TERN REPORT - 2011 - Ted C. D'Eon
LOBSTER BAY - SOUTHWEST NOVA SCOTIA


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  • Marine Chart of Lobster Bay
  • The Brothers are two tiny islands about 1 km west of Lower West Pubnico, Nova Scotia, Canada.
    They are owned by the province and were designated a wildlife management area in April 2007.
    Access to them during nesting season (April 1 to Aug. 31) is by permit only.

    My work on these islands is done in cooperation with Canadian Wildlife Service and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.

    THE BROTHERS, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia



    OBSERVATIONS:

    The following is a chronological listing of my 2011 work with terns in general, of the Lobster Bay area, but especially with the Roseate Terns (ROST) of The Brothers. The report also includes tern observations from other local residents.
    North Brother - 2005
    North Brother  (2005 photo)
    The Brothers as seen from Lower West Pubnico. (2005 photo)
    The Brothers as seen from Lower West Pubnico. (2005 photo)

    April 22, 2011 - My first visit to The Brothers for 2011. This morning I was accompanied by Nigel D'Eon, Andrea Atkinson and Alix d'Entremont. Major restoration work would have to be done to bring the island back to close to its former glory after the devastating storm damage of December 6, 2010. I believe this storm caused the most damage to the Lobster Bay coastline since the Groundhog Day Storm of Feb. 2, 1976. This was the most damage I have seen on North Brother since I began placing Roseate Tern (ROST) nesting shelters there in the late 1980's.

    Canadian Wildlife Service had sent me various items to help with the restoration. These included landscape fabric, "Astro-Turf" type material, and coconut fiber mulch. We also brought to the island 14 new ROST nesting shelters.

    The photos below chronicle our visit.

    The first load of materials, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The first load of materials, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The first load of materials, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The first load of materials, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The second load of people and materials, April 22, 2011 - Nigel D'Eon photo
    The second load of people and materials, April 22, 2011 - Nigel D'Eon photo

    Some of the washed away ROST nesting shelters - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Some of the washed away ROST nesting shelters - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Some of the washed away ROST nesting shelters - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Some of the washed away ROST nesting shelters - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Collecting ROST nesting shelters on N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Collecting ROST nesting shelters on N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Actual grass still growing on N. Brother! April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Actual grass still growing on N. Brother! April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Removing one of the two
    Removing one of the two "Mink fences" on N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Planting tent pegs to measure erosion progress - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Planting tent pegs to measure erosion progress - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The crew: Alix, Nigel, and Andrea - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Alix, Nigel, and Andrea - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The crew: Alix, Nigel, and Andrea - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Alix, Nigel, and Andrea - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Note the 8 new ROST tent nesting shelters - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Note the 8 new ROST tent nesting shelters - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The
    The "Mink fencing", packaged for removal from N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Towing the fencing back to the boat - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Towing the fencing back to the boat - N. Brother, April 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    April 23, 2011 - N. Brother. I worked my crew hard today. We had a lot of work to do. We reused most of the landscape fabric from the last couple of years; did a lot of landscaping with rake and shovel to make the ROST nesting area more or less level and smooth so as to reapply the fabric and nesting shelters. The "Astro-Turf" like material was also laid out and overlaid with nesting boxes and rocks.

    My crew today: Rémi d'Entremont, Israel d'Entremont, Andrew D'Eon, Jean Bernard d'Entremont, and Aldric d'Entremont.

    See the photos below.

    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Andrew D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Andrew D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 23, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The crew: Andrew, Rémi, Jean Bernard, Israel, and Aldric
    The crew: Andrew, Rémi, Jean Bernard, Israel, and Aldric

    The crew: Aldric, Rémi, Andrew, Israel, and  Jean Bernard - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Aldric, Rémi, Andrew, Israel, and Jean Bernard - Ted D'Eon photo

    The island is still not quite ready for the terns. There is still a little more to do. I hope to return again in a couple of days.

    April 25, 2011 - N. Brother.Good News, I think. So far, this spring, we have not seen any evidence of voles on the island - no runways, no nests, no voles. The storm of December may have washed them all away.

