NATURE MONCTON NATURE INFORMATION LINE, Oct. 13, 2021 (Wednesday)
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Edited by: Nelson Poirier firstname.lastname@example.org
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
**Louise Nichols reports the interesting patrons continue at the Sackville Retention Ponds as Gilles Belliveau discovered a juvenile Long-billed Dowitcher there on Tuesday and it was still there Wednesday. Even though Gilles recognized this bird as being a juvenile plumaged Long-billed Dowitcher, he still wanted to hear the bird call to be 100% certain so played the call a few times to get its attention and then it started to call back in response which is how he confirmed the ID.
It is always very indicated when seeing a dowitcher this late in the season to try to rule out Long-billed Dowitcher. The vocalization easily confirms if attainable. Experienced birders are able to recognize a Long-billed Dowitcher on plumage but the majority of us need to hear that vocalization to be certain it is not a Short-billed Dowitcher straggler.
The ponds seemed more alive again Tuesday after a quiet weekend with the usual yellowlegs, some Pectoral Sandpipers and the Stilt Sandpiper still present. Louise noticed 2 Pectoral Sandpipers close to one another where one seemed to be noticeably larger than the other (see photos). Gilles Belliveau noted that as well and suspects the difference in size likely has more to do with how much weight the larger bird has put on vs the smaller bird (there were a few very large plump Pectoral Sandpipers in Sackville with several smaller and more slender individuals when Gilles visited on Tuesday)
The variety of shorebird species there this fall has really been quite amazing.
**Mac Wilmot’s daughter Amanda found a very small Red Eft in the Mill Creek Nature Park on Tuesday and they were able to detain it temporarily for a photo. The Red Eft is the immature land stage of the Eastern Newt which heads to a land lubber life for 2-3 years after hatching from the egg before returning to aquatic life as an adult. There must be lots of Red Efts about but are very good at staying out of sight even though bright red-orange which will look very different when it becomes adult and back to aquatic life.
Always a nice find!
**Verica LeBlanc visited the Escuminac area over the weekend to take note of many sea snails very obvious on the rocks she does not recall noting so many before.
They were very entertained by the antics of Great Black-backed Gulls very much enjoying fishing crabs. She noticed one seemed very adept at the catch while another watching soon started copying the haute cuisine suggestion and quickly got better at it.
The Great Black-backed Gulls must have been enjoying Thanksgiving as Aldo Dorio photographed the same scenario at Hay Island but it was a first winter Great Black-backed Gull that was looking quite experienced.
**Fred and Sue Richards paid a visit to the St. Andrews area to take note of the waterfowl off the Midtown wharf that always seems to have birds moving about when the tide is in. Sue photographed an adult Common Loon that will soon be taking on its very different winter plumage and some will overwinter right in the harbour and in any open water in the area. They also took note of the Common Eiders, some of which will be overwintering there and always the possibility of a King Eider chancing by.
Along the shore they noted the Sanderling groups with what appears to be a few Dunlin buddying up.
**Pat Gibbs enjoyed watching a lone Pied-billed Grebe enjoying its private pool on the Humphrey Brook trail on Tuesday. It appears to have the dark ring on the bill of a mature bird, but other things suggest it may be in molt to winter plumage.
**Brian Stone went for a short walk on the trails behind Irishtown Park on Tuesday and as he approached the canoe launch area a pair of CANADA JAYS flew from the woods and landed on the gravel roadway in front of him. He made a heroic attempt to get the camera up and focused on the birds, but they flew into the trees as quickly as they had landed, and all Brian managed was a photo of the back end of one of them. Overhead a pair of BALD EAGLES were circling in a thermal updraft far in the distance and a GREAT BLUE HERON was foraging in the reeds at the side of the lake near the launch area.
Two pairs of AUTUMN MEADOWHAWK DRAGONFLIES landed on a tree beside him, and a small group of CANADA GEESE were hanging out across the reservoir at a good distance.
Some still brightly blooming Eyebright plants didn’t miss the lens.