I was birding with friends from Newfoundland and New Brunswick at Hartlen Point yesterday. We found 63 bird species which is a huge list for one day. We found a flock of fall migrants right on the back of the golf course in the area that overlooks the water where Hartlen Point and Silver Sands merge.
The migrating flock included two Canada Warblers. Canada Warbler was listed as Threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2010. The SARA provides protection for individual Canada Warblers and their residences. Canada Warblers and their nests are also protected under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act.
I snapped this photo from the golf course of Silver Sands Beach.This demonstrates how Silver Sands Beach and Harten Point are integrally connected. Hartlen Point, which is one of the most important migratory bird points in North America which people coming here from all over North America to bird each fall.
Mother Nature does not operate within survey boundaries, and to the birds and wildlife, the entire area is one and the same.As well, Rainbow Haven Beach and the Peter McNab Kuhn Conservation Area are quite close in proximity, from a coastal point of view. Even during the bird fallout of Carribean birds during Hurricane Dorian last September, the birds had a feeding loop from Hartlen Point to Rainbow Haven and Silver Sands in between. Many were able to refuel and get back home after a few days or weeks, and would have perished without those feeding grounds.
As you can imagine, Cow Bay Lake receives huge amounts of migrating shorebirds. Many of the same birds who are attracted to the Peter McNab Kuhn Conservation Area that borders Rainbow Haven Beach in the flats, such as Black-bellied Plovers. We do have protection for Shorebirds and other birds under the Migratory Bird Act that should be considered here.Anything that happens development wise has huge impact to the ecology of the entire area.
If you look at an aerial map from the perspective of a bird who has just migrated 3000km upon arrival this is all one big landing strip. Any wetlands near the coastal areas, such as the barrier ponds at Silver Sands, are precious freshwater to drink after a long trip.
In a perfect world, I would like to see the entire coastline of Silver Sands and Hartlen Point protected by a group such as the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.
Perhaps that is too lofty a goal, but there are stakeholders here who can invest in a community treasure for all to preserve something we can all be proud of for generations to come.Surfers, families, swimmers, dog walkers, birders, nature lovers, solitude seekers, and many generations from the community have enjoyed the Silver Sands Beach for many years and should continue to in peace and harmony.Environmental impacts to the area need to be taken seriously protection of wetlands and coastal areas need to be greatly tempered with the interests of developers.