Birder's Guide

AUG 2013

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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colony of some 5,000 pairs of Atlantic Puffn, 1,000 pairs of Razorbill, and 500 pairs of Common Murre. The number of visitors to the island is restricted to 15 a day, six days a week, so book well in advance. Access to the island from Canada is limited to the highly reliable Sea Watch Tours , whose boats sail out of Seal Cove on Grand Manan from around 25 June to 7 August. Visitors who have made arrangements to go on shore can get close-up views of the nesting birds from blinds built on the island. Those who are not granted on-shore access can get good looks at the birds as they forage for food in the waters around the island. The upwelling of nutrients caused by the massive tides at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy creates a rich food source which attracts hundreds of whales and thousands of seabirds. Several whale-watching companies located in St. Andrews and on Grand Manan provide access to offshore waters. (A list of some of these companies can be found on p. 44. They usually operate from late June into September. It is best to take the trips that go furthest from shore, and it might also be wise to check to see which have knowledgeable birders on staff.) Along with plenty of whales and other sea life, one may see large focks of foraging shearwaters. Tens of thousands of Great Shearwaters and smaller numbers of Sooty Shearwaters come from the south Atlantic to spend the summer in the Bay of Fundy. As summer progresses, they are joined by Manx Shearwater, Pomarine and Parisitic jaegers, South Polar Skua, Northern Fulmar, Red and Red-necked phalaropes, gannets, and Wilson's and Leach's storm-petrels. Puffns and other alcids can also be seen on these trips. Large focks of Bonaparte's Gulls and Black-legged Kittiwakes around the islands occasionally yield Little, Black-headed, and Sabine's gulls. There is always the possibility for the discovery of something rarer, like Great Skua, Cory's Shearwater, or Long-tailed Jaeger. Deer Island Point, home to the "Old Sow", the largest whirlpool in the western hemisphere, is a good spot to scope for rare gulls and other seabirds from shore. During the summer, New Brunswick's coastal areas can be well worth a visit. Salt marshes provide breeding habitat for bird species such as Willet and Nelson's Sparrow, as well as three endemic butterfy species: Short-tailed Swallowtail, Maritime Ringlet, and Saltmarsh Copper. The white sand beaches of the eastern shore from Miscou Island to Buctouche Dunes Nature Park host a small breeding population of Anderson Hollow Lighthouse in Harvey Bank. Photo © Sybil Wentzell. August 2013 | Birder's Guide to Travel 41

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