Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Nova Scotia bound!

In about 24 hours I will be leaving Windsor (for good, this time) and driving back to Cambridge. Friday evening I have a flight booked to Halifax, where I will be spending the next 10 days or so with Laura. Nova Scotia is a beautiful place and I'm looking forward to breathing in clean ocean air, hiking up mountains, walking down beaches, sailing, and all sorts of other things, BUT this blog is about birds so I'll talk about that.

This will be my 5th visit to the place, with the other four visits split between August and December/January. While I haven't really done too much birding, the few times I have been out Nova Scotia has been really good to me.

On my first visit, Laura and I did a bit of shorebirding along the coast. We saw some decent stuff including what was at the time my lifer White-rumped Sandpipers. An afternoon of whale-watching also produced some seabirds (but no whales!) including Greater Shearwater, Black-legged Kittiwakes, a Razorbill, some Arctic Terns, etc. We were surprised to see some American Golden-Plovers on an offshore island.

On December 31, 2009, I spent a day along the coast west of Halifax with Laura and our friend and former Guelphite Dom Cormier, as well as local birder Fulton Lavender. We had quite a bit of luck, finding both species of Murre, a young male King Eider with all the Commons, a Double-crested Cormorants with all the Greats (they are rare in winter), and a flock of Purple Sandpipers. We also took a look at a long-staying male Barrow's Goldeneye. The highlight though was when some pishing along a lonely road caused a House Wren to pop up for a bit! They are rare birds in Nova Scotia, and even rarer in the winter.

Finally, this past January while checking out the wildlife rehab centre where Laura works, I came across a female Eurasian Wigeon in the pond! They are a little more common out there than in Ontario.

I'll be returning on September 5, just when the jaeger season really heats up in Hamilton (oh yeah, and classes).

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