    Since we found small plots of grass(es) on the western edge of the tidal depression, I decided to take advantage of this finding. We (actually, my assistants) transplanted small clumps of this grass with the roots attached, to the south end of the island where the grasses disappeared after the Meadow Voles' arrival.

    We also set up a few more ROST nesting shelters and lined a couple of short paths to the shelters with landscape fabric and coconut fiber mulch.

    See the photos below.

    Collecting grass plants for transplanting - N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Collecting grass plants for transplanting - N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Transplanting grass on N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Transplanting grass on N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Transplanting grass on N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Transplanting grass on N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The south end of N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The south end of N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Working on mulch path - N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Working on mulch path - N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Working on mulch path - N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Working on mulch path - N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew and assistants - Raymond d'Entremont, Margie Rogers, and Michel d'Entremont - N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    My crew and assistants - Raymond d'Entremont, Margie Rogers, and Michel d'Entremont - N. Brother, April 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Weatherwise, it was a great day to visit N. Brother - calm and comfortable.

    April 26, 2011 - Single tern (or single terns) were seen on lobster fishing grounds "west of Mud Island" by lobster fishermen Clyde d'Entremont and Ricky Muise.

    A single tern was also reported at the ponds, Lower West Pubnico, by Coral d'Entremont. This is about 1 km east of The Brothers.

    May 2, 2011 - N. Brother. The plan today was to complete the preparation of the island for the terns' arrival. I was accompanied by Julie McKnight, a biologist from Canadian Wildlife Service. Nigel D'Eon and Alix d'Entremont were our assistants.

    The first task of the visit was to separate the two pieces of "Astroturf" so there would be a strip of bare ground on both sides. This would allow vegetation to grow there and also be a place where tern chicks could hide into. The whole process went very well. The ROST nesting shelters were reset at their new locations. Gravel and dead plant material was sprinkled over the landscape fabric and the "Astroturf" and the island was ready.

    See the photos below.

    N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Alix d'Entremont, Julie McKnight, and Nigel D'Eon - N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Alix d'Entremont, Julie McKnight, and Nigel D'Eon - N. Brother, May 2, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 3 2011 - Terns were reported a few km south of The Brothers by lobster fisherman, Blair d'Entremont.

    May 6 2011 - Raymond d'Entremont reported seeing about a dozen terns at North Brother, from the mainland.

    May 7 2011 - Early morning, Raymond d'Entremont reported seeing about a 30 terns at North Brother. At 8am, I could only count 5 terns there.

    May 14, 2011 - N. Brother. About 300 terns were present as we arrived. At least three Roseate Terns were identified in the flock of mostly Common Terns.

    Our first duty of this visit was to walk around the island to look for gull nests. None were found. However, one Common Eider nest with five eggs was found. See photo below.

    The next thing on the agenda was to set up two "trail cameras" (RECONYX PC900 HyperFire with High Output Covert IR Illumination). The cameras had been provided by Canadian Wildlife Service. They were set for a burst of 3 shots, one second apart per trigger, with a quiet interval of at least 30 seconds between triggers. They were fixed to small posts about 30cm from the ground. See photos below.

    My crew and assistants: Rémi d'Entremont, Jean Bernard d'Entremont and Aldric d'Entremont.

    N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Common Eider nest, N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Eider nest, N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    RECONYX PC900 trail camera, N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    RECONYX PC900 trail camera, N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    RECONYX PC900 trail camera, N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    RECONYX PC900 trail camera, N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    RECONYX PC900 trail camera, N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    RECONYX PC900 trail camera, N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    N. Brother, May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew and assistants: Aldric d'Entremont, Jean Bernard d'Entremont and Rémi d'Entremont. May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    My crew and assistants: Aldric d'Entremont, Jean Bernard d'Entremont and Rémi d'Entremont. May 14, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 19, 2011 - N. Brother. A quick trip to change the batteries and memory chips of the two Reconyx trail cameras. All went well. There were about 300 terns present as we arrived. No gull nests and no tern nests yet. Roseate Tern activity, although difficult to estimate numbers.

