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!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 8th-12th

2nd LITTLE GULL of the season
First of season LONG-TAILED DUCK
First of season POMARINE JAEGER
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Atlantic Puffin
Common murre
Black guillemot
Northern Gannet
Arctic tern
Common tern
Common eider
Bald eagle
Great blue heron
Wilson's storm petrel
Bonaparte's gull
Black-legged kittiwake

Bird activity continues to build out on the bay with a number of new species. Large groups of shearwaters, alcids and gulls continue to feed in the area off of Whitehorse Island, surrounded by feeding fin and minke whales.

Great Shearwaters
Sooty Shearwater

Great shearwtaer

Great shearwaters and herring gull. The flounder was caught by a seal and then stolen by the gull

The occasional PARASITIC JAEGER can be spotted harassing terns and other birds. On Aug. 8th, while watching finbacks in the fog I spotted the first adult POMARINE JAEGER of the season. On one of the days that I was not on the boat, Danielle reported seeing a small jaeger-like bird with a very long pointed tail. This could of possibly been a long-tailed jaeger but the sighting was so brief that it is impossible to know for sure, I will keep my eyes out for this bird in the future.

Whitehorse island continues to host many bald eagles that are constantly chasing after and being chased by the many island inhabitants. It also continues to be a popular area for roosting GREAT CORMORANTS.

Immature eagle and herring gull

Great cormorant and black-backed gull
Female common eiders have started to moult their flight feathers. Being unable to fly, the birds form large rafts of 50+ individuals to better protect themselves during this vulnerable time. The male eider ducks moult at the beginning of the summer, usually when the females are incubating.

Raft of moulting female eider ducks

There has been an increase in the number of RED-NECKED PHALAROPES seen on our trips. I counted many groups of between 5 to 30 individuals over the last few days. Some groups were very close to shore, just off of Casco island and Campobello. I have also been seeing small groups of other shorebirds, likely semipalmated sandpipers but I still have a hard time ID'ing these birds from a distance.

There was an adult male LONG-TAILED DUCK just off of Whitehorse Island on the 9th of Aug. This is the first of the season and the earliest I have seen this species show up in my three years on the bay.

Adult male long-tailed duck

On Aug. 10th I recorded a single COMMON NIGHTHAWK flying south over Passamaquoddy bay. 

I spotted another LITTLE GULL near Head Harbour passage on the 11th. This was a different individual from the one I reported on the last post, having a much more complete dark underwing pattern.

Lastly, I had my first of season WHITE-WINGED SCOTER on Aug. 12th, another early sighting for this species. Looking forward to seeing what else shows up!

I would like to end with a non-bird related video that I took on the 12th. Trying to get underwater footage of whales has been a project of mine this year and finally it worked out when a curious minke approached and swam right under me, within a few feet. The video is shot in 1080p HD so be sure to watch the high quality version if you have a good connection! To view the video click HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment