January 16 – St. John’s birding extravaganza!

Well, I finally got out birding in St. John’s, Newfoundland. My first stop was Bowring Park. Within minutes I was staring at it, the PINK-FOOTED GOOSE! What a beauty! I also had the pleasure off talking with one of the local birders who kindly filled me in on places to check for birds (thanks Lisa!!). I returned later in the evening to find the goose sitting with many of the other ducks in the parking lot. Hilarious.


Photo: PINK-FOOTED GOOSE. My first major rarity that I have seen in 2013. I predict NOT to see another one of these this year. Such a lovely bird, and come on, look into that face and tell me you wouldn’t drive thousands of km to say hello!

The goose was one of many new Newfoundland birds for me. In the park I also added my first BOREAL CHICKADEE of 2013. Other birds included Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-shafted Flicker and Song Sparrow.

Next I was off to Cape Spear, a short drive away. On the way up I had wicked views of two GRAY JAYS, one of the coolest birds ever. I then braved the wickedly cold winds of Cape Spear to scan the Atlantic Ocean. Here I saw a few Iceland Gulls, Common Eiders, and Great Cormorants. Huddled away from the winds I had 2 PURPLE SANDPIPERS, one of my favourite shorebirds.


Photo: Gray Jay. One of Canada’s coolest birds, in my opinion!

I checked out famous Pier 17 for gulls. There were so many Iceland Gulls, it was amazing. Mixed in were Herring and Great Black-backed, as well as several Black-headed Gulls. After my third trip here today I finally scoped one of the COMMON GULLS! Woo-hoo!

It was time to head up to Memorial University and Burton’s Pond. Here I had amazing views of 30+ TUFTED DUCKS. Their tiny pool of water also held a single American Coot and a few LESSER SCAUP.


Photo: So many Tufted Ducks today! I probably saw 40+ today. A nice looking waterfowl.

Today produced 7 Big Year birds, and some fantastic winter birding. I think it’s time to celebrate the Pink-footed Goose, so I may have a late start to the morning.

I love Newfoundland!


About canadabigyear2013

I'm a lifelong birder and naturalist who is undertaking a Canada Big Year in 2013.
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3 Responses to January 16 – St. John’s birding extravaganza!

  1. Emily says:

    Matt! I am so excited for you to be doing Canada Big Year!!! I’m following your blog, and LOVING it. If you’d ever like company for a day of birding, please let me know. I’ll make it my goal to learn the names of all the cool birds you’re finding, or at least some of them. Also, we have a red-bellied woodpecker and a red-breasted nuthatch and a variety of other birds coming to our feeder if you’re in need of adding them to your list.

    Best of luck, and enjoy the adventure!


  2. Josh V says:

    Good start to the NL trip!!!

    So, any plans to go to BC soon? Red-fankled Bluetail, Citrine Wagtail, Brambling…

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