Atlantic Region: Summer 2021

Summer 2021: 1 Jun–31 Jul

David Seeler
[email protected]

Recommended citation:

Seeler, D. 2021. Summer 2021: Atlantic R. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-bBx> North American Birds.

Weather conditions within the region normalized this season with the exception of the remnants of post Tropical Storm Eisa that briefly affected the region in early July. Species of note included the arrival of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, and the exceptional discovery of a Steller’s Sea-Eagle along the Restigouche in New Brunswick by Gerry Issac. Pending approval, this unique discovery will provide the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec with first records. Not surprisingly this will be Canada’s first record as well.

Waterfowl through Skimmers
Unexpected, and a great surprise, was the arrival of six Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in the Atholville Lagoons, Restigouche Co, NB 11 Jun (ph. Steve Ouellette et al.). Pending acceptance by the New Brunswick Committee, these individuals will provide the first six records for that province and the Atlantic Region. Casual to insular Newfoundland, a vocal Pink-footed Goose was in the Goulds area, Avalon Peninsula 6 Jun—30 Jul (ph. Blair Dudeck, m. ob.). The Tundra Swan at Upper Ferry, St. George’s–Stephenville NL 4–11 Jun (Tina Randall, m. ob.) was a casual visitor. Seventeen Wood Duck were another greater example of a casual visitor to Newfoundland and Labrador. A male Gadwall in Virginia Lake, St. John’s NL 23–30 Jun (Edmund Hayden et al.) was a not so flashy casual visitor. A Eurasian Wigeon, casual to Prince Edward Island, was in McKenna’s Marsh, Kings Co 30 Jun (ph. Mark MacDonald), while three were in New Brunswick where they are recorded a bit more often as rare migrants. Casual to Nova Scotia, two Harlequin Ducks were along the Cape Split Trail End, Kings Co 12 Jun (ph. Victor Braun), and two others were near the Port Bickerton Light House, Guysborough Co 10 Jul (ph. Angela MacDonald). Successful breeding of a pair of Hooded Mergansers in the Victoria West area, Prince Co PE 22 Jun (ph. Dennis Gallant), and of a pair near Montague, Kings Co PE in late Jun (Peter Vanden Broek, Geoff Wood) provided the province with its second and third breeding records. A Hooded Merganser, casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, was in LaVerse, St. Pierre Island 16 and 29 Jul (ph. Joël Detcheverry, ph. Laurent Jackman). The Ruddy Duck found in the New Minas Sewage Lagoons, Kings Co NS 5 Jun—18 Jul (Al Mutch, Harold Forsyth et al.), and the Ruddy Duck along the French River Trail, Annapolis Co NS 30 Jun (ph. Julia Reid et al.) were casual visitors. Pied-billed Grebes, rare to Newfoundland and Labrador, presented with: one at Shoal Pond, St. George’s–Stephenville 6–12 Jun (Vernon Buckle), then three on 5 Jul (Vernon Buckle), two were at Loch Lomond, St. George’s–Stephenville 8 Jun, with only one remaining through 22 June (ph. Delphine Ward, m. ob.).

The Eurasian Collared-Dove at Melvern Square, Annapolis Co NS was observed 10 and 23 Jun (ph. Mark Dennis, ph. Mike MacDonald, ph. Larry Neily). Casual to Nova Scotia, a White-winged Dove was at Cole Harbour, Halifax Co 20 Jun (ph. Shelley Hines). White-winged Dove is rare to New Brunswick, where two were reported: one at Welsh Pool, Charlotte Co 29–30 Jun (ph. James Johnson, ph. Susan Cline), and the other was in Moncton, Westmorland Co 6 Jul (ph. Marc Poirier). Two Common Nighthawks present at South Coast–Channel–Port aux Basques NL 5 Jun (Tina Randell, Mike House, Randolph White) were casual visitors. Rare in Newfoundland and Labrador, an American Coot was at Shoal Pond, St. George’s–Stephenville 5–12 Jun (Vernon Buckle). A Common Gallinule in the Borden Wetlands, Prince Co PE 20–24 Jun (ph. Melanie McCarthy et al.) was a casual visitor. Sandhill Crane is rare to Nova Scotia where 13 individuals were present, while in New Brunswick where they are uncommon, 14 were noted. 

