TERN REPORT - 2018 - 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.

    Last summer, the tern colony on The Brothers (actually only on North Brother) was abandoned partway through the nesting season. Strong winds and high tides washed out some of the tern nests early during the incubation phase. The number of nests was low to start with, and with the nest wash out, some of the terns left.

    After this, and with fewer terns to defend the colony, gulls and crows moved in and systematically cleaned out every tern and Common Eider egg. Roseate Tern (ROST) eggs were among the last to go; I assume because because they were in nesting shelters.

    By early July, some of our missing birds were found nesting on Gull Island, 8 km to the northwest of North Brothers. Some of the ROST whose nests had been depredated by the crows and gulls on North Brother actually renested on Gull Island.

    This report will cover work being done on both North Brother and Gull Island mostly from my perspective.

    THE BROTHERS, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia
    THE BROTHERS, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia

    North BROTHERS and GULL ISLAND,<Br>Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia
    North BROTHERS and GULL ISLAND,
    Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia



    OBSERVATIONS:

    The following is a chronological listing of our 2018 work with terns of the Lobster Bay area in general, but in particular, with the Roseate Terns (ROST) of The Brothers and Gull Island. The report also includes tern observations from other professionals and university students working on these islands, as well as observations from 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)

    For a bird's eye view of The Brothers, see the YouTube aerial drone video of The Brothers taken by Riel D'Eon on October 8, 2016

    Winter Storms and High Tides - I seemed like there was a winter storm every week, but the following three were the worse ones.

    Storm #1) Christmas Day 2017 - Hurricane winds - wind damage on the mainland; many trees down; storm surge.

    Below my house in Middle West Pubnico, December 25, 2017 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Below my house in Middle West Pubnico, December 25, 2017 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Storm damage at Abbott's Harbour, Middle West Pubnico, December 26, 2017 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Storm damage at Abbott's Harbour, Middle West Pubnico, December 26, 2017 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Storm #2) January 4, 2018 - Very high winds again with high tides and storm surge. This was 2 days after the full moon so the tides were high anyway. More damage along the shore. Almost all of our ROST nesting shelters were washed off of North Brother. I collected 85 of them along the shore of the mainland - most of them around Ledge Harbour (a.k.a. Le Rocher).

    I had a stone staircase to the shore below my house (near Abbott's Harbour, Middle West Pubnico). It had been there for many years. It survived the Christmas Day hurricane, but not this storm.

    Storm damage at Abbott's Harbour, Middle West Pubnico, January 5, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Storm damage at Abbott's Harbour, Middle West Pubnico, January 5, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST shelters at Ledge Harbour, Middle West Pubnico, January 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST shelters at Ledge Harbour, Middle West Pubnico, January 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Some of the collected ROST nesting shelters, January, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Some of the collected ROST nesting shelters, January, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Storm #3) March 3, 2018 - Another wind storm with high tides and storm surge near the full moon. The photo below was taken from Pond Road, Lower West Pubnico. Waves crashing right over the island!

    North Brother, March 3, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, March 3, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    April 8, 2018 - Our first visit to North Brother since the winter storms. I was there with Shawn Craik and Nick Knutson. Dr. Shawn Crail is a professor of biology at Université Sainte-Anne, and Nick is a student from Acadia University working on his Master's degree.

    The storms have widened and flattened the tern nesting areas on both sides (east and west) of the tidal pond (this depression is noticeably much smaller than last year). There is now some great looking nesting substrate there; the problem being that now it appears it may be at a lower elevation than previously, and likely more prone to flooding during storm and spring tides during the nesting season.

    A metre or more of soil and glacial till has been lost at the south end of the island. Usually, we see more erosion on the south and southwest end of this point. This year, a lot of erosion on the southeast bank also, and I think we may have lost more than a metre to the west bank at the "management zone".

    The "management zone" is covered with gravel and rocks, and the landscape fabric is all messed up in it. We should remove it from there before too long.

    Only one reusable ROST nesting structure was left on the island. It was either lucky 13 or maybe unlucky 13! Only one more ROST structure on the island and it was too old and damaged to be reused.

    We also visited South Brother; it is till getting smaller all the time!

    Thank you Shawn an Nick for your assistance. Sorry to have gotten you a little wet. (splashing at South Brother from the swell; no one fell overboard). Ted

    North Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The only reusable ROST shelter left on North Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The only reusable ROST shelter left on North Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    All that's left of South Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    All that's left of South Brother, April 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    April 27, 2018 - North Brother. This morning. Nick Knutson and Aldric d'Entremont came with me to see if we could make a landing on North Brother to install 3 trail cameras and do a little bit of cleanup.

    I knew that the wind had been blowing yesterday and partly through the night but the outlook was for light wind this morning.

    Well, the wind was light this morning, but there was an awful swell. We decided to motor to the island just the same in case we would be able to land.

    When we got there, we all agreed a landing would be too risky, so we stayed aboard the boat and observed the near high tide. This was around 9:30 and high tide was at 8:31 this morning at Abbott's Harbour. Today's high tide was a 3.3 metre tide. Sunday's high tide (with the full moon) will be 3.5m.

    For your information, the high tides on the 17, 18, and 19 of May will get to 3.8m; and on June 15, 16, and 17 it is predicted to get to 3.9m; and 4.0m on July 14 !

    There is bound to be a storm during one of those high tides which could be catastrophic for a tern colony if they form one this year on N. Brother. "Just sayin'"!

    Nick checked the cellular camera for cell service, while on the boat at N Brother and the signal was good. (of the three cameras we will be using on N. Brother, this season, one will transmit photos through the cellular telephone service)

    We saw no signs of terns on out trip to the island.

    April 27, 2018 - At least one tern in the area! Lobster fishermen, Edouard D'Eon and Graham D'Eon each reported seeing one "tern" sitting on a buoy a few kilometres from Pubnico Point, They were fishing on separate boats but both in the same general area. Pubnico Point is just a few km to the south of The Brothers.

