One of our readers, Leska F., moved to the West End in 2014, into a Victorian that had seen better days and had a family of brown finches living in the eaves, a few feet away from where she sat with her coffee each morning. She had never had an interest in birds, but began to notice the finches’ behaviors, from flying into the eaves-nest with bits of fluff and twigs for building, to the female’s lowered wings and warbling to signify mating time to her husband. Flash forward three summers, and Leska is taking and showing some of the best northeastern bird photography we’ve seen, in her aunt’s gallery in New Mexico, and she has traveled as far as Belize on birding photography trips.
Not everyone will begin a lifelong hobby or side career after noticing their first few bird behaviors, but for those that want to see if it sparks something, and have an ice cold craft brew or two in the process, hop on board Birds on Tap: Shorebirds and Beer 2017, departing from Freeport Wild Bird Supply (541 Rte 1) at 9 a.m. on Sunday, August 13. The trip costs $65, with tickets available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/birds-on-tapsm-roadtrip-shorebirds-and-beer-2017-tickets-29315387112.
The tour goes through Scarborough Marsh, where passengers will have a chance to spot wild shorebirds like Semipalmated, White-Rumped and Baird’s Sandpipers; American Oystercatchers; Willets; Common, Roseate, and Least Terns; herons, egrets and more. Bring your binoculars to peek in on the surprisingly complex lives of these feathered creatures, whether you’re a first-timer or have had birding in your blood for decades. Then unwind and relax as the bus swings by first Craig Dilger and Bill Boguski’s Foulmouthed Brewing in South Portland, then Lone Pine Brewing, run by Tom Madden and John Paul (the latter an employee of this paper) in Portland, where samples of both breweries’ best are included in the price of your Birds on Tap ticket.
Hey, if a relative of yours has some gallery space, bring your long-range zoom!
Birds on Tap: Shorebirds and Beer 2017 | Sun, August 13, 9 am | Freeport Wild Bird Supply, 541 Rte 1, Freeport | $65