Atlantic: Summer 2023

Summer 2023: 1 Jun–31 Jul

David Seeler
dseeler@eastlink.ca.ca

Recommended citation:

Seeler, D. 2023. Summer 2023: Atlantic. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-guI> North American Birds.

It was warmer than normal, with wildfires continuing to burn uncontained through to mid-June in Nova Scotia. Temperatures remained above normal, so much so, that for most of the southern parts of the Region July was the hottest on record. Precipitation was above normal by the latter part of the season, fueled by constant atmospheric rivers entering the Region. This cumulated in major portions of central Nova Scotia being flooded multiple times in mid to late July. Transportation through the area was significantly compromised during this time.

Except for Newfoundland and Labrador, where a Breeding Bird Atlas Survey continues, reports from the rest of the Region were diminished. Despite this, there were a number of excellent reports for the season including: Common Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Little Stint, Black-browed Albatross, Steller’s Sea-Eagle, and Common Chaffinch amongst others.

Waterfowl through Herons

Casual to New Brunswick, a male Tufted Duck was at the Waste Water Treatment Lagoons, Cap Pelé, Westmorland Co 11 Jun (ph. Gilles Belliveau). Horned Grebes, exceptionally rare to Nova Scotian waters in summer, with individuals at Crescent Beach, Lunenburg Co 27 Jun (ph. Ray Wershler et al.), and by Sherose Island, Shelburne Co 7 July (ph. Mark Dennis et al.). These individuals are likely non-breeders. Casual to Prince Edward Island, a Chimney Swift was at Greenwich, Prince Edward Island National Park, Kings Co 11 Jun (John Cree). Ruby-throated Hummingbird is casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, where individuals were reported in St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island 1 Jun (ph. Laurent Jackman), and in the Village of Miquelon, Miquelon Island 10 July (ph. Charlène Jézéquel). An injured Rufous Hummingbird, casual to Nova Scotia, thought to have struck a window at Hortons Beach, Cumberland Co 12 Jul (ph. Alison Dumalski) survived the incident. Accidental to St. Pierre et Miquelon, a Purple Gallinule discovered at Étang de Mirande, Miquelon Island 10 Jun (Matthieu Detcheverry) provided the French Isles with their sixth record of the species (fide Roger Etcheberry).

The pair of American Oystercatchers on Bill’s Islet, Bay of Fundy, NB lingered into and through the season successfully raising one chick (ph. Mitch Doucet, ph. Ken Edwards et al.). This successful nesting attempt provided the first breeding record for the species to the province (fide Paul Mansz). An American Oystercatcher discovered in Codroy Valley Provincial Park, St. George’s-Stephenville NL 5 Jun (ph. Bessie Merrigan, ph. Ethel Dempsey, ph. John Brattey, ph. Alison Mews et al.) provided that province with its second record. The American Oystercatcher at Grand Barachois, Langlade SPM 14 Jun (ph. Patrick Hacala) provided the French Isles with their second record. A Common Ringed Plover was an exceptional summer find at Cook’s Beach, Pinkey’s Point, Yarmouth Co NS 15 Jul (ph. Kathleen MacAulay, ph. Alix d’Entremont) and provided the province with its first summer record. This was the only report for Common Ringed Plover for the Region. The Black-tailed Godwit in the St. John’s area of the Avalon Peninsula NL lingered into the season through 17 Jun (Jared Clarke, Elliot Naef, ph. Charles Fitzpatrick, m. ob.). Unexpected, and an excellent find, a Curlew Sandpiper was at Renews Beach, Avalon Peninsula NL 11–14 Jun (ph. Frank King, ph. vt. Jared Clarke, ph. vt. Alison Bentley, ph. Shawn Fitzpatrick et al.). The sole report for the Region, this Curlew Sandpiper also provided the 11th record of the species for that province, with the last report being in 2006 (fide Jared Clarke). A spectacular find, an adult Red-necked Stint at Lower Pond and Bear Cove area, Whitless Bay NL 27–28 Jul (ph. Charles Fitzpatrick, ph. Josh McCarthy, ph. John Brattey, m. ob.) provided the province with its first record of the species. Accidental to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Little Stint at Sandy Point, Flat Bay, St. Georg’s-Stephenville 11 Jun (ph. Thomas Gough) provided the province with its second record for the species.

A South Polar Skua, casual to New Brunswick waters, was reported during a pelagic outing in the Gulf of Maine (Atlantic Ocean), Charlotte Co 13 Jul (ph. Michael J. Good et al.). Offshore boundaries can get a bit muddled in the region with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Maine nearly equidistant. Subsequently, a South Polar Skua was reported offshore of Grand Manan Island, Charlotte Co 20 Jul (ph. Mitch Doucet), and two South Polar Skuas were reported south of Grand Manan Island, Charlotte Co NB 30 Jul (ph. Mitch and Irene Doucet). Accidental to New Brunswick, a Long-tailed Jaeger observed north-east of Grand Manan Island, Charlotte Co 20 Jul (ph. Mitch Doucet), provided the province with its fourth record of the species. An excellent find in summer, an adult Sabine’s Gull, casual to Newfoundland and Labrador, was observed in flight over Mer du Labrador, Nunatsiavut-nain (Jean-François Rousseau). Casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, a Laughing Gull was at the Isthme de Miquelon-Langlade 7 and 11 Jul (ph. Laurent Jackman, Elliot Naef). Casual to New Brunswick, a Franklin’s Gull was observed at the Beaubassin Research Station, Westmorland Co 7 Jun (ph. Joel Eckerson et al.). A Franklin’s Gull, observed at St. Vincent’s Beach, Avalon Peninsula NL 1–5 Jul (ph. Glenn Mitchell, ph. Bruce Mactavish, ph. John Alexander, ph. Charles Fitzpatrick, m. ob.) was a casual vagrant to that province. A Black Tern, accidental to Prince Edward Island, at the north shore, St. Peter’s Lake, Kings Co 22 Jun (ph. Anne Simons) provided the province with its sixth record. Individual Roseate x Common Tern Hybrids were reported on Sable Island National Park, Halifax Co NS 4 Jun (ph. Luca Berrigan), and another was found on Coffin Island, Queen’s Co NS 17 Jun (ph. Alix d’Entremont). Unexpected in summer, a Sandwich Tern was in Kejinkujik National Park, Queen’s Co NS 20 Jun (ph. Alix d’Entremont, Kathleen MacAulay).

A Black-browed Albatross was an exceptional find offshore of Miscou Island by members of a lobster fishing vessel in Bay of Chaleur, Gloucester Co NB 8 Jun (fide Jim Wilson). This is the first instance of a Black-browed Albatross being found in New Brunswick waters. Manx Shearwater is common to St. Pierre et Miquelon and Nova Scotia where 50 and 62 individuals, respectively, were reported for the season. Cory’s Shearwater is now considered casual to New Brunswick waters with one individual reported during a pelagic outing in the Bay of Fundy, Charlotte Co 20 Jul (ph. Zachary Holderby, ph. Bob Plohr et al.). Casual to the French Isles, a Cory’s Shearwater was observed in La Baie SPM 26 Jul (ph. Joël Detcheverry). The only other area to report Cory’s Shearwater emanated from Nova Scotia where 37 individuals were noted. Now rare to Nova Scotia, seven Brown Boobies were reported this season, while two individuals were observed in waters surrounding insular Newfoundland, where they are considered casual vagrants. Exceptionally rare to Newfoundland and Labrador, individual Little Blue Herons were at Boyd’s Cove, Notre Dame-Lewisporte 4 Jun (ph. Patrice Franche, ph. Angèle Gosselin), Bonavista, Bonavista/Trinity-Clarenville 7 Jun (ph. John and Lorrie Anderson, ph. Robert Leonhardt), and at St. Thomas, Avalon Peninsula 18–20 Jun (ph. C. Mercier et al.).

Turkey Vulture through Indigo Bunting

Now considered rare to Prince Edward Island, 17 Turkey Vultures were reported across the province this season. In Newfoundland and Labrador, where Turkey Vultures are considered casual vagrants, one was reported south of Fortune, Burin-Marystown 23 Jun (Larissa Simulik). The Steller’s Sea-Eagle was relocated in Spaniard’s Cove, Trinity Bay and area Bonavista/Trinity-Clarenville 19 Jun+ (ph. Jared Clarke, ph. Melissa Hafting, m. ob.). A Broad-winged Hawk, casual to Prince Edward Island, was in Kuntsford Forest, Prince Co 13 Jul (Burke Korol). A Crested Caracara arrived at East Point, Kings Co PE 9 Jul+ (Scott Sinclair, Gary Schneider, Madalyn Baldwin, ph. JoAnn and John Girard, m. ob.), and provided the province with its first record for the species. Accidental to Prince Edward Island, a Red-headed Woodpecker was observed in Bonshaw, Queens Co 13–26 Jun (ph. Andy Stultz) provided the province with its seventh record. The Philadelphia Vireo found and photographed at East Point PE 1 Jun (ph. Roberta Palmer) provided the 10th record of the species to the province. A Loggerhead Shrike at Rainbow Haven Provincial Park, Halifax NS 20 Jun (ph. Andy Horn et al.) provided the 11th summer record for the province (fide Alix d’Entremont). House Wren is particularly rare to Nova Scotia, where two individuals were reported, one at Canning, Kings Co 1 Jun–9 Jul (au. John Loch, ph. Lyall Bouchard, m. ob.) appeared to be building a nest, and the other was in Westville, Pictou Co 5–19 Jul (Mark Brennan, ph. Fred Mackenzie. m. ob.). House Wren is an accidental vagrant to Prince Edward Island, with the first record of the species being established 18 Aug 1972. This season, a House Wren was actively singing at the Stanhope entrance to Prince Edward Island National Park 22 Jun (Ray Wershler, Brian Elder) providing the province with its second record. The House Wren was quickly identified by Alberta bird song specialist Ray Wershler whose career was that of a wildlife biologist for the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada.

The Sedge Wren at Sunday Point, Kelly’s Cove, Yarmouth Co NS continued into the season through 29 Jul (Kathleen MacAulay, ph. Natalie Barkhouse-Bishop, ph. Kyle Shay, m. ob.) providing that province with its fifth summer record. Out of season, and casual at the best of times to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Brown Thrasher at St. Lunaire, Northern Peninsula-St. Anthony 27 Jun (au. ph. Gabrielle Robineau-Charette, au. ph. Cody Power), was well documented. Casual to Prince Edward Island, a male Eastern Bluebird was reported along the Confederation Trail, at McKenna’s Marsh, Kings Co 4 Jun (ph. Ken McKenna). A Common Chaffinch, accidental to Newfoundland and Labrador, was present at feeders in Lawn, Burin Peninsula 4–6 Jun (ph. Darlane Brockerville, Shawn Fitzpatrick, ph. Sheldon Anthony, ph. Frank King, ph. Barry Day, et al.) thus providing the province with its fifth record (fide Bruce Mactavish).

Unexpected in summer, a female Eastern Towhee was reported in Codroy Valley, St. George’s-Stephenville NL 4 Jun (ph. William Rideout, ph. Randolph White et al.). A Clay-colored Sparrow at Sunday Point, Yarmouth Co NS 16 Jun (Tony and Angie Millard) provided a third summer record to that province. The sole regional report of Yellow-throated Warbler emanated from St. John’s NL 1–6 Jun (ph. Frank King, ph. Charles Fitzpatrick et al.) where it is unexpected in summer. Accidental in summer to Nova Scotia, a Prairie Warbler lingered at Hampton Beach, Annapolis Co 13 Jun–6 Jul (Tracy Macdonald, au. Jake Walker, au. Dominic Cormier, au. ph. Lyall Bouchard, ph. Larry Neily et al.), provided the province with its fourth summer record. Indigo Bunting is unexpected in summer, where individuals were noted at Indian BA, Bonavista/Trinity-Clarenville 6 Jun by members of the Indian Bay Ecosystems Corporation, and at Cape Ray, South Coast-Channel-Port aux Basques 7 Jun (ph. Ethel Dempsey et al.). Casual to Prince Edward Island in summer, a male Indigo Bunting was at Crowbush Cove, Kings Co 21 Jun (Ray Wershler).

Report processed by Andrew Keaveney, 26 Nov 2023.

Photos–Atlantic: Summer 2023

This Ruby-throated Hummingbird, casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, was one of two individuals reported on the French Isles. Here photographed in St. Pierre, St. Pierre Island 1 June 2023. Photo © Laurent Jackman.

This American Oystercatcher was unexpected—yet delighted many—at the Codroy Valley Provincial Park, St. George’s-Stephenville Newfoundland and Labrador 5 June 2023. This individual provided the province with its second record for the species. Here photographed on that day. Photo © Ethel Dempsey.

