The Atlantic Region: Summer 2019

Summer 2019: 1 June—31 July

David Seeler

Recommended Citation:

Seeler, D. 2021. Summer 2019: Atlantic. <> North American Birds.

Precipitation was below normal for much of the region. While for the Maritime portion of the Region temperature was slightly above seasonal, in Newfoundland average temperature was close to normal. Most disquieting were comments early in the season suggesting that, in the Maritime Provinces at least, there appeared to be a decrease in the number of species of song birds observed or active in localized areas. A number of reasons were postulated but no specific cause was identified other than slightly lower temperatures in early June possibly leading to reduced insect populations as a food source. Reports of significance include that of a long lingering Eurasian-collared Dove and a Lewis’s Woodpecker, both in Nova Scotia.

Contributors Cited:

Alvan Buckley, Roger Etcheberry, Alix d’Entremont, Bruce Mactavish, Ian McLaren, Jim Wilson

Waterfowl through Terns

One Black-bellied Whistling-Duck lingered into the season at Northfield Rd., Lunenburg Co, NS 3–8 Jun (Dominic Cormier, Paul Gould, ph. Mark & Sandra Dennis). For the 5th year in a row, a Tufted Duck lingered through the summer at Kent’s Pond, St. John’s, NL (fide AB). The arrival of six male Tufted Ducks with one female was attributed to exceptionally early fall migrants at Kenny’s Pond, St. John’s, NL 30 Jul (fide AB). One King Eider observed off of the White Head Ferry, White Head, Charlotte Co, NB 8 Jul was unusually late (Roger Burrows). The Eurasian Collared-Dove, which has been present since the winter of 2018, lingered through this season as well at Melvern Square, Annapolis, NS (ph. Larry Neily et al.) This is the fifth record of the species for the province. Two White-winged Dove were reported in Nova Scotia this season, one at Western Head, Queens Co 5–8 Jul (ph. James Hirtle, Anne Hughes, Dorothy Poole et al.) and the second—perhaps the same individual—was observed at Clam Pt., Shelburne Co 13–14 Jul (ph. Mark & Sandra Dennis, Mike MacDonald). A Common Gallinule which lingered into the season at the Sackville Waterfowl P., Sackville, Westmorland Co, NB through 21 Jun (Laura Achenbach, Rena Thomas et al.) was considered a rare summer visitor. Rare to Nova Scotia as well, a Common Gallinule was at Seal I., Yarmouth Co 6 Jun (Jake Walker, Dominic Cormier) while another was found deceased in Little Harbour, Richmond Co 9 Jun (ph. Brian Simpson). The last Common Gallinule was reported at Musquash Marsh, St. John, NB where audio was recorded 11 Jul (Jim Carroll). An American Coot present at Kent’s Pond, St. John’s, NL 15 Jun was unusual for the season (Blair Flemming). The first seasonal report of Sandhill Crane was in Victoria Corner, Carleton Co, NB 6 Jun (ph. Nathan Staples), while 2 Sandhill Crane were reported at Oakfield P.P., Halifax NS (B. Haley). A Sandhill Crane was present along Marsh Rd., 3 km southwest of Riverside, Albert Co, NB 9 Jul (Shannon Inman). Later in the season a Sandhill Crane reported at Shott’s Sod Farm, Avalon Pen., NL 27–28 Jul (ph. Sean Molloy, Cliff Doran) was considered an especially rare summer visitor to the province.

