Atlantic Region: Spring 2018
Spring 2018: 1 Mar–31 May
Seeler, D. 2021. Spring 2018: Atlantic Region. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-cjD> North American Birds.
Temperatures were slightly above normal, and precipitation was near normal with the exception of an early April storm that led to flooding in New Brunswick. A late May winter storm brought snowfall to much of the region with light amounts of snow to a massive storm hitting Newfoundland, leaving 35 cm of snow in Gander—the largest single-day snowfall for the winter—and nearly eclipsing the previous record for May. Significant numbers of vagrant egrets, herons and other species to Nova Scotia in particular was likely due to two exceptional March cyclones increasing the arrival of migrants to the region.
Waterfowl through Terns
Occasional to Newfoundland and Labrador, three Snow Geese were in Branch, Avalon Peninsula 6–15 Apr (Kyran Power, ph. Ethel Dempsey et al.), with individuals reported at: St. Barbe, Northern Peninsula 18–20 May (ph. John and Ivy Gibbons et al.), and Lumsden, Notre Dame Bay-Lewisporte, Avalon Peninsula 27 May (ph. Nathan Gidge). Greater White-fronted Goose is occasional to Nova Scotia where two lingered into the season at Pubnico, Yarmouth Co through 4 Mar (ph. Arthur d’Entremont, Mark Dennis), and two individuals—possibly the same pair—were in Belleisle Marsh, Annapolis Co 5 Apr (ph. David Bell, ph. Sydney Bliss). Curiously, two Tundra Greater White-fronted Geese later reported in Roachville, Kings Co NB 16 Apr (Diane McFarlane, Jim Wilson) were casual vagrants. Casual to Nova Scotia, a wandering Pink-footed Goose was in Munro Park, North Sydney, Cape Breton Island 11 Mar (ph. David McCorquodale), on the Seaview Golf and Country Club, North Sydney, Cape Breton Island 11 Apr (ph. David McCorquodale, ph. Steven McGrath), and in the Town of Canso, Cape Breton 25 May (Tom Kavanaugh, ph. Steve Bushnell). Accidental to New Brunswick, a Pink-footed Goose was in the Keswick area, York Co 10 Apr–5 May (ph. Denise Boudreau, ph. Gilled Belliveau). Two Mute Swans, accidental to New Brunswick, were in Saint’s Rest Sewage Lagoons area, St. John 12–19 May (Paul Mansz, m. ob.). A Mute Swan was later found in McKay’s Creek, Westmorland Co NB 28 May (ph. David Miller). A male Eurasian Wigeon present in St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island SPM during the month of Apr was a casual visitor (Patrick Boez). Casual vagrants to St. Pierre et Miquelon, five King Eider were reported offshore of the French islands (fide Roger Etcheberry).
Casual to Nova Scotia, an adult male Canvasback continued into the season along the Cape Sable Island Causeway, Shelburne Co through 6 Mar (Mark Dennis et al.). Subsequently, a Canvasback was in Memramcook, Westmoreland Co NB 29 Mar–15 Apr (ph. Pierre Janin, m. ob.). The Redhead present on Bras d’Or Lake, Cape Breton Island NS 8 Feb–17 Mar (David McCorquodale et al.) was a casual vagrant. Redhead is a casual vagrant on Prince Edward Island, where an adult male was in the Borden Lagoons, Prince Co 10–16 May (ph. Donna Martin et al.). The Tufted Duck in the Vallée du Milieu, St. Pierre Island SPM 25 Apr (Patrick Hacala) and a female Tufted Duck in St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island SPM 1 Mar–24 Apr were accidental vagrants. A Horned Grebe offshore of the Isthmus, Miquelon Island SPM 11 Apr (Laurent Jackman) was an accidental visitor. Four Common Gallinules reported within Nova Scotia were rare visitors. The Eurasian Collared-Dove at the home of Wendy Ross in Melvern Square, Annapolis Co NS continued its presence through the season. A White-winged Dove, casual to Nova Scotia, was in the Marble Mountain area, Inverness Co 27 May (ph. David McCorquodale). A King Rail, considered accidental to New Brunswick, at McLaren’s Pond, Fundy National Park, Albert Co 7–8 May (ph. Evan Houlahan, ph. Neil Vinson, m. ob.) provided the province with its fourth record. An occasional vagrant to Newfoundland and Labrador, an adult Purple Gallinule in brilliant plumage that was along the Waterford River, St. John’s 12 May+ (ph. Ian Winter, m. ob.) became the first chase-able individual in that province. Previous individuals were either moribund or deceased.