This American Oystercatcher discovered at Grand Barachois, Langlade St Pierre et Miquelon on 14 June 2023 provided the French Isles with their second record for that species. Here photographed 14 June 2023. Photo © Patrick Hacala.

An exceptional find in summer, this Common Ringed Plover at Cook’s Beach, Pinkey’s Point, Nova Scotia 15 July 2023 provided the province with its first summer record. Here photographed on that date. Photo © Alix d’Entremont.

Unexpected, this Curlew at Renews Beach, Avalon Peninsula Newfoundland and Labrador 11–14 June 2023. Here photographed on 14 June 2023. It constituted the province’s eleventh record. Photo © Charles Fitzpatrick.

A spectacular find, this Red-necked Stint discovered at Lower Pond, Avalon Peninsula Newfoundland and Labrador 27—28 July 2023 provided the province with its first record. Here photographed 27 July 2023. Photo © Charles Fitzpatrick.

Accidental to Newfoundland and Labrador, this Little Stint at Sandy Point, Flat Bay, St. Georges-Stephenville 11 June 2023 provided the province with its second record of the species. Here photographed 11 June 2023. Photo © Thomas Gough.

Casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, this Laughing Gull was photographed at the Isthme de Miquelon-Langlade 7 July 2023. Photo © Laurent Jackman.

Casual to New Brunswick, this Franklin’s Gull was photographed at the Beaubassin Research Station, Westmorland Co New Brunswick 7 June 2023. Photo © Joel Eckerson.

Franklin’s Gull is also casual to insular Newfoundland, where this individual was photographed at St. Vincent’s beach, Avalon Peninsula 3 July 2023. Photo © Bruce Mactavish.

Sandwich Tern is generally observed in fall during coastal storms and is unexpected in the summer season to Nova Scotia. This individual was photographed at Kejinkujik National Park, Queens Co 20 June 2023. Photo © Alix d’Entremont.

One of fifty individuals reported in St. Pierre et Miquelon waters this season, this Manx Shearwater was photographed in the waters between Langlade and St. Pierre Island (La Baie). Here photographed 26 July 2023. Photo © Joël Detcheverry.

Casual to St. Pierre et Miquelon, this Cory’s Shearwater was photographed in La Baie on 26 July 2023. Photo © Joël Detcheverry.

A casual vagrant to Newfoundland and Labrador, this Brown Booby was one of two reported in waters surrounding insular Newfoundland. Here photographed 1 July 2023. Photo © Alison Mews.

Continuing its sojourn within the region, this Steller’s Sea-Eagle remained within the area of Trinity Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador 19 June 2023 throughout the season. Here photographed 20 June 2023. Photo © Jared Clarke.

Accidental to Prince Edward Island, this Crested Caracara lingered at East Point, Kings Co 9 July through the rest of the season, and provided the province with its first record of the species. Here photographed 12 July 2023. Photo © Hélène Blanchet.

This Red-headed Woodpecker, accidental to Prince Edward Island, was observed in Bonshaw, Queens Co 13–26 June 2023 and provided the province with its seventh record. Here photographed 25 June 2023. Photo © Andy Stultz.

This Philadelphia Vireo, found and photographed at East Point, Kings Co Prince Edward Island 1 June 2023, provided the province with its 10th record. Photo © Roberta Palmer.

Casual in summer to Nova Scotia, this Loggerhead Shrike at Rainbow Haven Provincial Park in Halifax 20 June 2023 provided the 11th summer record for the province. Here photographed 20 June 2023. Photo © Andy Horne.

Casual to Prince Edward Island this Eastern Bluebird was photographed along the Confederation Trail at McKenna’s Marsh, Kings Co 4 June 2023. Photo © Ken McKenna.

Accidental to Newfoundland and Labrador, this Common Chaffinch lingered in Lawn, Burin Peninsula 4–6 June 2023 providing the province with its fifth record. Here photographed 5 June 2023. Photo © Bruce Mactavish.

Unexpected in summer, this Yellow-throated Warbler was found along Rennie’s River, St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador 1 June 2023. Here photographed on that day. Photo © Charles Fitzpatrick.

Accidental in summer to Nova Scotia, this Prairie Warbler was at Hampton Beach, Annapolis Co 13 June through 6 July 2023. It constituted the province’s fourth summer record. Photo © Lyall Bouchard.