    Replacing batteries and SD memory card in the camera. May 19, 2011 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Replacing batteries and SD memory card in the camera. May 19, 2011 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    The cameras are working well; 2085 photos on one; 360 on the other.

    My crew and assistants: Rémi d'Entremont, Israel d'Entremont and Alix d'Entremont.

    May 25, 2011 - N. Brother. Still about 300 terns as we arrived. Much more ROST activity than previous week's visit.

    We counted the nests as we walked around the island. Results - 141 tern nests of which about 20 appeared to be Arctic Tern; the remainder being Common Tern. We did not see any Roseate Tern nests, although we did not check all the nesting shelters. There are also at least 4 Common Eider nests on the island.

    There are still no signs of voles.

    A cripple Herring Gull was removed from the island, and one Common Tern was found sick and weak with a bad case of diarrhea (see photo below).

    The cameras are still working fine; almost 3200 more photos to peruse through.

    Roseate Terns - courtship and mating, N. Brother, May 21, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo
    Roseate Terns - courtship and mating, N. Brother, May 21, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo

    Roseate Terns - courtship and mating, N. Brother, May 21, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo
    Roseate Terns - courtship and mating, N. Brother, May 21, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo

    Arctic Tern nest, North Brother, NS. May 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Arctic Tern nest, North Brother, NS. May 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Note the Common Tern nests between
    Note the Common Tern nests between "Astroturf" and fabric, N. Brother, May 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The sick and weak Common Tern, N. Brother, May 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The sick and weak Common Tern, N. Brother, May 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    See necropsy results - May 31, 2011 below

    My crew and assistants: Israel d'Entremont, Alix d'Entremont and Rémi d'Entremont. May 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    My crew and assistants: Israel d'Entremont, Alix d'Entremont and Rémi d'Entremont. May 25, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 25, 2011 - Pubnico Harbour. Seaweed harvester, David Surette's report.

    No terns are nesting on Île Ferrée. The only nest there was a single Great Black-backed Gull's.

    A different situation on Île Chespêque. He reported counting 20 tern nests there with dozens of terns in the air.

    More impressive than the terns were the 16 Common Eider nest also found on this tiny island. One the the Eider nest contained an abnormally large clutch of eggs (see photo below). Common Eiders normally lay a maximum of 5 or 6 eggs per nest. This one contained eleven eggs. These eggs were the same size and colour as the other Common Eider eggs. I assume two Common Eiders laid their eggs in the same nest.

    Abnormally large clutch of Common Eider eggs - Île Chespêque, Pubnico Harbour, May 25, 2011 - David Surette photo
    Abnormally large clutch of Common Eider eggs - Île Chespêque, Pubnico Harbour, May 25, 2011 - David Surette photo

    May 30, 2011 - Pubnico Harbour. Report from Alix d'Entremont and Bertin d'Eon's visit to Île Chespêque.

    - Only common terns in the air

    - 52 tern nests on the island

    - predation on the eider eggs in 2-3 nests

    - mammalian droppings on island (see photo below) - they appear to be approximately 3 cm in length by 1.5 cm in diameter (sunglasses are 13.5 cm in length).

    Mammalian droppings on Île Chespêque, Pubnico Harbour, May 30, 2011 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Mammalian droppings on Île Chespêque, Pubnico Harbour, May 30, 2011 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    May 31, 2011 - N. Brother. Lots of terns in the air upon our arrival.

    We changed the batteries and memory cards on the trail cameras. One of the cameras was moved to view three active ROST nests.

    22 ROST nests were located - mostly in 16"x16" nesting shelters. None of the new "tent" or older "wedge" nesting shelters have been used so far. No Roseate Terns have nested in any of the shelters which were placed on the "Astroturf".

    Some Common Terns are using the coconut fiber as suitable nesting material.

    The sick Common tern of May 25 was found dead. It was removed from the island and placed in freezer to be later sent to veterinary college to determine cause of death.

    August 10, 2011 - Necropsy results from the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island:"The bird collected from North Brother Island was an adult female which appeared to have been unable to pass one of its eggs (the last?). This egg had subsequently broken, thus releasing its contents into the bird's body cavity and causing a severe diffuse peritonitis. Egg impaction is occasionally seen in wild birds of various species, but its exact cause can be very difficult to determine. It may relate to the relative inertia of the oviduct, perhaps associated with old age or a poor body condition."

