Autumn Grand Manan: Sep 02—08, 2019

Birds and Whales

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Price: To Be Announced.
Departs: Bangor
Tour Limit: 12
Operations Manager: Greg Lopez
Download Itinerary: PDF (987.2 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Barry Zimmer

Barry Zimmer has been birding since the age of eight. His main areas of expertise lie in Nor...


Brennan Mulrooney

Brennan Mulrooney was born and raised in San Diego, California. Growing up, his heart and mi...

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Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Great Shearwater

Great Shearwater— Photo: Barry Zimmer

Incredible seabird spectacles, marine mammals, and a picturesque New Brunswick island. Also good for landbird migrants and shorebirds.

Located in the Bay of Fundy (off the coasts of Maine and New Brunswick), the picturesque island of Grand Manan makes an ideal base for experiencing the phenomenon of fall migration on the northeast coast.

This area stands out from other migration hot spots because of the ready availability of exciting pelagic birding. Fundy’s famous tides wash through submarine canyons, promoting cold-water upwellings and consistently producing some of the best seabirding and whale-watching in North America.

VIDEO: Fin Whales, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Autumn Grand Manan 2014, by Barry Zimmer

We had an amazing experience with 12 Fin Whales on our 2014 Autumn Grand Manan tour for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The pod was in pursuit of herring and oblivious to us as they surrounded our boat, some within 20 feet! Unfortunately, I was so busy soaking up the show that I forgot to take video until they had moved some distance away. Here is a clip of what I did get:

We will have a full day at sea with excellent chances of finding Manx (uncommon), Great, and Sooty shearwaters; Wilson’s and Leach’s storm-petrels; Atlantic Puffin; Razorbill; Black-legged Kittiwake; Northern Gannet; jaegers; phalaropes; and other surprises. Although both are rare, we have had increasing success in locating skuas in recent years, with both South Polar and Great at least possible. Some years, though, the show is stolen by the impressive North Atlantic Right Whale, the rarest whale in the world. We have about a 60% success rate in finding this highly endangered mammal. Finback and Humpback whales are also likely.

We’ll check the forests and hedgerows of Grand Manan for a good variety of migrant songbirds (more than 20 species of warblers are possible), and scan the rocky shoreline for Great Cormorant, Common Eider, and Black Guillemot. A special effort will be made to locate Nelson’s Sparrows at Castalia Marsh. Even the sporadic White-winged Crossbill and the elusive Boreal Chickadee are possibilities.

Good accommodations and food; easy terrain; minimal walking; one boat trip plus two ferry rides; generally cool to mild climate.