Posted by: PMGDD | November 21, 2020

Pine Marten – a few 100 meters behind our house!

From: Phil Riebel <>
Sent: Saturday, November 21, 2020 3:05 PM
Subject: Pine Marten – a few 100 meters behind our house!

SmugMug Pine Marten – a few 100 meters behind our house!
Hi all,

Last week I got a photo of a Pine Marten on my camera trap a few 100 meters behind our house, in the woods. The photos are not great quality – but today I have re-set 2 camera traps hoping to get better ones.

It was surprising to see a Pine Marten so close to a residential area. There is a large wooded area behind us – clearly enough habitat for such species. This photo is from my DSLR trap and the one in the gallery is from the trailcam. See:

See more photos from this SmugMug site.
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Posted by: PMGDD | November 20, 2020

Nature Miramichi – They Are in Town!

Perhaps you have seen them? Melanie reported them in the county some weeks ago. I finally saw them in town! I do hope they are not just passing through. My favourite bird of winter. REDPOLLS!

I met a flock of about 70 today at Miramichi Marsh gobbling away on the catkins of Silver Birch along the middle causeway.


Posted by: PMGDD | November 18, 2020

Nature Miramichi – December Meeting

Hi All,

An early notice regarding our Tuesday December 1 meeting at the Sr. Citizens’ Hall, 26 Sutton Rd. 6:30 pm. Other years we have enjoyed a Christmas pot-luck supper but alas not this year. We usually have a program of mini-presentations by members and we can do that this year. Perhaps it is can be a little like a “show and tell”.

We are having a fairly short presentation from Alberta via Zoom from club member Sonya Hinds who is there to spend the winter with her Dad. Peter King is going to share some of his photos from his trip last year to the very geologically interesting country of Iceland. We will still have perhaps half an hour or so for any other member presentations, even if only 5 minutes if you like. Perhaps you have an item you found while “out in nature” that you would like to share, perhaps an experience, perhaps some photos, perhaps a sighting. We will “play it by ear” and keep it very informal of course. I am sending out this early notice so that you have some time to think about what you might like to contribute.

We will of course be following provincial pandemic guidelines.

Please find attached the most recent bird list for Miramichi Marsh which was brought up to date just the other day. This list has been compiled by Dave M. over the years, since 2007, when the marsh took the form that we are familiar with today thanks to Ducks Unlimited Canada. The list stands at 154 species. The reason for the latest update is that just last Wednesday two new species were added by first time visitors to the marsh, Snow Bunting and Ring-necked Pheasant! The two birders are recent arrivals to Miramichi, Kiirsti Owen and Colin MacFarlane. Colin just started working at DFO in South Esk, and Kiirsti is a PhD student at UNB & Acadia studying wetlands and waterfowl of Atlantic Canada. They have expressed an interest in participating in the Christmas Bird Counts in the area. On behalf of the club I would like to welcome them to Miramichi and they are now members of our email list.

Nature Miramichi

Bird Checklist for Miramichi Marsh updated Nov. 15 2020 2.pdf

Posted by: PMGDD | November 14, 2020

Nature Miramichi – Escuminac

From: <>
Sent: Saturday, November 14, 2020 10:04 AM
Subject: Escuminac


Yesterday at Escuminac, we came upon a large flock of Snow Buntings in a feeding frenzy. One could miss them as they can be well camouflaged but visible in this picture.1763

This little guy seemed to be feeling somewhat warm, maybe molting its feathers.1786

You can see the well covered legs in winter fluff also note to the left of the picture , someone seems to have lost a foot. 1798

Besides these there was a large flock of Sanderlings with one lone Purple Sandpiper among them. 1883

Have a great day.


Posted by: PMGDD | October 18, 2020

A Pleasant Surprise

Hi All,

Deana and I have been hoping for a couple of years for a visit from the considerably rare in NB, Red-bellied Woodpecker. In fact it is rare even in Maine and southern Quebec but quite common in eastern USA and southern Ontario. It is essentially a non-migratory bird that does come to feeders. We have had brief visits for the last two days at about 7:40 a.m., about five minutes before sunrise. It came back twice this afternoon briefly. There is competition at our feeders and its favourite food seems to be the popular shelled un-salted peanuts although it did seem to snatch a sunflower seed or two as well. It apparently won’t hold its own against Blue Jays of which we have quite a number. It did also seem to give way to a Hairy Woodpecker but aggressively replied to what seemed to be a threat from a European Starling. This is a bird that neither of us has seen before. Nelson Poirier commented that there is a chance it will continue to visit through the winter although perhaps it is early yet for such a pattern to develop. We are hoping though.


Posted by: PMGDD | September 25, 2020

Nature Miramichi – Point Sapin – Part 1

From: <>
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2020 4:08 PM
Subject: Point Sapin – Part 1


We made a trip to Pointe Sapin to view the waves.

It is interesting to see the power of water, showing its turbulance as it picks up the seaweed and throws it high up in the air, as high as at the back of the breakwater wall behind the birds sitting on top of this wall If you look closer at the pictures you can see the weeds in the spray as it hits the rocks. Down below as it is constantly washing the seaweed unto the beach it provides a nice soft platform for the birds to sit on.

The birds are sheltering between the harbour wall and the breakwater wall, May Cormonants and gulls and some small shorebirds (see part 2.