Casual to Newfound and Labrador, a pair of Sandhill Cranes first observed in St. Lewis, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay 17 May (ph. Eva Luther) was likely the same pair observed at English Point, Forteau, Labrador 21 May (ph. Vernon Buckle), and in the Main Dock area, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay 22 May (Tony Chubbs). Known to breed in southern Nova Scotia, the first American Oystercatcher arrived on The Hawk, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 10 Apr (Mark Dennis) where a maximum of two adults were present through the season. American Oystercatcher is exceptionally rare elsewhere in Nova Scotia, with one recorded at night in flight over Cape Forchu, Yarmouth Co 2 May (au. John Kearney), another was on Crescent Beach, Lunenburg Co 4–5 May (Carolyn Johnston, ph. JoAnn Yhard), and the last was along the Big Island Causeway, Pictou Co 7 May (ph. Ken McKenna, Robert Lange). Casual to New Brunswick, individual American Oystercatchers were: at Point Lepreau, St. John 25 April (Todd Watts), on White Head Island Charlotte Co 7 and 14 May (ph. Bob Hay, Roger Burrows), on North Head, Grand Manan Island, Charlotte Co 20 May (Marjorie Wilson), and on Bill’s Island, Charlotte Co 17–23 May (ph. Mitch and Irene Doucet et al.). Individual Wilson’s Phalaropes located in Noonan’s Mash, Borden, Prince Co PE 13 May (Ron Arvidson), and in Charlottetown PE 29 May (ph. Sharon Clark) were occasional vagrants to the island. Exceptionally rare vagrants to Nova Scotia, a Wilson’s Phalarope was present in St. Catherine’s River Road Salt Marsh, Queens Co 29 May (ph. Ian Caldwell, ph. Jacob Hubner, ph. Sarah Gutowsky). Rare to Nova Scotia, 10 South Polar Skuas were reported well offshore in late May (Ellis d’Entremont, Jean-Paul LeBlanc).
A Sabine’s Gull, casual to Newfound and Labrador, was present at Holyrood, Avalon Peninsula 30 May (Hance Ellington, Fred and Colleen Wood, ph. Frank King et al.). Casual vagrants to St. Pierre et Miquelon, individual Bonaparte’s Gulls were noted on the Grand Barachois, Miquelon Island 15 Mar (Laurent Jackman), and in St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island 6 Apr (Bernard Verger). The Black-headed Gull at Cap-Pelé, Westmorland Co NB 14 Mar (Gilles Belliveau, ph. Mitch Doucet) was a rare migrant. An occasional visitor to Prince Edward Island, the Black-headed Gull in Brackley Marshes, Prince Edward Island National Park, Queen’s Co 19 Apr (Donna Martin) was thought to be the same individual observed there in early spring in previous years. Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Laughing Gull was in the St. Lawrence Harbour, Marystown, Burin Peninsula 25 Apr (Lillian Walsh), and another was found at Virginia’s Lake, St. John’s 8–9 May (ph. Ian Winter, m. ob.). Laughing Gull is a rare visitor to Nova Scotia where eight individuals were reported through the season. Individual Common Gulls (ssp. canus) were exceptionally rare observations in Nova Scotia with one continuing into the season at Sullivan’s Pond, Dartmouth through 30 Mar (ph. Paolo Matteucci, m. ob.), and another reported in the Eastern Passage, Halifax Co 3 Mar (ph. Jim Edsall). Four Common Gulls (ssp. canus) were on insular Newfoundland where they are very uncommon. A casual visitor to New Brunswick, a Common Gull was in Carleton Park, Fredericton, York Co 3 Apr (Gilles Belliveau). A rare migrant for New Brunswick, Lesser Black-backed Gulls staged an incursion this season with significant numbers reported. Forty-three Lesser Black-backed Gulls were in Fredericton NB 18 Apr with that number climbing to 67 adults, two third-year, and three second-year individuals later that same day (Gilles Belliveau). At the Point-du-Chene Warf, Shubenacadie NB 21 Apr the number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls rose to 214 (fide Gilles Belliveau).
