Welcome to Quoddy Link's Bird Blog! A place to report the many bird species sighted while aboard the Quoddy Link. Sightings are recorded by the skilled interpreters aboard the Quoddy link's whale watching catamaran that frequents the areas around Campobello Island, Deer Island and Grand Manan. For more information about our company, or to make a reservation on one of our trips please visit our main site at www.quoddylinkmarine.com. If you have any comments our questions, or would like to add your own sighting please respond by adding a comment in the comments section below each post or email nickjameshawkins@gmail.com. Thanks and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Aug. 15th - 22nd

Red-necked phalaropes
2 Least Sandpipers
5 Semipalmated sandpipers
Great cormorant
Sooty shearwater
Great shearwater
Common murre
Black guillemot
Northern Gannet
Common eider
Great blue heron
Bald eagle
Arctic tern
Bonaparte’s gull
Black legged kittiwake

Feeding groups of shearwaters, alcids, and gulls remain active off of Black’s harbor, particularly during the flood tide when they form large mixed species flocks and feed amongst fin whales, porpoises, and seals.. Within these groups are the occasional PARASITIC JAEGER and POMARINE JAEGER, it is incredible to watch their aerial maneuvers as they harass the feeding birds. Small numbers of northern gannet can also be seen plunge diving into the schools of fish. Flocks of RED-NECKED PHALAROPES are commonly seen amongst floating rockweed and other debris, although fewer have been spotted in recent days. These flocks usually number somewhere from 5 to 20 birds. ATLANTIC PUFFINS remain abundant, although the number spotted varies greatly from day to day. Today, the 22nd, I counted well over 50 puffins and they were certainly the dominant alcid in the area. Many small groups of shorebirds are spotted daily, these always pose the greatest identification challenge. Many of these groups are likely to be semipalmated and/or least sandpipers. However,  groups of larger unidentified shorebirds have been seen.

Manx shearwater feeding frenzy
Northern Gannet
Great shearwater
Northern gennet
Atlantic puffins
Below are the few jaeger images that I have managed to capture. These birds are fast flying, timid of boats and seem to show up out of nowhere so it's hard to get good images. The first two are POMARINE JAEGERS and the second two are PARASITIC JAEGERS. I hope to get better images of these species that highlight the differences more clearly. In general, the Pomarine is heavier built, with a double white wing flash on the underwing and the adults have long twisting tail feathers. Parasitic jaegers are smaller and more slender with a single white wing flash on the underwing and the adults have pointed and straight central tail feathers.

Immature Pomarine jaeger, note double white wing flash
Adult Pomarine Jaeger, note the long twisted tail feathers
Parasitic jaeger harassing tern, note pointed central tail feathers
Parasitic jaeger stealing fish from a tern, note single white wing flash

I have seen 2 HUMMINGBIRDS cruise past while we were far offshore as well as a small number of MONARCH BUTTERFLIES (they fly AND migrate so they qualify for this blog :) 

On the 16th of Aug. I had a sharp-shinned hawk fly over us as we went through little letete passage, the bird was quite high and appeared to be migrating, moving from north to south.

On the 17th of August we took a group to the Roosevelt cottage on Campobello island. While we were waiting for the group to return I was able to bird around the grounds a bit and noticed a significant number of warblers; black-throated green, yellow, common yellowthroat, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, black and white, Parula, Yellow-rumped, American redstart, wilson’s and even three CANADA WARBLER. Blue headed and red-eyed vireo were also present. The large number of adult and immature birds suggested a significant movement of song birds had occurred on the light north-westerly winds the night before.

Adult bald eagle
Great shearwater
Semipalmated sandpiper


1 comment:

  1. Fantastic pics, Nick.If you have seen humming birds, does that mean that the migration has begun, or will soon begin? I still have hummers at my feeder. Thanks for the post. Always interesting.