Even though southern Nova Scotia can be something of a eBird desert, at the moment, there are still gems to be plucked if you keep your eyes open, subscribe to the daily rarity summary and ae willing to give it a go. Pine Warbler used to breed in our yard in Quebec and for the past twelve years it has been the first warbler of the year, or at least first of the regular warblers – it was usurped once by a Townsends Warbler once.
In Nova Scotia they appear to be a scarce species, scarce enough for eBird to query things. Today Sandra and I decided to explore northwards, in part just to look around but also to slip in a look for the warblers. Miller Point Peace Park is a tidy little site in Bridgewater, a popular place with people exercising their dogs and strollers. Non-birdy people tend to be quite noisy but fortunately Pine Warblers literally rise above it, singing loudly from the tops of the pines, and this lot did just that today. We found two males singing, at least, and a single female in the area near the riverside parking lot – easy but thanks to the finder and subsequent eBird users for reporting them.
Arriving in Lunenburg, a place that had barely a gull around the quay, which is odd, we saw that whale trips were running so booked on to the afternoon jobbie. We’ve done rather a lot of whale trips, all have been different for a variety of reasons, this one was different because it wasn’t very good. It seemed to be a blast out, see a whale, see some seals and home type of situation and, as a birder, you tend to hope that you bag a few birds too.
The attraction for us was to see Atlantic Puffins. We may have seen many hundreds over the years but none in Nova Scotia and none for quite a while, what more do you need to tempt you. The trip bumph strongly suggested that the puffins were part of the itinerary, they weren’t. We did see a few Sooty Shearwaters, close but not photo range, and a lone Great Shearwater sat on the sea. Aside from a few Northern Gannets, that was pretty much it. Not a very birdy trip and, on this evidence, not recommended to birders unless someone else knows better.
The highlight really was a Bald Eagle that barreled into the quay area as we pulled out and snatched lunch from another bird, probably an Osprey as one pursued it for some distance as it fled.
Below a couple of shots of the eagle with fish and a Willet.
Four weeks since arriving in Nova Scotia and the list is going well with the two additions today, plenty to get out and find still and the yard list just hit 40.