Saturday, 30 January 2021

Sea Ice Around Newfoundland

Some of us monitor the to and fro of sea ice around Labrador & Newfoundland throughout the winter months in an effort to predict when and where seabirds (mostly eiders, but also certain gulls and falcons) may be found. 

This is a series of 8 images showing the extent of sea ice on this date (Jan 30 +/- 2 days) across the years 2014 to 2021.

Just one of those things I follow and another way to say this winter has been remarkably mild.

Second shot shows a small fraction of a flock of 20000+ eiders escaping the encroaching ice during the winter of 2017.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

VERMILION FLYCATCHER - Stephenville (Newfoundland)

 With eBird being down for all of 48 hours it's not as easy to share photos today!

Discovered today by Kathy Marche. The first record for Newfoundland and Labrador...

Location of the Vermillion Fly is the port of Stephenville - across from Indian Head. White circle shows the strip of land where it was seen:

Photos of the bird:

Temperatures of -2 and snow squalls as I type in Stephenville...

Same observer who found an unidentified empid 2 weeks ago, that was thought to be a probable Dusky Flycatcher... also would have been a first for the province. 

Tundra Swan, Red-headed Woodpecker (2nd provincial record) on the other side in the past few weeks...West coast is the best coast??

Good luck!

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Dorian the Explorer

Hurricane Dorian....

Ever since the forecasts shifted away from a direct hit on Florida and eyed Newfoundland there has been building anticipation for the storm.

Every Hurricane season there is at least 1 storm or more with initial forecasts aimed at our island that eventually strays offshore, ignoring the initial forecasts. This one feels different.

Certainly the storm has been - and will continue to be - destructive. This is the case even if it comes to Newfoundland despite it likely becoming a "low" by the time it makes it this far. At least it won't stall for 24+ hours like it did in the Bahamas...

From a birding perspective I can't think of a more exciting course for a storm on its way to NS or NL. Surely the storm has already picked up some interesting seabirds in the Caribbean and Bahamas. Whether those birds survive the 3000km (one-way) trip to Newfoundland is another story.

Either NS or NL will have a storm to remember for decades.

The only storm that comes closest to Dorian's predicted path is Hurricane Helene from 1958. Check out this article documenting the birds that were involved.

How many more category 4/5 hurricanes do we need to force a systematic change in policy addressing climate change? Our role is to document what kind of havoc these storms have on birds, and the dispersal across our province.

Stay tuned...