Atlantic Region: Summer 2017

The Summer 2017, June 1–July 31

David Seeler
28 Irwin Drive
Charlottetown, PE C1E 1S2

Recommended citation:
Seeler, D. 2017. The summer 2017: Atlantic Region & St. Pierre et Miquelon. <> North American Birds.

Temperatures were close to normal while parts of the region suffered a moderate drought this season. Significant observations included a flyby Bridled Tern on Machias Seal I., NB, and a Burrowing Owl in the Halifax region of NS.

Contributors (sub-regional compilers in boldface)

Roger Etcheberry, Alix d’Entremont, Bruce Mactavish, Jim Wilson.


C. S. I. (Cape Sable I., NS); H. R. M. (Halifax Regional Municipality, NS); S. P. M. (Saint Pierre et Miquelon, France).

Waterfowl through Terns

Black-bellied Whistling Duck is a very rare vagrant to NS, so one observed in flight over the Baccaro Pen., Shelburne 9 June was a very good find (ph. Paul Gould). More exceptional was the discovery of ten Black-bellied Whistling Ducks on a front lawn in Musquodoboit, H. R. M. 10–22 June (ph. David Bell, ph. Jason Dain, ph. Dianne LeBlanc, m. ob.). The King Eider present in Cow Bay, H. R. M. last season lingered through 4 June (fide Ross Hall). Sandhill Cranes continued to expand their range in the region, with 15 Sandhill Cranes reported in NS and four in NB. A pair of American Oystercatchers was reported on C. S. I., NS again this season, yet, unfortunately, no young were reported (fide Rick Whitman). Rare to NL in summer, a Common Ringed Plover was at Frenchman’s Cove, Burin Pen. 10–11 July (ph. B. M., Tony Lang). Another or perhaps the same Common Ringed Plover was later found at Biscay Bay, Avalon Pen., NL 29–30 July (Ken Knowles, John Wells, ph. B. M.). Nesting Semi-palmated Plover is all but unknown now on S. P. M., but this season a pair of adults was observed with one chick n. of the Village of Miquelon, Miquelon I. 22 June (ph. Jacques Bouchet).  Only one Piping Plover pair successfully bred on the s. Isthmus, Miquelon I., S. P. M. this season, raising a brood of four (fide Laurent Jackman). An exceptionally early Stilt Sandpiper was present at Rainbow Haven Beach P. P., NS 17 July (Clarence Stevens Sr.).

South Polar Skua is the most commonly reported skua in NS in summer, and the first of the season was reported from the Portland-Yarmouth Ferry in NS waters 10 June (Mike Resch), while another was observed off Halifax, NS in the ne. channel between George’s and Brown’s Banks 2 July (ph. Ellis d’Entremont, ph. Graham Williams, ph. Richard Stern). An ad. Parasitic Jaeger off Pt. La Haye, St. Mary’s Bay, NL 10 June was exceptionally late for that latitude (fide B. M.). A Long-tailed Jaeger was found at The Prong, Grand Manan I., NB 28 June (Durlan Ingersoll).  Two flyby Common Murres at East Point, PE 21 July constituted an exceptional observation (Richard Guillet). Rare to PE in summer, a Little Gull was in Savage Harbor, Kings 5 June (Mike Resch, Dan McAskill); another was reported in NB at Petit Rocher, Gloucester (ph. André Pelletier). Laughing Gull is becoming increasingly expected in NL in summer, and one was reported from St. Shotts, Avalon Pen. 10 June (ph. B. M.); for S. P. M., the species is a rare vagrant, so one seen off Grand Colombier I. 13 June was a very good find (Laurent Jackman). A rare vagrant to NS, an ad. Franklin’s Gull was on Big I., Pictou 11–12 July (David McCorquodale, Fred Mackenzie, Ken McKenna, Steve Vines).  A Bridled Tern was photographed on Machias Seal I. by Ralph Eldridge 6 July, providing NB with its first record. The only vagrant terns this season in NS were two Forster’s Terns at Daniel’s Head, C. S. I. 25 June (ph. A. E., ph. Paul Gould); both lingered through 9 July, and one individual continued through the season (John Kearney, Mark Dennis).

