TERN REPORT - 2013 - 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
    THE BROTHERS, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia

    THE BROTHERS, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia


    SUMMARY OF OBSERVATIONS AND ACTIVITIES:

    The first terns were seen at North Brother on April 30, 2013. About 30 terns were seen there by a local lobster fisherman.

    Total tern nests on The Brothers was 684. Terns only on North Brother again in 2013. This was up a bit from the 667 in 2012. (Down from max of 880 in 2001). No terns nested on South Brother in 2013. There is not much left of South Brother. It is quickly being washed away.

    Breakdown by species: ROST 38 nests (5.6%), ARTE ?50 nests (7.3%), COTE ?596 nests (87.1%).

    Only 27 ROST chicks were documented; ROST chick mortality was low (4 or 5 were found dead).

    On June 20, 2013, 6 adult ROST were captured using a treadle trap and banded, each with two bands. One of the bands was the usual metal type; the other, a red plastic band with three characters in white (B37 to B42).

    On July 10, 2013, 17 ROST chicks were banded (B43 to B59).

    Twelve field-readable Roseate Tern leg bands were read in 2013. Some of "our" terns were seen in the U.S. on their way south. The first three were seen in Cape Cod on July 30, 2013 by Jeffrey Spendelow. By Aug. 9, he had read 8 Plastic Field Readable (PFB) bands from North Brother as well as a few more birds I had seen on North Brother with Metal Field Readable (MFR) bands.

    By July 28, there was no more activity in the nesting area of the colony. Only a few chicks being fed at water's edge. Of these were two ROST chicks (one banded and one not) being fed by 4 adults.

    Five gull nests were destroyed on The Brothers in 2013; one from North Brother and 4 from South Brother. All were Great Black-backed Gull nests.

    There was less erosion than usual (up to 1/3 metre) on the southwest edge of North Brother. However, the island was hit by a severe storm in early February 2013. Hurricane winds from the east pushed beach rocks and gravel over the nesting area on the east side of the island, even burying some ROST nesting shelters! This was not a major problem. It even built up the island a little.

    The vegetation is still an ongoing problem on North Brother. Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild radish), Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed), and Polygonum (cp) ramosissimum (Bushy knotweed) are the main problem plants. These bushy plants which are only centimetres tall when the terns begin nesting, quickly take over the Common and Roseate Tern nesting areas. If the weather is cool and damp, the ground remains damp. Unhatched eggs, and high chick mortality becomes all too common. Unlike 2012, the 2013 nesting season was cool, damp, and wet. A lot of eggs did not hatch and we saw too many dead chicks. The Common and the Arctic Terns were hit the hardest.

    The vegetation became an issue on North Brother in 2008 after Meadow Voles arrived there. After their arrival, the island's grasses were replaced by the above species. We did not see any Meadow Voles on North Brother in 2013 until July 23 and 24 when one (or two) were captured on one of the trail cameras. I was hoping the February winter storm had finished them off. The voles were also present on South Brother in 2013.

    As to predators in 2013, only a few terns were killed by owl and/or Merlin.

    In Summary, 2013 was a pretty good year on The Brothers. Nest numbers were up a bit from the previous year and the Roseate Terns did okay. The Common and Arctic Terns did not do quite as well as the Roseates probably due to the fact that the Roseates nested in man-made shelters. Warmer and drier weather would have improved the success of the colony. It was fortunate that predation was low.


    OBSERVATIONS:

    The following is a chronological listing of my 2013 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, 2013 - North Brother. My first visit to N. Brother for 2013. On arrival, we first dropped a temporary mooring anchor (a block of concrete) abour 40 metres from shore on the east side of the island. It was fitted with a length of rope and an orange balloon. we moored the Royalsea to it and used a Zodiac as landing craft.

    We brought with us 14 new 16"x 16" Roseate Tern (ROST) nesting shelters, a couple of buckets, a shovel, a rake, and a propane weeding torch.