    My crew and assistants: Rémi d'Entremont, Israel d'Entremont, Alix d'Entremont, Nigel D'Eon and Tracy Finney.

    Rémi, Tracy, Alix, Nigel and Israel searching for ROST nests - N. Brother, May 31, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Rémi, Tracy, Alix, Nigel and Israel searching for ROST nests - N. Brother, May 31, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern nest next to unoccupied ROST
    Roseate Tern nest next to unoccupied ROST "tent" shelter - N. Brother, May 31, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Coconut fiber used in Common Tern nest - N. Brother, May 31, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Coconut fiber used in Common Tern nest - N. Brother, May 31, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    June 3, 2011 - N. Brother. Again, lots of terns in the air - 500 or so!

    The batteries and memory cards on the trail cameras were changed.

    ROST nest numbers now up to 25, which is about the same as last year at this time. Some ROST nests which contained one egg on May 31 now contained two.

    It seem to me there are more Arctic Tern nests than usual. We counted between 50 and 60 in the beach rock on the northeast and north sides of the island.

    The colony looked great.

    My crew and assistants: Al and Helga; Barry and Sylvia.

    Barry, Helga, Sylvia, and Al - N. Brother, June 3, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Barry, Helga, Sylvia, and Al - N. Brother, June 3, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Nesting Roseate Terns - note the large Herring, N. Brother, June 1, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo
    Nesting Roseate Terns - note the large Herring, N. Brother, June 1, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo

    Nesting Roseate Terns - note the leg bands, N. Brother, June 2, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo
    Nesting Roseate Terns - note the leg bands, N. Brother, June 2, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo

    Night time - Nesting Roseate, N. Brother, June 3, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo
    Night time - Nesting Roseate, N. Brother, June 3, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo

    June 5, 2011 - Flat Island (43º30.532N 66º0.187W), Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. We counted 37 Arctic and Commom Tern nests on the western end of the island. There seemed to be some tern activity on the eastern end of the island also, but we did not check it out.

    Round Island (43º30.475N 65º59.030W). We did not land here, but there was some tern activity.

    The most noteworthy bird activity here were the Puffins - likely 50 or more; one seen with a leg band (see photo below) and one carrying a billful of grasses. There were as many Black Guillemots there also.

    There were also a few Puffins at the northeastern end of Mud Island and about 25 at Noddy Island.

    My crew and assistants: Alix d'Entremont, Albert d'Entremont, Ronnie d'Entremont and Sharon Marlor.

    A banded Puffin - Round Island, NS, June 5, 2011 - cropped from an Alix d'Entremont photo
    A banded Puffin - Round Island, NS, June 5, 2011 - cropped from an Alix d'Entremont photo

    Puffin carrying grasses - Round Island, NS, June 5, 2011 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo
    Puffin carrying grasses - Round Island, NS, June 5, 2011 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo

    June 11, 2011 - N. Brother: Nest counting day, 2011.

    Tern Nests Numbers on The Brothers - 1990 to 2011
      N. Brother S. Brother totals
    June 7, 1990 302 28 330
    June 11, 1991 441 13 454
    June 11, 1992 413 0 413
    June 9, 1993 367 0 367
    June 8, 1994 380 0 380
    June 14, 1995 457 0 457
    June 16, 1996 554 12 566
    June 12, 1997 630 120 750
    June 11, 1998 452 151 603
    June 7, 1999 399 0 399
    June 10, 2000 491 0 491
      N. Brother S. Brother totals
    June 9, 2001 817 63 880
    June 13, 2002 655 178 833
    June 13, 2003 648 102 750
    June 12, 2004 526 0 526
    June 13, 2005 445 0 445
    June 13, 2006 616 0 616
    June 10, 2007 365 0 365
    June 8, 2008 590 0 590
    June 13, 2009 546 0 546
    June 12, 2010 714 0 714
    June 11, 2011 725 0 725

    The number of tern nests on The Brothers - A yearly comparison
    The number of tern nests on The Brothers - A yearly comparison

    Total tern nests - 725 (including 34 Roseate Tern nests). No tern chicks yet.