A Black-necked Stilt at Lundrigan’s Marsh, St. John’s, NL lingered into the season through 8 Jun (ph. Jared Clarke et al.). An exceptional find for Prince Edward Island was a Black-necked Stilt at Carleton Cove, Borden, Prince Co 21 Jul (ph. Brendan Kelly, Brett Mackinnon et al.) that provided the province with its 2nd record of the species. Exceptionally high counts of Whimbrel were made at the airfield in Argentia, Avalon Pen, NL this season with 300 individuals counted 23 Jul (BM, Andrew Mactavish) and a minimum of 400 individuals, including one Eurasian Whimbrel, were observed at the same locale 28 Jul (BM). Black-tailed Godwit is considered a rare spring visitor to Newfoundland so one present at Renews, Avalon Pen. 10–18 Jun was an exceptionally spring migrant (ph. Tony Dunne, ph. BM, Bill Mackenzie et al.). A Stilt Sandpiper was present on Hay I., Northumberland Co, NB 16 Jul (François–Xavier Grandmont). South Polar Skua was first reported while fishing offshore of Yarmouth Co, NS 17 Jun (ph. Aldric d’Eon). Subsequently 4 South Polar Skua were reported in Nova Scotian waters through 29 Jul. In New Brunswick where South Polar Skua tend to occur later in the season an exceptionally early South Polar Skua was observed offshore of Kent I., Charlotte Co 9 Jul (ph. Eric Heisey, ph. Cullen Hanks) while another—also early—was found during a Pelagic Tour off e. Kent I., Charlotte 18 Jul (Eric Heisey). Pomarine Jaeger is considered a rare summer visitor to Nova Scotia so one reported during a trip to Seal I., Shelburne Co 3 Jun (Dominic Cormier, Jake Walker) and that of another off Devil’s I., Hartlen Pt., Halifax were considered very good reports. Two juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger observed offshore of St. Vincent’s, Avalon Pen., NL 19 Jul were uncommon for the season (BM, John Wells, Ken Knowles). Two Laughing Gull, one an adult and the other a juvenile, also present at St. Vincent’s, NL 19 Jul were considered rare to the province (BM, Ken Knowles, John Wells). Laughing Gull is a rare visitor to Nova Scotia with two being reported this season: a juvenile at Cape Sable I., The Hawk, Shelburne Co 4 Jun (Cal Kimola Brown, ph. Mark & Sandra Dennis, ph. Mike MacDonald) and an adult was observed at East Berlin, Queens Co 22 Jul (ph. Eric Mills). Casual to New Brunswick, a Franklin’s Gull was discovered at Kelly’s B., Kouchibouguac N.P., Kent Co 16 Jun (Justin Keszei, Andrew Keareney, ph. Cathy Beck). Only two Roseate Tern were reported this season, both in Nova Scotia: an adult at Coffin I., Queens Co 25 Jun (ph. AE), and the other was found at Dennis Wharf, Yarmouth Co 10 Jul (ph. Ronnie d’Entremont).

Loons through Falcons

A Northern Fulmar reported in waters northeast of Prince Edward Island from a Ferry 4 Jul was an exceptional sighting for the island (Émile Brisson-curadeau). Two Manx Shearwater reported 1 mi off Cape Spear, Avalon Pen, NL 2 Jun were good finds (Ian Jones, John Wells et al.). During the Grand Manan Ferry Track Whale and Seabird Survey to G.M.I, Charlotte Co, NB 19 Jul 140 Great Shearwater were enumerated while many other Shearwater sp. were observed in the distance (fide JW). Another Brown Booby made the rounds this season in Nova Scotia. A Brown Booby was photographed roosting on a Ferry at North Sydney Harbour, Cape Breton Island 30 Jun (ph. Brett Woodman). The next Brown Booby was first observed 60 mi southwest Of Cape Sable I., Shelburne Co perched on a sword fishing vessel 29 Jul (ph. Tyson Joseph Smith), and later that day it was observed following a Ferry in route to Sydney NS in waters off of Shelburne Co, NS (ph. Melanie Gaddy et al.). A Least Bittern discovered in St. George’s Marsh, Charlotte Co, NB 2–4 Jun (Todd Watts) during which time photographs and audio recordings were taken (ph. Jim Carroll), was considered a rare summer visitor. An infrequent visitor to Nova Scotia, a Least Bittern was observed on Seal I., Yarmouth Co, NS 7 Jun (Dominic Cormier). During July Least Bittern were reported twice in New Brunswick, one in Wilkin’s Field, York Co 5 Jul (Andrew Olive) and the other was in Musquash Marsh, St John 11 Jul where audio was collected (Jim Carroll). Although unlike the other Maritime Provinces Great Egret is considered very uncommon in Prince Edward Island, two Great Egret were reported at Malpeque Marsh, Prince Co 5 Jun (ph. Donna Martin) and another was intermittently present at Tracadie Hbr., Queens Co 28 Jun—19 Jul (ph. Leda Beth Cray, Allison Moody et al.). A Snowy Egret at Cape Sable I., The Hawk, Shelburne Co, NS 5 Jun was a rare summer visitor (Paul Gould, ph. Sandra & Mark Dennis). A second Snowy Egret was found deceased at West Arichat, Richmond Co, NS 11 Jun (ph. Donald MacLellan). The only other Snowy Egret report was that of one at Marsh Creek, St. John, NB 19–29 Jul (Rita Reed, ph. Jim Carroll). Also a rare summer visitor to Nova Scotia, a Little Blue Heron was present in the Bayswater area, Lunenburg 17–18 Jun (ph. Trevor Awalt, ph. Sylvia Craig, ph. Robert Keereweer et al.). A Little Blue Heron was then reported in Grand Desert Marsh, Halifax, NS 19 Jun (ph. Paul Murray). An adult Little Blue Heron found at Summerville Beach, Queens, NS 26 Jun (ph. Anne Hupman) was again observed with a second adult Little Blue Heron at the same locale 5 Jul (ph. Anne Hupman). A single adult Little Blue Heron found at Chezzetcook, Halifax, NS 1–4 Jul (ph. B. Haley) and the next day two adult and one immature Little Blue Heron were observed at the same locale (Clarence Stevens Sr., ph. Marty Finch, ph. Angie Millard et al.), clearly providing evidence of successful breeding there. A Cattle Egret discovered along South Side Rd., Shelburne Co, NS present 7–13 Jun was also considered a rare summer visitor (Mike MacDonald, ph. Mark Dennis). Green Heron were present this season with all Atlantic Provinces reporting their presence. A Green Heron observed along Pond Rd. Pubnico Pen., Yarmouth Co, NS 2 Jun (ph. Sandra & Mark Dennis, ph. Kathleen MacAulay, ph. AE et al.) and another discovered during a Ducks Unlimited Survey at Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park, Colchester Co, NS 3 Jun were considered rare occurrences for that province. In New Brunswick a Green Heron lingered into the season at Miramichi Marsh, Northumberland through 4 Jun (ph. Peter & Deana Gadd). A Green Heron was observed in flight at Little Abro Lake, Dartmouth, NS 13 Jun (B. Haley). Quite rare to Prince Edward Island, a Green Heron was observed flying into the Prince Edward Island National Park at Stanhope, Queens 17 Jun (ph. Roberta Palmer, David Seeler), providing the Island with 4th record of the species. Significantly, a Green Heron was discovered at Beaver Pond, Bonavista, mainland Newfoundland 18 Jun where it is also considered quite rare to that province. Black-crowned Night-Heron is a relatively uncommon visitor to Nova Scotia in summer so it was it was an interesting report to hear of a Black-crowned Night-Heron perched above a chicken coop at Beech Hill Farms, Queens Co, 15 Jul (ph. Melissa Fisher). A juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was reported in West Pubnico, Yarmouth Co, NS 20 Jul (Jody d’Entremont, ph. AE). Two juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron were at Abbott’s Harbour Warf, Yarmouth Co NS 27 Jul (ph. Ronnie d’Entremont, ph. Kathleen MacAulay, ph. AE). Juvenal Yellow-crowned Night-Heron were considered more common in summer as juveniles dispersed into the province (Fide Ian McLaren).

