Posted by: PMGDD | March 21, 2023

Nature Miramichi – Spring Returns

First full day of spring … special guest.

I expect others have had similar visits to their feeders. There could be a horde of them shortly, Brown-headed Cowbirds in tow!


Posted by: PMGDD | March 8, 2023

Nature Miramichi – A Bird Rescued Today

Hi All,

There was a rescue today of a bird in difficulty near the Quarryville Bridge. Club member Anne Assaff became involved and I asked her if she could recount the event. There was a happy ending.


“Someone had contacted Pam Novak at Atlantic Wildlife Institute that there was a loon in need of help next to the Quarryville Bridge. She wondered if I knew of anyone who could check it out. …..

Pam soon messaged me that Robert Shorthall from the Richibucto area was on his way. I was able to take a drive out to Quarryville and met up with the young man named Cameron who found the loon (I didn’t get his last name) and his grandmother, Lori Donahue. He had managed to get the immature loon into a rubbermaid container. With Pam Novak on the phone guiding us, Cameron held the loon’s head and I checked its wings. It was feisty, flapping its wings, and didn’t appear to have any injuries. She suspected it had just gotten itself stranded on wet pavement (thinking it was a waterway).

(Loons must take off from water due to the position of their legs I understand, Peter)

When Robert arrived, he concurred that it seemed healthy. He got it into a pet carrier and took it down to open water near his home in Richibucto.

Here are a few photos I took. Robert may have taken some of its release.

In the group photo are Robert Shorthall, Cameron and his grandmother, Lori. (It looks like me in the photo, but it’s Lori Emoji)

A happy ending!”


Posted by: PMGDD | December 7, 2022

Nature Miramichi January 3rd 2023 Meeting

Nature Miramichi guest speaker for the Tuesday January 3rd 2023 Meeting.

How colonial history has changed breeding patterns of the Acadian Nelson’s Sparrow

Presented by Kiirsti Owen, PhD student at the University of New Brunswick (with Joe Nocera) and Acadia University (with Mark Mallory)

The Acadian Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammospiza nelson subvirgata) breeds in saltmarshes from northern Massachusetts to New Brunswick and eastern Quebec. In Atlantic Canada, these birds also successfully breed in dyked agricultural lands (“dykelands”) originally created by Acadian settlers in the 1600s. Little is known about how or why these secretive birds use dykelands. Kiirsti will be discussing how she is attempting to fill this knowledge gap. In 2021 and 2022, Kiirsti attached radio tags to 76 adult Nelson’s Sparrows in southeastern NB. Kiirsti and her team tracked birds’ movements using handheld radio telemetry in saltmarsh and dykeland habitats from June to August in both years. From these data, she is looking at home range sizes and distribution in the natural vs. human-made habitats. With rising sea levels and ongoing habitat alteration, it is important to understand how populations use natural and human-made habitats to carry out important life stages. Future research will focus on discovering why some Nelson’s Sparrows choose to use mainly dykeland habitats during the breeding season. Kiirsti will also present on some of the interesting observations that her team witnessed while tracking Nelson’s Sparrows, and some of the basic natural history questions that scientists can answer using radio telemetry.

Posted by: PMGDD | December 2, 2022

Northumberland County Winter Bird List 2022-2023

As of February 24, 2023 – Total to date – 76 species. Latest addition – Wild Turkey

Please contact Peter at should you notice something amiss!

Posted by: PMGDD | November 29, 2022

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

From: Fred Johnston <>
Date: November 29, 2022 at 8:44:20 PM

I was at Costco in Moncton today. Black Oil Sunflower seeds now selling for $29.99 for a 18kg bag. Not great but a better price than earlier this fall.

Fred J.

Posted by: PMGDD | November 25, 2022

Nature Miramichi – Date for Miramichi CBC

Hi All,

Pam Watters has sent out information regarding the Miramichi Christmas Bird Count, The details are below. If you have not heard from Pam and are interested in being involved, please contact Pam.

Backyard feeder birds should be included in in the count if you are living within the count area in Miramichi.


From: Pam Watters <>
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2022 9:27 AM
Subject: Date for Miramichi CBC

Hi everyone,

Thanks to everyone for their replies about the earlier date for the Miramichi CBC. We will go with Wednesday, December 14 for the Miramichi count. As far as I know this will be the earliest the Miramichi count has been done (although I’m missing the count day for a few years). Please note that for the results that go to Audubon, the count week would begin on December 11 – so any species of note observed between December 11-17 would be included for count week.

