Sunday 19 February 2017

The Road that Travels North

I arrived in St. Anthony yesterday - more or less the Northern tip of Newfoundland.
From a birding perspective, this is where Ivory Gulls and Gyrfalcons are found - but the reality is that they're generally scarce.
My first day of searching the area was a bust. But I have 4 more weeks to go, and a couple tricks up my sleeve.

In the meantime, here are some shots from the road trip North of some classic Northern birds.

Iceland "Kumlien's" Gull:

Pine Grosbeak:

female Barrow's Goldeneye:

The Arches:

Another Willow Ptarmigan:



Snow Bunting:

Labrador in the background!

Belle Isle:

3 King Eiders... can you find them?

And the highlight of the day....

This ghost of a guillemot easily caught my attention when it swam towards me while I was busy photographing the eiders. I've read about the arctic sub-species and knew that we should be seeing them in Newfoundland - but who bothers looking at their guillemots when they're so abundant!

A quick review of the literature I can find online and this individual is looking good for the arctic sub-species of Black Guillemot: mandtii

More to come on this fellow in the next days...

Female King Eider:

Female Common Eider:

First winter male Common Eider:

fairly certain these eiders are of the borealis sub-species. I don't have much practice with sub-species ID of the immatures.

1st winter male King Eider (with female Common Eider)

A remarkable number of Bald Eagles were cruising the sea ice:

Newfoundland Moai:

Lots of wandering across new territory today