Black Vulture is a rare but regular species to Nova Scotia. This season four reports of Black Vulture within the Cape Breton Region of Nova Scotia were considered exceptional. A Black Vulture was at Chéticamp, Inverness Co, NS 27 Jun (ph. Claude Deveaux), another was photographed at Little Dover, Guysborough Co, NS 7 Jul (fide David Currie), two Black Vulture were present at Big Harbour I., Inverness Co, NS 8 Jul (ph. Alice Gowans), and the last was reported in St. Ann’s Bay, South Gut, Victoria Co, NS 14–15 Jul (ph. Cassandra Yonder). Turkey Vulture is quite rare to Newfoundland so the report of an individual at La Manche P.P., Avalon Pen., NL lingering through 2 Jun was quite significant (Chris Hearn, Andrea Dicks, Anne Hughes). Rare also to Prince Edward Island, a Turkey Vulture was discovered at Miminegash Pond, Prince Co 2 Jul (ph. R. Painter). A Golden Eagle observed at Old Grand Etang Rd., Inverness Co, NS 13 Jun was a rare visitor (Suzanne Townsend). A Red-shouldered hawk observed in Elgin, Albert Co, NB 1 Jun was presumed to be the same individual that has been present in summer the last two years (Andrew Blakney). Uncommon to Nova Scotia, a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk was found at Jake’s Landing, Kejimkujik N.P., Annapolis Co 11 Jun (Dominic Cormier, Jake Walker). Historically Cooper’s Hawk is a rare migrant to Nova Scotia. This season a Cooper’s Hawk reported in South Berwick, Kings Co, NS 6 Jul was joined by three Cooper’s Hawk 24 Jul, at which time a begging juvenile was videotaped (ph. vt. Glenn Lonergan). A Snowy Owl provided an unusual summer report when discovered on Sable I., Halifax Regional Municipality, NS 20 Jul (ph. Johnathan Beattie). A Lewis’s Woodpecker was an exceptional find at Duncan’s Cove, Halifax, NS 5–8 Jun (ph. Mark & Sandra Dennis, ph. Blaine MacDonald, m. ob.) and provided the province with its 2nd record of the species.

