Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Freeport Cove today

Hello Everyone
With the vapour on the water and wind chill it definately felt like winter had hit! IN Freeport today i sighted lots of small groups of Black ducks grouped together trying to stay warm, 2 Buffleheads, 14 Canada Geese. Black Gullimots, eider ducks,common loons and long tailed ducks were sighted also sighted in grand passage.
Nice night to stay in by the wood stove, hope everyone keeps warm Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Today is very windy but the raptors were in full force today. At northern light i sighted a mature bald eagle and an immature bald eagle, 2 merlins, 2 northern harriers, and a peregrine falcon. Also at my feeder today 6 pheasants.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone! Hoping everyone has a safe and happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sightings from the village

Hi Everyone
Today i walked around the village and sighted: American Tree Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, Common Grackles, Mourning Doves, Blue Jays and Rock Pigeons. Soaring over grand passage was a mature Bald Eagle.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Hi Everyone
Today was mild but alot of people were still digging out from all the snow dumped on us. As i write this post the snow mixed with rain is coming down quite steadily. With a little break in the weather i decided to go for a hike to Northern Light. On the cliff side going up the hill towards the lodge i sighted two turkey vulture circling then out of the blue a Peregrine falcon flew by like a speeding rocket! Wow what speed they have amazing sight to see! Also a Bald Eagle was soaring towards Peter's Island. Lots of chickadee's along the roadside in the thickets.Also wanted to report a sighting from Courtney Welch, yesterday she sighted a Barred owl at western light.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brier Island Bird Count

by Eric mills

Weather overcast, 4-8C; wind E 10kph, then SSE 10 kph

0730-1700 AST

Participants: Anne Mills, Eric Mills (compiler), Jim Wolford

52 species; about 2207 individuals

Canada Goose - 9; Black Duck - 103; Mallard - 5; Green-winged Teal - 1; Common Eider - 61; Surf Scoter - 3; White-winged Scoter - 10; Black Scoter - 2; Long-tailed Duck - 106; Bufflehead - 3; Common Goldeneye - 35; Red-breasted Merganser - 29; Ring-necked Pheasant - 5; Ruffed Grouse - 1; Common Loon - 45; Red-necked Grebe - 6; Northern Gannet - 71; Double-crested Cormorant - 2; Great Cormorant - 127; Turkey Vulture - 12; Bald Eagle - 1; Northern Harrier - 1; Red-tailed Hawk - 1; Peregrine Falcon - 1; Pomarine Jaeger - 1; Ring-billed Gull - 8; Herring Gull - 812; Iceland Gull - 13; Glaucous Gull - 1; Great Black-backed Gull - 287; Black-legged Kittiwake - 58; Razorbill - 1; Black Guillemot - 24; alcid sp. - 40; Rock Pigeon - 4; Mourning Dove - 33; Hairy Woodpecker - 1; Blue Jay - 13; American Crow - 93; Common Raven - 11; Black-capped Chickadee - 32; Boreal Chickadee - 1; Golden-crowned Kinglet - 22; Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1; European Starling - 52; American Pipit - 11; American Tree Sparrow - 11; Song Sparrow - 2; White-throated Sparrow - 1; Red-winged Blackbird - 1; Common Grackle - 25; Brown-headed Cowbird - 3; American Goldfinch - 5.

Birds in the count week but not on count day: Red-throated Loon, Horned Lark, Bohemian Waxwing.

Comments: There can't have been many Brier Island counts without a single Junco. There was also a real dearth of Song Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and not a single Cardinal remaining from another successful breeding season. But despite the scarcity of land birds, bringing the count of the individuals below average, the total number of species was about average, and birding conditions were good, which is rare during these counts. Calm winds and very good visibility on the sea helped a lot, although it was not a year of sea bird spectaculars. Nonetheless, several hours of sea-watching added significantly to the species count and to numbers. The highlight on the sea was a distant but very well seen adult Pomarine Jaeger hurrying to the southwest out of the Bay of Fundy. The big pond in Pond Cove, which had been totally frozen up to 24 hours before count day opened up when the temperature rose and an east wind came up, and the ducks responded, to the advantage of the count. Great sights: the jaeger, of course, but also a stunning adult Peregrine surveying Pea Jack Cove from atop a rocky pinnacle. It was good to have a Ruby-crowned Kinglet for the count - definitely an off again - on again species in December on Brier Island.

Winter wonderland

Welcome to a winter wonderland! Yesterday we got dumped on and today it took me two hours to dig my car out of my driveway! Didn't seem to deter the wildlife though. Lots of Black-capped chickadees around, dark-eyed juncos, and 6 turkey vultures circling the village.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Great Horned Owl

Sightings from Jim Wolford posted on Nature NS
My final sighting for the day came at Freeport, about one minute after leaving the ferry from Westport (still in the Brier Island Count Circle?), I had a great and startling look at 4:40 p.m. of a huge-seeming OWL that had to be a great horned owl -- it flew over the road, from south to north, at an angle at very low elevation so that I had it in sight for several seconds as it angled away from the road, probably not far from Andy Moir's and Chris Callaghan's property. Eric & Anne Mills on Brier Island saw some Canada geese on Sunday and Monday but not on the Brier Island Count Day Tuesday. A few of my own Brier Island highlights on Tuesday included a ruby-crowned kinglet (& maybe a second one), an unidentified warbler with yellow underparts (not a yellow-rumped nor palm, maybe orange-crowned or Nashville?)(not seen well), about a dozen c. grackles, about 20 cowbirds, 1 red-winged blackbird (Westport town always has a mixed flock of blackbirds in winter), and 100+ harbour seals hauled out on rocks at low tide west of Northern Light (Eric Mills reported just harbour seals at Pond Cove with no grey seals).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stormy seas

The seas have been rough the wind has been howling here for almost three days now. Finally today we caught a break in the weather and the men had a chance to go out and check their lobstering gear.
Today i took a hike to Northern Light and sighted great cormorants, northern gannets,eider ducks. ALong the road some Black-capped chickadees were flying in and out of the thickets.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Red Fox

Hi Everyone
Today i sighted a special treat while driving in Little River i sighted a Red Fox! What a beautiful coat he had, wish i had my camera with me. Also sighted a red-tailed hawk today.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bird Sightings

Hi Everyone
Today while driving along Digby Neck i sighted turkey vultures and a bald eagle. When i got to Brier Island 60 Canada Geese were honking overhead. I also had about 10 hen pheasants in my yard with one male pheasant. In the harbor i sighted 3 common loons.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Julie's Nature Notes

Had a note from Julie. Here is her sightings from Freeport.
went out after the rain on thursday to dartmouth point and saw some purple sandpipers. I have never seen these before so was thrilled.
sure is beautiful out there with the warm wind...

Lobster Season Begins

Hello Everyone
Our small communities have certainly been busy. On November 30th district 34 opened its lobster season. I took some pictures of the boats going out by Peter's Island with their second load of traps on for the day. Lots of gannets were diving in the passage and a seal popped its head up once in awhile to see what all the commotion was about. Here is some pictures of the Mega Nova. Boy they certainly deserve every cent they get to with stand the sometimes brutal conditions they have to work in. Lots of men and women are very tired but the catch is up and hopefully the prices will be to.