Nature Notes

November 25, 2016

Newfoundland- Trinity Bay

Filed under: Landscape,Lighthouse,Newfoundland — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

Trinity Bay

Trinity Bay area is one of the very picturesque areas of Newfoundland, and the town of trinity has some fifty buildings of historical significance. It was the location for the filming of the movie “Shipping News”. Nearby, you can visit the set of the recently filmed series “Random Passage”

Trinity BightTrinity BightTrinityTrinity LighthouseTrinity

For nature lovers and photographers, the are is excellent for seabirds, whales and sometimes icebergs.

Lupines in Trinity Bay

 
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November 19, 2012

Newfoundland- Cape Spear Lighthouses

Filed under: Lighthouse,Newfoundland — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

Cape Spear Lighthouse

When the morning sun reaches the continent of North America, it first lights the cliffs of Cape Spear.

The site boasts a pair of lighthouses, the current operating lighthouse, and the original, which is now a museum.

Cape Spear Lighthouse

The original lighthouse was Newfoundland’s first and was erected in 1835, and was active until 1955.The museum is set up to show how the original keeper, James Cantwell would have lived with his family over 150 years ago.

Cape Spear is about 40 minutes drive from Newfoundland’s capital, St. John’s.

 


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October 28, 2012

August 8, 2011

Newfoundland-St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve

Filed under: Birds,Newfoundland — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

Northern Gannet

A Northern Gannet colony can cause a sensory overload. It’s not just the experience of sight,but sound and smell as well. The smell hits you from a certain distance but the sound comes in waves, brays and crows and sudden snorts, as they announce their arrival and quarrel with their neighbors. The spectacle of a great city of gannets,displaying, copulating, defending territories and caring for their young is played out for the human observer.

Northern Gannet

As well as one of the largest gannet colonies, the reserve is also home to huge numbers of Common Murres and the most southerly colony of Thick-billed Murres. Black-legged Kittiwakes nest in high numbers as well as smaller numbers of breeding Black Guillemot and Great Cormorant. American Pipit and Horned Lark are common on the clifftop.

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June 1, 2008

Newfoundland-Witless Bay

Filed under: Animals,Birds,Newfoundland — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 2:23 pm
Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

I looked down through the clear still water and the great eye of the Humpback Whale looked back at me. He and a companion had drifted slowly under our small silent Zodiac, huge animals curious to have a look at us for a moment.The slightest flick of a tail would swamp our little craft but they moved with deliberate care, rising slowly and breaking the surface with a blast of air. They stayed for a moment, satisfying their curiosity, and then moved on.

There were many groups of whales, both Humpbacks and Minke, in Witless Bay that morning, attracted by schools of small Capelin to feed on. Occasionally they would give tail flips and wave their white pectoral fins.

Gull and Green Islands in Witless Bay are home to huge numbers of breeding birds that also come here because of the supply of Capelin

Common Murre

Common Murre

Thousands of Common Murres crowd the ledges of the islands’ steep cliffs and set up a constant murmur that gives them their name. Huge rafts of them could be seen on the water, and on this mid-July day, many of their young chicks as well, giving high pitched squeaks.

Taking up ledge space lower down from the Murres is another member of the Auk family, and another study in black and white plumage, the Black Guillemot. Known by local fishermen as the Sea Pigeon, they have bright red feet, and when they cry, you can see that it matches their throat lining as well.They tend to be in smaller groups than the Murres, both in nesting and feeding on the sea.

Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic Puffin

Another member of the Auk family lives on the top of the cliffs, a colorful clown, the Atlantic Puffin.Their brightly colored bills are often seen lined with catches of Capelin. They prefer the hilltops because they need soft soil to dig out their nesting burrows.

Black-legged Kittiwakes also nest in the thousands each on its own precarious cliffs edge nest. As the young hatch and mature, these become even more crowded. The have one or two young per year.Other gulls are predators in these bird cities, the American Herring Gull and the huge Greater Black-backed Gulls, always on the lookout for an unguarded egg or chick.


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