It is exciting to be back on the water with Quoddy Link Marine and looking forward to another great season recording the bird life on the Bay of Fundy!
Early summer is a special time of year for the birds of the Bay, when many are busy building nests and raising chicks. It is a great time to visit places like Whitehorse Island, where many of our resident birds are midway through their nesting efforts. HERRING GULLS and GREAT-BLACK BACKED gulls already have chicks that are half grown, while the DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS are at various stages of nest building and incubation. The island is well known for having the southern most colony of BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES in the world. So far the colony looks like it will put forward a strong nesting effort with 65 nests counted and many birds appearing to be on eggs. Last year we had over 80 nests and still the colony failed to produce a single fledged bird so it will be very interesting to see how they do. The COMMON RAVENS have been making an appearance at the island on a regular basis to steal eggs and newly hatched chicks. It is interesting to see quite a few immature, non-breeding kittiwakes on the island, as these birds must have come from another colony. Also on Whitehorse island are a good number of nesting BLACK GUILLEMOTS as well as half a dozen RAZORBILLS that appear to be nesting as well. A few PARASITIC JAEGERS have been sighted harassing feeding kittiwakes around the island.
I have seen a few COMMON EIDER broods, with the largest of 30 chicks being seen in the St. Andrews harbor. This brood is relentlessly attacked by bald eagles. We haven’t been seeing many large groups of feeding birds yet, hopefully this will change when some feed shoes up in our area. Already we are seeing many planktonic animals like moon and lions mane jellyfish that are an indication that productivity is on the rise in the Bay!
Sightings of interest by day:
June 20th – A PEREGRINE FALCON was seen flying over the St. Andrews wharf in the direction on Navy Island. It appeared to be carrying a small songbird. 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS off Bliss Island. Male SURF SCOTER in Western Passage.
June 22nd – 2 immature BONAPARTE’S GULLS were roosting with immature kittiwakes on Whitehorse Island. A single SOOTY SHEARWATER was seen in the Owen Basin area, near Grand Manan.