Seeler, D. 2022. Winter 2021–2022: Atlantic Region. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-d3J> North American Birds.
A La Niña Weather pattern set in for the winter season, which combined with above average sea temperatures for the region, appeared to promise lower precipitation and slightly increased temperatures. Such was the case for December. However, in the New Year, weekly sprawling winter storms brought widespread varying effects such as rain, freezing rain, ice, snow and blizzard conditions throughout the region. Despite increasing seawater temperatures within the region through 2021, ice levels were near normal on 24 January 2022, at fifteen percent as compared to two percent at the same time last year. Despite these conditions, birders were able to get out and produce first provincial records such as Slaty-backed Gull for New Brunswick, and many first winter records.
Waterfowl through Skimmer
Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Snow Goose was an unexpected visitor at the Gander Bay Causeway 7–8 Dec (ph. Barry Day). The four Pink-footed Geese, casual to insular Newfoundland, continued into the season at Indian Head Park, Stephenville through 25 Feb (ph. Kathy Marche, m. ob.). A single Pink-footed Goose remained at Burton’s Pond, St. John’s NL to 28 Feb (ph. John Alexander, m. ob.). In Nova Scotia, where Pink-footed Goose are casual migrants, a hunter in Lakeville, Kings Co shot a Pink-footed Goose 11 Dec (ph. Jake Chute), another was at Wallace River, Cumberland Co 30 Dec (ph. Maggie Broughton), while four Pink-footed Geese were in the Gardner Mines area, Cape Breton Island 30 Jan+ (ph. Kenneth MacIntosh, ph. Roland Spear, m. ob.). A Barnacle Goose in Port La Tour, Shelburne Co NS 26–27 Dec (ph. Sue Deschene, Mike MacDonald et al.) provided the 15th record for the province. Casual in St. Pierre et Miquelon, a Canada Goose was observed in flight south of St. Pierre Island 16 Dec (Georges Hayduke).
Two Tundra Swans were an exceptional find at Dingwell’s Mills, Kings Co PE 12–20 Dec (ph. Ray Acorn, ph. Dwaine Oakley et al.) providing the fourth and fifth records since the late 1800s. Curiously, Darren VanKampen photographed two Swans in the West River area, Meadowbank, Queens Co PE 11 and 19 Dec (ph. Darren VanKampen), but unfortunately the details were insufficient to identify to species.A Eurasian Wigeon, casual to the French Islands, was present in the area of St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island SPM 19 Dec–13 Feb (ph. Joël Detcheverry, ph. Valérie Jackman). Exceptional to St. Pierre et Miquelon, a Canvasback overwintered at l’Étang Boulet, St. Pierre Island 16 Dec–21 Feb (ph. Valérie Jackman, ph. Laurent Jackman et al.) providing the first record of such an occurrence for the French Islands. The discovery of a Ring-necked Duck at Black Pond, Kings Co PE 1 Jan (ph. Roberta Palmer), and another in Andrew’s Pond, Charlottetown PE 11 Jan and 3 Feb were exceptional winter finds. The Hooded Merganser that lingered into the season at l’Étang Boulet, St. Pierre Island SPM to 7 Feb was exceptionally late for the French Islands. Ruddy Duck is considered rare to Nova Scotia where at least six individuals were reported. Exceptionally late, and accidental to Prince Edward Island, a Pied-billed Grebe was in the Montague River, Kings Co 1–3 Jan (ph. Dale Murchison, ph. Cindy Esau et al.) providing a first winter record to the province.
The Eurasian Collared-Dove, a long time visitor to Melvern Square, Annapolis Co NS was last reported 11 Feb (ph. Larry Neily, m. ob.). In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Eurasian Collared-Dove at Grand Bay West, South Coast-Channel-Port aux Basques lingered through 22 Feb (Janice Flynn, ph. Tina Randell et al.) provided the province with a first winter record. Exceptionally late, single Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were at Economy, Colchester Co NS through 23 Dec (ph. Linda Dodge), and another was briefly observed struggling to remain upright in a storm at Wolfville Ridge, Kings Co 24 Dec (Judy Tufts). A Clapper Rail in Chamberlain’s Park, Avalon Peninsula NL 30 Dec–5 Jan (ph. Hope Bennett, Fred and Colleen Wood, John Brattey, Alison Mews, m. ob.) was an exceptional find that provided the province’s sixth record, and its first winter record for the species. Casual to Nova Scotia, a Purple Gallinule was an unexpected find at Overton, Yarmouth Co NS 9 Dec (ph. Alix d’Entremont), Rick Brown). Three Sandhill Cranes in East Hants, Hants Co NS 4 Dec (ph. Al Eastman), and two in Belleisle, Annapolis Co NS 12 Dec (ph. Larry Neily) were late migrants.
