Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year In Review - The Rarities

2015 provided me with 22 lifers, down from 36 last year. The rarest birds that I saw this year were the two Ross's Geese provided the second and third records for the province, the Apple River Fieldfare was the eighth record and the Little Egret that represented the seventh record.

The eighth ever Fieldfare in Nova Scotia. This one spent from Jan 31 to Apr 13 in Apple River, Cumberland County. 

Here is the list. Self found birds are annotated with an asterisk (*).

1. Hoary Redpoll*
2. Fieldfare
3. Mew Gull
4. Scarlet Tanager
5. Caspian Tern*
6. Little Egret
7. Tennessee Warbler*
8. Cory's Shearwater
9. Parasitic Jaeger
10. Black-billed Cukcoo
11. Say's Phoebe
12. Long-billed Dowitcher*
13. Clay-colored Sparrow
14. Marbled Godwit
15. Lark Sparrow*
16. Red-headed Woodpecker
17. Redhead
18. Mountain Bluebird
19. Greater White-fronted Goose
20. Sandhill Crane
21. Cackling Goose
22. Ruff

Below are photos of some of the interesing birds that I photographed during the year.

There has been no unanumous agreement on this gull, but most Europeans agree that it shows many Caspian Gull features (the yellow-legged white-headed gull) in Pubnico Jan 3
Eastern Towhee in Pubnico Jan 27.
Hoary Redpoll in Pubnico Feb 4
Cooper's Hawk in Yarmouth Feb 7
Northern Mockingbird in Yarmouth Feb 7
Cooper's Hawk in Tusket Feb 9
Fieldfare in Apple River Feb 27
Mew (Common) Gull in Dartmouth Feb 27
Eurasian Wigeon in Dartmouth Feb 28 
Ross's Geese at Mavilette Apr 5
Laughing Gull in Yarmouth Apr 15
Field Sparrow in Argyle Apr 23
Indigo Bunting in Argyle Apr 23
Purple Martin at Cape Sable Island May 5
Scarlet Tanager at Cape Sable Island May 5
Orchard Oriole in Pubnico May 8
Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Pubnico May 13
Baltimore Oriole in Pubnico May 13
Brown Thrasher in Pubnico May 13
Scarlet Tanager in Pubnico May 14
Great-crested Flycatcher in Pubnico May 14
Little Egret at Cape Sable Island May 15
Summer Tanager at Bear Pt May 21
Tricolored Heron at Pinkneys Pt May 22
Purple Martin at Chebogue Point May 23
Little Blue Heron in Pubnico June 6
Eastern Bluebird in Kemptville Jul 4
Cory's Shearwater Offshore of Sambro Jul 11
Manx Shearwater Offshore of Sambro Jul 11
Black-billed Cuckoo at Cape Sable Island Jul 25
Cory's Shearwater at Brier Island Aug 1
Yellow-crowned Night Heron at Grey Island Aug 16
Cory's Shearwater at German Bank Aug 28
Manx Shearwater at German Bank Aug 28
Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Cape Sable Sep 5
Stilt Sandpiper at Cape Sable Island Sep 5
Say's Phoebe at Cape Sable Island Sep 5
Western Kingbird at Melbourne Sep 14
Baird's Sanpiper at Peases Island Sep 17
Hooded Warbler at Johns Island Sept 17
Clay-coloured Sparrow at Cape Sable Oct 4
Field Sparrow at Cape Forchu Oct 11
Lark Sparrow at Chebogue Oct 11
Blue Grosbeak at Cape Sable Island Oct 11
Red-headed Woodpecker at Atwoods Brook Oct 16
Yellow-throated Warbler at Arcadia Oct 25
Long-billed Dowitcher at Pinkney's Point Nov 8
Female Redhead at Annapolis Nov 15
Western Kingbird at Salmon River Nov 22
Mountain Bluebird at Mavillette Nov 22
Greater White-fronted Goose at Shubenacadie Dec 5
Sandhill Cranes at near Shubenacadie Dec 5
Cackling Goose at Shubenacadie Dec 5
TWO Mountain Bluebirds at Cape Sable Island Dec 6
TWO American White-Pelicans in Pubnico Harbour Dec 7
Barrow's Goldeneye in Yarmouth Harbour Dec 8
Black-headed Gull at Pinkneys Point Dec 12
Short-eared Owl at The Cape Dec 26
Red-shouldered Hawk at Pleasant Lake Dec 30


  1. Thanks for sharing these excellent photos of very interesting birds.

  2. Awesome. Didn't you have Mountain Bluebird and Cory's as self found as well?

    1. Yes, I did find both a Mountain Bluebird and Cory's Shearwater, but I had already seen them beforehand. I found two Mountain Bluebirds at CSI after I had already seen the one at Mavillette. The Cory's that I had found out of Brier was also after I had already seen one on the Sambro trip.

  3. What a haul! Some great pictures too. Will make us all want to move to Nova Scotia, not least parts southwest there!

    1. Yes, it is a truly great place to live. Come on down!

  4. Pretty solid post, took me a while to finally read it, but good work Alix.

    1. Thanks Chris. Enjoy the rest of the winter.