It was warm and humid this season with rainfall less than normal for most of the region. Avian Flu/H5N1 continued its devastating course through the region’s avian species this season There has been a significant impact on domestic species as well as those species that live in densely packed colonies throughout the region. Evidence of spread to marine and terrestrial mammals has been documented for the region. Species of note for the region include Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, White-winged Dove, European Golden-Plover, Pacific Golden-Plover, White-winged Tern, Wood Stork, Steller’s Sea-Eagle, Mississippi Kite, and Brown Thrasher among others.
Waterfowl through Skimmers
Nine Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks lingered in South Tetagouche, Gloucester Co, NB 3 Jun, with eight remaining through 9 Jun (Hazen McCrae, ph. Mitch and Irene Doucet, m.ob.). Curiously, a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, later found in Bathurst, Gloucester Co, NB 5 Jul remained through 19 Jul (ph. Denise Boudreau et al.). In Nova Scotia, where Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks are now considered casual vagrants, two were on Big Tancook Island, Lunenburg Co 12 Jun (ph. Laura Baker), while eleven were at Cape Forchu, Yarmouth Co 25 Jun (Tony Millard). The now resident Pink-footed Goose in St. John’s, NL continued its stay through the season (Tony Chubb, m. ob.). A Tufted Duck in the Mt. Stewart Lagoons, Queens Co, PE 9–17 Jul (ph. Karen MacKay, ph. Roberta Palmer, ph. Melanie McCarthy) was an exceptional find that provided the province with its fourth record of the species, and its first summer record. The seven Harlequin Ducks offshore of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, NS 2 Jun (Peter Payzant) were casual summer visitors—likely non-breeders.
A White-winged Dove was a brief visitor to feeders at East Point, Kings Co, PE 1 Jul (ph. Fred Cheverie), providing that province with its fifth record of the species. Subsequently, a White-winged Dove was discovered in the Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve, Avalon Peninsula, NL 2 Jul (ph. Kyle d’Entremont) where it is considered a casual vagrant. Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Black-billed Cuckoo was a brief visitor to Trepassey, Avalon Peninsula 6 Jun (Charles Fitzpatrick, Frank King). A Chimney Swift, considered a casual vagrant to Newfoundland and Labrador, was at Rocky Harbour, Northern Peninsula-St. Anthony 7 Jun (Cody Power). Casual to New Brunswick, a Rufous Hummingbird was a brief visitor to the well-known Johnson’s Mills Shorebird Centre, Westmorland Co 9 Jul (ph. Jordan Myles) providing a slight distraction to the task of monitoring shorebird movement through the Bay of Fundy. A Rufous Hummingbird at feeders in Leitches Creek, Cape Breton Co NS 22 Jul (ph. Sarah Steele) was a casual visitor to that province. Purple Gallinule is a casual visitor to New Brunswick where one was in Dipper Harbour, St. Johns, 2 and 4 Jul (ph. Pamella White, ph. Jim and Therese Carroll, ph. Shari Foley). Sandhill Crane is casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, with an individual present in Goulds, Avalon Peninsula 5–7 Jun (ph. John Alexander et al.), and two were at Shoal Harbor, Codroy Valley 18 Jun (ph. Tina Randell, ph. Mike House, Randolph White).
Casual in summer to Nova Scotia, a Black-necked Stilt found at Daniel’s Head, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 15 Jul (ph. Guylaine Camiré) was a good find. The pair of American Oystercatchers on Bill’s Islet, Charlotte Co, NB continued to tend a nest though the season (ph. Robert Baumander, ph. Shari Foley, m. ob.). Two additional American Oystercatchers were on Kent Island, Charlotte Co NB 1 Jun (Linda Nong), while another was present—possibly the same individual—on nearby Sheep Island, Charlotte Co, NB 7 Jun (William Irwin). Interestingly, two American Oystercatchers were in the Cormierville Marsh, Kent Co NB 20–21 Jun (ph. Marc LeBlanc, ph. Stuart Tingley). An adult American Oystercatcher was an exceptional find in Searston, St. Georges-Stephenville, NL 10–12 Jun (ph. Chris Brown, ph. Denise McIsaac, m. ob.) which provided the province with its first record of the species. Unexpected, a European Golden-Plover present at Cape Freels, Avalon Peninsula NL 23 Jun (John Grosse), and 15–26 Jul (ph. Kaylene Stagg) provided the province with its second summer record of the species. Accidental to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Pacific Golden-Plover observed at Cape Freels Headlands, Bonavista/Trinity-Clarenville 15 and 20 Jul (ph. Kaylene Stagg) provided the 10th record for the province as well as its fourth summer record. Rare to Newfoundland and Labrador, two Ruff were reported this season: one in Renews, Avalon Peninsula 3 Jul (ph. Charles Fitzpatrick and Ann Marie Barry), while the other was on Cape Island, Cape Freels, Bonavista/Trinity-Clarenville 7 Jul (ph. Kaylene Stagg). A Ruff discovered on the Grand Barachois, Miquelon Island SPM 6–9 Jul (ph. Joël Detcheverry) was a casual vagrant to the French Isles. The last Ruff to be reported this season was in Lawrencetown, Halifax Co, NS 21 Jul (Fred Mackenzie). Exceptionally early, a Eurasian Whimbrel (ssp. phaeopus) was at Daley’s Cove, Avalon Peninsula NL 10 Jun (ph. Allen Chartier, Jared Clarke et al.). One Stilt Sandpiper, rare to New Brunswick, was at the Water Retention Pools, Sackville, Westmorland Co 19–30 Jul (ph. Sophia Fraser et al.), while Nova Scotia reported nine Stilt Sandpipers.