Flycatchers through Tanagers

Great Crested Flycatcher, an uncommon visitor to Nova Scotia, was reported at three locations this season: the first was found at Miner’s Marsh, Kings Co 8 Jun (ph. Laura McLarnon), the second was reported along Toney River Rd., Pictou 16 Jun (ph. Peggy Scanlon), and the last was discovered along the Trans Canada Trail, Colchester Co, NS 9 Jul (ph. Sylvia Craig). A Western Kingbird at the Tracadie S.T.P., Gloucester Co, NB 15 Jun was casual to the province (ph. Manon Cormier, Annie Robichaud). Willow Flycatcher is a rare but regular visitor to Nova Scotia and this season at least eight Willow Flycatcher were reported in that province through to 16 Jul. Warbling Vireo, a rare summer visitor to Nova Scotia, was documented with audio recordings at Miner’s Marsh, Kings Co, NS 3 Jun (James Churchill), another lingered in Auburn, Kings Co, NS 12–20 June and audio of this individual was also recorded (Jake Walker, George Forsyth). House Wren is considered rare in summer to New Brunswick and yet a number of reports were made. A House Wren remained in Moncton, NB 1 Jun and audio recordings were made (Raymond Savoie). Four House Wren were present in Milton, Charlotte Co, NB 31 May through to 2 Jul at which time at least 6 singing male House Wren were identified (Todd Watts). At least one pair of House Wren were successful in breeding at this location as parents were observed attempting to entice young out of the nest box 2 Jul (Todd Watts). Another House Wren was heard daily in St. Stephen, Charlotte Co, NB 3–20 Jun (Eric Marcum). A House Wren was recorded and photographed in Milltown, Charlotte Co, NB 4 Jun (ph. Jim Carroll), and two House Wren were reported in Fredericton, NB: one 13 Jun and (JW) the other the next day in another location (Don Gibson).

A Wood Thrush on Kent I., Charlotte Co, NB 1–12 Jun was joined by a second Wood Thrush 9 Jun (Eric Heisey) and both were considered uncommonly late spring overshoots. Brown Thrasher is a rare Nova Scotia summer visitor with two individuals being reported, one at Charles Cove, Guysborough 9 Jun (ph. Dianne Richard) and the other at Oak Island Resort, Lunenburg Co 11 Jul (John Brazner). Red Crossbill is an irregular summer resident to New Brunswick and little is known of the population subspecies which does occur. Seven Red Crossbill at Kent I., Charlotte Co, NB 2–3 Jul and four Red Crossbill remaining 4–5 Jul were documented with audio recordings from which spectrograms were produced (ph. Eric Heisey). Interestingly, the analysis initially suggested Type 1 or Type 2 flight calls, but additional analysis identified the Red Crossbill flock as belonging to an eastern variant of Type 10 or ss. curvirostra (Tim Spahr). A female Lark Bunting discovered on Seal I., Yarmouth, NS 1–3 Jun was an unexpected summer surprise (ph. AE, ph. Kathleen MacAulay, Bertin d’Eon et al.). A Clay-colored Sparrow, an unexpected summer visitor, was found at Miner’s Marsh, Kings Co, NS 8 Jul (Liam Thorne).

A Hooded Warbler found along Highway 105, Victoria Co, Cape Breton, NS 17 Jul (Patrick Markhaus) was considered an uncommon occurrence for the time of year. This season, Pine Warbler—which is normally considered uncommon to Nova Scotia—appeared in good numbers. The first Pine Warbler reported was at Oakfield P.P., Halifax, NS 7 Jun (B. Haley). Three Pine Warbler were found along the Cambridge Station Trail, Kings Co, NS 8 Jun (Phil Taylor),. Subsequently, a Pine Warbler was found in the Globe Islands area in Kejimkujik N.P., Annapolis Co, NS 5 Jul where audio recordings and photographs were obtained (ph. Phil Taylor). Two Pine Warbler were discovered in the Abercrombie Management Area, Pictou Co, NS 7–12 Jul (Ken McKenna, Fred Mackenzie et al.), two more Pine Warbler were found to be present at Ecole Rose-des-Vents, Kings Co, NS 9 Jul (James Churchill) and yet another individual was observed in Greenwood, Kings Co 13 Jul (Larry Neily). Quite uncommon for insular Newfoundland, a male Indigo Bunting stayed one night at Pennell’s Point, Trepassey (David Shepherd).

Photos–The Atlantic Region: Summer 2019

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