    April 29, 2018 - North Brother. Nick Knutson and I left Abbott's Harbour at 9:30am for North Brother. The overnight rain had stopped and the sun had been shining (somewhat), but our 3km trip to N Brother was showded in fog. Today, would be the full moon high tide and we would be on the island at high tide (10:20am).

    Even though there was still a swell, we had no problem with our landing nor our exit to and from the island.

    The warm sun came out shortly after our landing.

    We first cut out the landscape fabric which had been exposed over the winter. It was taken to the mainland for disposal.

    We cleaned up some of the manmade debris which had washed up on the island over the years; there wasn't much there as the winter storms had already taken care of most of it away.

    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We also watched the tidal pond filling up as seawater was percolating through the beach rocks at its north end. Water was still coming in even an hour after high tide.

    The tidal pond filling up, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The tidal pond filling up, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We then set up three trail cameras. One at the south end of the island pointing north; one above the south end of the tidal pond, pointing north to the "ridge" and the tidal pond; and a third one at the north end of the "ridge" pointing south.

    Nick Knutson setting up a trail camera, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Nick Knutson setting up a trail camera, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    One of the trail cameras, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    One of the trail cameras, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Looking south, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Looking south, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Landscape fabric all packaged up for removal, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Landscape fabric all packaged up for removal, North Brother, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    After we left N Brother, we motored 8km northwest to Gull Island. There was a very heavy swell there, so we observed the southeast corner of the island from the boat. There were no terns there and we didn't see any at N Brother either.

    Nick counted 25 gulls there (I think that's what he counted); most of the, were Herring (I think, 16 Herring and 9 Great Black-backed).

    Nick Knutson checking out Gull Island, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Nick Knutson checking out Gull Island, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Gull Island beacon, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Gull Island beacon, April 29, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 1, 2018 - Cape Sable Island, Shelburne County, NS. Mark Dennis photographed a Roseate Tern at Drinking Brook Park on CSI.

    Mark writes, "I didn't expect the first tern of the year to be a Roseate! This was way off Drinking Brook Park this afternoon, 01-May, 2018. I did a composite as the images are so small but you can see the tail in a couple and a slightly rosy hue to the breast."

    I saw the images and there is no doubt that it is a Roseate Tern! Ted

    I think this may be the earliest ever for a ROST sighting in Nova Scotia!

    May 2, 2018 - Gull Island. Lobster fisherman, Aubrey Spinney reported 4 terns near Gull Island.

    May 4, 2018 - From Pond Road, I saw 3 terns flying by North Brother! My first for the season.

    May 4, 2018 - North Brother. The first bird photo from the Reconyx trail camera was of a crow on May 4.

    Common Crow, North Brother, May 4, 2018 - Trail camera photo

    May 5, 2018 - North Brother. The first terns captured on North Brother by the trail cameras.

    May 8, 2018 - North Brother and Gull Island. Shawn Craik, Manon Holmes, Nick Knutson, and I visited North Brother today to check out the island for terns as well as service the trail cameras and retrieve the memory chips.

    110 terns were estimated - almost all Common Terns (COTE), but included at least 3 Roseate Terns (ROST} and 2 Arctic Terns (ARTE).

    Courtship behaviour was observed with the COTE and ARTE. No evidence of nest scrapes were seen.

    Still only bare mud (except for one small patch of wild raddish) at the south end of the island. Did the winter storms wash out the other weed seeds?

    The south end of North Brother, May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We then motored out to Gull Island.

    At Gull Island, we dropped our small boat mooring just to the east of our landing area at the northeast end of the island.

    The concrete mooring block on the boat - May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The concrete mooring block on the boat - May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Shawn estimated about 50 terns counted along the southern stretch of the island (i.e. near the southern nesting region used in 2017). Most of these were COTE, but this number included 6 ROST and 6 ARTE.

    Great tern nesting substrate at the south end of Gull Island - May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Great? tern nesting substrate at the south end of Gull Island - May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The beach rock barrier at the northwestern of the pond has been partially breached by the winter storms. The panoramic photo below doesn't give it justice. The high tides at the full moon may actually flow through the breach and into the pond.

    Partially breached barrier on Gull Island - May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Partially breached barrier on Gull Island - May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    About 75% of the island's gull nesting habitat was searched: Shawn, Manon, and Nick marked 23 gull nests with coloured stakes; the eggs were measured (majority of nests at 3-egg stage). Most, if not all of the gull nests appeared to be Great Blacked Gull (GBBG).

    Manon, Shawn, and Nick, Gull Island - May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Manon, Shawn, and Nick, Gull Island - May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    43 GBBG counted on island; there were no Herring Gulls (HERG) on the island.

    Two corvids (possibly Common Ravens (CORA)) were spotted loafing on the island light while we approached from a distance; the two birds flushed from the island as we approached and unfortunately we could not determine their path.

    Also nesting on the island were, at least 10 Common Eider (COEI) pairs, and two pairs of Canada Geese. Each Canada Goose nest contained 6 eggs.

    Canada Goose nest, Gull Island, May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Canada Goose nest, Gull Island, May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Also of note were the 17 Brant which took off from the island upon our arrival.

    I did photograph some of the terns, but the ROST were always too distant to get any leg bands.

    Roseate Tern, Gull Island, May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern, Gull Island, May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    COTE courtship feeding was observed; no tern nest scrapes were observed

    Common Tern, Gull Island, May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern, Gull Island, May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Arctic Tern, Gull Island, May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Arctic Tern, Gull Island, May 8, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 14, 2018 - North Brother and Gull Island.

    This morning, four of us left Abbott's Harbour at 9 am first to go to North Brother to service the trail cameras and then to Gull Island to finish documentation of the gull nests as well as general tern colony observation.

    We were, Manon Holmes. Nick Knutson, Aldric d'Entremont, and me.