    20 ROST nests contained two eggs each, 14 with one egg. The Meadow Voles are gone.

    There are more Arctic Tern nests than usual - estimated at about 60.

    The colony looked great except for a depredated Common Eider and an adult tern. The tern was just a bunch of feathers; the eider had a severed head located about 15 metres from its intact body. OWL?

    Also of note was a greasy yellowish scum at least on the eastern side of N. Brother where we moored the boat. I first suspected pollen as it is the time of the year for such, but I would not think pollen by itself should be so sticky, greasy and frothy (see photos below). I telephoned the authority and was assured it was only pollen and that they had received many phone calls of this same ilk. My suspicion, though, is that it is pollen mixed in fish oil. I should have collected samples.

    Note the yellowish film on the buoy - N. Brother, June 11, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Note the yellowish film on the buoy - N. Brother, June 11, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The greasy yellow scum - N. Brother, June 11, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The greasy yellow scum - N. Brother, June 11, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The greasy yellow scum - N. Brother, June 11, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew and assistants: Rémi d'Entremont, Israel d'Entremont, Alix d'Entremont, and Nigel D'Eon.

    Israel, Rémi, Nigel, Alix - N. Brother, June 11, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    June 16, 2011 - Île Chespêque - Pubnico Harbour. Seaweed harvester, David Surette's report.

    50 tern nests (8 containing 1 egg, 22 containing 2 eggs, 20 containing 3 eggs). 4 terns hatched or hatching.

    Most of the Common Eider nests depredated or containing cold eggs.

    June 17, 2011 - N. Brother. A battery change to the trail cameras. I forgot to bring the memory chips with me so I left the one that were in the cameras until my next visit. The memory chips are always less than half full so it should be fine.

    One more ROST nest found. Now a total of 35. One ROST nest containing two eggs laid in the open is now containing one egg. No sign of the other egg.

    One of the Common Eider nests contained four ducklings.

    Common Eider ducklings - N. Brother, June 17, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Eider ducklings - N. Brother, June 17, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern Nest with eggs - N. Brother, June 17, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern Nest with eggs - N. Brother, June 17, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    One of the few terns nesting on the
    One of the few terns nesting on the "AstroTurf" - N. Brother, June 17, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew and assistants: Rémi d'Entremont and Raymond S. d'Entremont..

    June 20, 2011 - N. Brother. A battery and memory card change to the trail cameras.

    Two more ROST nest found. Now a total of 37.

    ROST eggs are starting to hatch - 2 one day old, 1 two day old.

    The vegetation is getting thicker - N. Brother, June 20, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The vegetation is getting thicker - N. Brother, June 20, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The colony still looked good, though there were a few dead tern chicks.

    My crew and assistants: Rémi d'Entremont, Alix d'Entremont and Andrew D'Eon.

    June 21, 2011 - Round Island, Nova Scotia (43° 30.457N 65° 59.000W). Here we found a small Arctic Tern colony - perhaps 30 adults. We only found a few Arctic Tern chicks and nests.

    Puffins, Black Guillemots, Double-crested Cormorants, Common Eiders, Savannah and Sharptail Sparrows were also nesting here.

    June 22, 2011 - N. Brother. Another battery and memory card change to the trail cameras.

    An abnormally large number of dead 1 to 3 day old chicks. Between 1/3 to 1/2 tern chicks were found dead. I assume exposure to the elements was the cause. No signs of predation.

    Most of the terns here are Roseates - N. Brother, June 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Most of the terns here are Roseates - N. Brother, June 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Rémi d'Entremont, Ingrid D'Eon and Alain Clavette - N. Brother, June 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Rémi d'Entremont, Ingrid D'Eon and Alain Clavette - N. Brother, June 22, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew and assistants: Rémi d'Entremont, Ingrid D'Eon and Alain Clavette. Mr. Clavette interviewed me on my work with the terns on The Brothers for an upcoming french language broadcast on Radio Canada.

