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Great Shearwater. Photo Dan Berard.CAPE COD

September 7 - 9, 2018

Shorebirds, seabirds, cetaceans,
migrating passerines and more!

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Beautiful Cape Cod is one of the premiere birding destinations not just for Massachusetts but for the United States! This special weekend tour is set during the perfect time of year, after the summer crowds have left, and during the height of fall shorebird, seabird and passerine migration.  

Photo: Great Shearwater by Dan Berard. 

Marbled Godwit by Gina Nichol.In September, the Cape's offshore waters feed thousands of seabirds and cetaceans, and the Cape itself is a key stop over point for shorebirds, terns, herons, gulls and many other coastal birds. The marshes, coastal inlets, beaches and harbors host thousands of shorebirds passing through each fall, including many sought after species such as Whimbrel, Marbled Godwit, Hudsonian Godwit, and Red Knot. Our tour will visit several sites around the mid-outer Cape in search of these species and other shorebirds. And during this trip, you’ll learn how to identify these often intimidating species by using features beyond field marks.


Marbled or Hudsonian Godwit? 
Learn to ID shorebirds during this special weekend!


Blackburnian Warbler by Dan Berard.

Cape Cod is reknowned for shorebirds but the varied habitat also allows for some excellent land birding as well and we may experience large movements of fall warblers and other migrants as we explore thickets, marshes, and other habitats unique to the Cape.


Can you identify this confusing fall warbler?
Learn how during this special weekend.


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Shearwaters by Dan Berard.The waters off Cape Cod are incredibly productive. In the late summer, large numbers of shearwaters congregate off the coast to feed in the nutrient rich water. In 2017, the shearwater show made national birding news!

To take full advantage of this, we’ll board a whale watch boat to visit Stellwagen Bank. Depending on the year's show, we may be afforded great looks at cetaceans including Humpback, Minke and Fin Whales among others. While out looking at whales, dolphins and seals, we’ll take the opportunity to look for pelagic bird species, as they pass close to the tip of Cape Cod. Here birds that usually range way out to sea can often be found close to shore including four different species of shearwater, a jaeger or two, phalaropes, and at this time, we have a chance at Sabine’s Gull.

Fin Whale by Dan Berard.

As we explore these areas, we’ll also look for butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, and discuss the important habitats we visit.

Cape Cod beautyThis is the perfect weekend trip for anyone looking to advance their shorebird identification skills, figure out how to identify shearwaters, learn how to make sense of fall warblers and are interested in the fascinating natural history of beautiful Cape Cod!  Join Dan Berard for a fun filled weekend!

Semipalmated Sandpiper by Dan Berard.


Semipalmated Sandpipers by Gina Nichol.


Gray Seal by Gina Nichol.



Day 1 - Friday, September 7, 2018, Arrival and start of tour
Make your way to the mid-Cape today and plan to meet for dinner and to kick off the tour at 7pm at the Four Points by Sheraton, Eastham.


Day 2 - Saturday, September 8, 2018

At 7am, we will leave the Four Points and drive to our first birding location for the day, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Please remember that 7am is the time we will leave the lot, if you’d like to have breakfast please do so beforehand.

With the diversity of unique habitats and species that breed and migrate through Wellfleet Bay as well as an excellent trail system, the WBWS is a must go-to first stop. The habitats and trails also allow for a fantastic chance to closely study several species of shorebirds up close at Goose Pond and on the beach and edge of the salt marsh. This sanctuary is also home to other animals including a variety of butterflies, snakes, mammals, turtles, dragonflies, as well as many species of unique trees and plants. Being here early will give us our best chance at prolonged viewing of birds and other animals as we will hopefully be the first ones on the trails.

Due to the potential diversity of birds and other species here and the ability to closely study them, we may be here for most of or all of the morning. Other locations we may visit this morning include Coast Guard Beach, North Eastham Brush Dump and Marconi Station ocean overlook. Each of those locations offers a completely different group of birds for us to look for ranging from landbirds at the brush dump to sea birds from the historic Marconi overlook.

Saturday ~ 1pm - 3pm

This is your free time! You can grab lunch, swim in the pool (after waiting 30mins after lunch), do some shopping, take a nap, or do some more birding!


Saturday evening

At 3pm we will reconvene at the parking lot of the Four Points in Eastham and drive to any of the morning locations we did not bird yet. After birding one of the previously mentioned locations, we will drive to Fort Hill in Eastham. From Fort Hill, we will scan Nauset Marsh for herons, shorebirds, terns and enjoy the breathtaking view. Time permitting, we will walk the trails around the field/meadow (a unique habitat for this part of the Cape) looking for migrant passerines that are drawn to this habitat.

Before sunset, we will take a short drive to Hemenway Landing to watch the diurnal herons fly out of the marsh to roost for the night and see the nocturnal herons fly in to the marsh to feed for the night. We may also be treated to several flocks of shorebirds doing this as well and keep an eye and ear out for one of the several Great Horned Owls that feed in the marsh.  When it becomes too dark to bird we will break for a late dinner. Sunset around 7pm.


Day 3 - Sunday, September 9, 2018

At 7 am, we will leave the parking lot at the Four Points and drive north to the tip of the Cape! Our first scheduled stop will be High Head in Truro. At High Head we will bird the marsh in search of rails and shorebirds and then move to the thickets to look for migrant passerines.

From High Head, we will move further north to Provincetown where we will board a Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch boat! This will give us an excellent opportunity to study shearwaters, gannets, terns, and any other ocean birds taking advantage of the nutrient rich waters off Cape Cod. Of course, we will also be looking for whales! Leaving from Provincetown, we will have more time out on the water which means we’ll have more time to view birds and whales.

After the whale watch, we’ll have our picnic at Beech Forest followed by birding the trails. At this time, we’ll do our final trip compilation and vote on our favorite species or experience from the trip! From here, we will drive back to the Four Points in Eastham where you can pick up your vehicle if you’re heading off Cape Cod and decide if you’d like to join the leader in stopping at a location or two as we drive off Cape for some more birding.

*Note: Our itinerary may change based on weather and bird activity. Locations listed are possible locations and we may not be able to visit all listed locations. As with any birding trip, the birds will be the deciding factor on which locations we visit and how long we stay there.

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Hudsonian Godwit. Photo by Gina Nichol.CAPE COD

September 7 - 9 , 2018
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TOUR PRICE: $795.00 per person/double occupancy from Eastham, MA based on minimum of 8 persons. Single supplement is an additional $295.00 per person.

For those not needing accommodation, the cost is $500 per person and no single supplement.  Birders are welcome to stay elsewhere if they have other arrangements and are able to meet us at the hotel for departure times. In order for us to see as many places as possible (and actually fit cars there), having just the one vehicle is really important. 

INCLUDED: 2 nights accommodation in Cape Cod (except those taking the no accommodation option), transportation during the tour, entrance fees to birding areas, and the welcome dinner.

NOT INCLUDED: Meals (other than described above), alcohol, drinks, tips, items of a personal nature.

TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE:  Contact to reserve your space. Then follow up within two weeks with a completed REGISTRATION FORM> and full payment to Sunrise Birding LLC to secure your space.  Full payment is due at registration.   Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees).  Please inquire with about credit card payments via PayPal.


Cancellations and Refunds: All cancellations must be made in writing. In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur. There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.


Insurance: Sunrise Birding, LLC recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 07-0025.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. 11.17 E7N

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at 
Phone: 203.453.6724

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