Atlantic Region: Summer 2018
Summer 2018: 1 June–31 July
Seeler, D. 2022. Summer 2018: Atlantic Region. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-dyj> North American Birds.
A chilly June was gradually replaced by heat waves in most of Atlantic Canada throughout July and August. Late snowfall and cold weather in the Newfoundland and Labrador region delayed the transition to summer. The summer heat wave in southern Atlantic Canada was reflected by a significant increase is ocean temperatures of 2–3 degrees above the 20 year average for the region. Increased temperatures were likely the cause of a significant dry spell in New Brunswick where food sources for various species was considered to be reduced. A significant invasion of warblers including American Redstarts and Magnolia Warblers occurred on the French Islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon in the first days of June. Also significant was the establishment of the first breeding record of Peregrine Falcon on insular Newfoundland.
Waterfowl through Skimmer
Accidental to New Brunswick, a Mute Swan first discovered on 6 Jun by Mathias Haffner, lingered in the Pagan Pointe Nature Reserve, Charlotte Co through 24 Jun (Mathias Haffner, ph. Ken McKillwrick et al.). Eurasian Wigeon is uncommon to Newfoundland and Labrador, where an individual reported at Burgoyne’s Cove, Bonavista/Trinity-Clarenville 7 and 10 July (ph. Joanne Smith), was likely the same one that was present in Lower Shoal Harbour, Bonavista/Trinity-Clarenville 22 Jul (ph. Rayfield Pye). A pair of Eurasian Wigeon were also at Neville’s Pond, Paradise, Avalon Peninsula NL 18 Jul (ph. Frank King, ph. Don Webb). Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, 12 Wood Ducks were reported through the season. A Wood Duck, considered casual to the French Islands, was at Pointe Blanche, St. Pierre Island SPM 12 Jun (Patrick Hacala). Black-billed Cuckoo is casual to insular Newfoundland where individuals were reported at Trepassey, Avalon Peninsula 17–20 Jun (fide Alvan Buckley), at Cape Ray, South Coast-Port aux Basques 20–23 Jun (Wayne Osmond et al.), and in St. Andrews, St. George’s-Stephenville 23 Jun (Mike Resch). Uncommon to Prince Edward Island, individual Black-billed Cuckoos were in Southville, Queens Co 17 Jul (Pater Feldstein), and at North Royalty, Kings Co 28 Jul (Scott Sinclair).
The Common Nighthawk photographed in flight over St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island SPM 4 Jun (ph. Patrick Hacala) was a rare vagrant to the French Isles. Casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird was discovered in South Langlade, SPM 3 Jun (Nicolas Cormier), while another was in the Village of Miquelon, Miquelon Island SPM 16 Jun (fide Roger Etcheberry). A Purple Gallinule that lingered into the season in Waterford Valley, St. John’s NL through 21 Jun (David Brown, ph. Barry Day) was an exceptional summer record. Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Sandhill Crane was in Gould’s, Avalon Peninsula 13–16 Jun (Perry Howlett, m. ob.). Observations of Sandhill Cranes with young reported throughout Nova Scotia soon after the breeding season strongly suggested the species breeding, yet to date, no nests have been located (fide Richard Stern).
Five pairs of American Oystercatchers were present on southern Nova Scotia breeding grounds—the only known breeding location in Canada (fide Alix d’Entremont). A Whimbrel (ssp. phaeopus) located at Anchor Point, Northern Peninsula NL 15 Jul (ph. Thierry Grandmont) was a very good find. Five Whimbrels flushed from a blueberry barren in Riverside, Albert Co NB 3 Jun (Denis Doucet) were very much unexpected. Casual to Nova Scotia a Ruff was in Black Oler Marsh, Lunenburg Co 8–11 Jul (ph. Jamie Huskins, et al.). Individual Stilt Sandpipers in Redhead Marsh, St, John NB 8 Jul (Gilles Belliveau, ph. Jim Carroll), and at Rotary Park, Bouctouche, Kent Co NB 30 Jul (ph. Jim Carroll) were rare visitors. Rare to Nova Scotia four Stilt Sandpipers were in the Amherst Sewage Lagoons, Cumberland Co 22 Jul (ph. Shawn Chapman et al.) with five being present 29 Jul (John Loch). A Stilt Sandpiper was also at Rose Bay, Lunenburg Co NS 29 Jul (ph. Kevin Lantz). A Wilson’s Phalarope in the Borden Lagoons, Prince Co PE 8 Jun (Bill Jameson) was an exceptionally rare summer visitor.
