Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First Day Birding in Newfoundland

After a nice breakfast at the hotel, I was picked up by Bruce Mactavish who showed me the gull hot spots of St. John's.  After he dropped me off back at the hotel and headed to work, I drove a couple more iterations of the circuit and ended up with nine species of gulls including the Common (Mew) Gull shown in the photo.  I returned to the hotel and was figuring out the rest of the day when I got a call from Bruce saying that the Northern Lapwing had been seen at 10am (now 11:15am) and he recommended that I go for it which I did...sans lunch.  The drive really wasn't too bad.  As a note of interest SE Newfoundland is having a heat wave, in my honor no doubt.  There was indeed fog to deal with, but my major driving problem was keeping my speed down since I knew there was a yearbird waiting for me if I could just get there.  It took two hours.  I had called a contact, Dave Shephard, in the town with the lapwing, Portugal Cove South.  Dave was away from his phone.  I found out later he and a friend were doing Tai Chi in a neighboring town.  He called me back when he returned and we arranged to meet in his village.  On the phone he told me the lapwing was there when he passed it a couple of minutes ago.  I was now only one hour away.  A very long hour!  I met Dave at the designated spot and we drove to where the lapwing had been seen.  It wasn't there or anywhere around there.  We drove the roads looking at all the likely grassy spots similar to the one where it has been seen the last couple of days.  Still nothing.  Another viewing of the original spot.  Nothing!  A second round of driving.  Nothing!  As we approached the original spot for the third time, Dave said, "I think it's there; yes, it's there."  And sure enough posing at the grassy edge of the hill was the Northern Lapwing (photo).  We maneuvered several times to get better views and better angles for photos.  I was really hungry, so I asked Dave if there was a place in town that had any food and he took me to a little convenience store that had some sandwiches.  Unfortunately they didn't take either American money or Visa.  But, not only did Dave help me find the bird, he bought me my lunch.  I certainly owe him big time.  The drive back to St. John's was uneventful, thankfully, since the fog was by now very thick.  A big bull moose would not have been a fun thing to run into.  Tomorrow it will be back to gull hunting.


  1. What a beauty! I think you might increase that scorecard at the top by One. Tied for second! Hoping that Black-tailed is the tie-breaker!

  2. Way to go, Bob! An awesome bird in one of the most spectacular locations in North America - could it get any better? Now you can relax and focus on those gulls....

  3. Come on you Gulls -- Please give my regards to DS - top number 1 guy. Me LPBO class of 88ish. Bird ON!

  4. The nominate Mew Gull you saw today is probably a seperate species from our Alaska birds. You should remember that one for a potential split.
    Congratulations on the recent finds.

    Dave in Alaska