Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bird Islands Boat Tour

We had almost perfect weather in Sydney.  70F, winds about 5 knots, a nice blue sky.  So what was the problem?



Just off the shore of Big Bras D’Or, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia are two tiny islands know as Bird Islands, and for a good reason. There are several species of pelagic birds that nest on them.  Pelagic birds are birds that are found out in the ocean.  All birds need to nest somewhere and the Bird Islands a nesting platform for Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Black Guillemots, Great Black-Backed and Herring Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Great and Double-crested Cormorants and Bald Eagles.  Also on these islands are Grey Seals.

This was a big part of the trip for me, and because I’m a bit of a bird-nerd, Becky booked this excursion. It was billed as a Puffin Tour but that is like going to a candy shop just to by a Hershey Bar.

Two species of cormorants nest on the Bird Islands.

DSC_0091-2 ©2010 ShootingMyUniverse©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

The Black-legged Kittiwake colony was doing well. They are not your typical dumpster gull, the feed exclusively at sea. They build their nests on the cliffs, chattering their kittiwake calls.

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

An exciting part of the islands are the population of Razorbills.©2010 ShootingMyUniverse©2010 ShootingMyUniverse ©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

So as you can see, there is a great deal of life on the Bird Islands. I’ve still got some more to show.  Good birds, good weather, calm winds, what was the catch? Stay tuned.


The Giraffe Head Tree said...

"It was billed as a Puffin Tour but that is like going to a candy shop just to by a Hershey Bar." One of my all-time favorite lines now - thanks! GREAT shots, Steve! I am sooooooo looking forward to the next post!

Sylvia K said...

Terrific post for the day! And it does look like it was a beautiful day at that! Lovely skies and I love the birds!! I like your candy shop/Hershey bar line, too! Going to have to remember that one! Enjoy your weekend, Steve!


MaineBirder said...

Wonderful post and images Steve! Looks like you had a great outing.

Tabib said...

That Razorbills sure have very sharp upper beak.
I'm dreaming to go to such place!

Cindy said...

Great shot of the Razorbill taking off; "look likes he is walking on water!"

Erica Houskeeper said...

These are all beautiful! I absolutely love the cormorants photo. You must have been one happy camper on this excursion!

J Bar said...

Wonderful shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Pearl Maple said...

Great collection of photos of the birds up close and in action. Thanks for adding to the Sky Watch Friday party.

KaHolly said...

Oop, no puffins? I've only gone out to Bird Islands once, and it was a foggy, overcast day, so my pictures weren't the greatest, but the birds were just loving the weather!!! Glad you enjoyed your trip. YOUR photos came out GREAT! `karen

Eve said...

Those Razorbills are really cool!! Love the photos, this is really fun!

Kitty said...

Lovely shots! I visited a bird colony last weekend to see nesting puffins and kittiwakes. Sadly my lens wasn't powerful enough to reach all the way down to the puffins - who choose to nest in the grass at the very bottom of the cliffs! Awkward things :)

Johnny Nutcase said...

excellent birds! Love the photos! Those Razorbills are pretty cool!

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful skies there, Steve! Looks like a great day. Love the bird, wonderful photos!

Andree said...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Can you post about the islands every day? You are so lucky to be able to go there! I'll be coming back for more of your photos.

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