    The morning started with a cool overcast but became warmer and sunnier by 11 am.

    Only about 60 terns at N Brother with no presence of Roseates. Nick and Manon counted about 10 nest scrapes in the brown topsoil at the south end of the island. A pair of Common Terns were seen copulating here. There were another 6 or so scrapes along the northwest.

    Trail camera image, North Brother, May 12, 2018
    Trail camera image, North Brother, May 12, 2018

    We then motored to Gull Island. Nick counted four Ravens or Crows there when we arrived.

    Nick an Manon worked on finishing the documentation of the gull nests. They recorded a total of 44 gull nests on the island. All of them are believed to be Great Black-backed Gull (GBBG). One nest contained 4 eggs.

    There were two Canada Goose nests seen on Gull Island last week. Today, when we first saw the first nest, it contained one gosling and 5 eggs in the process of hatching. 90 minutes later, as we were leaving the island, it contained 5 hatchlings plus one egg in the process of hatching; the second nest was empty but no goslings to be seen. I fear with the overwhelming presence of GBBG on the island, the gulls had likely taken the goslings. We also saw a few COEI nests with pieces of egg shell in and near the nests, but no presence of ducklings.

    Canada Goose nest, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Canada Goose nest, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The top of the beacon, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The top of the beacon, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The terns: I am afraid it looks grim! Only 15 to 20 terns at Gull Island (last week it was 50). The terns which were there remained in the air all the time we were there. I didn't see any on the ground. There were two ROST in the group although they just showed up when we were almost ready to leave.

    I did observe a COTE capture a fish from the pond on two occasions, indicating there were fish in there. Some of the terns seen were carrying fish.

    We found two dead terns; one was decapitated COTE with its severed head, one wing, a bunch of feathers and no body; the other was just a bunch of tern feathers, including wing feathers. It is possible that the "second tern" was actually the missing body and wing of the first tern.

    Depredated COTE, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Depredated COTE, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Manon, Aldric, and Nick, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Manon, Aldric, and Nick, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Nick set up a trail camera looking east, above the southwest corner of the pond and overlooking a Common Eider nest.

    Nick Knutson setting up a trail camera, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Nick Knutson setting up a trail camera, Gull Island, May 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    I checked the trail camera photos from N Brother (the most northerly camera looking south) and was surprised to see more tern activity than I was expecting from our visit there, and there were very few gulls. Perhaps it is not all the doom and gloom I felt when we were there, but I still don't think it looks great for either colony, North Brother or Gull Island. Very disappointing!

    We were back at Abbott's Harbour by 12:15 pm.

    May 16, 2018 Gull Island is 8 km directly west of my house. On a clear morning with good atmospheric conditions and with the aid of a spotting scope, I can see terns when they are flying over the island. This morning, I could see a flock of up to 100 or so, whenever they would take off as a group.

    Perhaps, the colony is in a better condition than seemed to be apparent there on May 14. I certainly hope so!

    May 22, 2018 - North Brother and Gull Island. The crew today consisted of Nick Knutson, Manon Holmes, Natalie Thimot, and me.

    Bad news for North Brother. The tern colony there has been abandoned!

    Four Crows or Ravens were seen leaving the island as we approached the island.

    Only two terns flying over the island when we landed there (at 9:30 am); 10 terns flew by as we were leaving.

    We removed two of the three trail cameras, to be later placed on Gull Island where they would be more useful.

    The trail camera photos showed at least some terns there at 7:00 am.

    See a few trail camera photos below:

    Great Black-backed Gull, North Brother, May 16, 2018 - Trail camera photo
    Great Black-backed Gull, North Brother, May 16, 2018 - Trail camera photo

    Common Eider, North Brother, May 18, 2018 - Trail camera photo
    Common Eider, North Brother, May 18, 2018 - Trail camera photo

    Common Terns, North Brother, May 19, 2018 - Trail camera photo
    Common Terns, North Brother, May 19, 2018 - Trail camera photo

    Only a few Terns, North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Trail camera photo
    Only a few Terns, North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Trail camera photo

    Herring Gulls, North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Trail camera photo
    Herring Gulls, North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Trail camera photo

    Common Crows, North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Trail camera photo
    Common Crows, North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Trail camera photo

    Still not much vegetation on N. Brother.

    The south end of North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The south end of North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Looking north on North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Looking north on North Brother, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Then to Gull Island.

    No Crows or Ravens were seen, but about 90 GBBG were hanging around on the island as there were around 50 GBBG nests. Only one GBBG nest contained chicks (2 chicks + 1 egg in the process of hatching). The majority of the GBBG nests are some distance from the tern activity and colony area of 2017, but perhaps a dozen or so are in the tern nesting area and will be a problem unless action is taken.

    GBBG nest with chicks - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    GBBG nest with chicks - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Trail camera setup - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Trail camera setup - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Trail camera setup - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Trail camera setup - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A good flock of terns on our arrival to the island; perhaps 250 or more! Estimated more than 230 COTE, 6 ROST and 8 ARTE.

    The terns have begun laying. We counted 7 single-egg tern nests in the same nesting area as last year - 3 in the north section and 4 in south.

    No Roseate or Arctic Terns were seen on the ground in the nesting area, but a few COTE settled down. All the gull nests near the tern nests were warm. Our trail cams are set up near the closest together tern and gull nest to observe for conflicts. (Nick Knutson)

    Manon marking a tern nest - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Manon marking a tern nest - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A probable COTE nest - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    A probable COTE nest - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The southern tern nesting area - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The southern tern nesting area - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A possible ARTE nest - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    A possible ARTE nest - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A very likely ARTE nest - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    A very likely ARTE nest - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    One nest I am not quite convinced is not a ROST nest. The egg was laid next to a sort of natural rock wall with some seclusion. We will have to keep an eye on this one.