A Polar Skua, casual to New Brunswick, observed in the Gulf of Maine, Grand Manan Island, Charlotte Co 20 Jul during a pelagic excursion (ph. Mitch Doucet, m. ob.) was an exciting find. Casual to Nova Scotia, a Black-headed Gull was at Mira Gut, Cape Breton 31 Jul (Brenda Pledge). Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, three Little Gulls were present this season. Individuals were in Arnold’s Cove, Avalon Peninsula 29 Jun–4 Jul (Bruce Mactavish, ph. John Brattey et al.), at Argentia, Avalon Peninsula 10 and 28 Jul (Jared Clarke, Susan Knoerr, ph. John Alexander), and the last was at Witless Bay, Avalon Peninsula 18–23 Jul (ph. Frank King et al.). The presence of an immature Laughing Gull in Brackley Marsh North, Prince Edward Island National Park, PE 13 Jun (David Seeler, ph. Roberta Palmer) provided the 10th record for the province and the fourth record for the National Park. A second Laughing Gull in Summerside, PE 21 Jun (ph. Donna Martin) was a good find. Casual to New Brunswick, a Franklin’s Gull at Cap Lumière, Kent Co 2 Jun (ph. Robert Shortall et al.) was again present at that locale 8–9 Jun (Stuart Tingley, m. ob.). The Gull-billed Tern at Pinkey’s Point, Yarmouth Co NS 15 Jul (ph. Paul Gould) remained through the season (ph. Kathleen MacAulay, m. ob.). Accidental to Nova Scotia, a White-winged Tern observed along the Salt Marsh Trail, Halifax Co 12 Jul (ph. Mike Jones) provided the province with its second record of the species. A Sandwich Tern found in the Codroy Valley Provincial Park, St. George’s-Stephenville, NL 6–8 Jun (ph. Glen Mitchell et al.) was a casual vagrant to the province.
Loons through Larks
A brief encounter with a Cory’s Shearwater in the Bay of Fundy, Charlotte Co, NB 31 Jul (ph. Mitch Doucet) was a great find and provided the province with the only report of the species. A Wood Stork that arrived in New Harbour, Guysborough Co, NS in early-Jun according to local residents was first reported 15 Jun (Stephen Flemming). The Wood Stork lingered in the area though 8 Jul (ph. Dianne Richard, m. ob.) providing the province with its first record of the species. A Brown Booby discovered on the Garnish Warf, NL 10 Jun (ph. Cheryl Munday) that was later relocated at 43° 0´ 26´´ N and 48° 43´ 27´´ W on 15 Jun (ph. Tony Lang) was a casual vagrant to the province. Likely the same individual was observed from a St. Pierre Ferry, SPM when a well described Brown Booby was reported 21 Jun (Michel Borotra) providing the French Isles with their first record of the species. The only report of a Great Egret in Newfoundland and Labrador was of an individual on Gull Island, Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, Avalon Peninsula 28 Jul (Harley Strauss). Rare to Nova Scotia, individual Snowy Egrets were reported at the Guzzle, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 7 Jun (ph. Mark Dennis), and at Daniel’s Head, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 14-15 Jun (Eric Mills, Mark Dennis). A well described Snowy Egret at Branch, Avalon Peninsula NL 8–11 Jun (Kyle d’Entremont) was a casual visitor to that province. Rare to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Tricolored Heron was in St. Anthony, Northern Peninsula 5–14 Jul (ph. Sheila Craig, ph. John and Ivy Gibbons, Todd Boland). Rare in Nova Scotia during the summer, four Yellow-crowned Night-Herons were reported. A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron discovered in L’Étang Boulot, St. Pierre Island, SPM 22 Jul (Robert Huxley) was a casual vagrant to the French Isles.
