Thursday, December 16, 2010

Brier island Christmas Bird Count


Weather overcast with showers, then broken cloud; 7-4C. Wind SSW 10-15 kph

0800-1700 AST

Participants: Cindy Garron, George Garron, Louise Garron, Anne Mills, Eric Mills (compiler), Richard Stern, Anne Mills.

54 species, 1833 individuals

Black Duck - 39; Mallard - 1; Common Eider - 107; Surf Scoter - 14; Black Scoter - 11; Long-tailed Duck - 42; Bufflehead - 3; Common Goldeneye - 7; Red-breasted Merganser - 16; Ring-necked Pheasant - 1; Red-throated Loon - 3; Common Loon - 14; Horned Grebe - 1; Red-necked Grebe - 23; Northern Gannet - 22; Double-crested Cormorant - 1; Great Cormorant - 100; Great Blue Heron - 1; Turkey Vulture - 2; Bald Eagle - 1; Northern Harrier - 3; Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1; Red-tailed Hawk - 2; Peregrine Falcon - 1; Purple Sandpiper - 2; Herring Gull - 240; Iceland Gull - 5; Great Black-backed Gull - 92; Black-legged Kittiwake - 307; Jaeger sp. - 1; Dovekie - 6; Razorbill - 204; Black Guillemot - 27; Atlantic Puffin - 1; alcid spp. - 122; Rock Pigeon - 13; Mourning Dove - 31; Northern Saw-whet Owl - 1; Hairy Woodpecker - 1; Northern Shrike - 1; Blue Jay - 13; American Crow - 94; Common Raven - 5; Black-capped Chickadee - 79; Boreal Chickadee - 1; Red-breasted Nuthatch - 2; White-breasted Nuthatch - 1; Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1; European Starling - 79; Bohemian Waxwing - 70; Dark-eyed Junco - 3; Northern Cardinal - 3; Red-winged Blackbird - 2; Common Grackle - 4; American Goldfinch - 6.

Birds during count week but not on count day: White-winged Scoter, Ruffed Grouse, Rough-legged Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Horned Owl, Rusty Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird.

Comments: We were lucky to get a count done only 12 hours after the violent storm on December 13 had ended. The numbers of birds seem to have been reduced by the storm. No Song Sparrows! no White-throated Sparrows! despite plenty of both in the preceding two weeks. Gull numbers were way down, despite the presence of many hundreds sheltering from the storm the day before. With only three observers in the field (the other three did a stellar job on feeders) we couldn't pay enough attention to the sea where there was a day long flypast of Kittiwakes, Razorbills, and probably other species. Our numbers represent only a small sampling of what must have passed the island while we were attempting to sample all the island's habitats.
Eric L. Mills

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Eastern Phoebe

Eric Mill reports...

Today, Ian McLaren and I found a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and an E. Phoebe in Westport.

Other interesting birds included Barrow's Goldeneyes, Red-throated Loon, Great Blue Herons, Turkey Vultures, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcons, Rough-legged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Black Guillemots, White-breasted Nuthatches, Am. Pipits, Cardinals, Red-winged Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Grackles, a male Rusty Blackbird, and Purple Finch - some perhaps useful for the winter list.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dead Humpback Whale Calf

Lisa Clark reports...
A dead Humpback Calf has washed up on the shores near Western Light.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cattle Egret

Carl Haycock reports....
Ray Tudor reported an egret following his horse at the Brier Island Lodge on Halloween morning. I went up and it is a Cattle Egret. It is still there this morning. Have not seen the skimmers since saturday evening

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull, Brier Island

Report from Eric Mills....
Among the gulls feeding in Pea Jack Cove at high water and in a gale late this afternoon was a very dark Lesser Black-backed Gull that was hard to pick out from the Great Black-backs and showed very little contrast between mantle and wing tip intensity. It had relatively large primary spots, eliminating (onthat feature and others) ''Baltic'' Gull. Sure looked like the W European intermedius to me.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Black Skimmers

Report from Eric Mills...
Thousands of passerines arrived on the island yesterday and today, but the only real exotics were 3 immature Black Skimmers that joined the resting gulls on the Westport waterfront this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Common Nighthawk

Reports from Carl Hayock
Common Nighthawk sighted off and on for 2 weeks.
Lots of warblers and sparrows

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bird Highlights

Report from Eric Mills
On Friday Oct 8th
Here on Brier most of the seasonal specialities have been seen; highlights today include Lesser Black-backed Gull, Green Heron, Common Moorhen, and Field Sparrow.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Brier Island Weekend

Report from Richard Stern....
Just got back from a weekend on Brier. As we arrived at about 9pm, a Coyote stood in the Lighthouse Rd. near the farm, and ran ahead of us before ducking into the Big Meadow. On Saturday night we could hear them howling from our camp.