The Northern Lapwing that lingered into the season at Shoal Point, Port-au-Port Peninsula NL was last seen 2 Dec (ph. Denise McIsaac et al.). Subsequently, a Northern Lapwing, a casual vagrant to Nova Scotia, was on Sable Island National Park, Halifax Co 10–18 Dec (Greg Stroud). A Western Sandpiper discovered on Gull Island, Yarmouth Co NS 26 Dec (ph. Alix d’Entremont, ph. Kathleen MacAulay) provided the most northern winter record as reflected by eBird data. Pomarine Jaeger is very rare to Nova Scotia, with individuals reported at Chebucto Head, Halifax Co 11 and 22 Dec (ph. Rob Edsall, William Konze, David Bell, Siobhan Darlington), and another offshore at Baccaro Point, Shelburne Co 14 Dec (Mark Dennis). A Sabine’s Gull on Sable Island National Park, Halifax Co NS 25 Dec (Greg Stroud) was a casual vagrant. The adult Little Gull at Pictou, Pictou Co NS 6 Dec–14 Jan (ph. Fred Mackenzie, ph. Ken McKenna et al.) was likely the same individual reported there in November. A Slaty-backed Gull was an exceptional find at the St. John Landfill Site, St. John NB 30–31 Dec (ph. Jim Wilson), and again on 13–14 Jan (Richard Blacquiere, Jim and Jean Wilson) providing the province with its overdue first record.
Loons through Larks
The Pacific Loon discovered at Cow Bay Church, Halifax Co NS 19 Dec (David Bell, Dominic Cormier, Lucas Berrigan) was considered a casual vagrant. A Brown Pelican was found deceased in Ball’s Creek, Cape Breton Island NS 11 Dec (Holly Carleton). Unexpected in Nova Scotia, a Great Egret lingered into the season at Daniel’s Head, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co NS through 2 Jan (Mark Dennis, Logan Moore et al.). Another Great Egret was found in Old Abbott’s Harbour, Yarmouth Co NS 13 Dec (ph. Arthur d’Entremont), and was likely the same individual reported in Middle West Pubnico, Yarmouth Co 24 Dec (ph. Felix d’Eon). Also unexpected was a Snowy Egret at Daniel’s Head, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne Co NS 1 Dec (Mark Dennis). A Cattle Egret lingered at Branch, Avalon Peninsula NL through 8 Dec (Jared Clarke), while another continued into the season at Lourdes, Port-au-Port Peninsula NL to 2 Dec (ph. Kathy Marche) providing the province with its first and second winter records. Accidental to St. Pierre et Miquelon, a Cattle Egret reported on St. Pierre Island 1 and 4 Dec(ph. Valérie Jackman, ph. Laurent Jackman) provided the French Islands with their third winter record (fide Roger Etcheberry).