In Nova Scotia, three Black Vultures, rare to that province, were noted and two individuals were on Prince Edward Island where they are casual visitors. The Steller’s Sea Eagle appeared to make insular Newfoundland home for the season. It was photographed at 47° 38´ 54´´ N and 56° 13´ 23´´ W on 30 May (fide Alvan Buckley), and was later relocated at Boat Harbour, Northern Peninsula NL 29 Jun (ph. Penny Simms). Subsequently, the Steller’s Sea-Eagle made good use of the rugged and isolated coastline of the province when it relocated to Bonavista/Trinity Clarenville, NL 19 Jul+ (Alain Goulet et al.). Mississippi Kites were accidental to Nova Scotia prior to this season, at which time they invaded the province 20–23 Jul. Four were observed in flight over the vicinity of the Town of Yarmouth, Yarmouth Co, NS 20 Jul (ph. Alix d’Entremont, Kathleen MacAulay, m. ob.). Over the next three days, the total number of Mississippi Kites reported in the region increased to 12. Increasingly reported on Prince Edward Island, individual Broad-winged Hawks were reported in Crapaud, Queens Co 2 June (Carter Dorscht), and in Augustine’s Cove, Queens Co 26 Jun (Mike MacDonald). A Snowy Owl at Annapolis, Annapolis Co, NS 18 Jul (ph. Stephanie Fetinko) was out of place. Exceptionally late, a Snowy Owl that lingered in the French River area from early Jun through 21 Jul (fide Dan McAskill) was an accidental summer vagrant to the province. A Red-bellied Woodpecker in Stratford, PE 26 Jun (Melanie McCarthy) was an unexpected find. For the second year in a row, the successful nesting of a pair of Peregrine Falcons was documented when an adult was photographed with a juvenile 9 Jun+ (ph. Rena Sherring, ph. Judy Leroux, ph. Silvia Craig). This is the second confirmed breeding record for Prince Edward Island. A Northern Shrike at Kenemich, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL 22 Jul (Tony Chubbs) was exceptionally late and unexpected.
Swallows through Dickcissel
A pair of Carolina Wrens with two juveniles continued through the season in Summerside, Prince Co, PE (ph. Donna Dehmel) providing the first breeding record of the species for the province. Casual to Nova Scotia, individual Brown Thrashers were at Garland, Kings Co 2 Jun (ph. Ron Wilson), and at Schooner Pond, Cape Breton Island 17 Jun (ph. Allanah Vokes). A Brown Thrasher found in the Vallée du Milieu, St. Pierre Island SPM 18 Jun (ph. Patrick Hacala) provided the French Isles with their second record. Northern Mockingbird is casual to Newfoundland and Labrador where individuals were at Renews, Avalon Peninsula 7–14 Jun (ph. John Alexander, m. ob.), and in Argentia, Avalon Peninsula 30 Jun (ph. Charles Fitzpatrick). An adult female Northern Wheatear was an unexpected delight in St. Shott’s, Avalon Peninsula, NL 6 Jun (ph. Frank King, ph. Charles Fitzpatrick). Casual to Prince Edward Island, an Eastern Bluebird was at East Point, Kings Co 1 Jun (ph. Roberta Palmer), and in the Grenville Parish, Queens Co 3 Jun (ph. Kathleen McEachern). An American Pipit on the shoreline of Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island National Park, PE 12 Jun (ph. Kristina Hich, Graham Sorenson) was unexpectedly early.
Orchard Orioles are casual to Nova Scotia with two being reported: one in Riverside Park, Annapolis Co 23 Jun (au. Jake Walker), and the other at Daniel’s Head, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co 23 Jul (ph. Sebastián Pardo, Logan Moore). An Eastern Meadowlark, rare to mainland Nova Scotia, was at Chebogue Point, Yarmouth Co 1 Jun (Mark Dennis), while another was in Sydney, Cape Breton Island 2 Jun (Steve McGrath) where they are considered casual vagrants. A female Black-throated Blue Warbler at L’Étang Freckner, St. Pierre Island, SPM 12 Jun (ph. Laurent Jackman) was a casual vagrant to the French Isles. Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, individual reports of Indigo Buntings emanated from La Manche, Provincial Park, Avalon Peninsula 9 Jun (ph. Allen Chartier, Jared Clarke), a female at Renews, Avalon Peninsula 11 Jun (Clara Dunne, Alison Mews); and from George Park, Grand Falls-Windsor 14 Jun (ph. Martine Parent).
Report processed by José Ramírez-Garofalo, 24 Oct 2022
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