Saturday was foggy, wet, and SW winds - so hardly any birds, but we did get a single Laughing Gull between our camp and Whipple Point. Today was much better, as the wind had turned NE by this morning. For most of the day anywhere you looked, the sky was full of Sharp-shinned and Broad-winged hawks, with a smattering of Red-tails (all juv., interestingly), N.Harriers, Kestrels, Merlins, Peregrines and just 2 T.Vultures. Flocks of Blue Jays roamed all over the island, and with the large number of Sharpies around, their terminal cries were not infrequent. Flickers were very much in evidence. Just before we left a Peregrine posed on a seaweed covered rock near the ferry.

A sea watch from N.Point this morning was excellent, with a feeding frenzy about 0.5km offshore, with hundreds of Gannets, Kittiwakes, Gr. Shearwaters, 2+ Parasitic Jaegers, all milling around, and at one point a whale breached in the middle of it. Gannets were flying by close offshore right around the island all day.

There were very few passerines.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Orca, and Humpbacks

Hi Everyone
Sightings of a lone Orca whale again near Brier Island. Humpbacks are also still in the area along with dolphins.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Orca in the Bay of Fundy

On September 14th Brier Island Whale & Seabird Cruises sighted an Orca Whale with a pod of dolphins.He also sighted lots of pilots whales. For pictures and more information visit Brier Island Whales Blog...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Northern Light Bird Banding Station List

Brian reports...
Here is a list of the birds we banded yesterday near North Point. I left the island early this morning, and it was much quieter than Tuesday. Still lots of birds in the (mainland) woods, so perhaps Earl will get them into migration mode.

Brier Island - Aug. 31 (49 birds)

10 Red-eyed Vireo
8 Black-throated Green Warbler
4 American Redstart
4 Magnolia Warbler
3 Alder Flycatcher
2 Canada Warbler
2 Least Flycatcher
2 Blackburnian Warbler
2 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Philadephia Vireo
1 Bay-breasted Warbler
1 Black-thoated Blue Warbler
1 Black-and-white Warbler
1 Yellow-Warbler
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Northern Parula
1 Northern Waterthrush

Thanks again to Lance Laviolette, Bander-in-charge,
Brier Island Migration Monitoring Station.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My unexpectant parting gift...

Hi Everyone
Well yesterday was my last day for whale watching. Will be going to Newfoundland to continue my studies in fish and wildlife. Will try to put on more of our trips when i can for everyone. Hope everyone has a great fall! See you next summer...
This was my parting gift last night. Peajack Breaching by the boat.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shuttle and Calf

Today as we travelled out into the Bay of Fundy we were buzzed by two Hummingbnirds! We also sighted 7 tree swallows flying by! Lots of whales moving in closer to our Island. In the evening we sighted Shuttle and her calf Breach! Didn't get the calf i was in shock so when i returned to my senses i waited with my camera up and sure enough Shuttle breached in front of me! Amazing!Here is a picture of Shuttle breaching.

Mother and Calf Right Whale

AS we were coming back from a fantastic cruise the final finale was seeing one of the most endangered whales in our area. A North Atlantic Right whale mother and calf pair was sighted swimming through our harbor! Here is some pics!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mother and Calf Pairs!

Today was like a nursery area! We sighted Knuckles and her calf, Lace and her calf, and Flash with her calf all together! There was also 6 other adult humpback whales in the area so we all had a wonderful day. On our 1:30 we had a whale named Sockeye who wanted to see if he could get everyone wet!!!! What a great encounter, you wonder who is watching whom!
We also seen Badge, Pisces and Magpie today.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Great day on the water

Today we had another great day on the water and steamed down to the rip area where we came Quote and her calf which we haven't seen since June. We also sighted some harbor porpoises, grey seals, red and red-necked phalaropes, wilson storm petrels, Northern Gannets, 3 Atlantic Puffins and Greater Shearwaters.
At 1:30 we sighted Knuckles and her calf with Badge. At 5:30 we sighted Knuckles and her calf with the calf rolling around looking at us and playing in the rockweed. Badge and Meteor joined the mother and calf pair and some harbor porpoises were close by. Flash and her calf was further below these whales.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shuttles return!

