Thursday, August 1, 2013

Nova Scotia 2: Cherry Hill Beach

After seeing pelagic birds on a whale watching tour, I wasn't sure whether there would be other interesting birds for me to see while we kicked around the Southern Shore of Nova Scotia. We drove down to Cape Sable Island because we heard that this was quite a bird magnet. There were a lot of shorebirds there but they were all (with the exception of a few Willets) out of binocular range. However, we kept hearing about the Piping Plovers that nest on Nova Scotia beaches and I that decided we should try to track one down! I looked through my options and found a beach close to our rental cottage that looked promising.

We arrived on a cool wet morning to find a sign that indicated we were on the right path.
Piping Plovers Live Here!
The sign actually explains how the little birds make their nests in the dry areas of the beach and that you should avoid walking there because you might step on their nest. I have since wondered what kind of empty-headed bird would put their nests in such a vulnerable location? Anyways, we started walking on the mostly deserted beach when we encountered a local who told us to just keep walking and we would see the plovers. On I went and, soon enough, there were several Piping Plovers seen.
Piping Plovers
This was exciting and all. There other small shorebirds around too but ones I had seen before, so I switched my attention to the adjacent saltwater marsh with the hopes of seeing another new bird I suspected would be nearby. I headed over the large gravel berm and quickly located several sparrows. There were some Savannah Sparrows and also one I had not seen before: Nelson's sparrow!
Nelson's Sparrow with a sharp-tail
That was nearly the end of my Nova Scotia birding adventure. We took a side trip on the way to the airport to see if we could find a Great Cormorant (no, no we didn't) and I ended up seeing a Herring Gull fly in front of my fast moving rental car.

I kept track of all the bird species seen in Nova Scotia over the week and, if you are interested, here is what we found. 45 species in all for the week listed in no particular order [besides the obvious alphabetical order]:

1 American Black Duck
2 American Crow
3 American Robin
4 Atlantic Puffin
5 Bald Eagle
6 Barn Swallow
7 Belted Kingfisher
8 Black Guillemot
9 Blue Jay
10 Canada Goose
11 Common Eider
12 Common Grackle
13 Common Loon
14 Common Merganser
15 Common Raven
16 Common Tern
17 Dark-eyed Junco
18 Double-crested Cormorant
19 European Starling
20 Great Black-backed Gull
21 Great Blue Heron
22 Great Shearwater
23 Herring Gull
24 Least Sandpiper
25 Lesser Yellowlegs
26 Mourning Dove
27 Nelson's Sparrow
28 Northern Flicker
29 Northern Gannet
30 Northern Waterthrush
31 Osprey
32 Piping Plover
33 Red-winged Blackbird
34 Rock Pigeon
35 Savannah Sparrow
36 Semipalmated Sandpiper
37 Song Sparrow
38 Sooty Shearwater
39 Spruce Grouse
40 Tree Swallow
41 Turkey Vulture
42 Willet
43 Wilson's Storm-Petrel
44 Yellow Warbler
45 Yellow-rumped Warbler

No comments:

Post a Comment