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|Rare Bird Alert 2011|
Rare Birds alerts will be posted on this page as they become available.
Sighting June 4, 2011
About an hour ago I was driving home on the
Hammond River Road here in Hammond River when a raptor crossed the road
some distance in front of me, at treetop level. I could see only its
silhouette as it soared past. I first thought it was a Northern Harrier
but something about it as it disappeared brought me to full alert. I
wondered if it could have been a Swallow-tailed Kite. Fortunately, I was
able to turn left at the next intersection and follow the general
direction of the bird's flight, which was toward the southwest. As I
turned the corner and was searching for it in the sky I reached for my
camera and turned it on. I spotted it almost immediately and drove
after it. The bird had gained a lot of altitude in this short time and was
now quite high in the sky, gliding southwest swiftly with the wind. I
recognized it immediately as a SWALLOW-TAILED KITE. Fortunately, it flew
parallel to the road and I was to overtake it (forgetting the speed
David Christie and Mary Majka dropped down the Grey Island Road in Hills borough to check on the BALD EAGLE [Pygargue à tête blanche] nest there on Wednesday evening to find an adult deep in the bowl of the nest and a second adult perched on the branch of the nest tree, a white pine tree. A PINE WARBLER [Paruline des pins] was foraging among the bushes and chipping in low shrubbery along the edge of the road. As they drove further to the river some BARN SWALLOWS [Hirondelle rustique] around a manure pile caught their attention and especially one that appeared very obviously much larger than its travel mates. Dave soon realized it was a MARTIN and its plumage was showing a white under-carriage and a different blue on the back than Dave expected from a PURPLE MARTIN [Hirondelle noire]. A bird alert went out at 5.30pm to let some of us get more observations of it before it flew across the river towards the area of between Pré-D'en-Haut and Beaumont. Some photos were taken however heavy cloud and on-coming rain made that difficult. Dave has studied the photos with references and other folks' opinion. At this point a second year female PURPLE MARTIN has not been ruled out and may have to stay at that as the bird has very likely moved on. A very interesting bird to see and study and great to see that the Nature Moncton Rare Bird Alert line worked so well this time. A vocal RUSTY BLACKBIRD [Quiscale rouilleux] was nearby vocalizing and pleasant to hear.
Sighting August 27, 2011
Yesterday morning I checked a traditional
shorebird roosting site used primarily by Black-bellied Plovers in mowed
hayfields along St. Thomas Street (Route 925) in the Saint-Joseph area of
Memramcook. There were about 230 Black-bellied Plover feeding in those
fields when I checked at 10:15am along with a Pectoral Sandpiper and one
larger, dumpy and very buffy sandpiper that I saw only briefly but which
strongly reminded me of a juvenile Ruff.
The Royal Tern remained on Waterside Beach until at least 5:45pm at which time I drove down the road to find a location with a better cell phone signal. I was only gone about ten minutes but when I returned the tern was nowhere to be seen. Catherine Johnson, Norm Belliveau, Rose-Alma Mallet, Merv Cormier and I searched Waterside Beach and Alma Harbour until dark but no luck.
Roger LeBlanc and Alain Clavette found a
Prothonotary Warbler [Paruline orangée] at Hebron, which is on Route 915
between Alma and Waterside. They watched it for about 5 minutes, then lost
GREAT GRAY OWL [Chouette lapone] was seen
at Riverview, late Tuesday afternoon in woods between Gunningsville
Boulevard and the Moncton Golf Club -- near ponds about halfway back from
the clubhouse to the back end of the golf course.
Louis-Emile Cormier telephoned this
afternoon to report a male and a
Jean-Marc Cormier and I found the hawk
around 11:30 am (December 4). Our views were not the best but I felt that
the bird was likely a juvenile light morph Swainson's. I called in
reinforcements for a second opinion and shortly we were joined by Norm
Belliveau, Gilles Belliveau, Rose-Alma Mallet, Caroline Arsenault and
Nicole Landry who happened to be birding in the vicinity. After better and
closer views in flight we collectively agreed that the bird had to be a
Swainson's and then put out the alert. Quite a number of birders saw the
bird during the afternoon until at least 3:30pm. Good photos were obtained
by Gilles Belliveau, Merv Cormier and Alain Clavette among others.