Sunday 27 October 2013

Port aux Basques - Day 1

Spent the morning exploring my new patch before heavy rains forced me to retreat indoors. Hopefully there's better weather the next 2 weekends!

My first destination was Cape Ray, the location of a lighthouse and probably the best spot in the area for seawatching:

I've been looking forward to this trip for about 2 months now, and during that time I knowingly built it up, leading me to expect masses of vagrants. Obviously, that wasn't going to happen. The birding was generally pretty good for late fall in Newfoundland, but no vagrants, and the continuous rain kept my enthusiasm down.

There were thousands of sea ducks at Cape Ray. Mostly scoters and Common Eiders:

Highlighted by a flock of 6 Harlequin Ducks:

 The scenery in the area is fantastic, with mountains on one side, and the ocean on the other side:

Overall, the day felt like a typical late fall day in Southern Ontario. Many kinglets and sparrows (8 species) were around, including 15+ American Tree Sparrows, a White-crowned Sparrow, 10+ Yellow-rumped Warblers, 3 Snow Buntings and 1 Lapland Longspur - many of these would be unusual on the avalon peninsula at this time of year, but are more or less expected here.