Sue and I were on the road by 6am, Sunday, August 3 for a weeks visit to Berwick in the heart of apple country. We’ve visited with Sue’s family many times, over the past 34 years.
Sue and I drove the 1604 Km hours, to the Muzzeralls, I said a quick hello and off I went for another 260 Km drive just past Yarmouth. I was meeting up with Ted D’Eon, Tern Man of Nova Scotia
When visiting my friend John Chardine in Sackville NB, I casually mentioned that one of the birds I needed in the ABA was a Roseate Tern. He told me that the Brother Islands had a nesting colony of Roseate’s and Ted D’Eon was the person I should contact. I contacted Ted in 2013 but he informed me that all the Roseate’s had left. I marked it on my calendar for 2014.
When I contacted Ted in late July, to set up a meet he again told me it was getting late in the season and a majority of the birds had departed south but to Ted said their were still a few terns around but I’d better get down there quickly. I could only hope a few would stick around.
We met a local Pharmasave, and after introductions, Ted said we’d better go out to the islands because he’d been looking in the local harbour but hadn’t seen a single Roseate Tern. Off we went to West Harbour boat ramp, and we were off to the islands. After a short boat ride we moored the boat and unloaded the zodiac and moved on to the island.
Word of advice never try to get out of a zodiac onto an island with slippery rocks wearing flip-flops.
There were Common, Arctic and Roseate Terns on the rocks, a mixture of adults and juveniles.
There were a number of Short-billed Dowitchers and they gave me great opportunities for flight images.
Ted could easily tell the difference but all I was sure of, was they were terns. As we got closer to the island they took flight and immediately you could see the Roseate’s they seemed as white as snow, compared to the Arctic and Common Tern. Most guides show Roseate’s having an all black bill but they have a variable bit of red at the base of the bill during breeding season.
ABA Bird # 665 – Roseate Tern
What Ted D’Eon did for me was above and beyond what I expected, I only hope he comes to Ottawa sometime, so I can repay the huge favor. I would never have gotten the image I did from shore. Thank you so much to the TERN MAN.
I left knowing that I had finally photographed all the terns in the ABA, arriving back in Berwick after 2200 km, a bed never looked so inviting.
I’ve gone fishing, hunting, golfing, birding and only once had Sue and I tried Whale Watching on Brier Island. So when our cousins suggested we go whale watching the next day, I was up for it as long as I didn’t have to drive
After a few hours, two ferries and a required stop at Tim’s we arrived at Briar Island.
Terry had picked a two hour Zodiac whale watch with Briar island Whale & Seabird Cruises, so into our suits we got and proceeded to the marina.
A fine looking group of adventurists…
It was sunny and warm at the marina, but as we got closer to the whale feeding grounds the fog just kept getting worse.
Trying to find a 50 foot animal in the fog is harder than it sounds but today they did not disappoint. We had:
You really have to keep your eyes on the water you just never know when something will pop up.
It wasn’t the first time I convinced Sue to don survival gear, she hasn’t changed a bit but I do believe I am getting shorter
A great day on the water had by all. I even got a great close up of a Greater Shearwater to add to my collection.
Sue and I had a great time visiting for the next week. Camera was stowed and the golf clubs came out but on the way home I had one more stop to make.
My good friend John Chardine lives in Sackville, NB and as the shorebird migration was in full swing a stop for lunch and a trip to Dorchester beach was in order.
There were possible over 100,000 bird’s crammed on the beach when John and I arrived at the observation deck. If you look at the image below, what seems to be a pebble shoreline actually is all birds.
Here’s a closeup…
Here’s a few more images from that day…
I improved on my Black Scoter image, I am really liking the Tamron 150-600.
Well now it was time to head home, with a brief stop for lunch with Zoe in Montreal.