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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

The Maine Coast in Fall

Monhegan Island

Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Monhegan Island, Maine. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING THE UNITED STATES: Non-United States citizens will need a valid passport and may need a tourist visa. Consult your nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate for details. Canadian citizens should carry proof of citizenship in the form of a passport or birth certificate.

HEALTH: Birdwatching in Maine poses no major health hazards and insects are not an issue this late in the year. The ferry to and from Monhegan passes through open water and can be rough. Bring anti motion sickness medication if you are susceptible…or are worried that you might be.

While on Monhegan we walk everywhere and while the roads and most trails are good, some are rocky, rooted, and irregular. Sturdy, supportive footwear is important. Note: There are no doctors, drugstores, or other medical services available on Monhegan Island.

Finally, we urge everyone to follow our clothing suggestions. Inadequate gear produces more discomfort than all other causes combined.

PACE OF THE TOUR: There is no vehicular transportation on the island, so we’ll be on foot all day. Most of our walks will be on dirt roads with low or moderate grades, but trails can include narrow woodland paths with roots and rocks, as well as sandy or rocky beaches and the occasional short, rocky incline. All walks are considered “optional” and folks are encouraged to go at their own pace and skip an outing or two to relax, visit an art gallery or the museum, etc. On the busiest migration days, we’ll spend a lot of time on the move, although much of that time will be spent standing still, focusing on the most fruitful patches.     

We’ll start early with pre-breakfast walks most days on Monhegan, returning to the Inn for breakfast and then have longer walks in the morning and afternoon broken by a very informal sit-down or porch picnic lunch. However, we’ll usually have afternoon down-time - schedule and birds permitting.

CLIMATE: Temperatures could range anywhere from the upper 40’s to the low 80’s, but generally daytime highs are usually in the 60s (cooler at night), with rain or fog always a possibility. Layered clothing and proper rain gear are essential to accommodate a variety of weather conditions, especially when offshore. 

ACCOMMODATIONS: We will be staying in a comfortable, standard motels in Portland and Bar Harbor and at the rustic but extremely comfortable Island Inn on Monhegan. Note that on Monhegan we may use the Island Inn’s nearby Pierce Cottage, which does not have water views but does have heat (lacking in the Island Inn), sometimes an advantage in mid-fall. If you would prefer an ocean view, with no heat in the Island Inn, please let us know and we’ll inquire. NOTE: There Are No Elevators In Either Facility. Luggage will be delivered to your rooms but you may need to walk up two – three flights of stairs to reach your room. The guest rooms in both The Island Inn and Pierce Cottage do not have phones; the main Inn does have a house phone which you may use with a calling card. (There is a WIFI connection in the lobby of the main building of the Island Inn.) Both The Island Inn and Pierce Cottage are NON-Smoking facilities.

DRESS: Informal throughout.

TRANSPORTATION: We will be traveling by 15- (or 12) passenger window van or minivan, depending on the group size. When using 15-passenger window vans, we take a maximum of seven passengers plus the leader. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles and are expected to change seats with others daily.

SMOKING: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, we ask that you do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. Both the Island Inn and Pierce Cottage are non-smoking facilities. The state of Maine prohibits smoking in public places. Smoking is also prohibited on the ferry, at the Island Inn, at Pierce Cottage, and in all of Monhegan’s wild lands.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF WINGS TOURS: Please take a moment to read the About WINGS Tours. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A more complete General Information for Tours to Monhegan will be sent to each registrant on receipt of their booking. Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be mailed about three weeks before trip departure. Other news will be communicated as necessary. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Updated: 24 October 2016