    An ARTE or ROST nest - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    An ARTE or ROST nest? - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The crew: Nick, Manon, and Natalie - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Nick, Manon, and Natalie - Gull Island, May 22, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 24, 2018 - Gull Island.

    A note from Shawn Craik that he, Manon Holmes, and Natalie Thimot were dropped of on Gull island by lobster fisherman, Ben Morton, on his way out to haul his traps; he picked them up again later on his way back to Camp Cove Wharf in Lower Argyle.

    He writes that the tern number has increased over that of two days ago, and now included up to 16 ROST and at least 35 ARTE.

    They find some evidence of tern egg predation (1 egg and 1 COTE nest), but the tern nest number has now increased to 14.

    Nine GBBG nests located in the tern nesting areas were destroyed (under permit).

    One Common Crow was observed flying over the island in a northwesterly direction.

    It looks like the tern colony is gaining momentum! Nice to see!

    May 30, 2018 - North Brother and Gull Island.

    The crew today: Julie McKnight, Shawn Craik, Manon Holmes, Natalie Thimot, and me.

    The crew: Natalie, Manon, Shawn, and Julie - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Natalie, Manon, Shawn, and Julie - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We first motored to North Brother but remained in the boat and observed the island from there.

    There were around 12 terns on or around the island. There was still very little vegetation in the area of top soil at the south end of the island and a few terns with some courtship behaviour was observed here. All terns appeared to be COTE.

    North Brother, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A trail camera remains on the island; we may remove it the next time we come here.

    We then motored to and landed on Gull Island.

    The following from Shawn Craik: "We estimated that about 225-250 terns were on the island. After a 30-minute observation period used to follow ROST to potential nest sites, we confirmed 7 ROST nests and one possible ROST nest. Four of these nests were grouped together (sub-colony) within 6-7 m in the southern breeding zone. I believe that all confirmed ROST nests have one egg."

    ROST nest under a lobster trap - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST nest under a lobster trap - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST nest under a lobster trap - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST nest under a lobster trap - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    At least 2 of the ROST nests appeared to contain cold eggs.

    Also from Shawn Craik: "ARTE and COTE nesting is also underway, with many more nests of each species than the dozen or so total counted last week. It is really interesting how the three species of terns are partitioning the small amount of nesting habitat on the island. ARTE nests are located in highly elevated regions along the island's periphery, whereas both COTE and ROST nests are much closer to the pond. ROST nests are differentiated from those of COTE by some lateral concealment, and in some cases, overhead concealment (e.g., lobster trap or overhanging rock).

    We counted 90 adult GBBG on the island upon our arrival."

    GBBG on the beacon - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    GBBG on the beacon - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    I looked for ROST leg bands on the birds at the nesting area on the west side of the pond. The only one I could be certain of was B65. It had been previously seen on Gull Island on July 11, 2017; it is a bird that was banded on North Brother in 20??.

    Banded ROST B65 (center) - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Banded ROST B65 (center) - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Banded ROST B65 - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Banded ROST B65 - Gull Island, May 30, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Julie McKnight was also able to scope out two ROST leg bands, B00 and B40 along with a COTE with a left leg orange flag and another COTE with a right leg service band, banded in Argentina.

    May 31, 2018 - 4 more ROST in nearby tern colonies!

    Alix d'Entremont and Bertin D'Eon dropped off Manon Holmes and Natalie Thimot on Gull Island at 8 am and then continued to search the nearby (and some not so near) islands for tern colonies.

    Alix writes: "... we headed north and found 4 COTE feeding and perched on rocks around West Money Island. There were no terns on Little Fish and Inner Fish Islands, so we kept going north.

    We had approximately 100 COTE on Pinch Gut Island. They appeared to be sitting on nests on the northern end of the island. There were also two ROST – one of which was banded (maybe C59?). The ROST appeared to be associating with each other, perching near each other on rocks. Please have a look at the attached photos for the band. See the eBird checklist with photos of both ROST. See https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46179558

    We then checked on Green Island (the small one near Comeaus Hill, also known as Île-aux-fraises) and found that last year's colony of 82 nests had disappeared – perhaps they moved to Pinch Gut? Both Pinch Gut and Green Islands have had 100s of pairs of terns nesting in the past (see Ted's website).

    Murder Island had 4 COTE flying around.

    We stopped on Peases Island and estimated 150 COTE, 30 ARTE and two ROST flying around together. I did not see them land and couldn't find them again after the first observation. No photo.

    Half Bald Island had a similar number and ratio of terns as last trip there: 70 ARTE and 10 COTE."

    Banded ROST C59? - Pinch Gut Island, May 31, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Banded ROST C59? - Pinch Gut Island, May 31, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    May 31, 2018 Gull Island. Manon Holmes and Natalie Thimot reported finding 2 more ROST nests; now a total of 9.

    June 6, 2018 Gull Island. The crew today: Julie McKnight, Manon Holmes, Nick Knutson, and me.

    Nick, Manon, and Julie, Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Nick, Manon, and Julie, Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Something unusual, if not strange! At the nesting area to the south of the pond, an unbroken tern egg yolk in the rocks, separated from its membrane, but with no obvious egg shell nearby. (Also seen in the above photo)

    A tern egg yolk and membrane, but no shell - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    A tern egg yolk and membrane, but no shell - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    I tried to photograph more leg bands but was not very successful. I was only able to confirm one which Julie had already seen on May 30. See B40 below.

    ROST B40 - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST B40 - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Some COTE/ROST squabbling - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Some COTE/ROST squabbling - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Note B40 top left; unbanded ROST near its 2-egg nest under the lobster trap.
    Note also that the aggressive COTE is banded.

    Julie did much better than me scoping the ROST for leg bands and new nests.

    At ROST nest N4 - L93 and an unbanded bird.

    ROST nest N4 - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST nest N4 - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Terns at nest N4 - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Terns at nest N4 - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    At ROST nest N5 - B76 and an unbanded bird.