A Great Skua 22 km north of Sable Island National Park NS 15 Jul (Geoff Carpentier) was a very good find. Casual to New Brunswick waters, a South Polar Skua was discovered during a Pelagic Tour out of Grand Manan Island, Bay of Fundy, Charlotte Co 7 Jul (Mark Morse, ph. Mitch Doucet, m. ob.). South Polar Skua is a rare visitor to Nova Scotia where six individuals were reported (fide Alix d’Entremont). A Long-tailed Jaeger, casual to Nova Scotian waters, was documented offshore of Bon Portage Island, Shelburne Co 7 Jun (ph. David Bell). Six Common Murres observed in the waters offshore of East Point, PE from the Magdalene Ferry 5 Jul (Daniel Jauvin) provided the first six summer records for the province. Two Sabine’s Gulls, casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, were at Point La Haye, St. Mary’s Bay, Avalon Peninsula 19–29 Jul (ph. Peter Shelton, m. ob.). A Black-headed Gull at Rolling’s Pond, North Rustico, Prince Edward Island National Park 15 Jul (Gilbert Bouchard) was a good find. A rare migrant to New Brunswick, an immature Little Gull was at Petit-Rocher, Gloucester Co 27–28 Jun (ph. Mitch Doucet). Accidental to St. Pierre et Miquelon, a Laughing Gull was in the Village of St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island 24 Jun (ph. Bernard Verger). Laughing Gulls staged an invasion into Newfoundland and Labrador where at least eight individuals were reported. Casual to insular Newfoundland, individual Franklin’s Gulls—or perhaps the same individual—were at Trepassey, Avalon Peninsula 3–9 Jun (ph. David Smith, Fred and Colleen Wood et al.), at nearby St. Vincent’s, Avalon Peninsula 24 Jul (Chris Brown), and at Point La Haye, St. Mary’s Bay, Avalon Peninsula 28 Jul (Bill Mackenzie).
A Least Tern discovered at Daniel’s Head, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co NS 9 Jul (Johnny Nickerson) was a casual vagrant to that province. Rare to the French Islands, a Caspian Tern was observed on St. Pierre Island SPM 1–2 Jun (Joël Detcheverry, Patrick Boez). Individual Black Terns were in Trepassey, Avalon Peninsula NL 19 Jul (ph. Lancy Cheng et al.), at St. Vincent’s, Avalon Peninsula NL 23 Jul (Jeff Harrison, ph. Frank King), and on Point La Haye beach, St. Mary’s Bay, Avalon Peninsula 13–25 Jul (ph. Bruce Mactavish, Ken Knowles, Edmund Hayden et al.). A banded, adult Roseate Tern discovered in Bear Cove, Avalon Peninsula NL 9 Jul (ph. John Williams, Dave Hawkins), and later reported in Trepassey, Avalon Peninsula NL 17–19 Jul (ph. David Trently et al.) provided the province with its third record. A casual vagrant to Nova Scotia, a Sandwich Tern was on Bon Portage Island, Shelburne Co 4 Jun (David Bell).
Loons through Larks
A Wilson’s Storm-Petrel observed south of St. Pierre Island SPM 21 Jul (Joël Detcheverry) was a rare summer visitor to the French Isles. Five White-faced Storm-Petrels enumerated in the area of George’s Bank, Shelburne Co NS in late July by observers aboard the U.S. NOAA Vessel Gordon Gunter (fide Skye Haas) were exceptional finds. Casual to Nova Scotia, a Band-rumped Storm-Petrel was documented over George’s Bank, Shelburne Co NS 28 Jul by observers on the U.S. Vessel Gordon Gunter (fide Skye Haas). Individual Cory’s Shearwaters offshore of Grand Manan Island, Bay of Fundy, Charlotte Co NB 5 Jul (fide Durlan Ingersoll), and offshore of Black Harbour, Bay of Fundy, Charlotte Co NB 19 Jul (Aaron Hywarren) will, pending acceptance, provide the province with its second and third records. Rare to Nova Scotia, a Cory’s Shearwater was observed during a Whale Watch Tour in the Bay of Fundy, Digby Co NS 5 Jul (John Taylor). Fourteen Audubon’s Shearwaters in the George’s Bank area, Shelburne Co NS 27–28 Jul documented by observers aboard the U.S. Vessel Gordon Gunter were casual visitors to that province. One Brown Booby was at The Patch, 100 km southeast of Halifax Harbour NS 8 Jul (ph. Jamie Perry) providing the province with its thirteenth record.
