Pilgrim's Inn

Evergreen trees in a forest, with a hilly, lush green moss forest floor, and a hint of sunshine

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Birding in Downeast Maine Starts at Pilgrim’s Inn on Deer Isle!

Scott and I are very lucky. Our year round perch at the top of The Barn has a huge picture window that looks out over the back yard and the Mill Pond. As a result, we have become amateur bird watchers and the binoculars are parked on the window sill permanently. Bald Eagles are a regular occurrence, but the last few days they have been VERY active and we are happy to watch them. I need to be quicker, so I can capture them on video and post them here! Our logo was inspired by the life we see out on Mill Pond. The mergansers and buffleheads are a source of non-stop entertainment for us.

Deer Isle, and all of Downeast Maine, is a great place to see lots of different birds. Whether you are new at birdwatching or could guide a tour yourself, Pilgrim’s Inn guests are always surprised to see what they can find here. Right in our own back yard, guests have documented a long list of birds and wildlife. Take a look at our blog for some insight about what we have right here. Then book your stay and enjoy all Pilgrim’s Inn has to offer by way of fresh air, open space, nature and relaxation.

Right around opening day in May at Pilgrim’s Inn, Island Heritage Trust kicks off the season with the Wings Waves Woods Festival! This popular yet not too big event offers a great opportunity for both novice and experienced birders. Enjoy guided strolls along the Deer Isle shores and woods in search of a variety of birds. Boat trips provide opportunities to see cormorants, Atlantic puffins, purple sandpipers, black guillemots, and many more! The weekend features more than just birding adventures, too. There are also a variety of other events scattered throughout the festival. These include an opening art reception featuring birds in their natural areas, expert-led bird walks, photography workshops, and more. We have enjoyed participating in WWW for several years, as a mid-morning coffee stop for early risers, before heading on to the next event. Check their schedule, as things may be streamlined this year due to COVID, but either way, it’s a hoot! See how I did that?

Check into some exciting boat trips throughout the summer with The Mail Boat. This Stonington company offers Sunset Cruises, Puffin Trips, Harbor Cruises and more, all in addition to their daily ferrying of passengers between Deer Isle and Isle Au Haut. Their schedule is available on their website. Check out our blog for some more info.

In June, The Acadia Birding Festival features a Pelagic Seabird Boat Trip, in addition to numerous other ala carte event options. The event takes place in Bar Harbor, at Acadia National Park and the surrounding area, which is about a 90 minute drive from Pilgrim’s Inn. This is a great way to spend some time on MDI, then spend some time on Deer Isle.

If photographing birds is your thing, which I find to be a challenging task, then capture some amazing photos and enter them in the DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism Photography Contest. Started in 2020, this contest proved a success with tons of entries of both photos and videos. Info on the contest should be posted in the lat espring, and entries can be made until late in the year.

We hope to see you soon at Pilgrim’s Inn!

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