    The island had changed a lot since last summer. The nest shelters were mostly still in place, but some had been buried with dead vegetation, beach rocks and gravel (see photos below), and some nesting shelters had been washed away. The island had obviously been severely hit with a winter storm with winds from the east. There was such a storm with hurricane winds in early February, 2013. The cobble beach on the east side of the island had been pushed up and to the west, onto the island. A lot of the beach stones were now laying on top of the vegetated top soil.

    We saw no evidence of Meadow Voles.

    We replaced some damaged/rotted and missing nesting shelters and cleaned up the partially buried shelters.

    I spot tested the propane weeder again this year on the wild radish and knotweed sprouts.

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

    The photos below chronicle our visit.

    The eastern beach pushed overland - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The eastern beach pushed overland - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The eastern beach pushed overland - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The eastern beach pushed overland - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The eastern beach - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The eastern beach - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Propane torch on Wild Radish sprouts - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Propane torch on Wild Radish sprouts - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The crew: Jean Bernard, Rémi, and Aldric - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Jean Bernard, Rémi, and Aldric - North Brother, April 22, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    April 29, 2013 - North Brother. Today, a bit more rearranging of ROST nesting shelters before the terns arrive.

    My assistants: Andrew D'Eon and Henri d'Entremont - North Brother, April 29, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    My assistants: Andrew D'Eon and Henri d'Entremont - North Brother, April 29, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    April 30, 2013 - Lobster fisherman, Franklyn Surette, reported seeing about 30 terns above The Brothers this morning at 6:30 am.

    May 01, 2013 - We arrived at North Brother at around 11:00 am. Three terns were seen and heaed above the island. I spoke to Franklyn Surette and he told me he also had seen terns above N. Brother an hour earlier.

    Today, we placed green stakes along the southwest edge of the vegetated part of the island. The stakes were placed one metre from the edge of the eroding topsoil to document the amount of yearly erosion. Green stakes in 2013, orange stakes in 2012, blue stakes in 2011, and yellow stakes in 2010. On this side of the island, there had generally been less than 30cm of erosion since this time last year.

    Rémi d'Entremont helping me with the stakes - North Brother, May 1, 2013 - Mark Field photo
    Rémi d'Entremont helping me with the stakes - North Brother, May 1, 2013 - Mark Field photo

    Blue stakes - 2011, orange stakes - 2012, green stakes - 2013. North Brother, May 1, 2012 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Blue stakes - 2011, orange stakes - 2012, green stakes - 2013. North Brother, May 1, 2012 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We then motored to South Brother. This island has shrunk noticeably since lasy year. The area with top soil now only measures 4.7 metres at its widest by 27.0 metres long. Meadow Voles still appear to be living there. (see photos below)

    South Brother, May 1, 2012 - Ted D'Eon photo
    South Brother, May 1, 2012 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Meadow Vole burrows - South Brother, May 1, 2012 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Meadow Vole burrows - South Brother, May 1, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew: Rémi d'Entremont and Mark Field, May 1, 2012 - Ted D'Eon photo
    My crew: Rémi d'Entremont and Mark Field, May 1, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 6, 2013 - North Brother. About 30 Common and Arctic Terns greeted us as we arrived on North Brother this morning around 9:30 am. The terns kept their distance as they remained most of the time very high in the air, usually in pairs; I assume some sort of courtship behaviour.

    The island was peaceful and ready to accomodate the nesting terns; no predators or other dissapointments to be seen.

    My crew and assistants: Rémi d'Entremont, Ingrid D'Eon, and Orson Deveau.

    Ingrid, Orson, and Rémi, May 6, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Ingrid, Orson, and Rémi, May 6, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Orson and Ingrid, North Brother, May 6, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Orson and Ingrid, North Brother, May 6, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 13, 2013 - North Brother. The Roseate Terns are back. We did not land on the island due to too much swell and wind. We viewed the terns from the boat.

    There were between 100 and 150 terns; most wete Commons but I managed to see a few Arctics and at least one pair of Roseates.

    My crew and assistants: Manny De Aquino and Alice Morgan.

    May 21, 2013 - North Brother. The terns have begun nesting! We found about 6 Arctic Tern nests and about 30 Common Tern nests. There were about 150 terns there. The vast majority were Commons. We saw only a few Arctics and only 2 or 3 Roseates. The number of ROST seemed low. I am hoping there were more in the area and we just did not see them.

    Of the few Roseates we saw, a pair of them was observed mating. See photo below

    Roseate Terns mating, North Brother, May 21, 2013 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Terns mating, North Brother, May 21, 2013 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo

    One Great Black-backed Gull nest was destroyed. It contained three GBBG eggs and one Common Eider egg.

    We also located four Common Eider nests with eggs.

    My crew: Ronnie d'Entremont, Ingrid D'Eon, and Orson Deveau.

    Ronnie, Orson, and Ingrid, North Brother, May 21, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Ronnie, Orson, and Ingrid, North Brother, May 21, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 28, 2013 - North Brother. More Roseate Terns in the air today, but still not as many as I would like to see. Lots of tern nests everywhere. Since a week earlier on N. Brother, we only saw 2 or 3 ROST, I was hoping to see at least 2 or 3 ROST nests. We were pleasantly surprised. We counted 15 ROST nests; 12 containing one egg and 3 with two. 13 of these nests were in the 16"x16" plywood nest shelters; the other two, under propped up pieces of plywood.

    The island looked great!

    Arctic Tern nest, North Brother, May 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Arctic Tern nest, North Brother, May 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern nest, North Brother, May 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern nest, North Brother, May 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern nest, North Brother, May 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern nest, North Brother, May 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We then went to South Brother to check it out. No terns there. Of the nests we found, there were two Common Eider's and four Great Blacked-backed Gull's. The gull nests were destroyed. One of the gull nests contained 3 gull eggs and one Common Eider egg.

    Gull nest numbers on The Brothers - 1990 to 2013
    Gull nest numbers on The Brothers - 1990 to 2013

    My crew: Henri d'Entremont, Hardy Duhon, George Hébert, and Gerald d'Entremont.

    My crew: Gerald, Hardy, Henri and George, North Brother, May 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    My crew: Gerald, Hardy, Henri and George, North Brother, May 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    June 5, 2013 - North Brother. This morning we brought with us the two CWS trail cameras to reinstall on the island and also numbered sticks to label the Roseate Tern nests.

    My assistants were Jean Bernard d'Entremont and Missie D'Eon.

    We had no problem doing both tasks, and to my surprise, we counted more ROST nests than last year at the same time (June 8, 2012: 25 ROST nests - June 5, 2013: 26 ROST nests) with more to come.

    Documenting ROST nests, North Brother, June 5, 2013 - Missie D'Eon photo
    Documenting ROST nests, North Brother, June 5, 2013 - Missie D'Eon photo

    My assistants: Jean Bernard d'Entremont and Missie D'Eon, North Brother, June 5, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    My assistants: Jean Bernard d'Entremont and Missie D'Eon, North Brother, June 5, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    June 6, 201 - Île Chespêque - Pubnico Harbour. Seaweed harvester, David Surette's report.

    41 tern nests (containing 89 eggs).
    1 gull nest
    About 20 Common Eider nests.

    June 10, 2013 - North Brother. The official nest count day. Also, battery and memory card change to the two trail cameras.

    Today, I had the pleasure of having Karen Potter and Julie McKnight, two Canadian Wildlife Service biologists, and Duncan Bayne, a biologist from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, to assist me with the annual official tern nest count on North Brother.

    The results: 680 tern nests total including 34 Roseate Tern nests. Most of the tern nests were of Common Tern, but there were also an estimate of 40 to 50 Arctic Tern nests.

