Located on top of Bald Head just south of Ogunquit, the Cliff House offers sweeping ocean views that make for wonderful sea birding, especially from November through March. Though private property, the owner welcomes birders.
Notice January 2021
Birders do not need to call before visiting the Cliff House. The management asks birders to follow this guidance:
- Please wear a mask at all times when on property and maintain social distancing.
- Birders should use the lower paved parking lot.
- Please stay on the paths that go around the sea side of the buildings, there are paths out near the entrance on the south side of the road as well.
- Please do not enter any of the buildings. The restrooms are not open for your use at this time.
- In winter, the steps in front of the buildings are sometimes blocked due to ice. Do not cross the rope. You will need to walk around the building to get to the other side.
- The resort will be closed from 2pm on Monday through 12pm on Thursday until the end of May 2021, so birders may visit from Thursday 12pm to Monday at 2pm.
What to Expect
Regular winter sightings include Common and Red-throated Loon, Horned and Red-necked Grebe, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Black Guillemot, Red-breasted Merganser, and all three species of scoter. It is one of the most reliable sites in southern Maine for finding Harlequin Duck, King Eider, and alcids including Razorbill, Thick-billed Murre, and Dovekie. Northern Gannet sometimes approach close to shore and Purple Sandpiper can be seen along the rocks. On rare occasion Pacific Loon may also been encountered here.
Situated high over the water, the Cliff House is exposed to the full force of the wind so dress warmly. Good footwear is also advised as ice often accumulates where birders gather. A spotting scope helps to take full advantage of the long views afforded by the site. And please remember birding etiquette so that birders will continue to be welcomed.
From the north, at the intersection of Route 1 and Shore Road in Ogunquit, drive 2.5 mile south on Shore Road. Turn left into the Cliff House.
From the south, at the intersection of Route 1 and 1A in Cape Neddick, follow Route 1A south for .9 miles. Turn left onto Shore Road and continue for 2.9 miles. Turn right into the entrance of the Cliff House.