Hi Everyone
Went out the southern end of the island passed Greenhead we sighted 2 Bald Eagles and 1 Spotted sandpiper and near ledge areas in back of the Island where Grey and Harbor Seals like to lay on the rocks and rest at low tide. Lots of Red-necked Phalaropes in the rockweed streaks. We also sighted an Ocean Sunfish slowly swimming along in this area. We then came across Shuttle and her calf. The calf was very friendly and curious and was rolling around looking at us. It was such a gogeous day and the water so clear you could saee the calf very well underwater. As we steamed along further towards the rip area we sighted a Minke Whale along the way and many harbor porpoises. We also sighted two other adult humpback whales named Peajack and Pierce.
IN the evening we sighted two mother and calf pairs Flash and her calf and Bungee and her calf. We also sighted Badge and Jawa. Many gannets were diving in the shoal area and we sighted some Atlantic-white-sided dolphins which are always lots of fun to watch. As we headed around Northern light i noticed about 10 Common terns.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Right Whales sighted

Hi Everyone
Well today was a bit choppy but we had some really good looks at the whales anyway. We also got a chance on our 1:30 cruise to see 2 Right Whales! Here is some pics of the day...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Travels to Newfoundland

Hi Everyone
I wanted to let all of my readers know i will be moving to Corner Brook Newfoundland at the end of August to study at the College of the North Atlantic. It is a 2 year course and i will be studying Fish and Wildlife Technology. I am having difficulties finding a place to rent that is near the college and that is pet friendly, i have two older labrador dogs. My husband will be joining me later as soon as whale watching is done. So i thought i might turn to my readers for some help. If you know of any lodgings i would appreciate your help. Thanks so much...i will continue my nature sightings in Newfoundland hopefully but i will be coming back home to Brier Island next summer and will continue reporting the nature sightings in my travels.
June Swift

Breaching whales, new mother and calf pairs

Hi Everyone
Yesterday we had some good cruises although it was a bit rough we still managed to get some good views. On our evening cruise we seen a new mother and calf pair. Flamingo and her calf! That brings the mother and calf pairs in our area up to 12! Fantastic! On our way in we sighted a whale breaching, and then we sighted Flash and her calf. On the zodiac they had a Sperm whale sighting, which is unusual for our area. Ususally we just get baleen whales but once in awhile a toothed whale will travel through our area but they don't stay long. All in all a great day!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fall Migrant Birds

Reports from Eric Mills..
This morning a group of 35+ Red-breasted Nuthatches was at Northern Point, Brier Island, at dawn. Many of them soon flew off to the NE, as fall migrants often do. This is 2-3 weeks earlier than my previous late summer records
The only other obvious migrant was an adult Ovenbird in the end thickets at the point.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Who is watching whom!

Hi Everyone
Well these last few days have been terrific! Great weather, whales and people.The whales we have sighted have been close to our island and in numerous numbers. Some new whales have come into our area including some new mother and calf pairs which is always exciting. We have had some incredible close approaches and i wonder who is actually watching whom!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sunset Cruise

This is for the the Tennessee boys who was on our sunset cruise. Here is some pics from that cruise, enjoy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Great day on the Bay of Fundy!

Today the Bay of Fundy was calm clear and sunny. As we made our way out into the Bay Capt. Harold pointed out a Bald Eagle flying into the harbor. I also noticed a Spotted Sandpiper near the rocks and Great Blue Herons sitting in the trees. Some Common Terns could be seen flying near Northern Light and a Harbor Seal was resting on the rocks as we made our way out into the Bay. About 2 miles off the Island we sighted our first humpbacks. We identified them as Luna and Gremlin. As we continued on we sighted Flash with her 7th calf. The calf was curious of our boat and would roll over showing us its ventral grooves and his long pectoral fins. He tried to splash everyone and showed off his beautiful tail. Its fun to see the curiousity of the young calves and they endear themselves to everyone. On our 1:30 cruise 4 adult humpbacks were sighted in a group. They were identified as Tigris, Sunburst, Baton and Arroya. It is amazing to see these four humpbacks side by side on the surface. You can really notice how large they are and the different shapes of their dorsal fins. On our way in i noticed some puffins flying by, 2 Common Murres, and some harbor Porpoises. On the 5:30 cruise we had a gorgeous sunset cruise. We counted 10 different humpbacks in a 2 mile radius of each other. Some of the humpbacks we Identified was: Flash and her calf, Rooftop, Collision, and Sabot. Nothern Gannets were diving everywhere around us and flocks of Red Phalaropes were drifting in the tide streaks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

South Polar Skuas

Yesterday morning we sighted 2 South Polar Skuas and two Manx Shearwaters. We also had sightings in the morning of a Fin Whale feeding.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fantastic Day!

Hi Everyone
We had some amazing cruises today even though the seas were a bit choppy Flash's calf was enjoying himself greatly! Breaching and tail lobbing,and flipper slapping. All of a sudden Flash the mom breached and the calf went over to its mom. One of the children on the boat commented that the calf was in trouble and would probably be grounded!
On the evening cruise we sighted Sunburst playing with a piece of Kelp rolling around with it on its snout! Then we sighted one up ahead breaching and went over to see who it was. We found out it was patches and he was really showing off tail lobbing and rolling on its back pectoral fins in the air slapping the water and doing a back stroke. All in all we had a fantastic day!