Mondays 2 July – Day 4

Up at 4 am for a long drive to St-Barbe in order to catch the ferry to Blanc Sablon. On the way saw two moose by the roadside as well as a pair of “black” red foxes (a Newfoundland variant – actually a very dark grey with silver markings). One stood by the road and stared at us for a minute or more before merging into the trees. A beautiful animal.

The crossing took about 90 minutes with excellent pelagic birding, four hump-back and one minke whales and a number of dolphins. No icebergs. See the list at the end for details but mention has to be made of two or three Wilson’s Storm Petrels, the ones that dabble their feet in the water while flying, which were a lifer for all of us who saw them … and I have photographs.

Thick fog when we landed was a disappointment but it lifted over lunch leaving us to enjoy a glorious and hot sunny afternoon examining the birds on and around aile-aux-perroquets. This BPQ sanctuary is easily visible from the local pizza restaurant and the local branch of Desjardins leading J to suggest we approach them for a sponsorship deal. On this trip arranging a landing was not possible for lack of time but everyone was amazed at the number of birds – we gave up counting at 100,000 on the side of the island we could see. A fly past of over fifty male Eider who later settled in a rafts the water, Puffins of course, Razorbills and Guillemots. We really MUST arrange a censuring visit in the next two or three years. Interestingly the local authority have Estes a viewing platform with a fixed scope, albeit not in the best position, and there is a notice beside the road announcing the island as being an ecological interpretation resource … none of which we knew about. I believe the notice was erected by the tourist board in the area.

Fresh cod for dinner tonight – haven’t had that for some years.

Birds included: Euro-Starling, Common Raven, American Crow, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, American Robin, Bald Eagle(s), Grackle, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Gannet, Greater and Sooty Shearwater, Northern Fulmar, Parasitic Jaegar, Wilson’s Storm Petrel (photo), Puffin, Canada Goose, Mallard, Common Merganser, Common Loon, Eider, Guillemot, Tree Swallow, BCChickadee, Razorbills, GBBGull, Herring Gull, Black Duck, Dong Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Spotted Sandpiper.


An official from BPQ surveys the island sanctuary


The sign we knew nothing about