Jean and I spent the past week on Grand Manan. Birding was quite good on Monday and Tuesday, Sept 18-19th but then northeast winds resulting from the seaward passing of the hurricane plagued us for the rest of the week until they finally died off last evening. The birding really slowed as soon as the northeast wind began. It appears most birds that were present on the island moved out and no more came in because of the wind direction.
We ended the week with 113 species which is somewhat low for late September. Some of the more interesting birds included:
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER – an apparent hatch-year bird was on White Head Island the morning of September 19th.
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER – we were lucky to see this one. As we pulled to a stop at the first “goose pond” on White Head Island on the 19th two shorebirds flew in and landed on the nearby perimeter of the pond. One was a Semipalmated Plover, the other the Buff-breast. I was able to take several photos of the Buff-breasted before a marauding MERLIN swooped in and chased both birds across the pond. Fortunately both shorebirds soon returned but remained very wary for the rest of our stay. We returned on Friday, September 22nd but all we saw were two PECTORAL SANDPIPERS foraging in the same area.
RED KNOT – three were feeding in Castalia Marsh at low tide on Sept 23rd. This species is difficult to find in the Bay of Fundy.
DICKCISSEL – one was at Castalia Marsh the morning of September 23rd. This could have been the same bird seen and photographed last weekend by Durlan Ingersoll’s sister in the area of the shelter near the Burrowing Owl.
BURROWING OWL – This amazing little bird remains steadfast in the rocky breakwater at Castalia Marsh and was easily seen daily during this past week. One doesn’t even need to get out of their vehicle to see or study it.