The LBBG migration through NB, reported by Gilles and others, shows that there is certainly an evolving population of LBBG on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve heard strong speculation about the assumed breeding, or soon to be breeding, on mainland Eastern North America. So, I’ve been poking around the Internet, looking for both historical and recent information. I’ll weigh in with my opinion and say that LBBG breeding anywhere in Mainland North America is far from a sure thing. Here are some points that I’ve noted about the LBBGs.
There is a common (likely incorrect) belief that we are seeing LBBG from Iceland. It’s undoubtedly true that colonization has occurred from Europe, eastward through Ireland, to Iceland, to eastern Greenland and western Greenland. However, seasonal migration patterns are different. Iceland LBBGs migrate southeast, away from us. They winter in the region of the Iberian Peninsula and as far south as North Africa on the same wintering grounds as European birds, apparently leap-frogging over the UK and French populations.
Greenland LBBGs, on the other hand, come towards us.
The breeding population in Western Greenland (from whence “our” LBBGs are presumed to originate) topped 700 breeding pairs well over a decade ago and the population has been growing rapidly. It’s believed that there are several thousand breeding there now. We are seeing that increase reflected by the annual growth in the number of birds migrating through New Brunswick, particularly in recent years. The presumed migration route from Western Greenland to East Coast North America runs through the central and northern parts of New Brunswick and the locations of the biggest sightings tend to confirm that. Therefore, it seems likely that migration numbers will continue to increase wherever groups are currently being seen. It also seems doubtful to me that we will ever see big groups in southern/southwestern N.B. The LBBG is known to readily migrate long distances. Winter birds can be found in surprising numbers into the Caribbean, in places like The Bahamas and Lesser Antilles. Florida gets a lot, as well as Gulf Coast Texas and up into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. It’s been estimated that about 1/3 of all the North American winter population can be found in Pennsylvania. In one of those confusing little oddities, a flock of 456 LBBGs was recorded only 47 miles from New Brunswick. Say what?????? Of course that’s New Brunswick, New Jersey, 47 miles from Nockamixon Lake in Pennsylvania; but it catches one’s attention.
I would expect both the number of our wintering birds and the number of migrating birds to grow, at least for some time yet. However, in spite of the increasing number of birds, there is no reason to believe that LBBGs will colonize anywhere that they winter, no more than we expect Iceland Gulls, Glaucous Gulls or Snowy Owls to start breeding on their winter range.
That said, outliers are always a possibility. Witness the two known successful HERG x LBBG hybrid breedings; one in Alaska and one at Appledore Island, Maine.
LBBG watchers should be particularly alert for bands. The LBBG from the Appledore nestings is believed to be dead, having been unseen since 2015. That bird travelled south in winter (Florida sightings) but there’s always that small chance for hybrid offspring to turn up in our area, especially since gulls can live several decades.
BANDS: Metal right leg + Green left leg (with white code) could be a hybrid offspring from the Appledore pairing. (HERG and GBBG from there may carry the same band combination.) A pale blue or dark blue band (both with white code) would be a bird banded in Iceland. I’ve been looking for information about banding in Western Greenland but so far it looks like little or no banding has been done there.
We seldom hear about sub-adult LBBGs but they must certainly be present. If the Iceland and European LBBG populations are any indication, the younger birds don’t go all the way to the summer grounds with the spring migration. They take 3 years to mature so we are probably missing sub-adults that are here during the breeding season. They go farther north, in increasing numbers, as they age towards maturity. I speculate that there’s a strong possibility that any summer-sighted LBBGs here, identified as adult, could be a third or fourth year bird which have yet to complete a migration or breed for the first time. This partial migration of sub-adults, plus difficulty in identifying young birds, may be factors in why local observers comment about seeing all adults, particularly during the brief spring migration stop-overs.
Iceland and European birds are POSSIBLE here but they are UNLIKELY. With over 50,000 banded over a couple decades from over 90 banding programs, only two of those birds have ever been reported in North America. One (banded in Rotterdam) was seen at Long Island, NY in 1997. Another (banded in Iceland) was seen on Puerto Rico in 2002.
Having voiced my doubts about North American breeding, I did specify MAINLAND North America. Coastal Newfoundland and/or Labrador are a whole different story.
The LBBG is very similar to the Black-headed Gull in many aspects, so, it’s quite conceivable that LBBGs could follow the Black-headeds example and establish limited breeding on The Rock within the next few decades.
Definitely a species to watch and one that’s likely to generate interesting debate.