    At ROST nest N6 - B75 and B90.

    At ROST nest N7 - a double metal-banded bird (FR on right).

    ROST L95 released from lobster trap netting. Abrasions to the wing where netting was chafing and tail feathers were ratty – one tail streamer broken.

    Removal of L95 from Lobster trap netting - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Removal of L95 from Lobster trap netting - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST L95 after releasefrom Lobster trap - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST L95 after releasefrom Lobster trap - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST L95 after releasefrom Lobster trap - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST L95 after releasefrom Lobster trap - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Nick and Manon with ROST L95 - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Nick and Manon with ROST L95 - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Manon and Nick observing the tern colony - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Manon and Nick observing the tern colony - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The ROST nest count on Gull Island is now 19!

    A Common Tern carrying Herring - Gull Island, June 6, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    June 8, 2018 North Brother. Scoping out N Brother this morning from Pond Rd. and from le Chemin-du-Rocher, I saw at least 2 ROST among the 75 (more or less) terns on the island. The N Brother tern colony has not been abandoned after all!

    June 8, 2018 Pubnico Harbour. David Surette, a friend of mine since childhood, now seaweed harvester in Pubnico Harbour, gave me a report of the terns there, on Île Ferrée and Île Chespêque.

    Île Ferrée, a tiny rock of an island had 41 tern nests (2 with 1 egg, 17 with 2 eggs, and 22 with 3 eggs). This is the highest number of tern nests I have ever known to be there.

    Île Ferrée, Pubnico Harbour - Ted D'Eon photo
    Île Ferrée, Pubnico Harbour - Ted D'Eon photo

    Île Chespêque had only 4 tern nests this year (1 with 2 eggs and 3 with 3 eggs).

    David was not able to tell if there were ant ROST in the Pubnico Harbour tern colonies.

    Also on Île Chespêque, 16 Common Eider nests (some beginning to hatch).

    June 9, 2018 North Brother. Nick Knutson, Manon Holmes, and Natalie Thimot visited N Brother today.

    They reported 43 COTE and 2 ROST nests with about 150 terns flying around the island!

    Quite the surprise!

    June 14, 2018 Pubnico Harbour. Nick Knutson and I motored into the harbour to check out a few tern colonies and look for Roseate Terns. Our first stop was Île Ferrée. The tide was low and the weather cool; we observed the colony at a distance, from the boat. There were about 100 terns there, all COTE.

    Île Ferrée, Pubnico Harbour, June 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Île Ferrée, Pubnico Harbour, June 14, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Our next stop, Île Chespêque, 3.2 km farther up the harbour, only had around 14 COTE; viewed from the boat.

    About 1.4 km farther north, on an unnamed island in the middle of the channel, there were 3 COTE sitting on the island as if nesting. This island is easily flooded during the monthly high tides especially in there is any amount of wind.

    No ROST were seen in Pubnico Harbour.

    June 16, 2018 North Brother and Gull Island. Official Nest Counts

    Crew: Julie McKnight, Manon Holmes, Nick Knutson, and Amélie and Shawn Craik.

    North Brother - A total of 74 tern nests including at least 2 ROST nests.

    Of note was that a number of marked and monitored tern nests were missing eggs.

    Gull Island - A total of 317 tern nests including 26 or 27 ROST nests.

    The tern nest count - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The tern nest count - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Nick, Manon, Julie, Shawn, and Amélie

    As on N Brother, many of the tern nest marked earlier with numbered wooden stakes were now missing their eggs; close to 30% (I don't have the exact number).

    Also, 20 depredated tern eggs and 20 flooded tern eggs observed and documented.

    Julie and Shawn banded a few ARTE chicks with USGS metal leg bands. The chicks were too young/small for the Plastic Field Readable (PFR) bands.

    One ARTE chick appeared ill (blood in its nares and unable to open its right eye) and white patches on the left side of its face, (See below) It was not banded.

    The ill or injured ARTE chick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The ill or injured ARTE chick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The ill or injured ARTE chick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The ill or injured ARTE chick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Julie McKnight banding an ARTE chick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Julie McKnight banding an ARTE chick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Shawn Craik observing the banding process - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Shawn Craik observing the banding process - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Julie McKnight banding an ARTE chick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Julie McKnight banding an ARTE chick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Today, on Gull Island, before the nest count and banding, we all observed the tern colony for about an hour from the other side of the pond. We were looking for ROST activity indicating new ROST nests which we could check out later. We were also looking for ROST leg bands and the association of banded birds with known ROST nests.

    After the count and banding, we set up portable blinds closer to the ROST nests to do more of the same.

    Several new bands were read and we determined a few more banded bird/nest associations. (all are listed at the bottom of this page)

    ROST B44 - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST B44 - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST B44 - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST B44 - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST B39 in flight - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST B39 in flight - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Common Tern at nest - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern at nest - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Crew: Manon, Amélie, Shawn, Julie, and Nick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Crew: Manon, Amélie, Shawn, Julie, and Nick - Gull Island, June 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    June 20, 2018 Today, Ben Morton took Nick, Manon, Natalie, and Shawn to Gull Island for more research and observation. The number of identified ROST nest is now 33! This is very good news!

    June 21, 2018 Gull Island. Crew today: Manon Holmes, Nick Knutson, Natalie Thimot, and me.

    Natalie, Manon, and Nick - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Natalie, Manon, and Nick - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A great day! One more ROST nest was discovered, bringing our total now to 34!

    ROST eggs have begun to hatch, and we now have two chicks!

    Hatching ROST egg in nest S1 - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern nest S1 - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern nest S10 - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern nest S10 - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A few more ROST leg bands were documented; some new ones and some previously seen ones.

    Between Manon and I at the south sub-colony, we photographed previously seen bands, B00 (reconfirmed with nest S1) and B76; and new bands, B89, B95, L94, 411V, 680E, and partial band number, ?3?U.