Of the numerous Great Egrets reported last spring on the French Islands, two remained on St. Pierre Island SPM through 15 Jun (fide Patrick Boez). A Little Egret, first observed at Spaniard’s Bay, Avalon Peninsula NL 18 Jun (fide Alvan Buckley) alternated between that location and Kelligrews through 30 Jul (ph. Bruce Mactavish, m. ob.) providing the province with its eleventh record. A Little Blue Heron in Cliff’s Marsh, St. John’s NL 27–30 Jul (Todd Boland, m. ob.) was a casual visitor to the province. An occasional visitor to Prince Edward Island, a Cattle Egret discovered in Victoria Park, City of Charlottetown 2 Jul (Kelly and Rick Stronks) was an exceptional find. Exceptionally rare to Nova Scotia, individual Yellow-crowned Night-Herons were on Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 19–20 Jul (Cal Brown, ph. Sandra and Mark Dennis), while another was at Lower Prospect, Halifax Co 30 Jul (ph. Lyall Bouchard). A Glossy Ibis at The Hawk, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co NS 3 Jun (Blaine MacDonald, ph. Mark and Sandra Dennis et al.) was an exceptionally rare visitor as well.
A Black Vulture, casual to New Brunswick, was in Memramcook, Westmorland Co 2 Jun (ph. Gilles Belliveau). The Red-shouldered Hawk in Kejinkujik National Park, Annapolis Co NS 8 June (Jake Walker) was a casual visitor. A Red-tailed Hawk at Traverspine River, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay NL 1 Jun (Tony Chubbs), and another at Cartwright Junction, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL 13 Jul (ph. Vernon Buckle) were unexpected. Three Snowy Owls lingered at Bonavista, Trinity-Clarenville NL through 21 Jun (Richard MacDonald et al.). Particularly late was the Snowy Owl present on Funk Island, Notre Dame Bay-Lewisporte 16 Jul (Edward Jenkins). A first breeding record for Peregrine Falcon was established for insular Newfoundland when a single adult was observed feeding two juvenile Peregrine Falcons on the Bonavista Peninsula mid-Aug (Michael Lee, Alvan Buckley). A Western Kingbird, exceptionally rare to Nova Scotia, was present in Bridgewater, Lunenburg Co 3 June (John Robart).
Swallows through Grosbeaks
Particularly rare to St. Pierre et Miquelon, a Brown Creeper was present in the Village of Miquelon SPM 4 Jun (Joël Detcheverry). A House Wren present on Joël Detcheverry’s property on St. Pierre Island SPM lingered 6 May–31 Jul (ph. Joël Detcheverry) provided the first record for the French Isles. A rare migrant to New Brunswick, a House Wren was observed at Rockport, Westmorland Co 12 Jun (Rena Thomas, Lucas Berrigan). A Northern Mockingbird in Point Amour, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay NL 8 Jul (ph. Vernon Buckley, ph. Thierry Grandmont) was a casual vagrant. This season there were no reports of Gray-cheeked Thrush on the French Isles, where they used to be an uncommon occurrence on St. Pierre et Miquelon. Particularly rare in summer to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Lapland Longspur was in Lumsden, Notre Dame Bay-Lewisporte 5 and 16 Jun (Edward Jenkins), while another was reported in the Main Dock area, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay NL 4 Jun (Kennett Offill). American Redstarts staged an incredible invasion onto St. Pierre et Miquelon with several hundred being observed in the first days of Jun, dwindling to just a few by months end (fide Roger Etcheberry). Concurrent with this was a mini invasion of Magnolia Warblers over the same period (Patrick Boez, Patrick Hacala, Joël Detcheverry). Similarly, numbers of Blackpoll Warblers on St. Pierre Island SPM 1 Jun were well above normal (Joël Detcheverry, Roger Etcheberry). Occasional to St. Pierre et Miquelon, a male Black-throated Blue Warbler was in the Village of St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island 5 Jun (Patrick Hacala). A Scarlet Tanager at Pynn’s Brook, Humber District-Cornerbrook NL 6 Jun (ph. John Tuach) was a casual vagrant to that province. In Nova Scotia, an adult male Blue Grosbeak at Green Harbour, Shelburne Co 19 Jun (ph. Budgie MacIntosh) was an unexpected find.
Report processed by Andrew Keaveney, 3 Jul 2022.