Easterly

After 12 hours of brisk driving in beautiful weather, a fog bank ahead suggested that the sun would be a stranger for a while. Birds had been few and far between and the remnants of the spiteful winter were still clinging to the hill sides. We entered the fog and slipped under the provincial demarcation line between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, time to start listing.

The fog only covered the low area between the two provinces and soon we were once again under blue skies adding American Crow and Raven to the trip list, two then! By the time we got to Truro, night was putting on his evening suit and getting ready for a shift. It didn’t take long to enter the birds of the day into the Excel file, tomorrow will be better.

Saturday was cool, zero the man had said and he didn’t lie. We wolfed down the complimentary breakfast and hit the road to Yarmouth. There would be stops and there would be birds but first we had to get some more road behind us.

Robins were everywhere, anywhere that the snow had fled leaving bare earth and presenting the potential for worms, was peppered with their busy bodies anxiously refuelling. The trip was pedestrian, no need to rush at this stage, and we added stuff to the Nova Scotia list at regular intervals. Fox Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird and an eBird alerting, Cooper`s Hawk, a bird that left one less American Robin worrying about nest building.

As we progressed south it became warmer. A cool northerly reminded us that winter had not yet packed his bags for the duration but it was not too bad. Various stops kept things moving and by late afternoon 40 odd species nestled on the list.

We`d also been looking at potential nests of our own, not ones we intended to fill with begging chicks, too old, but as migration was soon to be upon us, we need a new place. At the end of day two of our trip east it was bird species, 52, houses so far, nil. Tomorrow is another day and another area.

More kilometres, more birds and finally some house possibilities. We’ve not seen inside yet, but two spoke to us, sort of, and we thought they might just do. The birds, well migration is sitting with its feet up sipping a pina-colada on some Mexican beach, it was quiet. We looked in some favoured spots, Brent Geese were nice but missing a Snowy Egret wasn’t, and then we headed off to our base for a few days near Shelburne. We have a cabin in the woods and it looks out over a large piece of water, the afternoon wind blew cool.

The weather in Nova Scotia seems to change at the drop of a hat. After that chilly blow the evening settled down and a flat calm engulfed the area. This is both good and bad. Good because I was able to scope the area thoroughly and the half dozen Horned Grebes that I’d seen in the chop, became 73 of the little devils, probably a fair few more we present but just too far away. In there with them were nine Red-necked Grebes, a species that jarred the eBird filter but perhaps not as much as the Horned Grebe count did.

The next morning the price of calm was fog. No bird song, nothing but then, drifting out of the fog briefly a couple of Red-necked Grebes, a few clicks and they were gone, I hope it brightens up a bit.

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