    My memory is not good but I have checked some past band sightings records for N Brother. ?3?U looks like a band we have never seen before in Lobster Bay.

    The 133U metal leg band - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The 133U metal leg band - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The 133U metal leg band - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The 133U metal leg band - Gull Island, June 21, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Good news. Dr. Jeff Spendelow, is a Research Wildlife Biologist with the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) in Laurel, Maryland, USA. He has worked with Roseate Terns most of his adult life and is the person to contact for tern leg band questions and comments. Jeff says the alphanumerical characters on the questionable ROST leg band are 133U. Thanks Jeff! And thanks Julie McKnight!

    June 22, 2018 Shawn, Manon, Nick, and Natalie went to Gull Island today.

    Shawn writes, "We banded 32 young today, including 2 ROST chicks (1 from each of nests S1 and S3)."

    Also today, Alix d'Entremont reported 81 tern nests on Pinch Gut Island with a pair of ROST that appeared to be landing on a nest. Pinch Gut Island is 9 km NNW of Gull Island.

    June 23, 2018 This morning, I went on a trip to the "Mud islands" with a crew of Alix d'Entremont, Bertin D'Eon, Kathleen MacAulay, and Ray d'Entremont. The "Mud Islands" consist of Mud, Round, Noddy, and Flat Islands. They are situated about 20 km SW of The Brothers.

    There was a total of 78 tern nests on Flat Island. See the eBird checklist at https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46737808

    Alix writes, "By far the largest count of Atlantic Puffins ever at Round Island (90) and Noddy Island (100) today. Also my first Razorbill at Noddy." See his eBird checklist at https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46737790

    Atlantic Puffin at Noddy Island, June 23, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Atlantic Puffin at Noddy Island, June 23, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Puffins at Noddy Island, June 23, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Puffins at Noddy Island, June 23, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Bertin, Kathleen, Alix, and Ray - Flat Island, June 23, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Bertin, Kathleen, Alix, and Ray - Flat Island, June 23, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    June 24, 2018 Shawn and Amélie Craik, and Natalie Thimot visited Gull Island today; they monitored the tern nests and banded 33 tern chicks including 7 more ROST!

    June 26, 2018 Gull Island - Shawn Craik writes, "We banded another 5 ROST chicks, found a new ROST nest, and initiated feeding watches."

    The total ROST nest count is now 35!

    June 30, 2018 Alix d'Entremont writes, "Kathleen MacAulay, Bertin d'Eon and I visited Toby Island near Liverpool yesterday (June 30). We counted 81 tern nests and estimated the following numbers of adults:

    COTE 120
    ARTE 30
    ROST 3
    

    After the count finished, we moved away to observe. Two ROST were seen sitting low on the island together on what could only have been a nest. We did not want to bother them again, so we didn't go to investigate. Three ROST were seen in the air at the same time. Here is the eBird checklist:https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46889613

    Also of note was the very impressive count of tern nests on Coffin Island. We had 259 tern nests with eggs/chicks as well as 66 large chicks wandering around—many of which likely belonged to the 71 empty nests that we also counted. This number of nests on Coffin is about twice last year's count. Thirty-six chicks were found to be deceased (see attached photo). Kathleen, a veterinarian at the Parade Street Animal Hospital, examined some of the recently dead chicks and found that there was no apparent trauma or issue with the organs visible under the skin (lungs/liver), but that there was very little fat or muscle. Last year on June 28 there were 22 dead chicks on Coffin Island. Here is the eBird checklist for Coffin this year: https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46905707

    Dead tern chick - Coffin Island, June 30, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Dead tern chick - Coffin Island, June 30, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    We found a new tern colony on Blanche Island and counted 31 nests of Common and Arctic terns.https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46905814

    June 30, 2018 Shawn Craik reports that they banded another 30 tern chicks, including 7 ROST.

    July 2, 2018 Alix d'Entremont reports 7 ROST on a unnamed island in the Bear Point Thrum group of islands near Shag Harbour. One was seen carrying food.

    Alix writes, "Bertin d'Eon and I visited a colony of terns on a tiny island near Shag Harbour. The soil portion is only about 60 feet across. In Navionics the island seems to be labeled as one of the "Half Tide Ledges" near the "Bear Point Thrums". Here is a Google Maps link to the island location: https://goo.gl/maps/LJyEQGQwBfT2

    We left from the Shag Harbour Wharf, but it is also very close to West Head on Cape Sable Island. There was an estimated 115 COTE and a confirmed 7 ROST. See the eBird checklist below for photos, but I've attached a few to this email. https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46936644

    I was able to photograph 6 field readable bands as well as one ROST that only had the metal federal band. Below is a list of all 6 field readable bands plus one metal band and then details of the 6 field readables from Ted's website.

    Bands: B11, B29, B33, L03, L05, L35 & one unreadable federal band. (total of 7 ROST)"

    Great work, Alix!

    The ROST with the "unreadable federal band" also had a deformed foot. See photos below.

    ROST with deformed foot - Bear Pt. Thrums, July 2, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    ROST with deformed foot - Bear Pt. Thrums, July 2, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    ROST with deformed foot - Bear Pt. Thrums, July 2, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    ROST with deformed foot - Bear Pt. Thrums, July 2, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    In 2015, on North Brother, we had ROST (765N) with a metal band which had migrated down to the lower foot and had resulted in a bird with a similarly deformed foot. The bird seen on the Bear Point Thrums is not that same bird. See photos below.

    Crippled Roseate tern 765N - North Brother - June 30, 2015 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Crippled Roseate tern 765N - North Brother - June 30, 2015 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The foot of ROST 765N, six days after removal of crippling band - North Brother - July 16, 2015 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo
    The foot of ROST 765N, six days after removal of crippling band - North Brother - July 16, 2015 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo

    July 4, 2018 Gull Island. On the island today with Julie McKnight, Shawn Craik, Manon Holmes, Nick Knutson, and Natalie Thimot.