    This is up from the 658 of 2012. Also, at the 2012 count we had 25 ROST nests. It is always good to see an increase in the number of ROST nests I expect a few more nests in the next couple of weeks.

    Other nests found on N. Brother: Five Common Eider nests and one Great Black-backed Gull nest containing two eggs. The GBBG nest was destroyed. It was found at the northeast corner of the island in the beach rocks, an area with a concentration od Arctic Tern nests.

    A number of Arctic Tern nests were empty of eggs. I suspect the nesting GBBG had something to do with that.

    Only one tern chick had hatched (a Common Tern); a few more eggs were in the process of hatching.

    Tern Nests Numbers on The Brothers - 1990 to 2013
      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
    June 9, 2001 817 63 880
      N. Brother S. Brother totals
    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
    June 8, 2012 658 0 658
    June 10, 2013 680 0 680

    The number of tern nests on The Brothers - A yearly comparison
    The number of tern nests on The Brothers - A yearly comparison
    Please note: The Roseate Terns had not finished nesting at the time of these nest counts.
    The crew: Duncan, Julie, and Karen - North Brother, June 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Duncan, Julie, and Karen - North Brother, June 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    June 18, 2013 - North Brother. A battery and memory card change to the two trail cameras as well as reading leg bands. Ronnie d'Entremont and I both arrived on the island with our telephoto cameras to photograph ROST with leg bands. Once back at home the photos were checked out on computer for field-readable bands. We happily got eight today (see below). We also got a number of partials.

    ROST eggs are starting to hatch. We did not check all the ROST nests but there was a day-old chick with an egg on one nest I looked into. (See below)

    The first ROST chick seen in 2013 - North Brother, June 18, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The first ROST chick seen in 2013 - North Brother, June 18, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Blue Ringed ROST - North Brother, June 18, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Blue Ringed ROST - North Brother, June 18, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Note: In previous years the ring was tighter around its leg.

    June 20, 2013 - North Brother. Today we captured and banded adult Roseate Terns.

    The terns were caught in a treadle trap affixed to the front of the 16"x 16" ROST nesting shelters (see below).

    Karen Potter retrieving a ROST from treadle trap - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Karen Potter retrieving a ROST from treadle trap - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Adult ROST being held for leg banding - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Adult ROST being held for leg banding - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The banders were Julie McKnight from CWS, Karen Potter from CWS, and Duncan Bayne from the NS Department of Natural Resources.

    My job was mostly to check and reset the traps, and to transport the captured birds to the processing area where various measurements were taken before they were banded.

    Six terns were banded with a red plastic field-readable bands numbering from B37 to B42, and a metal band. Two more terns were already previously banded (B00 and 680E). One tern was not banded due to minor injuries from the capturing process; a second one was not banded as it only had one foot (see below).

    Adult ROST with missing foot - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Adult ROST with missing foot - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Leg banding - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Leg banding - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Julie, Karen, and Duncan - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Julie, Karen, and Duncan - North Brother, June 20, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    June 25, 2013 - North Brother. ROST nest and chick count, and a battery and chip change on the trail cameras.

    My assistants: Mark Field, Danielle Pernette, and Christine Ryan. Danielle and Christine are working for the summer for the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation (BCAF) assessing the tern colonies in the Mahone Bay area of Nova Scotia.

    What we found: Four more ROST nests bring up our total ROST nests now to 38.

    We counted 25 ROST chicks (23 live ones and 2 which were dead). I suspect the dead ones succumbed to the damp conditions under the thick vegetation. There were also a couple of dozen dead Common Tern chicks found. Also, some of the Common Tern eggs in the vegetation were cold to the touch.

    There were also, 20 unhatched ROST eggs found.

    See a list of the ROST nests Here (ROST_Nests_June_25_2013.pdf).