American Oystercatchers have bred in southern Nova Scotia since 1997, and are considered very rare elsewhere within the province. This year, an adult American Oystercatcher was in the Big Glace Bay Bird Sanctuary, Cape Breton Island NS 29 Jun—7 Jul (ph. Stephen McGrath et al.). American Oystercatcher is a casual vagrant to New Brunswick, and a pair discovered on Kent Island, Charlotte Co (fide Paul Mansz)  apparently relocated to Bill’s Islet, Charlotte Co 10 Jul+ (ph. Mitch Doucet, ph. Holly Frazer, m. ob.), and appeared to be nesting (fide Mitch Doucet). Should this turn out to be the case, it will be the first breeding record of that species in New Brunswick. A high count of 176 Whimbrels reported on the Isthme de Miquelon-Langlade, SPI 23 Jul (Laurent Jackman) included one Eurasian Whimbrel (ssp. phaeopus) that had been present since 6 Jul (ph. Laurent Jackman). Considered uncommon to insular Newfoundland, there were two reports of Stilt Sandpiper: one at Picadilly Beach, Port-au-port, St. George’s– Stephenville 5–6 Jul (ph. Denise McIsaac, ph. Randolph White et al.), and the other was on Cape Freel’s, Bonavista 10 Jul (ph. Blair Dudeck, ph. Megan Buers). Rare to Nova Scotia, five Stilt Sandpipers were present: one in Black Oler Marsh, Lunenburg Co 17 Jul (Eric Mills), one at The Hawk, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 28 Jul (ph. Mark Dennis), and three at Three Fathom Harbour, Halifax Co 29 Jul (ph. Susan Myers). The Willet (ssp. inornata) at Lawrencetown Lake, Halifax Co NS 7 Jul (ph. Andrew Stadnyk), was likely the same individual that arrived at Crescent Beach, Lunenburg Co NS 7–21 Jul (Eric Mills, James Hirtle). 

Two Thick-billed Murres at Alderney Landing, Waterford, Halifax NS 4 July (ph. Vernon Buckle, ph. Megan Boucher) were excellent finds. Wilson’s Phalarope is a very uncommon visitor to insular Newfoundland with two individuals reported: one at Port-au-port Peninsula, St. George’s–Stephenville 14–17 Jul (ph. Kathy Marche et al.), and the other was on Cape Freel’s, Bonavista 21 Jul (ph. Barry Day). Two South Polar Skuas observed south of St. Pierre Island, SPM 14 Jun (ph. Joël Detcheverry) were the only reports for the French Islands. Uncommon in Newfoundland and Labrador, two South Polar Skuas were offshore of Cape St. Francis, Avalon Peninsula 24 Jul (Bruce Mactavish), and one was offshore of Cape Race, Avalon Peninsula 26 Jul (Bruce Mactavish, ph. Ethel Dempsey, ph. Alison Mews). The seven South Polar Skuas reported in waters offshore of Nova Scotia were rare visitors. Similarly, two Parasitic Jaegers, considered rare visitors to Nova Scotia, were offshore of Cape Forchu West, Yarmouth Co 10 Jul (ph. Kathleen MacAulay, ph. Alix d’Entremont). A Pomarine Jaeger was also offshore of Cape Forchu West, Yarmouth Co NS 10 Jul (ph. Alix d’Entremont, ph. Kathleen MacAulay), while two were observed in the Bay of Fundy, Digby Co 12 Jul (ph. Duguay Rosemonde, ph. Sonya Hinds, ph. Carmella Melanson). Casual to Nova Scotian waters, a Long-tailed Jaeger was over the Grand Manan Banks, Bay of Fundy, Digby Co NS 8 Jul (ph. Matt Spangler).