    Manon, Julie, Nick, Natalie, and Shawn - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Manon, Julie, Nick, Natalie, and Shawn - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    A lot was done today including more ROST chick banding, and Julie collected ROST chick blood samples for sex determination and genetic studies.

    Banding ROST chicks - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Banding ROST chicks - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Banding ROST chicks - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Banding ROST chicks - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Banding ROST chicks with Plastic Field Readable (PFR) band - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Banding ROST chicks with Plastic Field Readable (PFR) band
    Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Gluing together the Plastic Field Readable (PFR) band - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Gluing together the Plastic Field Readable (PFR) band
    Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Collecting ROST chick blood with a capillary tube - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Collecting ROST chick blood with a capillary tube
    Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Recording the collected ROST chick blood sample<BR>Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Recording the collected ROST chick blood sample
    Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Also today, the colony was systematically surveyed for previously banded COTE and ARTE chicks. Nick had brought some cloth fencing corral the now, very mobile chicks and prevent them from wandering too far from their feeding areas.

    At the cloth fence, Natalie with tern chick - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    At the cloth fence, Natalie with tern chick - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Manon, Nick, and Shawn processing tern chicks - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Manon, Nick, and Shawn processing tern chicks - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST nest N11 is located inside a mostly buried lobster trap. On June 6, Julie removed a ROST (L95) from this trap. The adult bird was caught up in the netting inside the lobster trap. With a knife, Julie cut it out of the netting and set it free. I am pretty sure L95 was one of the birds which eventually nested here.

    ROST nest N11 inside the lobster trap - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST nest N11 inside the lobster trap - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    This is a good news story, as the single egg of N11 was hatching today. See photos below.

    Newly hatched ROST in nest N11 - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Newly hatched ROST in nest N11 - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Newly hatched ROST in nest N11 - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Newly hatched ROST in nest N11 - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    A few photos of terns carrying fish - see below.

    Common Tern with Herring - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern with Herring - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Common Tern with Herring - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern with Herring - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Arctic Tern with Hake - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Arctic Tern with Hake - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Arctic Tern with Butterfish - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Arctic Tern with Butterfish - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Arctic Tern with Euphausiid or Sand Flea - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Arctic Tern with Euphausiid? or Sand Flea? - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The same Arctic Tern as above - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The same Arctic Tern as above - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Arctic Tern - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Arctic Tern - Gull Island, July 4, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    July 5, 2018 Gull Island. Manon Holmes reported three new ROST leg bands; B25, B30, and C16.

    C16 is a bird which was banded on Country Island, Nova Scotia. It was also seen on Gull Island in 2017.

    July 9, 2018 A grim note from Alix d'Entremont: "I spent about 40 minutes at Pond Rd tonight. A crow/raven was on the southern side of the island on or near the section with soil. It appeared large with a large bill and seemed to be walking slowly and not hopping, so was likely a raven. There were no terns visible anywhere from the end of Pond Rd. The raven then moved north towards the middle of the island. I then noticed 5 COTE feeding just north near the shore. They flew over North Brother and one or two swooped after the raven a handful of times. Afterwards the terns appeared to have flown towards the west.

    It seems very unlikely that if the terns were still nesting there that they would not have been harassing the raven in large numbers. I'd assume that it has been abandoned. I asked Ted and he believes there have been no visits to North Brother since June 16. The last high count of terns on North Brother was on June 23 (120 COTE, 5 ROST), see eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46733917"

    July 11, 2018 Gull Island. Today, more of the same as on July 5; ROST chick banding and blood collecting, and general tern observation, like noting the type of fish the adults were bringing to their chicks, looking for new ROST nest and the identification of nesting ROST through their field readable leg bands.

    Newly hatched ROST chick and unhatched egg in nest S18 - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Newly hatched ROST chick and unhatched egg in nest S18 - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    One of the unbanded parents of nest S18 bringing in a small fish - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    One of the unbanded parents of nest S18 bringing in a small fish - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    ROST C16 with Herring - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    ROST C16 with Herring - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Another ROST with Herring - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Another ROST with Herring - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Metal Field Readable band on ROST 680E - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Metal Field Readable band on ROST 680E - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew today: Nick Knutson, Julie McKnight, Manon Holmes, Natalie Thimot, and me.

    Nick, Julie, Manon, and Natalie - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Nick, Julie, Manon, and Natalie - Gull Island, July 11, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    July 15, 2018 Alix d'Entremont writes about the Roseate Terns on Peases Island:

    "During the nest count at Peases Island on June 22, 2018, we had found 70 nests on the gravel bar north of the pond and 43 on the hill on the west of the pond. Paul (Gould), Kathleen (MacAulay) and I visited Peases today and there appeared to be many more nests on the hill west of the pond. It wasn't long before we heard ROSTS and we were able to confirm five individuals. Only two ROST were observed at Peases on May 31 and then one on June 22.

    We watched at least three ROST land on top of the hill about here (43.630731, -66.032050) and then two of them were seen sitting very low likely on nests. We picked a unique bunch of grass near the ROST and walked to it. I found a nest that was nestled between 5-6 inch tall woody vegetation (see attached image). The eggs appear longer and more pointed at the small end than those of COTE. They also seem to have more uniform spotting overall than COTE eggs. I then placed a rock on a rock adjacent to the possible ROST nest and we backed off for more observation. We saw three ROST return to the exact spot where the possible ROST nest was. Can any of you confirm that it is a ROST nest?

    I took as many photos as I could and was able to get a few field readables: L13, L36, L96.

    Possible ROST nest - Peases Island, July 16, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Possible ROST nest - Peases Island, July 16, 2018 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    See eBird report for Peases Island here: https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S47210985

    As you can see by the images on the eBird checklist, there are still nests with up to three eggs. It seems to me that many and possibly most nests on the hill are new since the June 22 count."

