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, August 30, 2014

August 14th - 21st

ARCTIC and COMMON TERNS are still abundant in the area around Green's Point lighthouse and Letete passage, although their numbers have decrease in recent days. A few PARASITIC JAEGERS can often be seen harassing these birds as they feed in the strong tidal currents throughout the passage.

Tubenoses are still generally absent from the area, with small numbers of GREAT SHEARWATER being seen on some days as well as the first SOOTY and MANX SHEARWATERS of the year.

BLACK GUILLEMOTS and RAZORBILLS are quite common and we are still seeing small numbers of ATLANTIC PUFFIN on almost every trip as well as the odd NORTHERN GANNET.

The numbers of BONAPARTE'S GULLS continues to grow and they are mainly feeding in the tidal areas around Eastport and Campobello Island.

The first signs of early raptor migration are being seen in the skies over Macmaster and Pendleton island. Migrant raptors often use these islands to move South past Passamaquoddy Bay. I am only able to observe the skies in this area for a few minutes each trip but often see quite a few migrant raptors moving South over the islands in the fall when winds are out of the North.

Sightings of interest by day:

Aug 14th - 5 NORTHERN GANNETS and a LEACH"S STORM PETREL in Head Harbour passage.

Aug. 15th - First of fall WHITE-WINGED SCOTER off Black's Harbour

Aug. 16th - 20-30 GREAT SHEARWATERS off Black's Harbour with a single MANX SHEARWATER

Aug. 18th - LESSER-BLACK BACKED GULL  off Head Harbour lighthouse. PARASITIC JAEGER off Green's Point. First of fall NORTHERN HARRIER crossing Little Letete passage. 5 GREAT and one SOOTY SHEARWATER (first of year) over the Wolves Banks. A TURKEY VULTURE over Macmaster Island

Aug. 21st - PARASITIC JAEGER off Green's Point. UNIDENTIFIED RAPTOR (see photo below) at 12:50PM crossing Little Letete passage, traveling south.

Northern Gannet

White-winged scoter

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull

Bald eagle

Northern Harrier
Raft of Common Eider

Unidentified hawk

Monday, August 11, 2014

July 31st - Aug 11th

Bird activity in the West Isles continues to build, with the most recent arrivals being hundreds, if not thousands of terns. Both COMMON and ARCTIC TERNS are abundant in the Letete passage and Green's point areas with many juveniles present. I have also been noticing that many of these birds have bands on their legs from researchers. With so many tern around, we often get jaegers show up and today (Aug. 11th) I had the first 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS of the year harassing terns off Green's Point.

RAZORBILLS are common in the area with many father/chick pairs still together. We have been seeing small numbers of ATLANTIC PUFFIN on most every trip. BLACK GUILLEMOTS are abundant and beginning to moult into winter plumage and the odd COMMON MURRE is around.

The BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES have finished nesting on Whitehorse Island after perhaps the worst nesting effort I have seen in 5 years. We recorded only a single chick, who lasted only a week before disappearing, a likely victim of the many bald eagles that were a constant threat to the young birds. What appeared to be a strong start to the nesting season ended without a single kittiwake chick fledging from the colony.

Numbers of BONAPARTE"S GULLS are continuing to build and are mostly feeding near Eastport, Maine. These groups form massive flocks in the evening, easily containing over 1000 individuals. A second year LAUGHING GULL has been sighted numerous times off Green's Point lighthouse.

Tubenoses are still mostly absent from the area although I did see a few GREAT SHEARWATER off the Wolves and a single LEACH'S STORM PETREL has often been sighted in Passamaquoddy bay.

Sightings of interest by day:

Aug 3rd - WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER on off Whitehorse Island and two first GREAT SHEARWATERS of the year off of South Wolf island.

Aug 4th - GREAT SHEARWATER off Bliss Island, LAUGHING GULL off Green's Point Lighthouse in Letete

Aug 7th - LEACH'S STORM PETREL in Passamaquoddy Bay. 5 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES near Whitehorse Island

Aug. 8th - 8 GREAT SHEARWATER over the Wolves bank, 5 COMMON NIGHTHAWK flying over the St. Andrews wharf in the evening

Aug 10th - 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS flying south over Whitehorse Island

Aug. 11th - 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS chasing terns off Greens Point lighthouse, Letete. 7 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES in Passamaquoddy Bay

Arctic tern

Arctic tern with bands

THE kittiwake chick of Whitehorse Island

Bald eagle with gull on Whitehorse Island

Bald eagle with gull on Whitehorse Island

Bald eagle with gull on Whitehorse Island

Bald eagle with gull on Whitehorse Island

Bonaparte's gulls

Bonaparte's gulls
Eagle meal leftovers on Whitehorse island

Great shearwater, a rare wight in the Bay of Fundy this year

Immature eagle over Whitehorse Island

Immature eagle on Whitehorse Island

Juvenile tern

THE kittiwake chick of Whitehorse Island

The next day... chick gone and adult looking for chick?

Razorbill father/chick pair, check out those feet!

Razorbill chick

Red-necked phalaropes

Gull sunset at the wharf in St. Andrews

Arctic tern

Arctic tern

Common tern

Juvenile terns

Terns landing to roost on Splitting knife shoal

Terns resting on the water

Parasitic jaeger

Parasitic jaegers

Parasitic jaegers harassing tern