    Roseate Tern nest numbers - The Brother, 1991 to 2013

    The ROST chick in nest #20 may be a hybrid. Its colouration did not appear normal for a ROST although it had dark legs (see photos below).

    Hybrid? ROST chick - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Hybrid? ROST chick - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Hybrid? ROST chick - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Hybrid? ROST chick - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A few other photos:

    Arctic Tern chicks - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Arctic Tern chicks - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My assistants: Mark, Christine, and Danielle - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    My assistants: Mark, Christine, and Danielle - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My assistants: Mark, Christine, and Danielle - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    My assistants: Mark, Christine, and Danielle - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Me changing the batteries of a trail camera - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Danielle Pernette photo
    Me changing the batteries of a trail camera - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Danielle Pernette photo

    Mark, Danielle, and Christine - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Mark, Danielle, and Christine - North Brother, June 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    July 3, 2013 - North Brother. Heavy rains over the past week took a heavy toll on the tern colony. The rain was especially heavy in the early morning of June 28.

    We passed by a lot of dead tern chicks as we made our way around the island, walking around its perimeter.

    There was also what I took for a Merlin kill of a young Common or Arctic tern (see below).

    I also changed the batteries and memory chips of the two trail cameras.

    Dead tern chicks - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Dead tern chicks - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Merlin-killed? tern chick - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Merlin-killed? tern chick - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    I also got three more ROST leg bands - B12, 815N, AND 895N.

    Banded Roseate Tern - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Banded Roseate Tern - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Leg bands, close-up - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Leg bands, close-up - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST leg bands - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST leg bands - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST leg bands - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST leg bands - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew and assistants: Ronnie d'Entremont, Suzanne Surette and Richard Surette.

    Ronnie, Suzanne, and Richard - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Ronnie, Suzanne, and Richard - North Brother, July 3, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Dead ROST chick in Nest No.26 - North Brother, July 7, 2013 - Trail camera photo
    Dead ROST chick (on the right) in Nest No.26 - North Brother, July 7, 2013 - Trail camera photo
    This was a very small beta chick and likely died of starvation.

    The above dead ROST died around noon on July 5, 2013, likely of starvation.

    July 10, 2013 - North Brother. ROST chick banding day.

    Today, Duncan Bayne, Shawn Craik and I assisted CWS biologists, Julie McKnight and Karen Potter with the banding of ROST chicks. We banded 17 chicks and trapped an adult ROST which was already banded (895N from nest #38).

    All went well but it was difficult finding ROST chicks and even their nesting shelters in the overgrown wild radish and knotweed.

    Many of the dead chicks seen on July 3 were no longer to be seen as the bugs and natural decay had taken care of them.

    There were still many unhatched eggs, some of which were cold and bad, but there were also some still being incubated and some day or two old chicks in their nests.

    At least one probable owl kill of an adult Common Tern was found. If it was the same bird, the severed head and wings were found about 10 meters apart from each other.

    Depredated Common Tern - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Depredated Common Tern - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The whole island was very busy with adult terns carrying fish and chicks scurrying around so they wouldn't miss their next meal. It was very busy!

    One more field readable leg band was read - B42. It was one of the adult ROST banded here on June 20, 2013.

    As we were leaving the island, a Merlin appeared. It was quickly mobbed away (or so it seemed) by all the able-bodied terns of the colony.

    A few Photos:

    Banding Roseate Tern chicks - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Banding Roseate Tern chicks - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Julie, Karen, and Shawn - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Julie, Karen, and Shawn - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Shawn, Duncan, Julie, and Karen - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Shawn, Duncan, Julie, and Karen - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The trap - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The trap - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A ROST carrying a Sandlance - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    A ROST carrying a Sandlance - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A ROST with leg bands - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    A ROST with leg bands - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The ROST leg bands - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The ROST leg bands - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The crew: Shawn, Duncan, Julie, and Karen - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Shawn, Duncan, Julie, and Karen - North Brother, July 10, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    July 19, 2013 - North Brother. Battery and memory card change to the two trail cameras and a quick check of the colony.

