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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Page 43 of 67

Birding New Brunswick the endangered Piping Plover in spring and summer. From late July through September, the salt marshes and beaches welcome some 20 shorebird species working their way back to South America. Tidal pools and lagoons on the Acadian Peninsula, the shore of the Northumberland Strait, Waterside, and Saint's Rest Marsh host multitudes of Black-bellied and Semipalmated plovers, Greater and Lesser yellowlegs, Ruddy Turnstone, Solitary, Semipalmated, Least, White-rumped, and Pectoral sandpipers, and Short-billed Dowitcher. Found in lesser numbers are American Golden-Plover, Piping Plover, Hudsonian Godwit, Baird's, Stilt, and Buff-breasted sandpipers, Longbilled Dowitcher, and Wilson's Phalarope. As summer wanes, these species are replaced by Red Knot, Sanderling, and Dunlin. European vagrants such as Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, and Black-tailed Godwit are rare visitors, and Western Sandpiper and Marbled Godwit can occasionally be found among the regulars. The most spectacular concentrations of shorebirds are found on the mudfats of the upper Bay of Fundy, which was designated as a Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve in the late 1980s. Starting in late July at various localities like Mary's Point, Johnson Mills, and Dorchester Cape, Semipalmated Sandpipers begin to mass in the tens of thousands. The early arrivals are adults, followed soon by the young of the year. They quickly build up in numbers so that focks of over one hundred thousand birds are possible by mid-August. Approximately 90% of the world's population of Semipalmated Sandpipers pass through the Bay of Fundy on their way south. They feed for weeks on small crustaceans in the mudfats before fying nonstop, 5,000 kilometers [3,100 miles], to the coast of South America. The focks are often put to fight by marauding Peregrine Falcons and Merlins. The sight of 50,000– 100,000 Semipalmated Sandpipers fying and undulating like waves on the bay should be experienced by all birders. It is one of those moments when putting a checkmark on a page becomes secondary to our love of birds and the awe-inspiring spectacle of nature at its best. In late fall and winter, New 1 42 Birder's Guide to Travel | August 2013 Brunswick hosts Arctic and pelagic species, as well as occasional European vagrants. Coastal bays on the Bay of Fundy do not freeze, accommodating wintering waterfowl, grebes, and alcids. Specifc areas that provide good winter seawatch conditions include Mace's Bay, Green's Point, and St. Andrews. Species reported there include Common Eider, all three scoters, Harlequin and Longtailed ducks, Redthroated Loon, Horned and Red-necked grebes, Dovekie, Thickbilled and Common

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