Gulls through Larks 

Rare to Nova Scotia, individual Black-headed Gulls were at: Waterside Beach Provincial Park, Pictou Co 2 Jul (ph. Ken McKenna) and at Rainbow Haven Provincial Park, Halifax Co 29 Jul (ph. Robert Martin). Interestingly, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Black-headed Gull is particularly rare, and yet 27 individuals were present. The Little Gull at Petite Rocher Harbour, Gloucester Co NB 27 Jul (ph. Rene Duclos, ph. Denise Boudreau) was a rare vagrant. Laughing Gull is exceptionally rare to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia where individuals were at: the Big Glace Bay Bird Sanctuary 29 Jun (ph. Steven McGrath), and Jersey Cove, Victoria Co 26 Jul (ph. Diane Ernst). On mainland Nova Scotia a Laughing Gull was on Caribou Island, Pictou Co 19 Jun (ph. Mathew Silk), and another was on Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 11 Jul (ph. Kathleen MacAulay, ph. Alix d’Entremont). An adult Common Gull (ssp. canus) on Long Beach, Trinity Bay, Avalon Peninsula NL 26 Jul (ph. Bruce Mactavish, Ken Knowles) was an accidental visitor. A rare visitor to Nova Scotia, a Caspian Tern was on the Jersey Cove Sandbar, Victoria Co 18–21 Jun (ph. Bethsheila Kent), two were at the Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area, Cumberland Co 19 Jun (ph. Brodie Badcock-Parks), and another was in Auld’s Cove, Guysborough Co 6 Jul (Mike Melchin). Two Caspian Terns were at the Waterside Beach Provincial Park, Pictou Co NS 25 Jul (ph. Peggy Scan), and one was at Merigomish Point, Big Island, Pictou Co NS 29 and 31 Jul (Ken McKenna, Danny Cameron, ph. Robert Lange). Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Black Tern was at Renews Beach, Avalon Peninsula 8 Jun (ph. Charles Fitzpatrick, Frank King, Heather King). An adult Sandwich Tern was an excellent find along the Codroy River, Codroy Valley Provincial Park and area, St. George’s-Stephenville NL 7–12 Jun (ph. Ethel Dempsey, ph. Alison Mews, m. ob.) proving the 12th record for the province . It was later relocated on Shoal Point, Port-au-port Peninsula, St. George’s-Stephenville NL 25—26 Jun (Denise McIsaac, Delphine Ward et al.).

While still quite rare in the Bay of Fundy, Cory’s Shearwaters are now frequent, but uncommon (July-October) visitors to the Atlantic off Nova Scotia—with warming sea temperatures a presumed culprit. Three were observed during offshore fishing in the North Atlantic, Shelburne Co 27 Jun (Aldric d’Eon), individuals were offshore Cape Forchu West, Yarmouth Co 10 and 30 Jul (Alix d’Entremont, Kathleen MacAulay), two were observed at this same location 31 Jul (Paul Gould), one offshore of McNutt’s Island, Shelburne Co NS 24 Jul (ph. Alix d’Entremont, ph. Paul Gould), and offshore at Daniel’s Head, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co NS 30 Jul (Mark Dennis). Rare to uncommon within the Atlantic Region, 148 Manx Shearwaters were in waters off Insular Newfoundland, while 102 were in Nova Scotian waters. 