    Still too many unhatched Arctic Tern nests/eggs on the cobblestone beach at the north and north-east edge of the island. Unhatched Common Tern eggs also elsewhere.

    We did not venture into the heavily vegetated parts of the island. We stuck to the beach and the "tarp" area.

    More evidence of avian predation on older tern chicks (see photos below).

    Depredated tern chick - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Depredated tern chick - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Depredated tern chick - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Depredated tern chick - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Still weather or food supply related chick mortality over all the island, although there also were lots of fledged and unfledged chicks being fed by their parents.

    Common Tern chicks - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern chicks - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We found too many uneaten Butterfish/Dollarfish (Peprilus triacanthus) found in the part of the colony we walked through. This is never good.

    Uneaten Butterfish - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Roland D'Eon photo
    Uneaten Butterfish - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Roland D'Eon photo

    The vegetation was overgrown with wild radish, knotweed and ragweed.

    North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Roland D'Eon photo
    North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Roland D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern B12 - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern B12 - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern B12 - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern B12 - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern B12 - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern B12 - North Brother, July 19, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    My crew and assistant: Roland D'Eon.

    July 28, 2013 - North Brother. Today, I removed the two trail cameras and made a quick check of what remained of the tern colony.

    The first thing we noticed was that all the unhatched tern eggs seen the previous week were now all gone. I assume the eggs had been taken by gulls because now all the tern chicks except for one, were either gone from the island, or being fed by their parents at the water's edge. There was no activity in the nesting area anymore (except for that one Common Tern chick still in the centre of the nesting area).

    We still found saw some tern chick mortality; some od the chicks were fledged or nearly fledged.

    Dead tern chick - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Dead tern chick - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Dead tern chick - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Dead tern chick - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    See below, a few photos of the vegetation. Some of the knotweed seems to have been replaced by wild radish or a similar plant. The reason I say that is because there could be two wild radish-like plants in the island. In some areas these plants are in bloom with yellow flowers, and in other areas, similar plants with yellow flowers have gone by the flowering stage. Also, lots of ragweed in some areas.

    Vegetation, looking north - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Vegetation, looking north - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    See below, a few photos of the vegetation. Some of the knotweed seems to have been replaced by wild radish or a similar plant. The reason I say that is because there could be two wild radish-like plants on the island. In some areas these plants are in bloom with yellow flowers, and in other areas, similar plants have gone by the flowering stage. Also, lots of ragweed in some areas.

    Vegetation, looking south - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Vegetation, looking south - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Some of the knotweed - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    There was not a lot of tern chicks being fed at the water's edge, but in the group I was able to see at least two ROST chicks and four ROST adults. Only one of the chicks was banded; two of the adults feeding them were banded with a grey metal band on each leg.

    Unbanded ROST chick after being fed a herring - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Unbanded ROST chick after being fed a herring - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Banded ROST chick being fed a sandlance. This photo was taken two minutes after the unbanded chick (above) was fed herring - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Banded ROST chick being fed a sandlance. This photo was taken two minutes after the unbanded
    chick (above) was fed herring - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Crew and assistant, Roland D'Eon - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Crew and assistant, Roland D'Eon - North Brother, July 28, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Bad news from one of the trail cameras. - It appears there is still at least one Meadow Vole on North Brother. I thought the February storm had washed away the last of the voles. I was wrong. A Meadow Vole was photographed during the night on July 23 and July 24 (see below).

