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 21, 2013

Aug. 7th - Aug 19th

Most of the recent bird activity has been within the West Isles, with very little being spotted offshore. ARCTIC and COMMON TERNS remain abundant all through the area and we have been getting some excellent opportunities to observe and compare these two species. Many of the terns have been feeding with BONAPARTE'S GULLS in the powerful tidal currents off Green's Point. Also present in this area have been small numbers of PARASITIC and POMARINE JAEGERS that can be seen chasing after the birds in attempts to steal their catch. Almost all of these birds have been sighted right off Green's Point while we stop to observe a seal haul out site.

RAZORBILLS have been extremely abundant in the areas we visit, there are many father-chick pairs and over the last week the chicks have been extremely vocal, begging for food. This may be the time of year when the males stop feeding the chicks, encouraging them to feed on their own. Whatever it is they certainly make their presence known out on the water. The always abundant BLACK GUILLEMOTS are moulting into winter plumage and other alcids like COMMON MURRE and ATLANTIC PUFFIN have been seen in small numbers on recent trips.

Shearwaters have been in very low numbers over the last two weeks. MANX SHEARWATER has been the most abundant in the area in recent days with a few GREAT and SOOTY SHEARWATERS being sighted. Very few NORTHERN GANNET in the area, with only a handful being spotted in recent days.

Migrants include small groups of shorebirds, a few hummingbirds and a large number of swallows. Also an increase in the number of OSPREY sighted.

I have also noted a significant increase in the number of GREAT CORMORANTS in the area.

Numbers of BALD EAGLES are increasing and we have been getting some great looks on most all our trips.

Sightings of interest by day:

Aug. 10th - a LEACH'S STORM PETREL was sighted off Adam Island

Aug. 11th - eight LESSER YELLOWLEGS were feeding next to the wharf in St. Andrews. Two TURKEY VULTURES sighted over Macmaster Island

Aug. 13th - a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was roosting with other gulls on the floating breakwater next to the St. Andrews wharf.

Aug. 14th - a GREATER YELLOWLEGS flushed off of Splitting Knife shoal when we stopped to look at the seals. A couple WILSON'S STORM PETRELS in Head Harbour Passage.

Aug. 15th - a POMARINE JAEGER sighted off Adam Island and lots of BARN and TREE SWALLOW moving through the area

Aug. 17th - a PEREGRINE FALCON of Mac's Tower a juvenile hunting terns off Green's Point. First RED-BREASTED MERGANSER of fall

Aug. 18th - On this day we did a charter to Campobello and I was able to check out the significant number of shorebirds in Friar's Bay. In total there were 300-400 LEAST and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS as well as one SOLITARY SANDPIPER and 5 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS.

Razorbill Chick Vocalizing

Razorbill chick with father

Razorbill with herring
Adult Bald Eagle
Immature Bald Eagle
Arctic Tern

Bonaparte''s Gull

Parasitic Jaeger chasing a tern

Juvenile Pomarine Jaeger
Turkey Vulture
Great black-backes gulls feeding at herring ball

Gulls feeding at herring ball

Manx Shearwater coming in to herring ball

Looking down into a baitball of herring!

Herring gull with herring

Terns roosting on splitting knife

Manx Shearwater

Manx Shearwater

Adult Northern Gannet

Lesser black-backed gulls (bottom left) with Great-black backed gulls

Lesser black-backed gull with Great black-backed gull in background

Lesser yellowlegs
Her are some shots of the sandpipers on Campobello Island...

Semipalmated Sandpiper on Campobello

Semipalmated Sandpiper on Campobello

Sandpipers in flight

Landing on the beach

Least Sandpiper

Sandpipers in flight

Semipalmated Sandpiper on Campobello

Least Sandpiper on Campobello


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

July 28th - Aug. 6th

Lots of new sightings to report out on the bay as we move into the late-summer/early fall season, when many birds begin to show up from their breeding grounds further north and our resident breeders finish their nesting. The biggest change in the last couple weeks has been the large numbers of ARCTIC and COMMON terns that have arrived as well as hundreds and hundreds of BONAPARTE'S GULLS.

