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!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 12th - 20th

Our recent trips have been very active, recording the greatest number of species so far this year. RAZORBILLS have been abundant in the West Isles this summer and many father-chick pairs have been sighted.  Good numbers of COMMON MURRE and BLACK GUILLEMOT and the occasional ATLANTIC PUFFIN have also been spotted on recent trips.

A few GREAT and SOOTY SHEARWATER are around and I expect their numbers to build over the next few weeks. We have also started to see small groups of NORTHERN GANNET with the largest group of about 20 feeding near Whitehorse today.

Gull numbers have continued to build and larger groups have started feeding in the usual upwelling areas near Campobello and Deer Island. Today, the 20th of July marked the arrival of the first large groups of BONAPARTES GULLS, with around 300 being sighted in Head Harbour passage. It is amazing to see these striking birds in their breeding plumage after returning from their nesting efforts in the Taiga forest of Northern Canada. They will soon be arriving in even larger numbers to feed on the abundant zooplankton that is upwelled in the areas powerful tidal currents. We will hopefully begin to spot some rarities within these groups.

At least 2 different LAUGHING GULLS have been spotted in the area and have been seen on a regular basis.

The BLACK LEGGED KITTIWAKE chicks on Whitehorse Island have been doing very well and are growing fast.  I can’t remember a year that the colony has done so well in my five years on the Bay so I have taken many photos to share with you below. Many of the young HERRING GULL chicks have now fledged and many could be seen testing their wings on the light winds of the past few days.

There have been small numbers of peeps moving through the area, I was only able to ID two of the them as being LEAST SANDPIPERS.

Oh, and lots of BALD EAGLES!!!

Here's a bird list for July 12th to July 20th

Great Shearwater (5)
Sooty Sheartwater (1)
Leach’s storm petrel (1)
Razorbills (very abundant)
Common Murres (abundant)
Black Guillemot (very abundant)
Common Eider (very abundant)
Black-legged Kittiwake (nesting with chicks)
Herring gulls
Great black-backed gulls
Ring-billed Gulls
Bald eagles
Double-crested Cormorants

Dates for specific sightings of interest are listed below:

July 12th – An immature LAUGHING GULL was spotted and photographed sitting on the water in Head Harbour Passage. First BONAPARTES GULLS of the summer seen flying past Green’s Point

July 17th – First ATLANTIC PUFFIN of the summer also one sighted a few days prior by Todd. An adult LAUGHING GULL seen flying near Whitehorse Island

July 18th – Two LEAST SANDPIPERS flying near Whitehorse Island. Also a male SURF SCOTER seen near Head Harbour and then a male and female pair sighted in the same area a bit later

July 19th – A PEREGRINE FALCON sighted over St. Andrews. An adult LAUGHING GULL off Deer Island Point. A few GREAT SHEARWATER and one LEACH’S STORM PETREL off Campobello Lighthouse and a dark morph PARASITIC JAEGER in the same area.

July 20th – Approx. 300 BONAPARTES GULLS sighted in Head Harbour Passage as well as smaller groups seen roosting on rocks.'

Now for the pics, Kittiwakes up first :)

Black-legged kittiwake chicks on Whitehorse Island

Black-legged kittiwake chicks on Whitehorse Island

Black-legged kittiwake chicks on Whitehorse Island

Black-legged kittiwake chicks on Whitehorse Island

Black-legged kittiwake chicks on Whitehorse Island

Herring gull testing its wings for the first time

Take off!

Adult Laughing gull in the fog

Immature Laughing gull in Head Harbour passage

Bald eagle stretching its talon

Common Murres, can you spot the "bridled" murres?


Razorbill with chick. It is always the father that accompanies the chick to sea, cool!

Gulls feeding on bait ball of herring, before the fin whale.

Fun whale lunge! He actually took a couple birds down with him.

Bonaparte's Gulls

Great black-backed gulls and a Double-crested cormorant on Whitehorse Island

Great black-backed gull. Opening the mouth and "panting" is a way to stay cool

Surf Scoter

Dark morph Parasitic Jaeger

The pelagic bird watching trip has been set for Saturday, Sept. 28 departing at 9AM from the St. Andrews wharf. The trip is already half booked up so if you want to reserve a spot please call our office toll free at 1-877-688-2600 or local (506) 529-2600.

If you want to read about the whales be sure to visit Danielle's super awesome blog by clicking HERE

A big thank-you to everyone who has written to say how much they enjoy my photos. As much as I like watching and photographing birds I also have my own personal photography that you can see by visiting my website at www.njhawkins.com or on 500px by clicking HERE


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