Wildlife and Landscape Photographer, Lecture and Tour Guide

Canada – Grand Manan’s Birds & Whales

Thursday 17th – Friday 25th August 2017

We leave the UK on a 5 1/2 – 6 hour flight to Halifax in Nova Scotia to begin our Canadian adventure.  Many birds that breed further north will now be starting their journeys southwards to warmer wintering quarters and this includes thousands of warblers and waders.  Most numerous of these birds to be found together concerns Semi Palmated Sandpipers which use the magical Bay of Fundy as a staging post.  We stand a chance of seeing in excess of 60,000 of these together if we time it right with the tides!  Other waders abound at Sackville Waterfowl Reserve where close views of Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs will give ample opportunity to compare the two similar species.  Other sightings in our first couple of days could well include Ospreys, Bald Eagles, various Herons and Ducks as well as other ‘shorebirds’.  We then drive south to visit the strange rocky outcrops at Hopewell Rocks which have been shaped by the highest tidal range in the World at up to 14.5 metres in the Bay of Fundy.  Here we will, of course, be keeping a watch for other bird species including the local Peregrines.

Later that day we take the ferry across to Grand Manan island where we stay for 4 nights and this enables us to take a couple of boat trips out into the Bay of Fundy.  Seabirds will include Great and Sooty Shearwaters (brought close to the boat by chumming), Grey and Red-necked Phalaropes which gather on the sea in their hundreds as well as more familiar species like Atlantic Puffins.  However, the main reason for the boat trips is to whale watch.  Good numbers of Humpbacks will be feeding here as well as Fin, Minke and the rare North Atlantic Right Whale.  Common Porpoises can be expected too as might some Dolphins.  One full day will be spent searching Grand Manan for passing migrants as well as resident birds.  This island in the middle of the bay is a migration hotspot.  We finish the tour with a visit to Fundy National Park where we hope to catch up with a few birds and mammals that we might have missed elsewhere.  Click here for more details.