A Gray Heron at Mundy Pond, St. John’s NL 29 Jun (ph. Lancy Cheng) provided that province with its seventh record. The Great Egret in Marystown, Burin Peninsula NL lingered through 2 Jun (Shawn Fitzpatrick, ph. Frank King). Another Great Egret—or perhaps the same individual—was at Shoal Pond, St. George’s-Stephenville NL 22 Jun (ph. Denise McIsaac). Elsewhere, nine Great Egrets were in New Brunswick, and eight were in Nova Scotia. Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Snowy Egret was present at St. Andrew’s, St. George’s-Stephenville 2 Jul (Clyde Thornhill). In New Brunswick, the Snowy Egret in Castalia Marsh, Grand Manan Island, Charlotte Co 6–29 Jul (ph. Jaden Barney, m. ob.) was a rare visitor. Elsewhere, eight Snowy Egrets were in Nova Scotia. The Little Blue Heron in Trepassey Harbour, Avalon Peninsula NL 8–9 Jun (Julie Cappleman, David Shepherd, Richard Thomas) was a casual vagrant. One Little Blue heron was in Waterside, Albert Co NB 18–24 Jun (ph. Rick Elliot et al.). In Nova Scotia where Little Blue Heron is rare, individuals were at the Harrison Lake Wetlands, Cumberland Co 18 Jul (ph. Shawn Chapman), Sandy Land Park, Beaver River, Yarmouth Co 18 Jul (John Kearney), and at Morgan Falls, East Dalhousie, Kings Co 25–27 Jul (ph. Nancy Dowd, m. ob.). The only report of Tricolored Heron was from Miscou, Gloucester Co NB 30 Jun (ph. Michel Chiasson). Accidental to Prince Edward Island, a Green Heron in Dundas, Kings Co 11 Jun (ph. Roberta Palmer) provided the province with its fifth record. A rare visitor to Nova Scotia, a Green Heron was present in Clam Point and area, Yarmouth Co NS 18 Jun and 26–30 Jul (Mike MacDonald, ph. Mark and Sandra Dennis). Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was observed along Lundrigan’s Road, Marystown, Burin Peninsula 25 Jul (ph. Brenda Bungay), and an immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was in Renews, Avalon Peninsula NL 30 Jul (Martin Berrigan). Very rare to Nova Scotia, nine Yellow-crowned Night-Herons were present. 

A Black Vulture, casual to Nova Scotia, was at Chain Lake, Colchester Co NS 2 Jul (Ray Cooke). A Steller’s Sea-Eagle was an exceptional find along the Restigouche River, Restigouche Co NB 28 Jun by Gerry Issac, a Listugi Mi’kmaq Ranger (ph. Gerry Issac, fide Andrew Olive). The Steller’s Sea-Eagle was relocated the next day on Gillis Island, Restigouche River, Restigouche Co NB (ph. Andrew Olive, Carole-Anne Gillis). Subsequently, the Steller’s Sea-Eagle was intermittently present along the Restigouche River, NS through 23 Jul (m. ob.). As noted previously, this single individual provided first records everywhere it traveled. A Red-headed Woodpecker at Cable Head, Kings Co PE 19 June provided the province with its sixth record. Rare to Nova Scotia, but with an increasing presence, a Red-bellied Woodpecker in Halifax 1 Jun–14 Jul was joined by a second individual 3 Jun (Lucas Berrigan, m. ob.). A Red-bellied Woodpecker was briefly present in Dartmouth, Halifax Co NS 8 Jun (Marty Zelenietz), while another individual was at Clam Point, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co NS 20 Jun (Mark Dennis).

Flycatchers through Tanagers

Great Crested Flycatcher is rare to Nova Scotia, so it is noteworthy that at least 15 individuals were reported. Casual to the Atlantic Region, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher was an excellent visitor to the home of Caroline and Yannick Dupuis in Memramcook, Westmorland Co NB 18–19 Jul (Caroline and Yannick Dupuis, ph. Gilles Belliveau et al.). Rare to St. Pierre et Miquelon, five Alder Flycatchers were at Voiles Blanches, Langlade 18 June (Laurent Jackman), two were in Western Langlade 9 Jul (Laurent Jackman), and three were in Plaines des 3 Sapins, Langlade 11 Jul (Laurent Jackman). Casual to Nova Scotia, at least 12 Willow Flycatchers—based on probability of movement locally—were present. Rare to insular Newfoundland, nine Philadelphia Vireos were reported, while in Nova Scotia—where considered casual—one was at Clam Point, Shelburne Co 7 Jun (Mark Dennis, Mike MacDonald). Warbling Vireo is casual to Nova Scotia as well, with one at Gunning Cove, Shelburne Co 12 Jun (au. Mike MacDonald), and another was present in Sydney, Cape Breton Island 24 Jun (Jeff McLeod). Exceptional in summer to Newfoundland and Labrador, two adult and one juvenile Northern Shrike were along the Monchy Woods Road, Gander 6 Jul (ph. Barry Day) providing a confirmed breeding record for the species. Two additional Northern Shrikes were in the Round Lake area, St. Anthony, Northern Peninsula NL 11 Jul (John and Ivy Gibbons). Unexpected visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador, individual Cliff Swallows were at Brook Marsh, Forteau 2 Jun (ph. Vernon Buckley), over English Point, Forteau 2 Jun (Vernon Buckle), and at Goulds, Avalon Peninsula 12 Jun (Kyle d’Entremont). Eight House Wrens were present in New Brunswick, where they are rare visitors. In Nova Scotia, House Wrens are particularly rare with nine individuals  present. Exceptionally rare, the Carolina Wren at Minter’s Marsh, Kings Co NS lingered into the season through 11 Jun (Larry Neily). Casual to Nova Scotia, individual Brown Thrashers were present at: Western Head, Shelburne Co 1 Jun and 20 Jul (ph. Paul Gould, ph. Bill Crosby), Sandy Lake Ponds, Yarmouth Co 5 Jun (John Kearney), Three Fathom Harbour, Halifax Co 27 Jun (Kate Steele, Chris Pepper), and Greenwood, Kings Co 30 Jun (ph. Josee  LeBlanc). Individual Brown Thrashers were also at Clam Point, Shelburne Co NS 6 Jul (ph. Mark Dennis), and East Dalhousie, Kings Co 25 Jul (Mike Norton). A Brown Thrasher in LaRéserve, St. Pierre Miquelon SPM 5 Jun (Joël Detcheverry) provide the French islands with their first summer record. Casual to insular Newfoundland, a Brown Thrasher visited Trinity-Clarenville, Bonavista 7 Jun (ph. Blair Dudeck, ph. Megan Buers). 