    June 26, 2011 - N. Brother. Battery and memory card change to the trail cameras.

    Today, I had the privilege of taking members of the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, Roseate Tern Recovery Project (Danielle St.Louis and Danielle Pernette) to see the tern conony on North Brother. They, along with Alix d'Entremont and me, searched the ROST nesting area for ROST chicks and eggs, and for any new ROST nests. We found one new ROST nests, bring up the total now to 38.

    For a detailed summary of the Roseate Tern nests, see Chart of Roseate Tern Nests - North Brother, Nova Scotia - 2011 (as of June 26, 2011).

    Roseate Tern nest numbers - The Brother, 1991 to 2011
    Roseate Tern nest numbers - The Brother, 1991 to 2011

    As of June 26, 2011 -- 38 ROST nests, 22 unhatched eggs + 27 ROST chicks (18 alive + 9 dead or dying). Even at that, the Common and Arctic Terns are doing even worse; a good half or more of those chicks were dead. The torrential rains of yesterday did not help. Exposure to the elements seems the likely cause of their demise. The thick vegetation, keeping the ground level damp for extended periods, is not helping either.

    Also on this day, I asked Ronnie d'Entremont to come with us with his telephoto camera and portable blind to see if he could get some field-readable leg bands.

    The following leg bands were read: 2W/62 on a right leg, 1V/51 on a left leg, and a ROST with a blue ring on its left leg (see below). The bird with the blue ring was previously seen on N. Brother on July 2, 2009. 1V/51 was previously seen on N. Brother on July 1, 2010.

    Blue plastic-coated wire banded? Roseate Tern - N. Brother, July 2, 2009 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Blue plastic-coated wire banded? Roseate Tern - N. Brother, July 2, 2009 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Blue plastic-coated wire banded? Roseate Tern - N. Brother, June 26, 2011 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo
    Blue plastic-coated wire banded? Roseate Tern - N. Brother, June 26, 2011 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo

    Banded ROST (2W/62 on Right Leg) - N. Brother, June 26, 2011 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo
    Banded ROST (2W/62 on Right Leg) - N. Brother, June 26, 2011 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo

    Banded ROST (1V/51 on Left Leg) - N. Brother, June 26, 2011 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo
    Banded ROST (1V/51 on Left Leg) - N. Brother, June 26, 2011 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo

    Some photos from the Reconyx trail cameras.

    ROST feeding a chick - N. Brother, June 24, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo
    ROST feeding a chick - N. Brother, June 24, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo

    ROST feeding a chick - N. Brother, June 25, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo
    ROST feeding a chick - N. Brother, June 25, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo

    ROST feeding a chick - N. Brother, June 25, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo
    ROST feeding a chick - N. Brother, June 25, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo

    ROST chick - N. Brother, June 25, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo
    ROST chick - N. Brother, June 25, 2011 - RECONYX PC900 photo

    Alix d'Entremont, Ronnie d'Entremont, Danielle Pernette and Danielle St.Louis, June 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Alix d'Entremont, Ronnie d'Entremont, Danielle Pernette and Danielle St.Louis, June 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew and assistants: Danielle St.Louis, Danielle Pernette, Alix d'Entremont and Ronnie d'Entremont.

    June 28, 2011 - N. Brother. Nigel and I assisted the CWS crew of Julie McKnight and Andrew Boyne who were here to capture and band adult Roseate Terns. The batteries and memory card were also change in the trail cameras.

    Julie and Andrew brought with them a homemade treadle trap to capture the adult birds with. The trap was fitted to the front of occupied (by egg or chick) ROST 16"x16" nesting shelters. It worked very well.

    Six adult ROST were captured. Three had been previously banded; the other three were banded with a coloured plastic field readable (PFR) band as well as the usual metal band on the other leg. All were weighed, measured and released.

    See information below on the previously banded ROST.

