It’s hard to believe Christmas is drawing near, and I’m still catching up on photos and stories from summer!
This was a very busy summer at BirdTheRock … sharing Newfoundland’s incredible birds & nature with visitors from all over the world. I led two wonderful tours of the Avalon Peninsula for Eagle Eye Tours, three “Newfoundland Adventures” for my friends at Wildland Tours, and hosted plenty of other guests in between. We regaled in the spectacle of amazing seabird colonies; scoured forests for reclusive northern songbirds; tramped over barren headlands in search of special butterflies; admired beautiful orchids and other wildflowers; cruised on the ocean (both calm and rough!) as whales frolicked around our boat; and enjoyed lots of stunning scenery & landscapes along the way!
Below is the first installment of photo highlights from a wonderful summer in Newfoundland (and these are just a sampling!). Thank you to all the wonderful people who shared these experiences with me!
This Black Guillemots proved to be among my favourite photo subjects this summer. We see many of them on tours, but not often on land at such close range.
Common Murres breed in several large colonies around the Newfoundland coast, especially at Witless Bay Ecological Reserve where several hundred thousand can be seen on boat tours!
There were a smaller number of icebergs around the Avalon compared to last year, but still a few beauties to be enjoyed.
Whales are always a highlight during summer tours in Newfoundland. This Minke Whale shirked its reputation as being elusive and put on a great show for us.
Of course, Humpback Whales are the real showboats of the North Atlantic, and they didn’t disappoint.
Northern Fulmar are regular off our coast, but only breed here in small numbers. We were fortunate to observe a few pairs on every trip this summer!
Butterflies make a wonderful addition to a day on the headlands – especially the beautiful Short-tailed Swallowtail. These critters have a very restricted range, making Newfoundland the best place in the world to find them.
Lots of wonderful scenery and culture to be found on our tours … these lobster pots were sitting on a wharf in beautiful King’s Cove, Bonavista Bay.
Northern Gannets are among the most majestic seabirds in the world, and we enjoyed stunning looks at thousands of them at Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve.
Bakeapples are prized in Newfoundland. Later in the summer, this little flower will have turned into a delicious (though difficult to pick) berry that brings a smile to many faces in this province. You have to try a Bakeapple tart if you’re visiting!
Caplin may be a little fish, but they are a big cog in the wheel of life here.
Caplin school along the coast and spawn on our beaches every summer. They are an essential food source for larger fish, whales, and the many many breeding seabirds that call Newfoundland home this time of year.
Caplin are also harvested as food by people, and many that have washed up on the beaches are collected for use as fertilizer in vegetable gardens. The little fish that gives a lot!
A scene from the big barachois at St. Vincent’s, where whales often gather to chase Caplin and put off a great show right along the beach!
Here, a young Humpback does a sounding dive with the historic town of Trinity in the background.
Newfoundland has a wide variety of wildflowers throughout the summer, but few are as popular as the Blueflag Iris.
Traditional bread sits on a table at the Colony of Avalon, freshly baked the old-fashioned way in the wood-fired oven behind it.
A wattled fence, also built the old-fashioned way, surrounds a traditional vegetable garden.
A Northern Waterthrush poses for a photo during one of our morning bird walks.
Privacy please! This dragonfly nymph is caught in the act of shedding its skin.
Fog sits over the cit of St. John’s on an otherwise beautiful, sunny day. Fog is never far away along our coast, and can add a touch of character to our already stunning scenery!
A Common Yellowthroat announces its territory – probably trying to “shoo” away the humans that are traipsing along the trail.
Our groups are always on an adventure! Try finding a face without a smile 😉
A wonderful post Jared, summarizing the past year’s excursions, both pictorially and in writing. Thanks for sharing, and welcome home from from your excursion in, Trinidad!
Thank you for all these wonderful pictures. Lord willing, I am hoping to make a trip to Newfoundland this coming summer not only to see family, but also to see some of the beautiful scenery in Newfoundland. I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. My parents were born in St. John’s and grew up there and decided to move to the U.S. My mother, especially, was very homesick, but due to the war, she had to wait a few years to make it there again. There is just something about Newfoundland that is so special.