Lesser Black-backed Gull is casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, where a single adult was present in St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island 21 Apr–1 May (Patrick Boez), and two adults were observed in the same area 29 May (Joël Detcheverry). The two Caspian Terns offshore of St. Pierre Island, SPM 25–30 May (Bernard Verger, Patrick Hacala) were casual visitors. A Roseate Tern, rare to Nova Scotia, observed at Brook Park, Clam Point, Cape Sable Island 1 May was the earliest recorded in that province. A casual vagrant, a Royal Tern feeding in the Lagoons at Morien Bar, Cape Breton Island NS 5 May (Laura Saunders) was well documented.
Loons through Vireos
The Pacific Loon that overwintered offshore of St. Vincent’s, Avalon Peninsula NL was last reported 8 Apr (ph. Bruce Mactavish). A Brown Booby, casual to Nova Scotia, took the opportunity to rest on a fishing vessel 10 km southwest of Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 28 May (ph. Kris Cunningham). On St. Pierre et Miquelon, 30 Great Blue Heron were reported—an exceptional number for the French islands (fide Roger Etcheberry). Significant numbers of Great Egrets were reported this season with 76 in Nova Scotia, 20 on Newfoundland and Labrador, and two on Prince Edward Island.
Each spring, from mid-April through to the end of May, a light sprinkling of southern herons and egrets overshoots their breeding areas and arrives in Atlantic Canada, with the highest densities appearing in Nova Scotia’s southwestern counties. Reports from birders in the region showed that, in relation to a typical year, the arrival during spring 2018 included more individuals, was more extensive, and occurred earlier, apparently due to two weather systems in March. It was only around mid-April that word got out of an unprecedented heron and egret die-off on Sable Island – hinting at the true scale, and perhaps even the population impact, of this event.The March influx of waders in Atlantic Canada, excluding those on Sable Island, comprised 33 Great Egrets, eight Great Blue Herons, three Little Blue Herons, two Tricolored Herons, one Snowy Egret, and one Green Heron. Dr. David McRuer, a Wildlife Health Specialist at Parks Canada and associate at the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, noted that, during the first half of April, most of the herons and egrets at Sable Island had died except one Great Egret and four Great Blue Herons. By May, the deceased birds on the island included 31 Great Egrets, 21 Great Blue Herons, three Green Herons, one Cattle Egret, one Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and one Little Blue Heron. Dr. McRuer submitted 16 Great Egrets, six Great Blue Herons, and one Green Heron to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative of the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, PEI, for necropsies. Of the birds submitted, only eight Great Egrets, five Great Blue Herons, and one Green Heron were in good-enough condition to be fully examined.
Waders arriving on Sable Island in early spring would typically encounter low temperatures combined with periods of wind and rain. This year, there were extended periods of high winds from mid-March to mid-April. The necropsy report confirms the assumption that the deceased birds probably arrived in an exhausted condition and subsequently starved. The timing and distribution of the March 2018 arrival of herons and egrets in Atlantic Canada suggest an offshore route from the US Atlantic Coast. The arrival dates and locations, combined with wind maps, provide evidence for the transport of migrants by two extratropical cyclones, with birds reaching the mainland likely having followed the relatively calm eye or tongue. It is interesting that there was such a low survival rate on Sable Island. Those birds might have travelled outside the area of calm winds, causing them to be dramatically weakened and contributing to their starvation on the island. [Alix d’Entremont and John Kearney NS Birds (2018) Vol 60 #3].
Seven Snowy Egrets were reported in Nova Scotia while an equal number of Snowy Egrets were present in New Brunswick. Five Little Blue Herons were in Nova Scotia, only two were in New Brunswick, and one was reported on St. Pierre et Miquelon. A casual vagrant to the French islands, a Green Heron was on St. Pierre Island 27 Mar–4 Apr (Laurent Jackman, Patrick Boez, Patrick Hacala). A Green heron, rare to Nova Scotia, was 50 km offshore of Sheet harbour, Halifax Co 15–16 May (ph. Ronnie d’Entremont). On land, a Green Heron was on Seal Island, Yarmouth Co NS 29–30 May (David Bell et al.), and another was in Upper Wood Harbour, Shelburne Co NS 30 May+ (Paul Gould, m. ob.). Meanwhile, on Cape Sable Island National Park, Halifax Co NS two live and three deceased Green Herons were found in early Apr (fide Alix d’Entremont). Five Green Herons were present in New Brunswick. Casual to Nova Scotia, two Tricolored Herons were in the Sambro Head Marsh and area, Halifax Co 24 Mar (Sylvia Craig, Jim Edsall), and only one remained to 27 Mar (Sylvia Craig). Another Tricolored Heron was at Alder Point, Cape Breton Island, NS 22–25 Apr (Diane Ernst, m. ob.). Casual to New Brunswick, three Tricolored Herons were recorded. Rare migrants to New Brunswick, two Cattle Egrets were along Rte. 102, Queens Co 26–27 May (ph. Scott Makepeace), and another in Queenstown, Queens Co 19 May was joined by a second Cattle Egret 21–22 May (Scott Makepeace).