Posted by: PMGDD | September 25, 2020

Nature Miramichi – Pointe Sapin – part 2

From: <>
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2020 5:18 PM
Subject: Pointe Sapin – part 2


Besides the Cormorants and Gulls seen in part one, there was the Great Black Backed Gull,

A Sandpiper or Sanderling ?

A Juvenile of some sort or Herring Gull

The waves – remnants of Teddy.


Posted by: PMGDD | September 25, 2020

Nature Miramichi – Escuminac

From: <>
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2020 5:29 PM
Subject: Escuminac


We made a brief stop at Escuminac.

Sanderlings, Semipalmated Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, and Gulls?


Posted by: PMGDD | September 25, 2020

Nature Miramichi – Marsh Sightings

I made a rash identification of a shrew I found lying on a gravel path at Miramichi Marsh recently. Below is yet another installment of Dave Mcleod’s detailed approach to identifications. Inspiring!


From: David McLeod <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 3:08 PM
Subject: Re: Marsh Sightings

Hi Peter and Pam,

Excellent photos, Peter! Lincoln’s Sparrow is #152 for the MM. I’ve attached the updated checklist and credited Peter for photographic evidence and Pam for her earlier sight record(s).

I think the shrew is probably the Common or Masked Shrew (Sorex cinereus). This species is common throughout New Brunswick, while the Long-tailed Shrew (Sorex dispar) is quite rare in the province, being reported from only two locations in Albert County in 1978 and 1979 as of 1984. These two and four other reports from Quebec near the U.S. border with Maine at Lac du Portage, are the only Canadian records, and are the most northerly known locations, with the range extending as far south as southern West Virginia and eastern Tennessee. This information is taken from “Land Mammals of New Brunswick” (Dilworth, 1984), and “Handbook of Canadian Mammals 1; Marsupials and Insectivores” (van Zyll de Jong, 1983). Measurements given in the next paragraph are from the latter.

The means or averages of total and tail lengths for 140 and 143 specimens of S. cinereus are 96.6 mm and 39.9 mm respectively, while the same measurements taken from 6 specimens of the much longer tailed S. dispar are 125.5 mm and 57.8 mm respectively, with the tail being almost 50% of the total length. Using the actual 28 mm diameter of the toonie in the photo, I estimated the tail length to be about 1.2 times that, or about 34 mm. Because of the camera angle, the tail is foreshortened, which would make the actual length closer to the given 39.9 mm for cinereus, that is still much shorter than the 57.8 mm tail length of dispar. The Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda) is quite common and the largest shrew in the province, but its tail is only about 25% of its total length, being 30.1 mm and 124.5 mm respectively, and so it is definitely not that.

For comparison, I’ve also attached two additional photos of S. cinereus, one taken by Ken at the marsh on June 11, 2016, which looks quite similar to the one you photographed where the tail length is about 40% of the total length (body and tail), and the other by Jim at his Redmondville property in 2012. In Ken’s photo, which was taken at about the same resolution as yours, note the similar brown pelage of the back and sides with lighter grayish underparts. The tail usually has a dark tip that can be seen on the one in your photo. However, on Ken’s specimen, which seems to be in a later state of decay, as evidenced by the presence of two Bluebottle Flies laying eggs on the carcass, the hairs at the tip appear to have fallen off. This photo was also the basis for inclusion on the mammal checklist for the Miramichi Marsh. Although the colour of the individual in Jim’s photo is not as apparent, the actual total (90 mm) and tail (43 mm) lengths are closest to the measurements for cinereus.

Of the six shrew species known to Northumberland County (eight for NB, including Long-tailed and the next closest with respect to the tail to total length ratio, would be the Smoky Shrew (Sorex fumeus) which has an average total length of 110.1 mm and tail length of 44.7 mm. However, the pelage is decidedly a darker gray (smoky) than the browner colouration of the Common or Masked Shrew. For comparison to the one in your photo, I’ve attached a fourth photo of a Smoky Shrew taken by my brother, Robin, on June 28, 2005, that was found dead along the Fish Quarry Trail at French Fort Cove. This identification has since been confirmed by Don McAlpine at the New Brunswick Museum. Also note the small clusters of maggots on the shrew’s belly, an indication that decomposition has already started.


BIRD CHECKLIST FOR MIRAMICHI MARSH, updated Sept. 19, 2020.doc

Posted by: PMGDD | September 20, 2020

Nature Miramichi – Hay Island Visit Saturday

Hi All,

Five of us had a very pleasant time on Hay Island yesterday. It was a little cool at first but we were prepared and for the most part it was sunny, warm and with a very light breeze. It was a very lovely end of summer walk.

We were quite fortunate too in the number and variety (31 species) of birds we saw.

Semipalmated Plover, Semipalmated Sandpiper
Lesser and Greater Yellow legs, Dunlin

Pectoral Sandpiper Short-billed Dowitcher
Sanderling Ruddy Turnstone

Song Sparrow White-throated Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco

Bald Eagle Osprey

Double Crested Cormorant Belted Kingfisher

Great Blue Heron (35!) Canada Goose

Ring-billed Gull Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull Common Tern
Northern Gannet

American Pipit Black and White Warbler
Northern Flicker

American Crow Black Duck

Photos and a video clip at


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