariners Park in Deer Isle. This year, Bird Day falls on May 10 and Island Heritage Trust hosts a bird walk at Scott’s Landing to kick off the Wings, Waves and Woods festival in Deer Isle, Maine.

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On May 10, International Migratory Bird Day, prior to the festival weekend, ornithologist Barbara Bochan, will lead a walk at Scott’s Landing from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Having split time between Maine and Ecuador, where she studied bird populations for years, she has extensive first-hand knowledge of migratory birds and their behavior, according to a news release.

This is the perfect lead in to Deer Isle’s ninth annual Wings, Waves and Woods birding and art festival scheduled for May 16-18. The festival is intentionally timed to coincide with the waves of spring migrants reaching Maine shores from wintering grounds to the south. Organized by Island Heritage Trust, this family-friendly three-day event offers dozens of activities—many of them free. Bob and Sandi Duchesne, perennial guides at this festival, will be involved all weekend, birding by land and by sea.

Start the day with an early morning bird walk, then choose from an array of boat trips, art demos/workshops and guided natural history walks. Saturday, the Harbor Café will offer a special Birder’s Supper. Rich MacDonald, co-owner of The Natural History Center in Bar Harbor, will give an illustrated talk on Maine Coast Birds at the Stonington Town Hall at 7 p.m. Ideally-suited for the topic, in addition to leading trips from Acadia to Antarctica, he and his wife Natalie once paddled 1,500 miles in the Gulf of Maine to tally 199 species of birds.

While anyone is welcome to show up for guided bird walks, you must pre-register for boat trips (Saturday’s puffin trip is already full) and art workshops. Contact Marissa at 348-2455 for information, registrations and Birder’s Supper tickets. Check Wings, Waves and Woods on Facebook for last minute updates.