    Meadow Vole - North Brother, July 23, 2013 - trail camera photo
    Meadow Vole - North Brother, July 23, 2013 - trail camera photo

    Meadow Vole - North Brother, July 23, 2013 - trail camera photo
    Meadow Vole - North Brother, July 23, 2013 - trail camera photo

    Meadow Vole - North Brother, July 24, 2013 - trail camera photo
    Meadow Vole - North Brother, July 24, 2013 - trail camera photo

    July 30, 2013 - The first Roseate Terns from North Brother were seen on Cape Cod - Jeffrey A Spendelow, a U.S. Geological Survey research biologist, writes, "I had 3 adults, and I HY. B57 was begging from B11". This is great to see!

    August 25, 2013 - Nothing to do with terns, but today I was out to Round Island, (43.508N 65.980W) and Noddy Island (43.465N 65.985W) - 22 km and 26 km SW of Abbott's Harbour, Middle West Pubnico.

    We went out there to see if we could find a few Puffins and Grey Seals. My crew consisted of Christian Surette, Jonathan Surette, and their girlfriends, Kim and Felicia, all visiting from Ontario.

    We did see about six Puffins at Round Island and about the same number at Noddy. By the end of August or the first few days of September, the Puffins leave their nesting areas and head out to sea until the next nesting season, so we were pleased to see what we saw.

    Atlantic Puffin - Round Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Atlantic Puffin - Round Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We saw more than one Puffin with food which I could not identify in its bill. See photo below. I think it may have been Squid, but I stand to be corrected.

    Atlantic Puffin - Round Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Atlantic Puffin - Round Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We also saw our Grey Seals. Most of them at Noddy Island, and most of them were bobbing momentarily around the boat or slipping into the ocean as they saw us.

    There was one, which I thought was sleeping on a rock at first (and perhaps it was). I guided the boat quite close to it before it moved and looked around. We were able to take many photos before it too slipped into the sea. The whole episode was pretty well nothing out of ordinary until I got home and checked out my photos!

    It looks like this Grey Seal had the bite marks of a shark on its hind end! It looks like five triangular tooth marks in a semi-circular pattern at its hip area and a mangled anal area. Looks to me like it had been attacked by a Great White Shark but I am no expert. I sent the photos to the Canadian Grey Seal researcher and expert, Dr. Don Bowen, and he agreed that it looks like the bite from a shark and that he "can't really imagine anything else that would make these lacerations. As to species - large shark, therefore in our waters probaly white. But can't be sure."

    See photos below:

    Grey Seal - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Grey Seal - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Grey Seal - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Grey Seal - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Great White Shark? bite on Grey Seal - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Great White Shark? bite on Grey Seal - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Grey Seal - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Grey Seal - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Grey Seal bite (note the flies) - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Grey Seal bite (note the flies) - Noddy Island, August 25, 2013 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Field-readable Roseate Tern leg bands - North Brother. (See below)

    Resighted leg bands on Roseate Terns from North Brother in 2013
    June 18, 2013
    July 3, 2013
    July 10, 2013
    895N right leg
    Captured in nest #38 on July 10, 2013
    June 18, 2013 B02 (red) left leg
    Banded as an adult on N. Brother 28/06/2011?
    June 18, 2013 Blue ring left leg [Also seen on N. Brother
    in July 2010 and in June 2011 and in 2012]
    June 18, 2013 550E left leg [Also seen on N. Brother in 2010 and 2012]
    Banded as a chick on N.Brother 14/07/2005
    June 18, 2013,
    June 20, 2013
    680E left leg
    Banded as a chick on N.Brother 14/07/2005
    June 18, 2013 B13 (red) right leg
    Banded on N. Brother
    June 18, 2013 B11 (red) right leg
    Banded on N. Brother
    June 18, 2013 1V51 left leg [Also seen on N. Brother in 2012]
    June 20, 2013 B00 (red)
    Banded as an adult on N. Brother 28/06/2011?
    July 3, 2013
    July 19, 2013
    B12 (red) right leg
    Banded on N. Brother
    July 3, 2013 815N right leg
    July 10, 2013 B42 (red) right leg
    Banded on N. Brother, June 20, 2013


    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, 2013