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 31 of 75

30 Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2016 Birding Newfoundland Valley is easily one of the island's most beautiful places. Being much closer to the Maritime Provinces both geographi- cally (it's a mere 80 miles/130 km from Cape Breton) and ecologically, it is also home to the island's greatest diversity of songbirds. A number of species wan- der there regularly that are otherwise very uncommon or rare in the rest of Newfoundland, and a few have pushed the limits of their breeding range to in- clude this small region of the island. Birds such as Philadelphia Vireo; Black- burnian, Bay-breasted, and Cape May warblers; Northern Parula; and Eastern Kingbird give the region a very different favor, making it a draw for both local and visiting birders alike. Endangered Piping Plovers nest on the vast sandy beaches of this coast, and an occasional Veery can be heard singing at higher el- evations of the Long Range Mountains that surround the valley. FALL & WINTER Fall brings a major shift to the bird life of Newfoundland, with breed- ing seabirds and songbirds having left for another year. They are replaced by more than a dozen species of migrat- ing shorebirds including Whimbrel and American Golden-Plover on the upland barrens and Ruddy Turnstone, Black- bellied Plover, Sanderling, Semipal- mated, Least, and White-rumped sand- pipers on the many beaches. Flocks of beautiful Snow Buntings arrive in late fall, contrasting with the often more drab birds of the barrens this time of year. Some years, Snowy Owls arrive in numbers and hunt along the coast. Below, from left to right: n Mourning Warbler. Photo © Jared Clarke n Capelin spawning. Photo © Jared Clarke n Eurasian Wigeon. Photo © Jared Clarke Background image: n Northern Gannet colony at Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve . Photo © Brad James

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