Alcids like RAZORBILLS remain numerous with many father-chick pairs being sighted as well as lower numbers of COMMON MURRES. BLACK GUILLEMOTS are abundant and beginning to molt into winter plumage and the odd ATLANTIC PUFFIN has been seen.

Small numbers of GREAT and SOOTY SHEARWATER are present and the first MANX SHEARWATER was recently recorded. Still a few NORTHERN GANNET around.

Small numbers of shorebirds, mostly SEMIPALMATED and LEAST SANDPIPERS as well as a few RUDDY TURNSTONES and unidentified larger shorebirds that were possible Sanderlings.

The Kittiwakes on Whitehorse island have abruptly ended their nesting season. On July 31st we visited the island and found it under seige by six bald eagles.  Most of the nests were empty with only a few kittiwake chicks were left unattended. Most of the adult birds were roosting at one end of the island or feeding a short distance away, the majority of the chicks were nowhere to be found. I am not sure how many kittiwake chicks survived to fledge but have only seen a few hatch year birds roosting with the adults on the island. It was very interesting how the colony suddenly abandoned the nests and we are not sure whether or not the colony was abandoned due to the eagles or if most of the chicks fledged at the same time and therefore the adults left as well. We have seen very few eagles around the island up until this time and in recent days there has been up to 20 eagles at the island. See photos below

On July 28th - We had the first BLACK TERN of the season, an adult, and a few days later another was sighted. On the same day we also had two adult PEREGRINE FALCONS sitting on the hydrotower on MacMaster Island.

July 31st - we saw a couple small groups of RED-NECKED PHALAROPES. Very large flocks of BONAPARTE'S GULLS feeding in Head Harbour Passage

Aug 1st. - PEREGRINE FALCON makes a kill and feeds on Mac's Tower. A BALD EAGLE is seen feeding on an adult herring gull off East Quoddy Lighthouse

Aug. 2nd - A probable RED PHALAROPE is sighted off East Quoddy lighthouse along with numerous small groups of shorebirds. 2 ATLANTIC PUFFIN fly past near Eastport, ME

Aug. 5th -  A MANX SHEARWATER was spotted with a small group of GREAT and SOOTY SHEARWATERS off Bliss Island

Aug. 6th - an adult, dark morph PARASITIC JAEGER off Black's Harbour

Lots of images to share from the last couple weeks, enjoy! If you are interested and haven't yet join the Bay of Fundy Birders facebook group then please CLICK HERE to join

Adult Black Tern

Adult Black Tern
Two adult Peregrine Falcon on Macs Tower

Common and Arctic Terns on the water

Arctic Terns in Flight

Terns taking flight off Splitting Knife shoal

Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern

Black-legged Kittiwakes with chicks on Whitehorse island

Black-legged Kittiwakes with chicks on Whitehorse island

Black-legged Kittiwakes with chicks on Whitehorse island

Dead Kittiwake chick in nest

Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks on Whitehorse island

Adult Black-legged Kittiwake

Black-legged Kittiwakes with chicks on Whitehorse island

Recently fledged Black-legged Kittiwake chick on Whitehorse island

Ruddy Turnstone with gulls on Whitehorse island
Recently hatched and very late herring gull chicks on Whitehorse Island

Gull fight!
Gull fight!

Juvenile Bonaparte's gull

Adult Northern Gannet

Gulls feeding with East Quoddy Lighthouse in background

Grey seal and Black-legged Kittiwake on Whitehorse Island
Eider ducks and Grand Manan island
Double-crested Cormorants on Whitehorse island

Bonaparte's gulls feeding in Head Harbour Passage
Large group of Bonaparte's gulls
Large flock of Bonaparte's gulls
Large flock of Bonaparte's gulls
Large flock of Bonaparte's gulls

 Thanks for viewing!