Grand Manan/Fundy 2017 – #5: Burrowing Owl, Nelson’s Sparrow, a Forest, Indian Pipes & Misty Cliffs

This is the penultimate chapter in the account of island life. There will be a later addendum account of some interesting plants recorded, but for the birders and whalers we finish tomorrow with PUFFINS. Wednesday was a fascinating mix of good things, so there is a quite an eclectic mix here for you to enjoy. Stating with a visit to a saltmarsh reserve (Castalia Marsh) on the eastern shore of the island where a [...]

By | 2017-08-17T14:25:55+00:00 August 17th, 2017|birds, butterflies, flowers, landscape|1 Comment

Grand Manan/Fundy 2017 – #4: Seabirds, Whales (and Rick Mercer)

(The Puffins are coming - just not today.) This was a BIG day with lots happening. Tuesday had been forecast from a week beforehand to be wet - usually that means one of the days either side will be wet instead, but as the date approached it became clear rain really was in our future. The scheduled trip that day was to Machias Island for Puffins and Seals but fortunately Quest managed to renegotiate [...]

By | 2017-08-16T12:49:31+00:00 August 16th, 2017|birds, flowers, landscape|1 Comment

Grand Manan/Fundy 2017 – #3: Blacks Harbour and first seabirds

This is a shorter piece and a somewhat quieter day before we get to the half-day "pelagic" trip that I will recount - with many photographs - tomorrow. After that? We have a Burrowing Owl waiting for you ... yes, in New Brunswick! Stick with us. After the Sandpipers on Monday morning (see yesterday’s post) we passed a few hours in driving from the Moncton area down to St-John and beyond there to Black’s Harbour [...]

By | 2017-08-15T20:42:27+00:00 August 15th, 2017|birding, birds, flowers|0 Comments

Today in the Arboretum

What a difference a few days make at this time of the year ... here is the entrance to the Orange Trail just west of the Conservation Centre on 3 May and again today (17 May). The pictures below are of the same stretch of the trail at the same time of day. Last week we took a detailed walk around the Orange Trail specifically focussed on the ephemeral flowers that briefly show themselves in the [...]

By | 2017-05-17T17:50:20+00:00 May 17th, 2017|amphibians, arboretum, flowers|0 Comments

Ephemerally Botanising … spring in the Arboretum

LOTS of pictures for you today ... For about two weeks at the start of May (hereabouts) the leaves have not fully opened on the trees and the flowers on the forest floor make the most of the light before they are cast in shade for the rest of the summer ... these "spring ephemerals" are showing beautifully this year. The photos that follow were all taken on a walk this morning along the orange [...]

By | 2017-05-10T18:28:33+00:00 May 10th, 2017|arboretum, flowers|1 Comment

Five busy minutes

There was a remarkably busy five (yes, just five) minutes in the garden mid-afternoon when every bird and its parents suddenly descended on us ... here are the few that I managed to photograph, The Hummingbirds have been regulars for several weeks now and cannot get enough of the canna lilies.

By | 2015-08-30T16:12:59+00:00 August 30th, 2015|birding, birds, flowers|0 Comments

Iceland – a synopsis

The first two weeks of July were passed in Iceland revelling in scenery, birds and flowers ... and eating lots of fish. For those readers who would enjoy more information and a larger selection of photographs than can be posted here, please head over to the trip report page where you can indulge yourselves in just a small selection of what we encountered. For those with only a few minutes to spare here are a very [...]

By | 2015-07-21T11:14:55+00:00 July 21st, 2015|birding, birds, environment, flowers, landscape|2 Comments

Hummingbird Magnet

People faff about with plastic, gaudy red special feeders filled with sugar water when all they need to do is to grow some Canna Lilies - the Hummingbirds cannot resist. It never fails. ... and, of course, we have LOTS of "new" Song Sparrows this summer: Song Sparrow

By | 2014-08-28T17:52:22+00:00 August 28th, 2014|birding, birds, flowers|0 Comments

Interesting Insects

Very hot day, the birds are all skulking quietly in the shade but some insects have come out to play. The dragonfly - I am pretty sure it is a fairly common Meadowhawk (if you are reading this in the UK you will know them as Darters) and I will venture that it might be a White-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum obtrusum) - spent over half an hour sitting on the top of this cane in the vegetable [...]

By | 2014-08-24T16:14:45+00:00 August 24th, 2014|flowers, insects|0 Comments


People think of Hummingbirds as being exotic creatures from the tropics, but have one smart little bird, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, that breeds in the forests of Quebec north of us ( At this time of the year, as summer slows down, they re-appear in this area. In particular new Hummingbirds starting to earn their trade. In the garden they particularly like to exploit the bright red flowers of the canna lilies, the fuchsias and, by contrast, [...]

By | 2014-08-19T15:41:29+00:00 August 19th, 2014|birding, birds, flowers|0 Comments