Newfoundland has produced some impressive birds over the last few decades that many North American birders I'm sure are rather jealous of. Some notables include these 1st ever confirmed in North America: Graylag Goose, Gray Heron, Common Redshank and Eurasian Oystercatcher [Sibley].
In addition to those, Garganey, Western Reef-Heron, Corn Crake, Common Ringed Plover, Common Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Eurasian Curlew, Eurasian Woodcock, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Eurasian Blackbird and Chaffinch have all been seen! An amazing array to say the least but that doesn't include the frequent vagrants such as Yellow-legged Gull, Redwing, Fieldfare, European Golden Plover... and on and on!
With so many great species being seen on the island it's no wonder that it stands out among many North American birders as an elusive place. And to add to that mystique is the lack of accessible information online! The three main sites to find information are on the bird sightings forum, Dave Browns blog and the North American Birds articles... but after that there isn't much else except for the recent increase in local bloggers and of course asking people for help.
That's why (or at least one reason why) I've put together an article about birding on the island!... So far it only covers the winter season (December 1st - February 28th). So it's only one quarter finished and who knows if it ever will be complete! By the time I finish the Autumn article I expect that the Winter article will be out of date!
The initial intended audience of these articles was for readers of the Toronto Ornithological Club Newsletter. However, I think it will appeal to anyone who is considering a trip to the island because it should help you decide when to go for a particular species and where to go on the island even if you don't have specific targets!
So feel free to download, share and take along with you on your next flight to Newfoundland!
And here's the old stuff that was on this page:
I grew up in Newfoundland and only when I moved away did I really come to appreciate the island as much as I should have when I actually lived there.
I regularly go back for 1-2 week visits throughout the year and have of course been taking some photos during those excursions.
Here are some of my favourite photos from Newfoundland.
Tufted Duck (typically a European vagrant to North America - but an over-wintering population occurs annually in St. John's):
Northern Pintail (usually a very timid bird - several have been tamed in St. John's and will feed out of your hand!)
Northern Gannet (one of only 2 Gannet colonies in the world, that is viewable from land, offers great photo opportunities):
Yellow-legged Gull (another annual winter visitor from Europe to St. John's):
Ivory Gull (one can never see enough of these ghosts of the Arctic):
The ocean around Newfoundland is home to one of the largest concentrations of birds in the world. Black Guillemot make up the bulk of that population. I found this Guillemot in a river which is almost unheard of for them to be in freshwater - but I wasn't complaining:
A dwindling population of Caribou on the island is fairly regular along the Southern portion of the Avalon Peninsula: