Birders flocking to Deer Isle, Maine, for Wings, Waves, and Woods birding and art festival


Birders flock to Deer Isle, Maine, for the annual birding and art festival in May. Bob Duchesne, birding guide and founder of the Maine Birding Trail, will lead several walks and offer his Birding by Ear program during the sixth annual Wings, Waves and Woods birding and art festival on Deer Isle, Maine. The festival, slated May 18-20, 2012, blends fine art, fine craft, and great birding in numerous activities, many of which are free. Other highlights include birding by boat and kayak, trip to Isle au Haut, bird photography, and art workshops. For more info, contact Island Heritage Trust. I’ve posted the full schedule below, or you can download PDF of it, here.

Lodging at this time of year tends to be at off-season rates.


1-4 pm—An Afternoon of Drawing NEW! Join Bruce Bulger and Doug Wilson for an informal drawing class. We will work from the diverse forest, field and shoreline environments with black and white media and watercolor. All materials provided; $15 fee. Pre-registration encouraged. Minimum 5 people—beginners welcome. Scott’s Landing, opposite Causeway Beach, Rt 15 N. Deer Isle. Info/registration call Doug 348-6871 or

4:30-7 pm—Registration: Info and registration for Wings, Waves and Woods; packets include schedule, bird lists/resources, maps, coupons, W W & W hat and more. Pearson Legacy Gallery, 13 Dow Rd (off Rt 15), Deer Isle; (Registration all day Saturday – Island Heritage Trust, 420 Sunset Road, Deer Isle.) 348-2455

5-7 pm—Reception Pearson Legacy Gallery: Opening reception for Wings, Waves and Woods exhibit featuring artwork by over 40 artists focusing on birds and habitat, including featured artist, Frederica Marshall. Refreshments. 13 Dow Rd. off Rt 15 Deer Isle; Carolyn Hecker 348-2535

7:30-9 pm—Owls, Peepers and Woodcock: Join Gordon Russell and Jane Rosinski for an evening walk, listening for the distinctive calls of spring peepers, woodcock, owls and other birds that prefer darkness to daylight. Bring flashlights, boots and listening ears. Mariners Park, Morey Farm Rd (off Sunshine Rd, just east of junction of Rt 15), Deer Isle; 348-2455


6:30-8 am—Settlement Quarry Bird Walk: Chip Moseley, Gordon Russell & Jane Rosinski lead a walk at this scenic, historic granite quarry overlooking Webb Cove. Abundant species in mixed woodland habitats and a saltwater marsh. Settlement Quarry Preserve, Oceanville Rd. off Rt 15 Stonington; 348-2455

7-8:30 am—Scott’s Landing Bird Walk: Join Mike Little of IHT at 22- acre Scott’s Landing Preserve, perhaps the “hottest” birding spot on Deer Isle. Brushy habitat, hardwood stands and a tidal shore offer diverse birding. Limited parking – car pooling encouraged. Scott’s Landing, opposite Causeway Beach, Rt 15 N Deer Isle; 348-2455

8-10 am—Nesting Eagles & Their Neighbors: Local eagle enthusiast, Lee Fay, provides spotting scopes to view nesting eagles, along with loons, eiders and shore birds. Causeway Beach, Rt 15 N. Deer Isle; 348-2455

9 am-4 pm—Owl Stool Workshop: NEW! Make your own ergonomic owl stool from one of Geoff Warner’s popular kits; $35 plus cost of kit of your choice. “An aesthetic balance . . . between beautiful form and healthy spinal support.” Call 367-6555 to register.