Black Vulture is casual to Nova Scotia with two individuals—or perhaps the same individual—being reported: one lingered into the season on Isle Madame, Cape Breton Island through 16 Mar (ph. Liz Voellinger), while the other was at Whitney Pier, Cape Breton Island 11 Apr (ph. Sue King-Gosse). Rare to Prince Edward Island—but with increasing presence—five Turkey Vultures were recorded. Rare in Nova Scotia, an immature Golden Eagle found swimming offshore of Seal Island National Park, Yarmouth Co 2 May (Justin Conrad) was captured, taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center, and released 7 Jul. A Northern Harrier, accidental to St. Pierre et Miquelon, was present throughout the season on St. Pierre Island (Laurent Jackman, Gilles Gloaguen, Patrick Hacala). Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, the Red-tailed Hawk observed along the North West River Road area, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay 20 May (Tony Chubbs) was in the same locale 21 May (Bob Rogers), and on 27 May (Kennett Offill). Two Short-eared Owls present at Brackley, Prince Edward Island National Park, Queens Co PE 22 Apr (Brett Mackinnon, Nicole Murtaugh, Ben MacNeill) were excellent finds. Exceptional in spring, at least 26 Red-headed Woodpeckers were in Nova Scotia giving the impression that they are increasingly regular visitors to that province (fide Alix d’Entremont). A white morph Gyrfalcon at the Louisburg Lighthouse, Cape Breton Island NS 23 Mar (Denise Lewis Maclean) was a good find.
A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, casual to New Brunswick, was on Lang Eddy Point, Grand Manan Island, Charlotte Co 4 May (ph. Bob Hay). A well-documented Acadian Flycatcher was a great find on Brier Island, Yarmouth Co NS 21 May (Eric Mills). With only one previous individual photographed in May 1996 (ph. Ian McLaren), this report adds to the exceptionally small number of recorded accounts. Casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, an Alder Flycatcher was in St. Pierre, St Pierre Island 26 May (Joël Detcheverry). Similarly, two Eastern Phoebes, casual to the French islands were reported: one in St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island 3–5 May (Joël Detcheverry, Patrick Boez, Patrick Hacala), while another was in Eastern Miquelon, Miquelon Island 12 May (Laurent Jackman). Nova Scotia recorded four White-eyed Vireos, an impressive number for the province. Individual Warbling Vireos were present on Bon Portage Island, Shelburne Co NS 18–21 May (ph. Phil Taylor, Jake Walker), and at Westport, Brier Island, Yarmouth Co NS 28 May (Richard Stern).