Single Black Vultures were at Dalhousie, Restigouche Co NB 2 Jan–2 Feb (Anne Marie Leger, ph. Denise Boudreau et al.), and in the Petit-Rocher-Nord area, Gloucester Co NB 23 Feb+ (Denise Albert, ph. Rene Duclos) where they are considered casual visitors. In Nova Scotia where Black Vulture is also a casual visitor, one that was first observed on John Pietersma’s farm in Canning, Kings Co NS in early winter was last reported 26 Feb (ph. John Pietersma, m. ob.). A Turkey Vulture first observed in Forteau, Labrador-Happy Valley-Goose Bay NL 22 Dec (ph. Vernon Buckle) was later found in a moribund condition after an immense storm. Vernon nursed the Turkey Vulture back to a reasonable condition and then released it. He last observed it in the Forteau area 4 Jan. A Cooper’s Hawk in Charlottetown PE 3 Feb (ph. Roberta Palmer) was a casual vagrant. In Nova Scotia, where Cooper’s Hawk is exceptionally rare, a remarkable 10 were reported. Four Red-shouldered Hawks were recorded in Nova Scotia, where they are considered very rare. An immature Red-headed Woodpecker, accidental to Prince Edward Island, visited feeders in Ebenezer, Queens Co 8–14 Dec (Walter Andrews, ph. Louise Andrews et al.) and provided the province with its seventh record. Rare to Prince Edward Island, single Red-bellied Woodpeckers were reported in Stratford, Queens Co 22 Dec (Raj Minhas), and along the Glencoe Road, Queens Co 17 Jan–16 Feb (ph. Kim MacMillan et al.). Single Red-bellied Woodpeckers were on insular Newfoundland at Fermeuse, Avalon Peninsula 16 Dec (Linda Cutler Kenny), and in St. John’s 19 Dec (Karen Darby). Particularly rare to Nova Scotia, seven Red-bellied Woodpeckers were present.
Exceptionally late, an American Kestrel was on Tin Can Beach, St. John NB 6 Jan (ph. Harry Scarth). Out of place and exceptionally late, an American Kestrel first observed at Cap à Dinan, St. Pierre Island SPM 7 Jan (Laurent Jackman) was subsequently found at l’Étang Freckner, St. Pierre Island SPM 25 Jan (Joël Detcheverry). An Ash-throated Flycatcher, an exceptional find at Pubnico, Yarmouth Co NS 7 Dec (ph. Ronnie d’Entremont, ph. Mike MacDonald, m. ob.) provided the province with its ninth record. The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher that lingered into the season along the Saxon Street Ravine, Kings Co NS to 5 Dec (au. ph. Rick Whitman) not only provided the first winter record for that province, but the ninth winter record for North America according to eBird Data. Eastern Phoebe is particularly rare to Nova Scotia where at least six were reported through the season. A Say’s Phoebe was an unexpected visitor to a residence in Port-aux-Basques NL 4 Dec (ph. Yvonne Patricia) providing a first winter record for the province.
Swallows through Dickcissel
House Wren is a casual vagrant to Nova Scotia (this year being an exception) with three being reported through the season (fide Alix d’Entremont). Exceptionally rare to Nova Scotia, a Marsh Wren was at Broad Brook Wetland Park, Yarmouth Co 5 Dec–26 Feb (au. ph. Kathleen MacAulay). A second individual briefly joined this Marsh Wren at that locale 1–2 Jan (Kathleen MacAulay, Alix d’Entremont, ph. Mark and Sandra Dennis et al.). Carolina Wren is rare to Nova Scotia with four individuals noted. Exceptionally rare to Nova Scotia, five Brown Thrashers were present this season. The sole report of Brown Thrasher, considered a rare visitor to New Brunswick, was of an individual visiting a feeder on White Head Island, Charlotte Co throughout the season (ph. Roger Burrows). Eastern Bluebird, considered very rare to Nova Scotia in winter, staged a minor invasion of that province with at least 56 individuals present. A Townsend’s Solitaire that lingered at Atholville, Restigouche NB 27 Dec–10 Jan (ph. Andrew Olive, ph. vt. Margaret Doyle et al.) was a casual visitor to the province. The Townsend’s Solitaire present in Englishtown, Victoria Co, Cape Breton Island NS 30 Dec (ph. Bethsheila Kent) was an exceptional find. Accidental to St. Pierre et Miquelon, single Hermit Thrushes were at La Réserve, St. Pierre Island 10 Dec (ph. Joël Detcheverry), and in Miquelon, Miquelon Island 22 Jan–5 Feb (Roger Etcheberry), an exceptionally late date. Out of place, individual Hermit Thrushes were in Odell Park, York Co NB 15–26 Jan (Milda Markauskas, Derrick Hogan), at Seal Cove, Grand Manan Island, Charlotte Co NB 16 Jan (Mark Morse), and along Whistle Road, Grand Manan Island, Charlotte Co 16 Jan (Mark Morse). A Varied Thrush reported at Dorchester, Westmorland Co NB late Jan through 16 Feb (Lorraine Wheaton, ph. Mitch and Irene Doucet, m. ob.) was a casual vagrant to the province.