A breeding record of Northern Mockingbird for Prince Edward Island was established when two adults were observed feeding 3 juveniles at Argyle Shore, Queens Co 23–24 Jul (ph. Ron Wilson). Rare to Nova Scotia, a pair of Eastern Bluebirds were in Upper Northfield, Lunenburg Co 1 Jun (Luke Colwell) in addition to the 37 individuals reported elsewhere. Individual Wood Thrushes, rare to Nova Scotia, were present: in the White Rock Canal area, Kings Co 1–2 Jun (Jake Walker, au. Sarah Foote et al.), along East Sable Road, Shelburne Co 5 Jun (au. Mark and Sandra Dennis, au. Mike MacDonald, au. Bertin d’Eon), and the Wood Thrush in Lunenburg, Lunenburg Co lingered into the season through 11 Jun (au. Kevin Lantz). A Wood Thrush was also along Bishop Road, Cambridge, Kings Co NS 21 Jun–12 Jul (au. John Brazner, m. ob.), with the last individual being at Kejinkujik National Park, Queens Co NS 28 Jun (au. Jake Walker). A Lark Sparrow that visited the home of Yolande LeBlanc in Memramcook, Westmorland Co 28–29 Jul (Yolande LeBlanc, ph. Gilled Belliveau, m. ob.) was a rare visitor to that province. A Baltimore Oriole, uncommon to St. Pierre et Miquelon, was in La Réserve and surrounds 7–18 Jun (ph. Joël Detcheverry, ph. Patrick Hacala). Exceptionally uncommon to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Baltimore Oriole was in Marystown, Burin Peninsula 7–18 Jun (Brenda Bungay). A Brown-headed Cowbird—casual to Newfoundland and Labrador—was at Ship Head, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay 1 Jun (Vernon Buckle). Out of season, and rare to Nova Scotia, a Prothonotary Warbler was at Pubnico Point, Yarmouth Co 27 Jul (Liam Thorne, Sandra and Mark Dennis, Mike MacDonald). Although casual to Nova Scotia, 24 Pine Warblers were reported. Particularly unusual was the early presence of a Prairie Warbler on Green Island, Yarmouth Co NS 29 Jul (ph. Alix d’Entremont, ph. Liam Thorne) which provided a third summer record to that province. Casual to insular Newfoundland, individual Scarlet Tanagers were present: at Red Rocks Rock, Codroy Valley 5 Jun (Bruce Mactavish, Ken Knowles, John Wells), in Bear Cove, South Coast-Channel-Port aux Basques 5 June (mike House, Tina Randell), and in St. Shotts, Avalon Peninsula in early Jun (fide Bruce Mactavish).

Photos–Atlantic Region: Summer 2021

Click image to view fullscreen with caption.