9-noon—Create Birdbaths & Planters: Work with Debbie Holmes to create a freeze-proof birdbath, planter, sculpture or garden adornment using Hypertufa, an artificial stone. Registration required $35 pp. Pearson Legacy Gallery, 13 Dow Rd, Deer Isle; Carolyn Hecker 348-2535

9:30 am-2:30 pm—Isle au Haut, Pelagics and Puffins: NEW! This trip offers both a land (A) and a sea (B) option: Both take the 45” ride from Stonington to Isle au Haut, then, A. get off with Bob & Sandi Duchesne to bird your way through the migrant fallout on quiet lanes and Acadia National Park trails, OR, B. stay on the boat with naturalist Kathie Fiveash to explore the waters and shores for sea birds and pelagics, including a spin around Seal Island for puffins, Arctic terns, razorbills and others. Return to Stonington by 2:30 pm after a quick stop at Isle au Haut town landing to pick up the other group. $65pp; 367-5193

10-11 am—Introduction to Birding: Mike Little, Director of IHT and avid birdwatcher, offers an intro to binoculars, scopes and guidebooks; also, where and when to find birds, including in the old orchard right outside. Island Heritage Trust, 420 Sunset Rd (Rt 15A), Sunset; 348-2455

1-2 pm—Owls of Birdsacre: The staff of the Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary bring some of their owls to Stonington. An unusual opportunity to see these nocturnal creatures up close; learn about the differences between the diminutive Saw-Whet, the dark-eyed Barred and the powerful Great Horned Owl. Island Community Center, School St, Stonington 348-2455.

2-3:30 pm—Brush Painting Birds: NEW! Master brush painter Frederica Marshall teaches simple watercolor and brush techniques at her gallery- based classroom. Suitable for all ages; materials provided. Call 348-2782 to register.

2-4  pm—Shore Habitat Walk: NEW! Explore a quiet lane leading to beaches and marsh for a variety of birds, including shore birds on receding tide. Park and meet at Sunset Congregational Church on Route 15A at junction of Dunham Point Rd. Beginners welcome. 348-2455

7:15—8:30 pm—Birding By Ear: After a brief species tally for the day (bring your bird lists!), join us for this illustrated lecture by expert, Bob Duchesne. Most birders use sound at least as much as sight to locate and identify birds. Bob’s boundless knowledge and entertaining style will have you crowing for more! Donations welcome. Deer Isle Congregational Church, Rt 15, Deer Isle; 348-2455


6:30-8 am—Mariners Park Bird Walk: Join Bob Duchesne for a shoreline meadow walk, skirting a small marsh. Open, shrubby and wooded habitat filled with warblers and other songbirds. Shorebirds and ducks also possible. Limited parking/carpooling advised. Mariners Memorial Park, Morey Farm Rd (off Sunshine Rd, just east of junction of Rt 15), Deer Isle. 348-2455

7-8:30 am—Scotts Landing Bird Walk: See Saturday listing for info; Gordon Russell and Jane Rosinski guiding.

8-10 am—Nesting Eagles & Their Neighbors: See Saturday listing for info.

9-10:30 am—Nature In Slow Motion: NEW! Join Marnie & Ken Crowell for an introduction to birding on easy terrain, especially geared to seniors; includes binocular tips and discussion of hearing issues. Mariners Memorial Park, Morey Farm Rd (off Sunshine Rd, just east of junction of Rt 15), Deer Isle. 348-2455

9 am-3 pm—Puffins & Pelagics Trip: Cruise to Seal Island with IHT Director, Mike Little, to view the breeding ground of Arctic tern, Atlantic puffin and other pelagics: razorbills, common murres and great cormorants. Reservations required. $65 pp. Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, Oceanville Rd (off Rt 15), Stonington; 367-8977

9 am-12:30 pm—Birding by Kayak: Explore Oceanville’s shores and quiet waterways with Bob & Sandi Duchesne scouting for land and sea birds on this half-day trip. Boats and guides provided. $55 pp (or $45 if you bring your own kayak/gear). Depart from and register at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, Oceanville Rd, Stonington; 367-8977

10-11:30 am—Staging For Bird Photography: Mark Bilak expands on his popular presentation with field demonstrations of how to attract and photograph birds. Bring your camera and questions. Island Heritage Trust, 420 Sunset Rd (Rt 15A), Sunset; 348-2455.

11-noon—Found Object Sculpture: Peter Beerits demonstrates how he makes bird sculptures from “junk” at his studio located at Nervous Nellie’s Jams & Jellies. Using native pine and metal, Beerits captures the essence of birdness in unexpected ways. 598 Sunshine Rd, Deer Isle; 348-6182