East Side Story

If you read this without reading the previous post, you are going to be confused.

Our plan was to head east from Yarmouth then bird where we could. The heavy rain of the previous day had been replaced by a cold and forceful wind that had rattled the windows of the B & B and kept us awake.

We did find a few birds on the way, notably a couple of Tree Swallows by Peggy’s Cove. We also tried sea watching but found it hard going, unlike the Northern Gannets filing past offshore. Negotiating Halifax, we looked at various spots on the eastern side before making for our next B & B in Upper Musquodoboit. The highlight before heading there was a male Eurasian Wigeon at Grand Desert, a site ever more known as big pudding.

The morning song of Ring-necked Pheasants, perhaps pleasing to some ears, got us going again and out on the road. While at big pudding we’d missed out on some American Coots, so we went back there via some back roads, fortuitously adding Pileated Woodpecker to the trip list. At big pudding the coots were easier to find in zero wind and all three Eurasian Wigeons were there, along with two females that I reckon were their consorts but we didn’t wait for a wing flap to confirm – things to do.

Rolling along the south-west end of Nova Scotia mainland, we found lots of great bays and pools, all with nice birds on view. Our main target was a Cattle Egret in Spry Bay, it was easy to find as the field it was in was barely larger than our yard back home. After, we went to Taylor Head State Park where at last we did a little more real birding. Horned Grebes were everywhere and we picked up Black Scoter for the trip. As we left it was nice to find Boreal Chickadee by the road.

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We continued east along Marine Drive, eventually coming to the Port Bickerton area. It turned out to be very birdy, with three each of Spruce and Ruffed Grouse plus Grey Jays. One male Spruce Grouse fed by the roadside allowing a few decent shots. As we passed back that way, a hunter was around and we hoped that the grouse had taken cover before being seen. Just in case we cursed the hunter with a nasty dose of piles.

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It was our last full day in Nova Scotia – the trip home to Quebec taking 16 hours or so. For a not really a birding trip, it had gone pretty well with 75 species seen and five ABA year ticks. Nova Scotia is a great place to visit and we’ll be back for sure, next time I think we’ll have longer to really get to know the place.

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3 thoughts on “East Side Story

    • Thanks Jean – I’ve been trying to get a copy but the book store in NS has shut down, the owner is retiring. I asked Blake whether he still sold from his web site but have heard nothing back yet.

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