Shearwaters through Tanagers

Two Cory’s Shearwaters were reported off the Yarmouth-Portland Ferry in NS waters 10 June (Mike Resch). A two-hour sea watch at Pt. La Haye, St. Mary’s Bay, NL 10 June netted the following: 250 Sooty Shearwater, 350 Great Shearwater, 65 Manx Shearwater (B. M.). Brown Booby is rare to NS, so the four individuals reported this season were exceptional, and included a recently deceased subadult on Sable I., H. R. M. 18 June (ph. Greg Stroud); another subadult on Pearl I., Lunenburg 22 June (ph. Robert & Sandi Keereweer); an ad. on rocks at The Hawk, C. S. I. 9 July (ph. Mark McCullough); and an ad. female resting on the fishing vessel Lady Eileen 100 km sw. of C. S. I. 12 July (ph. Yvon Pothier).

A Great Egret observed at Waterville Corner, Jacksonville, Carleton, NB 19 June constituted an uncommon occurrence for that county (Yvon Beaulieu). Snowy Egret is a rare summer visitor to NS, so one at Chezzetcook, H. R. M. 23–25 June was a good find (ph. Pat McKay, Tony & Angie Millard, Keith Lowe, et al.), and was last reported at Conrad’s Beach, H. R. M. 27 June (Bob McDonald). A Burrowing Owl of the western subspecies A. c. hypugaea was an exceptional discovery by a visiting birder at Duncan’s Cove, H. R. M. 14 June, providing NS’s second record (ph. Caillie Mutterback). A Boreal Owl at Restigouche, NB 7 July was a rare observation, but the species is not unknown to the province in summer (Connor Hawey). A Fork-tailed Flycatcher found on Sable I., H. R. M. 11 June was the island’s first record, and the 14th for NS (ph. Greg Stroud). Western Kingbird is a very uncommon summer visitor to NB, and one was reported at Miramichi Marsh, Northumberland 20 June (ph. Peter Gadd); perhaps the same individual was observed at Red Head Marsh, St. John 25 June (ph. Moira Campbell). In S. P. M., Eastern Wood-Pewees were observed on the Isthmus, Miquelon I. 2 June (Laurent Jackman), and near the airport on St. Pierre I. 4 June (Patrick Boez), the latter a subadult; were both considered rare vagrants. The discovery of an Acadian Flycatcher at Renous, Northumberland 20 June provided NB with its 3rd record of the species (Jake Walker).

Rare summer visitors to NB, two Northern Rough-winged Swallows were found at Grand Lake Meadows, Queens 4 June; elsewhere in the province, two individuals were at Coytown, Queens 30 June, and a singleton was at Queensbury, York 15 July (Scott Makepeace). Also in NB, single House Wrens were reported from Sunbury 26 June (Andrew Olive) and Anchorage P. P., Grand Manan I. 7 July (Ken Edwards). Grey-cheeked Thrush is now considered a rare species in S. P. M., so finding one in n. Miquelon, Miquelon I. 11 June was reminiscent of better days (R. E.). Clay-colored Sparrow is uncommon to NB in summer, and this season a total of three individuals were reported there: one at Kerr’s Ridge Rd., St. Patrick, Charlotte 4–28 June (ph. Todd Watts, m. obs.); and a second at the St. Leonard Airport 6 June–11 July (Richard Migneault, m.ob.) which was joined by a third individual 5 July (Andrew Olive). A Clay-colored Sparrow observed in Monticello, Kings, PE 6–9 June provided that province with its third record (Gerald MacDonald, et al.). Vesper Sparrow is considered exceptionally rare to S. P. M., and an individual discovered at feeders in Miquelon, Miquelon I.,19 June was likely the same one reported in May in the area (Angélique Etcheberry). A Pine Warbler observed on Seal I., H. R. M., NS was the only vagrant warbler reported in the province this season (ph. Lucas Berrigan, David Bell). Scarlet Tanager is a rare vagrant to S. P. M., and reports of the species came from St. Pierre, St. Pierre I. 18 June (ph. Vincent Detcheverry) and Miquelon, Miquelon I. 22 June (Martine Autin).

Photos–Atlantic Region & St. Pierre et Miquelon, Summer 2017
Hover or click on each image to read the caption.