Martins through Buntings
Casual on insular Newfoundland, a Purple Martin was at St. Mary’s, Avalon Peninsula 6 and 8 May (ph. Ethel Dempsey, ph. Alison Mews et al.), while another—or perhaps the same individual—was in Bidgood Park, Avalon Peninsula 10 and 18 May (Chris Brown, Frank King). The Purple Martin observed in the Vallée du Millieu, St. Pierre Island SPM 9 May (Patrick Hacala) was a casual vagrant. A rare migrant to New Brunswick, a House Wren was in Plumweseep, Kings Co 20 May (Andrew McCartney). Individual Carolina Wrens, rare to New Brunswick, were in Fredericton, York Co 30 May (Gilles Belliveau), and in Sheffield, Sunbury Co 31 May (Lucas Berrigan, Laura Achenbach). Exceptional in spring, a Marsh Wren that lingered into the season in Miner’s Marsh, Kings Co NS through 11 May was joined by a second individual 8 and 11 Apr (fide Melanie Haverstock, Richard Stern, m. ob.). A third Marsh Wren was in the Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area, Cumberland Co NS 26 May (Liza Barney, m. ob.). Individual Northern Mockingbirds reported in Eastport, Bonavista NL 10–12 Mar (ph. Laurie Grimmel), and in Mobile, Avalon Peninsula NL 14–26 Apr (ph. Alvan Buckley, m. ob.) were casual vagrants. The Mistle Thrush lingered at Miramichi, Northumberland Co NB through 24 Mar (fide Peter Gadd). A Clay-colored Sparrow lingering at a feeder in Trepassey, Avalon Peninsula NL 19 Mar–22 Apr (ph. Catherine Barrett, ph. Alison Mews) was an occasional vagrant. Casual to Nova Scotia, individual Clay-colored Sparrows were on Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 5–6 May (ph. Sandra MacDonald et al.), along the Wolfville Rail Trail, Kings Co 13–17 May (ph. George Forsyth, ph. Harold Forsyth et al.). Rare migrants to New Brunswick, two Clay-colored Sparrows lingered in Memramcook, Westmorland Co through mid-Apr with one remaining through the end of Apr (Yolande LeBlanc). Another Clay-colored Sparrow was in Restigouche, Restigouche Co NB 11 May (ph. Andrew Olive).
A Dark-eyed Junco of the Oregon group, accidental to New Brunswick, was in Rothesay, Kings Co 7 Apr (ph. Paul Mansz). Rare migrants to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, 14 Orchard Orioles were in Nova Scotia, and six in New Brunswick. Eight Brown-headed Cowbirds on insular Newfoundland were casual vagrants. A Blue-winged Warbler was an excellent find along the Upper Clyde Road, Shelburne Co NS 13 May (ph. Sharron d’Entremont). Accidental to the French islands, a Prothonotary Warbler was on St Pierre Island SPM 14–26 May (José Jackman, Patrick Boez, Joël Detcheverry, Patrick Hacala). In Nova Scotia, where Prothonotary Warbler is a rare migrant, one was at West Head, Shelburne Co 22 May (ph. Bill Crosby). A Hooded Warbler was an exceptional visitor to Dock, Charlotte Co NB 4 May (ph. Susan Cline, Marina Bourque, Sandra Bourque). Quite rare to Nova Scotia, a male and female Hooded Warbler were at Cape Forchu, Yarmouth Co 9 May (ph. Ervin Olsen). The five Yellow-throated Warblers reported in Nova Scotia were believed to be overwintering vagrants from last October’s fallout (fide Alix d’Entremont). Black-throated Blue Warbler is casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon where a female was on St. Pierre Island 28 May+ (Joël Detcheverry, Patrick Hacala), and a male was found on western St. Pierre Island 31 May (Dennis Rebmann, Joël Detcheverry). Eight Summer Tanagers for Nova Scotia was an excellent number. Two Summer Tanagers were in New Brunswick. A male Scarlet Tanager in western St. Pierre Island, SPM 30 Apr–6 May was a casual vagrant (fide Roger Etcheberry). A Western Tanager located in Freeport, Digby Co NS 4 May (ph. Helen Teed) was a great yard bird. Accidental to Nova Scotia, a Black-headed Grosbeak lingered into the season at Glace Bay, Cape Breton Island through 4 Apr (ph. Bev Crowell), while another was at feeders in Antigonish, Antigonish Co 19 Mar (ph. Rose Cormier, Ken McKenna). The three Blue Grosbeaks reported in New Brunswick were rare migrants to the province.
Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, an Indigo Bunting was in St. Vincent’s, Avalon Peninsula 6 May (ph. Alison Mews, ph. Ethel Dempsey), and a second individual was in Torbay, Avalon Peninsula 7 May (ph. Judy Blackley). Individual Indigo Buntings—or perhaps the same individual—were in Étang Boulet and the Vallée du Millieu, St. Pierre Island 17 May (Joël Detcheverry), and at the Réserve, St. Pierre Island 19 May (Patrick Hacala). Unexpected were the individual Painted Buntings present in the Fox Harbour Resort, Cumberland Co NS 2 May (ph. Greg Arab), at Marble Mountain, Inverness Co NS 20–31 May (ph. Rachel MacPhail et al.), and in Canso, Guysborough Co NS 21 May (George Murphy).
Report processed by Andrew Keaveney, 13 Jan 2022.