    
    Recaptured Adult ROST MFR#  AFB DateFB  LocationFB
    #1182-65634 34/C1 L 7-13-02 Eastern Egg Rock, ME
    #1172-67750 9B/46 L 6-25-03 Petit Manan, ME
    #0802-69009 55/0E L 7-14-05 North Brother, NS

    A few photos of that day:

    Julie McKnight assisting me with a trail camera. N. Brother - June 28, 2011 - Nigel D'Eon photo
    Julie McKnight assisting me with a trail camera - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Nigel D'Eon photo

    The homemade treadle trap in position - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The homemade treadle trap in position - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Julie McKnight banding a ROST - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Julie McKnight banding a ROST - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Julie McKnight and Andrew Boyne at work - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Julie McKnight and Andrew Boyne at work - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The leg bands - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The leg bands - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A processed ROST ready for release - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Julie McKnight photo
    A processed ROST ready for release - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Julie McKnight photo

    The crew: Nigel, Andrew, and Julie - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Nigel, Andrew, and Julie - N. Brother, June 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    July 7, 2011 - N. Brother. Battery and memory card change to the trail cameras, but also. Ronnie d'Entremont came to the island with our cameras and blinds to get a few ROST leg bands.

    As it turned out we were not successful in getting any new numbers. The vegetation had grown so much, it was difficult to see the terns once they landed.

    I also brought with me, my very small GoPro HD camera I use on my helmet when flying. I placed it in a nest shelter occupied by a chick and collected the camera again before we left N. Brother. There was amazing footage 15 minutes into the video. An adult ROST arrived with two Sandlances. The chick swallowed one after the other. See a still from the video, below.

    Roseate Tern chick being fed - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern chick being fed - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    One of the terns banded on June 28/11 - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    One of the terns banded on June 28/11 - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The leg bands - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The leg bands - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern carrying Pollock - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern carrying Pollock - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Common Tern with Herring - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern with Herring - N. Brother, July 7, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, July 8, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, July 8, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo (Click to enlarge)

    July 15, 2011 - N. Brother. Battery and memory card change to the trail cameras.

    Very few tern chicks were seen, and some of them were flying.

    Vegetation, very thick.

    Alix d'Entremont was my assistant.

    July 20, 2011 - N. Brother. ROST chick banding day. Also a battery and memory card change to the trail cameras.

    Julie McKnight, biologist in the Species at Risk Recovery division of Canadian Wildlife Service had come from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to band the ROST chicks. My grown children, Nigel and Ingrid were our assistants.

    Julie, Ingrid and Nigel - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Julie, Ingrid and Nigel - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Only five live ROST chicks were located and banded. The primary reason for the low number was timing. We should have been banding a week or so earlier. Three of the five chicks were feathered well enough to be able to fly; the other two would fly in about a week.

    Julie and I searching for Roseate Tern chicks - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo
    Julie and I searching for Roseate Tern chicks - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo

    Ingrid, Julie and I searching for Roseate Tern chicks - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Nigel D'Eon photo
    Ingrid, Julie and I searching for Roseate Tern chicks - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Nigel D'Eon photo

    Me assisting Julie with the banding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo
    Me assisting Julie with the banding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo

    Julie McKnight banding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo
    Julie McKnight banding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo

    Julie McKnight banding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo
    Julie McKnight banding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo

    Julie McKnight banding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo
    Julie McKnight banding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo

    I assume most of the ROST chicks were already flying and had moved out of their nesting areas although we did not check to see.

    There were still a lot of unhatched and seemingly unincubated tern eggs (all three species).

    There were very few Common Tern chicks in the ROST nesting area. There were also many feeding stations with numerous uneaten Butterfish - more than usual.

    Uneaten Butterfish - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo
    Uneaten Butterfish - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo

    A 12cm Herring, or is it a Gaspereau - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo
    A 12cm Herring, or is it a Gaspereau - N. Brother, July 20, 2011 - Ingrid D'Eon photo

    July 28, 2011 - N. Brother. Battery and memory card change to the trail cameras and a general check-up of the island.

    My assistants today were Richard Surette and Kenneth d'Entremont.

    Richard, photographing Kenneth holding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Richard, photographing Kenneth holding a Roseate Tern chick - N. Brother, July 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A juvenile Common Tern was released from being trapped in an old lobster trap. It seemed ok.

