Caught in Monhegan's Trap


Caught in Monhegan's Trap

September 15 to 20, 2018      

Get ready to leave the noise and bustle of everyday life behind as we venture to this picturesque and serene island off the coast of Maine! Its remote location 12 miles offshore and diverse habitats help to make Monhegan one of the top migrant “traps” on the East Coast. Our time will be filled observing some of the incredible array of birds that reside on or visit this island, such as flycatchers, thrushes, vireos, warblers (over 20 species possible), sparrows, finches, and blackbirds. We will scan the ocean waves for waterfowl, alcids, shearwaters, jaegers, and other seabirds, while raptors pass by in their search for prey on the island. The list of possibilities reads like a checklist, and we’ll search for species such as Northern Gannet, Great Cormorant, Black Guillemot, Manx Shearwater, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Black-legged Kittiwake, Parasitic Jaeger, Red-necked Phalarope, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Philadelphia Vireo, Connecticut Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Clay-colored Sparrow, and many more!!  Regularly sighted vagrants include Western Kingbird, White-eyed Vireo, Dickcissel, Lark Sparrow, Orchard Oriole, Blue Grosbeak, and more. Monhegan has also hosted a stunning list of rarities, topped by the likes of Magnificent Frigatebird, Bridled Tern, Swallow-tailed Kite, Say’s Phoebe, White-winged Dove, Northern Wheatear, Lazuli Bunting, and Lark Bunting! We will be leaving our vehicles on the mainland and soaking it all in while covering some of the many trails on this small and peaceful island (only 1.7 miles long and .5 miles wide), which includes a fresh water ice pond, nine acre meadow, and the tallest cliffs on the eastern seaboard (180’). Wonderful birding, breathtaking scenery, and an enchanting atmosphere - Monhegan has it all!

The tour starts/ends in Port Clyde, Maine. Besides the spectacular birding, coastal Maine has a natural beauty beyond compare. Monhegan itself has a quaint fishing village and artist’s retreat, with several shops and galleries; it is a favorite tourist day-trip destination in the summer. Maine is also famous for its historical lighthouses, one of which is located right on the island. This tour will truly be a memorable coastal experience! 


This tour has been given an activity level of Moderate. It is considered a more active tour with daily intermediate to long-distance walking, usually on flat, smooth terrain. It also involves a water crossing over open ocean, with the possibility of rough seas. Those with physical limitations should take these factors into consideration, or contact the tour leader for details.

Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, accommodations, lists of things to bring, a reading list, further information about weather, dress, and so forth, will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

TOUR SIZE: This tour is limited to 10 participants.

PACE, WEATHER, AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS: The focus of the tour will be birds and scenery, but we will have time for other wildlife, botany, and photography. There is no ground transportation, as we will be walking throughout the tour. All accommodations are at a single inn. Expect a warm to cool climate, depending on current weather systems, with daily high temperatures usually in the 60s and lows in the mid to upper 40s. The pace is relaxed, with some hikes of one-two miles on easy to moderate terrain (some woodland trails with exposed roots and uneven ground).

DATES: Saturday, September 15 to Thursday, September 20

PRICE: $1795 based on double occupancy; $580 single supplement (payable if you request single occupancy or if we can not find you a suitable roommate). A deposit of $500 will hold your place until July 15, 2018 when full payment becomes due.

PRICE INCLUDES: Professional guide services are included for the duration of the tour.  This tour also includes five nights of seaside accommodations at a charming inn. Each room has a private bath. All rooms are furnished with one queen or king bed. Smoking is not permitted inside the building. Dinner at two of the fine local restaurants is provided (Saturday and Wednesday), as well as a buffet breakfast each morning. All other meals are the responsibility of the individual tour participants. The cost of the ferry crossing is included. 

NOT INCLUDED: Transportation to/from Port Clyde is not included.  For those flying into Portland, there are several options to travel to Port Clyde.  For those driving to Port Clyde, safe parking is available at the dock for $7/day.  Price does not include alcoholic beverages, laundry, and items of a personal nature.


NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: (609) 400-3852
Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon


by email to travel@njaudubon.org


Brett Ewald: Brett is the Program Director of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory, facilitating the appreciation and understanding of birds and nature through their full schedule of walks, workshops, presentations, and research.  He has been enthralled with birds for over 35 years, specializing in migration and distribution patterns, including as Director of the Hamlin Beach Lakewatch for Braddock Bay Raptor Research in New York.  These endeavors have taken him from the mountains of New Mexico to the beaches of New Jersey -- including a stint (no pun intended) as the Cape May hawkwatch counter in 1990.  

For sixteen years, Brett was the owner and guide for Lakeshore Nature Tours, focusing on the birdlife of North America at the premier destinations, from the Arctic Ocean in Alaska to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.  Brett currently resides in Cape May and shares his favorite moments with his wife, Sheryl, and their energetic companion, Neah Bay, a Treeing Walker Coonhound.  Brett looks forward to putting his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to work for you.

~~ Photos courtesy Brett Ewald

For tour itineraries, to register, or for more information contact:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel at: (609)-400-3852
c/o NJ Audubon Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
or email