Birder's Guide

MAR 2016

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 30 of 75

29 March 2016 | Birder's Guide to Travel Western Newfoundland Gros Morne National Park is consid- ered one of the gems of Newfound- land, and rightly so. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park is known around the globe for its amaz- ing geology, stunning scenery, and world-class hiking. It is also an excel- lent place for birding and general na- ture viewing. Located on the island's west coast, it is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada. A great variety of birds can be found in and around the park, owing to its diverse and well-protected habitats. The beautiful songs of warblers, vir- eos, and thrushes echo through the landscape on cool summer morn- ings. Common Goldeneye and mer- gansers fsh the shallow estuaries, while elegant Harlequin Ducks nest along isolated sections of river. The Arctic-alpine habitat atop the Long Range Mountains provides breeding grounds for Rock Ptarmigan, White- crowned Sparrow, and American Tree Sparrow. Non-avian residents of these high elevations include arctic hare, black bear, and woodland cari- bou, which can also be seen near the low-lying coast during much of the year. Southwestern Newfoundland is also home to some very special pla- ces. Stephenville Crossing sits beside a large estuary that provides impor- tant spring and fall staging habitat for a variety of waterfowl and migrating shorebirds. Importantly, it is one of North America's only known breed- ing locations for Black-headed Gull, which nest in small numbers amid a larger Ring-billed Gull colony. Lo- cally uncommon breeders such as Willet and Caspian Tern can often be spotted along the coast, and rare birds are reported regularly from this birding hotspot (including recent re- cords of Ivory Gull, Bar-tailed God - wit, Little Egret, and even a Western Reef-Heron). Nestled away in the southwest cor- ner of Newfoundland, the Codroy Clockwise from top: n Black-headed Gull. Photo © Brad James n Pink lady's-slipper. Photo © Jared Clarke n Humpback whale. Photo © Jared Clarke n Pine Grosbeak. Photo © Jared Clarke

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