I’ll send out more details in the next week or so.

I’m attaching a document which outlines the boundaries of the count circle. I would like to improve upon it by adding notes or places to check out (thanks Mathieu for this great idea!). If you have any areas that you find productive for the CBC, please let me know and I’ll update the document.

Thanks a lot! Pam

Miramichi circle boundaries.docx

From: <>
Sent: Wednesday, November 9, 2022 7:54 AM
Subject: Nature Miramichi Art Exhibit -NOW OPEN (no admission charge!)

The Nature Miramichi Art Exhibit was installed at the Chatham Library last Saturday and will be there until December 17th. Photos attached (Totally inadequate to appreciate the works 😊, please visit).

Attached is the exhibit catalogue with details about the works and their creators.

Chatham Library Hours

Tuesday: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

On behalf of the club I would like to thank Dee Goforth for the help and encouragement for this initiative as well as head librarian Jennifer Wilcox, who installed the professional level display area. .

Nature Miramichi Art Exhibit Catalogue Nov. 5th to Dec. 17th.docx

Posted by: PMGDD | October 31, 2022

Escuminac Shore Erosion

On a recent visit to Escuminac Point it was obvious what an effect the recent post-tropical storm Fiona had on the Northumberland coast and elsewhere. The erosion of the peat banks on the north portion of the point is dramatic. What must be ancient tree stumps and branches visible from where they were once buried deeply in the slowly growing peat bog.

Deana and I went to Hay Island Wed. August 24th. We saw a number of shorebird species but not a large number of birds. What we did see a lot of where MOSQUITOS!!!

The exciting sighting was that of a Piping Plover hanging out with some Semipalmated Plovers along the shore line. Piping Plovers breed in the area but to the best of my knowledge they have never been happy with conditions at Hay Island so this bird was just passing through and found some buddies. I have never seen this bird on Hay Island before.

There are crews working to repair the boardwalk. It is a big operation. For the stretches most severely damaged by storm surges and winter ice they are screwing 6 to 8 foot metal posts into the ground and raising the platform a foot or two. Photos attached.

This morning I visited Miramichi Marsh. It is now a pretty good walk. There has been “lawn mowing” that has removed the stubble from left behind by the big machine used earlier. There is grass and other plants growing on the trail but the walking is very easy. It looks good too. There are still quite a few birds about. I saw the male Baltimore Oriole for the first time in more than three weeks.


Posted by: PMGDD | August 15, 2022

Nature Miramichi – Hay Island Excursion Aug 15 2022

Hi All,

Well three of us thoroughly enjoyed a few hours on Hay Island this morning. (Is there ever a need to travel to a Caribbean Island to enjoy a beach, fine weather and a lovely walk and pretty good wildlife (no nightlife though!)?

Our initial encounter was with a flock of mixed warblers at the entrance to the first trail to the left as you enter the wooded area once you cross the bridge: Bay Breasted Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, (adult feeding young), Blackburnian Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat and possibly a

Northern Parula. There was also a Philadelphia Vireo and Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Once further along in the open area of ponds we were able to see a few Short-billed Dowitchers, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, and a couple of Semipalmated Sandpipers.

Osprey (the beak!) and Gulls were about and Double-crested Cormorants. We were able to catch sight of a Merlin and a Northern Harrier.

There were sparrows about too of course and we were able to pick out the salt marsh inhabitant, a Nelson’s Sparrow.

On our way in before the bridge we caught sight of a White-rumped Sandpiper.

In bloom were Beach-Peas, Scotch Lovage, Seaside Goldenrod and Sea Lavender. Mosquitos weren’t bad and interesting insects were nectaring on these plants. We spotted a black coloured swallowtail butterfly which is a tough identification. It was either a Black Swallowtail or a Short-tailed Swallowtail. Both can be found in this habitat. The latter is a coastal or alpine species only found in Atlantic Canada and perhaps at altitude in northern Maine. Photo attached and help in identification would be appreciated. INaturalist suggests it is a Short-tailed Swallowtail. Details are hard to see.

In the area of the Neguac Wharf we spotted a Black-bellied Plover and 11 Semipalmated Plovers.

At a quick stop at Oak Point we were able to spot a Bald Eagle, (which since perhaps June seem to have been scarce around Miramichi after being plentiful), a Spotted Sandpiper and a few Barn Swallows amongst others.

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