Friday 19 June 2015

Cape Enrage/Hopwell Rocks-Little Big Year Part 18

Morning Feb 9 2015 Cape Enrage Morning/Hopwell Rocks

Cape Enrage is a light station overlooking the Bay of Fundy near Fundy National Park. The Bay of Fundy is officially recognized as one of the Marine Wonders of the World. Tides can reach 53 vertical feet over a 12 hour period twice a day. The Severn Estuary, my old stomping ground in Gloucestershire is second only to Fundy.

Fromer’s Travel Guide named Fundy the best view in Canada. I’m not too sure of that but the best time for birders to visit would be spring and fall for the shorebird migration.
View from Fundy National Park New Brunswick toward Nova Scotia
When the tide goes out there is a four hour walk along the cliff base and exposed ocean floor for those who like to look for fossils.

Plant fossils recently fallen from the cliffs.

The cliffs are in a continuous state of collapse unearthing new finds on a regular basis. As advised no fossils can be removed from the beaches. Later when the tide forced me off the beach I visited the lighthouse. You all know what a lighthouse looks like!

A raft of  male Common Eiders
The view is spectacular  and when I looked down perhaps 150 metres I spotted a raft of thirty male Common Eider. They looked like a flotilla of chess pieces bobbing in the waves. They were ways off so I looked away to enjoy the vast ocean of a red muddied water of Fundy Bay. A little later the eiders had floated much closer, close enough to take a picture or two.

Afternoon and evening Feb 9/15 

I camped my VW Westfalia beside a local beach just below the lighthouse.

My campsite for the night.

After supper I sat and photographed two Snowshoe Hares and an American Redstart.

American Redstart catching insects.

A pair of amorous Snowshoe Hares. The female on the left was very pregnant.
It blew a gale that night, and the waves crashed on the shore dragging thousands of pebbles and rocks up and down the beach.
Next morning I made my way Mary’s Point Bird Sanctuary which in the spring and late summer is a major stopover for hundreds of thousands shorebirds as they make their way to their breeding grounds. As much as I like birding the mosquitos drove me out and back to my van. I had been interested in looking for the Seaside Sparrow, a very rare visitor to St Mary’s and the Maritimes. It has been recorded at St Mary's as the Long-tailed Sparrow but has I think since been re-classified. No luck but at least I tried.  The bird needs bullrushes and for some reason there were hardly any to be seen, perhaps blown away by severe winter storms or destroyed by a seawater surge.
I then moved along the Fundy Coastal Drive to Hopewell Rocks. The only birds I saw there were Dark-eyed Junco's which were nesting along the cliffs. In the forests leading to the site were plenty of Wood Thrush, Yellow Warblers, American Robin and Savannah Sparrow.
Here are a few pix from my afternoon at Hopwell Rocks.

Hopewell Rocks Ocean Tidal Exploration Site. New Brunswick

Some signage from the site.

ET Eh!

Bloody tourists!
As much as I tried, some clown would always jump in the way but the happy snappers do give scale to the formations and by the time the bus loads had dispersed my demeanour had had changed somewhat!
I waited for this couple to walk by to give some sense of scale.

As you can see there wasn't much birding going on but when there are sights like this to explore I can be excused for taking a break and put the Sibley's away for the afternoon.

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
BC Canada

1 comment:

  1. wow what nice sights you are seeing. I just love the things you are seeing especially the redstart lovely shot and what a sight to see all those eiders!!