The Black-throated Sparrow first reported at Bathurst, Gloucester Co NB 25 Nov was relocated in Bathurst 5 Dec (Jim and Jean Wilson, Rene Duclos) providing a first winter record to that province. Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Lark Sparrow continued at St. John’s through the season (ph. Ethel Dempsey, ph. Alison Mews, m. ob.) while another took up residence in St. Lawrence, Burin Peninsula NL 1 Dec–25 Feb (ph. Lillian Walsh). The Clay-colored Sparrow at Trepassey, Avalon Peninsula NL 2 Dec (John Brattey, ph. Charles Fitzpatrick) was a casual visitor to that province. Unexpected, and out of place, a Field Sparrow was discovered at feeders in Sackville, Westmorland Co NB 27 Jan–15 Feb (ph. Jaden and Ted Barney, Megan Boucher et al.). A Harris’s Sparrow lingered in Arcadia, Yarmouth Co NS 22 Dec–14 Feb (ph. Sharman and Roy Fells, m. ob.), providing the province with its 13th record and the county’s third record. The Yellow-breasted Chat, a casual visitor to insular Newfoundland, remained along Virginia River, St. John’s NL throughout the season. Casual to the French Islands, a Yellow-breasted Chat was present in the village of St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island SPM 5 Dec and 8 Jan (ph. Laurent Jackman). A male Yellow-headed Blackbird in Stratford PE 22 Dec and 21 Jan+ (ph. Dwaine Oakley). A female Yellow-headed Blackbird briefly joined the male in Stratford PE 7–13 Jan (ph. Dwaine Oakley). Another female Yellow-headed Blackbird was present in David’s Parish, Queens Co PE 10 Jan (Roberta Palmer et al.). In Nova Scotia where Yellow-headed Blackbirds are rare visitors, six were present. An Eastern Meadowlark discovered at North Lake, Kings Co PE 13 Jan (ph. Scott Sinclair) was a casual vagrant to that province. Eight Baltimore Orioles, rare to Newfoundland and Labrador, were present this season.
A Cape May Warbler that continued into the season along the Virginia River, St. John’s NL remained throughout the season (Ethel Dempsey, m. ob.). The Cape May Warbler at feeders in Moncton, Westmorland Co NB 18–19 Dec (ph. Stephane Poirier) was unusually late. A Pine Warbler, casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, lingered at La Réserve, St. Pierre Island 12 Dec+ (ph. Joël Detcheverry). Individual Pine Warblers, casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, were in St. John’s 23 Dec+ (Bruce Mactavish), and along the Waterford River Park, St. John’s 1–16 Jan (Alison Mews et al.). Casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Yellow-throated Warbler remained at the home of Clara Dunne in Renews, Avalon Peninsula 1–19 Dec (Clara Dunne). Individual Yellow-throated Warblers, casual to New Brunswick, were in Gagetown, Queens Co 7–13 Dec (ph. Therese and Jim Carroll), and at Petit Tracadie Gloucester Co 6 and 9 Jan (Lisette and Michel Godin, ph. Rene Duclos). The Prairie Warbler present along the Virginia River, St. John’s NL 6 Dec–14 Feb (Edmund Hayden, ph. Frank King, m. ob.) was a casual vagrant. A Townsend’s Warbler, a casual vagrant to Nova Scotia, was an unexpected discovery at Green Bay, Lunenburg Co 16 Jan (ph. Luke Colwell, ph. Jason Dain et al.). A Summer Tanager visiting feeders in Pictou, Pictou Co NS remained at that site through 12 Feb (ph. Ruth Wortman et al.). Previously reported last season, the Western Tanager continued into the season along Ridge Road, Wolfville, Kings Co NS through 4 Dec (ph. Sarah Foote, ph. Larry Neily et al.). A Western Tanager present in Moncton, Westmorland Co NB 16 Dec–6 Jan (Pierre Janin, ph. Jim and Therese Carroll, m. ob.) was a casual vagrant to that province. A Dickcissel, casual to the French Islands, was a surprise visitor to feeders during a storm in the Village of St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island SPM 9 Dec (ph. Valérie Jackman, Laurent Malthieux).
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