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 34 of 75

33 March 2016 | Birder's Guide to Travel Crossbill, Common Redpoll, Pine Sis- kin, and Pine Grosbeak—are present in large numbers. Bohemian Waxwings often descend on the island en masse, feasting on late-season berries that lin- ger through the colder months. Thrilling species such as Gyrfalcon and Ivory Gull are more diffcult to predict but are re- ported from locations around the island every year. St. John's is known as one of the world's foremost "hotspots" for winter gulls, a highlight for many visiting bird- ers. Thousands of Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, numerous Black-headed Gulls, and usually a European Mew ("Com- mon") Gull or two are found amongst the very abundant Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. At least one Yel- low-legged Gull regularly overwinters there, making Newfoundland the only place in North America where this spe- cies is seen on a regular basis. Slaty- backed Gull has also occurred in recent GETTING THERE There are plenty of fights arriving and departing from Newfoundland daily. The largest airport, offering the most national and international connections, is in St. John's (eastern), while Gander (central) and Deer Lake (western) also provide daily connections to hubs such as Halifax and Toronto. Smaller airports in Stephen- ville and St. Anthony are used mainly for interprovincial fights but allow for easy transit to these more remote parts of the island. A year-round ferry service between Newfoundland and Cape Breton (Nova Sco- tia) arrives and departs from Port-aux-Basques on the island's southwest corner. Visitors should be aware that this location is approximately 560 miles (900km) from St. John's and is most practical if planning a cross-island birding trip or visit- ing the west coast. Another ferry also connects to Argentia (just 1.5 hours from St. John's) during the summer months. Summer can be busy in Newfoundland, so it is highly recommended to reserve ferry crossings, car rentals, and/or accom- modations well in advance when possible. Winter visitors should remember that weather and road conditions can be challenging at times, so allotting an extra day or two and requesting snow tires on rental vehicles are both good ideas.

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