August 17th – Week One on Grand Manan Island

Mist and fog at low tide.

 Mist and fog…..lots of it this week along with some downright rain. Still, it instils an altogether different beauty to the place. Grand Manan Island, a 25 x 10 km hunk of treed rock at the head of the Bay of Fundy is a terrific place to see birds…when there’s not much fog. The island is oriented in a north-south direction and is about 10 km off the coast of Maine – a comfortable hop for migrants. As well, the productive waters of the Bay, which are continually churned up by the huge tides, are a great place for seabirds and shorebirds. Seabirds like Great Shearwaters, which nest in the the south Atlantic, are plentiful here. It’s well worth the ferry ride just to see them and if you take one of the “whale watching” cruises you’re likely to see fulmars, storm-petrels, and phalaropes….as well as (ho hum) whales.

We have a small cabin set back about half a km from the ocean. Most of the 35 acres is heavily treed. I’ve cut 3 net lanes back into the bush and put up a few nets….just to help pass the time (while I try to catch up with all the reports and data entry that the Spring season generated).

Here’s some of the birds I’ve been catching:

A very young Dark-eyed Junco - a plumage we never see at Ruthven.


HY Northern Parula - note the diagnostic green "saddle" on its back.The hint of orange on this HY Parula's breast suggests it is a male.


Canada Geese feeding on grass seed.

When their heads are down the geese are invisible.

Black-throated Green Warbler in the net.

Adult male American Redstart

American Redatarts are purported to be the most numerous breeding warbler on the island.

American Black Duck - molting a body.

Light underwing of the American Black Duck

Closer look at the detail of the duck’s speculum.

1 thought on “August 17th – Week One on Grand Manan Island

  1. Just currious, why wouldn’t the duck wing belong to a Mallard? The well defined white bars on each side of the mirror would lead me in that direction.

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