Just a short update on the birds we have been seeing on recent trips...
When the weather permits we have been spending time with finbacks feeding off South Wolf Island. Bird activity in this offshore area has increased recently with small groups of GREAT SHEARWATER along with fewer SOOTY SHEARWATER and MANX SHEARWATER being spotted. A few small groups of RED-NECKED PHALAROPES have been seen as well. POMARINE JAEGERS have been spotted in this area regularly. Good numbers of COMMON MURRE and a few ATLANTIC PUFFIN also seen.
The West Isles still holds a high number of RAZORBILLS, with the constant cries of the chicks providing the background noise to our recent trips. There are still good numbers of COMMON and ARCTIC TERNS as well as BONAPARTES'S GULLS feeding in the currents throughout the islands although their numbers have decreased recently.
This time of year brings the start of raptor migration and we have started to see the first NORTHERN HARRIERS moving through the area. With this comes the loss of one of our skilled naturalists and interpreters, Todd Watts, who conducts a hawk watch on Greenlaw Mountain just outside the town of St. Andrews, from mid-August to mid-October. Volunteers are needed and Todd is an excellent in teaching the identification of our many raptor species. You can find out how to volunteer by e-mailing Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org
A list of species being seen on all or most of our trips:
Sightings of interest by day:
Aug. 22nd - a group of 4 PARASITIC JAEGERS were harassing terns and gulls off Bliss Island
Aug. 23rd - 2 BLACK TERNS were feeding over a raft of floating rockweed in Passamaquoddy Bay
Aug 24th - A NORTHERN HARRIER was seen flying over little Letete passage and two more were spotted flying from South Wolf Island in the direction of Grand Manan. 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS were seen flying over open water near South Wofl Island. Dark morph POMARINE JAEGER off the Wolves. A NORTHERN PINTAIL was seen on Passamaquoddy Bay, just outside St. Andrews.
Aug. 27th - adult PEREGRINE FALCON on Mac's Tower. Adult POMARINE JAEGER off the Wolves
Aug. 29th - a NORTHERN HARRIER over Whitehorse Island
Some photos from recent trips...
|Birds with a harbour seal on Splitting Knife shoal|
|Adult Bonaparte's Gull in moult|
|Double Crested Cormorants|
|Great Cormorant with Black-backed Gull|
|Two Northern Harriers flying towards Grand Manan|
|Parasitic Jaeger against the setting sun|
|Adult Pomarine Jaeger|
|Razorbill with fish|
|Bonaparte's Gulls and Common Terns with fish|
We still have room aboard our birding trip that departs the St Andrews wharf at 9AM on Sept. 28th. The cost for this trip will be $55 per person. Please e-mail me at email@example.com or call the Quoddy office at (506) 529-2600 to reserve a spot.