a little after work birding in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick May 27, 2015

Atlantic Canada, Birds, Canada

Yesterday my sales calls were on beautiful Prince Edward Island which is an early 7am start and a long drive but made sure to be finished store visits by 4pm to try to squeeze in some scenery and birding on the way home.  So we know this means I got home at midnight right?  Oh yes…but I digress.

On the drive over to “the Island” I stopped for a moment at the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre to inquire about their trails and hoped to visit them on the way home, time permitting as I discovered there are many hours of trails to walk in their National Wildlife Area.

Before I hopped back in the car I nabbed a shot of what I believe could be a Red Eyed Vireo but it’s a dreadful shot for ID.  Cropped it, and would love an opinion please.

Any chance this could be a red-eyed vireo?

Any chance this could be a red-eyed vireo?

So, my true plan before leaving the house in the morning was to visit Strathgartney Provincial Park on the way home from Charlottetown as it on route to the Confederation Bridge and had been suggested as a good birding diversion on the way back to Nova Scotia.

And so after I finished up with my client in Charlottetown, I stopped for a delicious burger at Boom Burger (I always try to eat local if I don’t pack a lunch) and sat outside to eat it in the 28 degree sunshine.  What a day in PEI…record breaking heat!

Thinking about how lucky I was to have a bit of time for birding on this wonderful day in PEI, I set my GPS for Strathgartney Provincial Park and set out.

As sometimes happens, my technology let me down and my GPS sent me to Strathgartney Golf Course instead.  Once I’m off track and fighting daylight sometimes I just go with the flow and so when I heard Warblers singing I decided I would just go for a walk about there instead.

I was rewarded with one of the coolest birding experiences I’ve ever had.  A little Black and White Warbler forgot I was there after I stood under a tree for a while and then flew through the air right in front of me twisting and chirping and eating flies right out of the air.  He almost flew right into my head.  I left my wrong destination with a big smile on my face.

I also found a Chipping Sparrow and a Yellow Rumpled Warbler (which seem to be as nosey as Chickadees in my estimation).  You can double click the photos for full resolution as these ones are un-cropped for perspective as most people who read this are not birders.

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Chipping Sparrow – as a new birder you will find that lucky you, every photo of a bird has a branch in front of their face…LOL

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Yellow-Rumped-Warbler

Yellow-Rumped-Warbler

Yellow-Rumped-Warbler

On the way off the Island I took a quick look through Victoria By the Sea to see if Island Chocolates was open yet.  Too early for that town but in a few weeks it will be one of the best places on the Island to visit in my opinion.  There is a café that serves up delicious local food at good prices I’ve been meaning to visit and haven’t had the chance.

So, before the Fall arrives the goal is a proper visit to Strathgartney Provincial Park and Victoria By the Sea for a sandwich and a box of chocolate.  Maybe a friend will want a birding trip to the Island or business will take me back, we’ll see  🙂

I hate shopping at the mall but love local food and shopping which a great fit for my new birding hobby.

Around 6pm I arrived at the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre on the NB side of the Confederation Bridge.  I expect that many tourists would be most interested in their lighthouse trail and view of the Confederation Bridge from the observation tower.

Yeah I know the Confederation Bridge between NB and PEI is an amazing feat of engineering and the people of Prince Edward Island are so grateful for the freedom now but I truly truly hate driving for amost 13KM (8 miles) in that wind...sooooo scary sometimes!

Yeah I know the Confederation Bridge between NB and PEI is an amazing feat of engineering and the people of Prince Edward Island are so grateful for the freedom now but I truly truly hate driving for amost 13KM (8 miles) in that wind…sooooo scary sometimes!

But of course I was after birds.  They have 9KM of nature trails but I only had time to walk about a kilometer in and then looped out through the Lighthouse Route as the sun started to set.

What a place.  I can only imagine what I might have seen had I the time to wander through the whole 9KM.

In my short walk I found a variety of birds I will list below (could use some ID help please) and also encountered two lovely rusty coloured rabbits, and almost stepped on a grumpy but adorable porcupine.

Peter Cottontail - saw two in fact they look domesticated to me potentially?

Peter Cottontail – saw two in fact they look domesticated to me potentially?

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Mr Sharp. A little grumpy he gave me the stink eye and wandered off. Porkies are so cute!

Teeming with nature this place is.  Can’t wait until the next time I can visit.

There tons of Warblers flying all over but they moved into deep brush as quickly as they flew by.  Mostly yellow flashes but not all Yellow Warblers maybe some Wilson’s or other who are a little darker and olive.

I managed a to snag a few photos I will post here and again could use ID confirmations or assistance with some of them.

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Eastern Kingbird? Since close to Salt Marsh many flycatchers wish I’d had more time but was wonderful so should not complain.

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Some Warbler’s little yellow bum probably a Yellow-Rumped? thank you Brenda Dobson for ID help your ID of Magnolia Warbler turns out to be right went through my photos and found a whole Magnolia Warbler will post below this one

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flycatcher with a little orange beak – Could hear many Alder Flycatchers around but this one looks like an Eastern Wood Peewee? I know they are hard to distinguish so ID help welcome. Update – thank you Brenda Dobson and Maxine Quinton for helping me ID this as an Eastern Wood Peewee.

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Ruffed Grouse. As my eyes followed a warbler high into the trees she also flew up there 🙂

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Spotted Sandpipers in the Northumberland Strait.

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Spotted Sandpipers in the Northumberland Strait. There were 6 in a group.

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Hermit Thrush. Purdy songs are the dead first giveaway of their existence although I was distracted when I almost stepped on the porkie.

Hermit Thrush I'm fairly certain

Hermit Thrush

Again, is this little cutie an Eastern Wood Peewee or an Alder Flycatcher?

Eastern Wood Peewee

Aha you were right Brenda Dobson - went through my photos again and found this photo of a Magnolia Warbler and guess what this is lifer number 99 for me pretty cool eh? click twice to zoom in on bird didn't crop so the non-birders can see how little these guys are

Aha you were right Brenda Dobson – went through my photos again and found this photo of a Magnolia Warbler and guess what this is lifer number 99 for me pretty cool eh? click twice to zoom in on bird didn’t crop so the non-birders can see how little these guys are

The Spruce Grouse was trying really hard to figure out if I was way down there.

The Ruffed Grouse was trying really hard to figure out if I was way down there.

On the old route beside the toll highway in Nova Scotia I stopped for gas.  It was now dark and I heard an American Woodcock making the “peent” sound so thought I might investigate.  Alas, another flying thing had arrived.  Junebugs!  Ewww!!!

I got the heck out of there.  Another time my friend…