We hadn’t planned to do another trip this year, I’d sort of declared on 471 for the ABA year list although I thought that the odd addition might show up locally, then the opportunity to visit Nova Scotia arose, so we went.
It is a bit of a drive from Quebec, quite scenic most of the way but long hours sat on an increasingly numb bum. As our first day was travelling we didn’t get much chance to wave the camera or bins at anything. A couple of Bald Eagles sat on a pylon were nice though and male Ring-necked Pheasant was a year addition.
Our first night was spent in Yarmouth on the south-east coast. About two hours out it started to chuck it down and much of the following day followed suit. We still got out though and managed to get some birding in while remaining moist. Local to Yarmouth was a Snowy Owl. I’d previously checked my emails and saw that Michel Juteau had found the first in our area, at the same place I’d been seeing the Rough-legged Hawks – no justice is there?
The Yarmouth bird, well Chebogue Point bird, was huddled in a field and sat their wolfing, actually owling down a kill. Face on it looked like a dog as bits of whatever it had caught were shovelled down its gullet. Nearby we had a flock of shorebirds, mostly Black-bellied Plovers and Dunlin but also including a Pectoral Sandpiper – both the owl and sandpiper made eBird cough.
Moving on to Cape Sable, we eventually found the right places to look and it was quite good. There were at least 400+ Dunlin, frequently scattered by a Peregrine. In the same group were a couple of Red Knot (year tick), a Short-billed Dowitcher and a scattering of Sanderlings. There were also good numbers of Black-bellied Plovers and Greater Yellowlegs. The yellowlegs and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that we saw in the same area also invoked an eBird coughing fit, oh well.
Rain was a constant factor but we generally did alright. A couple of Great Cormorants at Cape Sable were a hoped for bonus and so the ABA year list has made 475.
Below some shots of the Snowy Owl – 1000ASA in pouring rain.