    A total of three unbanded Roseate Tern chicks were seen; 2 were already fledged; the third appeared about 12 days old.

    One of the fledged and unbanded Roseate Tern chicks - N. Brother, July 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    One of the fledged and unbanded Roseate Tern chicks - N. Brother, July 28, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    August 3, 2011 - N. Brother. Today, I removed the Reconyx trail cameras from the island.

    Many of the terns had left the island. We still saw several unbanded Roseate Tern chicks. One of them was about 2 and 1/2 weeks old; perhaps the unfledged ROST of July 28?

    One of the unbanded Roseate Tern chicks - N. Brother, Aug. 3, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    One of the unbanded Roseate Tern chicks - N. Brother, Aug. 3, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Richard, Aldirc and Jean Bernard - N. Brother, Aug. 3, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Richard, Aldirc and Jean Bernard - N. Brother, Aug. 3, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew and assistants: Richard Surette, Aldric d'Entremont and Jean Bernard d'Entremont.

    Sept. 15, 2011 - N. Brother. THE BIG CLEANUP - 2011.

    Six of us arrived on North Brother to do a major cleanup of mostly fishing related material. Much of it was plastic - rope, empty oil containers, drink containers, buoys, etc. We removed several wire lobster traps and parts of lobster traps and one tire.

    The cleanup crew consisted of Julie McKnight, Karen Potter, Sue Abbott, Lawrence Lauzon, Rémi d'Entremont, and me.

    My boat was moored about 75 metres offshore and Julie used the CWS Zodiac to transfer the collected materials to it. The wire traps and many of the old buoys were tied together and towed to Abbott's Harbour rather than transporting them in the Zodiac to my boat - too much sharp metal which could easily puncture the Zodiac.

    See the photos below. Thank you to all who participated.

    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Rémi, Julie, Karen, Lawrence, and Sue - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Rémi, Julie, Karen, Lawrence, and Sue - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Rémi, Julie, Karen, Lawrence, and me - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Sue Abbott photo
    Rémi, Julie, Karen, Lawrence, and me - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Sue Abbott photo

    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Big Cleanup - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Big Cleanup Crew - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Big Cleanup Crew - N. Brother, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Big Cleanup boat load of garbage, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Big Cleanup boat load of garbage, Sep. 15, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Sept. 26, 2011 - Collecting plants on N. Brother.

    Today. Andrew D'Eon and I went to N. Brother to do some plant collecting. An email from Julie McKnight informed me that Marian Munro who is curator of botany at the NS Museum, would identify for us, "the mustard and the knotweed/smartweed if we could get her a sample of the two - the entire plant - roots, flowers and fruiting bodies".

    Andrew D'Eon volunteered to assist me. We collected, labelled and photographed (see below) a number of specimens. Almost all were well passed their prime, so we did what we could. The names under the photos are as reported by Marian Munro.

    Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Atriplex spp. most likley sp. patula?, N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon phot
    Atriplex spp. most likley sp. patula?, N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Elymus mollis (American Dune Grass), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Elymus mollis (American Dune Grass), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    most likely Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    most likely Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    looks like Atriplex ?, N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    looks like Atriplex ?, N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    looks like the dead root of most likely Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    looks like the dead root of most likely Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Polygonum (cp) ramosissimum (Bushy knotweed), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Polygonum (cp) ramosissimum (Bushy knotweed), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Solanum nigrum  (Black nightshade), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Solanum nigrum (Black nightshade), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    most likely Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    most likely Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    most likely Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    most likely Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish), N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Andrew D'Eon holding some plant specimens, N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Boat load of plant specimens, N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Boat load of plant specimens, N. Brother, Sep. 26, 2011 - Ted D'Eon photo


    Marine Chart of Lobster Bay, Nova Scotia

    Click on the chart to enlarge.

    Ted C. D'Eon

    P.O. Box 14
    Middle West Pubnico
    Nova Scotia B0W 2M0
    Canada
    phone (home)1-902-762-2097
             (cellular)1-902-749-6883

    E-Mail to: ted@ns.sympatico.ca © Ted C. D'Eon, 2011