I've been birding since 2006 and my number one spot is Miscou island during bird migrations. Birds tend to concentrate here on the island because they seem to be following the Northumberland coast on their bi-annual trips. Miscou is the last resting/feeding spot before flying acrross the Bay of Chaleur and onto the Gaspé Peninsula. The same phenomenon happens with the automn migration, when the birds heading south cross the Bay of Chaleur they will head straight for Miscou because its the shortest path across.
A total of 279 species have been recorded for the island over the past years (records from the Acadian Peninsula Naturalists Club). Miscou can be divided into 4 birding habitats or groups.
1) Sea birds of the Bay des Chaleurs and the Gulf of St-Lawrence:
Gannets, Sea Ducks, Petrels, Terns, Gulls, Jaegers and members of the Alcids family (Razorbill, Guillemot, Murres, Dovekie) are all common sightings .
Another common sight here on the beache's of the island is a Gannet feeding frenzy. Sometimes it is just awsome to be able to observe hundreds and hundreds of birds diving into scools of Herring not far off-shore.
2) Woodland birds: An average of 25 species or more of Wood Warblers are recorded each year. Many uncommon to rare birds are also found here: Rare Sparrow's, Gnatcatchers, Flycatchers, Wrens, Thrushes, American Pipit, Tanagers and many others are regularly observed around the island.
3) Marsh and Shorebirds: Heron's, Egrets, Sora's, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Dunlin, Whimbrel, and one of the highiest count in the Maritimes for Red Knot's, many more species are noted in this group each year.
4) Raptors over the bogs of Miscou: A juvenile Golden Eagle was spotted 3 times by members of the Acadian Naturalits Club over a two week period late this spring. You can also see on a regular basis the following: Snowy Owls, Rough-legged Hawks, Bald Eagles, Sharpies, Broad-winged Hawk, Merlin, Peregrin, Kestrel, Red-tails, Northern Harriers (Marsh Hawk), Osprey's, Northern Goshawk, Turkey Vulture and once in a while a Gyrfalcon pops-up on record.
Miscou is a wonderfull spot for birding and I would say that its almost impossible to come-out empty-handed of this island without observing something nice!!
Neat ! Thanks for sharing .
Steeve, it's been on my mind to visit Miscou for some time. Your description sure has set a fire to the idea.
Great write-up and info Steeve ... so thats how you get all those great shots! In my pre-birding days I've always wanted to take a motorcycle trip to Miscou. Now in my post birding days, maybe I will hop on the bike .. and bring the camera/binoculars and kill two birds ... eeeek .... you know what I mean ... with one stone.
Thanks for the comments, hope to see you guy's there one day, pretty soon!!
Is it worth going to in late September?