    Great work, Alix, Kathleen, and Paul!

    July 16, 2018 Gull Island. The crew today: Nick Knutson, Manon Holmes, and Natalie Thimot.

    More observation.

    Common Tern chick swallowing a Mummichog - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern chick swallowing a Mummichog - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Common Tern chick being presented a Butterfish - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern chick being presented a Butterfish - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The COTE chick did not swallow the fish

    Common Tern chick R76 - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern chick R76 - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Roseate Tern chick LB0 - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern chick LB0 - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    I read a few previously seen field readable bands (L95 and B76), but there was ROST with an unrecorded metal field readable band near ROST nest N5; a band ending with the character "2". See photo below.

    <b>Roseate Tern MFR band ???2 - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern MFR band ???2 - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Natalie, Manon, and Nick - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Natalie, Manon, and Nick - Gull Island, July 16, 2018 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Almost looks like we are in the Caribbean!



    Field-readable Roseate Tern leg bands - Gull Island - 2018. (See below)

    Resighted and new leg bands on Roseate Terns from Gull Island in 2018
    May 30, 2018
    June 21, 2018
    July 11, 2018
    Red B00 right leg -
    1172-79309
    Banded as an adult on North Brother on June 21, 2012.
    Also seen on N. Brother in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
    Associated with ROST nest S1
    July 2, 2018
    (on Bear Point
    Thrums)
    Red B11 right leg -
    1172-79312
    Banded as an adult on North Brother on June 21, 2012
    Also seen on N. Brother in 2013, 2914, 2015 and 2016 and on Gull Island in 2017.
    June 16, 2018
    Red B12 right leg -
    1172-79313
    Banded on North Brother as an adult in 2012.
    Also seen on Gull Island in 2017.
    July 5, 2018
    Red B25 ? leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded on North Brother.
    July 2, 2018
    (on Bear Point
    Thrums)
    Red B29 right leg -
    1172-79333
    Banded as a chick on North Brother on July 3, 2012.
    Also seen on N. Brother in 2015, 2016 and 2017
    July 5, 2018
    July 11, 2018
    Red B30 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded on North Brother.
    July 2, 2018
    (on Bear Point
    Thrums)
    Red B33 right leg -
    1172-79337
    Banded on North Brother.
    Also seen on North Brother in 2017.
    June 16, 2018
    Red B39 right leg -
    1172-79344
    Banded as an adult on North Brother in 2013.
    Also seen on N. Brother in 2014, 2015,
    and in 2017 on North Brother and on Gull Island.
    May 30, 2018
    June 6, 2018
    Red B40 right leg -
    1172-79345
    Banded as an adult on North Brother in 2013
    Also seen on North Brother in 2016 and on Gull Island in 2017.
    June 16, 2018
    Red B44 right leg -
    1172-79351
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2013.
    Also seen on N. Brother in 2016, and on Gull Island in 2017.
    Nesting in ROST nest N9.
    May 30, 2018
    Red B65 left leg -
    0802-04928
    Banded on North Brother
    Previously seen on Gull Island on July 11, 2017
    June, 2018 Red B70 left leg -
    0982-25105 (or is it 9822-51505)?
    Banded as an adult on North Brother in 2014.
    Seen on North Brother in 2015.
    Nesting in ROST nest N3
    Note:Rip in centre of right foot webbing - see photo from 2014
    June 6, 2018
    Red B75 left leg -
    9822-51511
    Banded as an adult in 2014 on North Brother.
    Encountered on North Brother in 2015 and 2016.
    Nesting in ROST nest N6 with B90
    June 6, 2018
    June 21, 2018
    July 16, 2018
    Red B76 left leg -
    9822-51512
    Banded as an adult in 2014 on North Brother.
    Encountered 2016 North Brother. Encountered in 2017 on Gull Island.
    Nesting in ROST nest N5 with an unbanded bird.
    June 21, 2018
    Red B89 left leg -
    9822-51524
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2014.
    Previously seen on Gull Island in 2017.
    June 6, 2018
    Red B90 right leg -
    9822-51525
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2014.
    No prior encounters.
    Nesting in ROST nest N6 with B75
    June 21, 2018
    Red B95 right leg -
    9822-51530
    Banded on North Brother.
    No prior encounters
    July 5, 2018
    July 11, 2018
    Red C16 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded on Country Island, Nova Scotia.
    Also seen on Gull Island in 2017.
    July 4, 2018 Red L00 left leg -
    9822-51536
    Banded as an adult on North Brother,
    Nova Scotia, June 25, 2015.
    Also seen on North Brother in 2016.
    July, 2018 Red L02 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded in ????, on North Brother, Nova Scotia.
    July 2, 2018
    (on Bear Point
    Thrums)
    Red L03 left leg -
    9822-51537
    Banded as an adult on North Brother,
    Nova Scotia, June 25, 2015.
    Also seen on N. Brother in 2016 and 2017,
    and on Gull Island in 2017.
    July 2, 2018
    (on Bear Point
    Thrums)
    Red L05 left leg -
    0802-04917
    Banded as a chick on North Brother,
    Nova Scotia, on July 16, 2007.
    L05 band placed on it on June 25, 2015, at North Brother.
    Paired with L02 in 2015.
    Also seen on N. Brother in 2016 and 2017,
    and on Gull Island in 2017.
    July, 2018 Red L12 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded in ????, on North Brother, Nova Scotia.
    Nested in nest S11 on Gull Island in 2018.
    July 15, 2018
    (on Peases
    Island)
    Red L13 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded on North Brother.
    July, 2018 Red L16 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded in ????, on North Brother, Nova Scotia.
    Nested in nest N13 on Gull Island in 2018.
    July 2, 2018
    (on Bear Point
    Thrums)
    Red L35 left leg -
    1172-79448
    Originally banded C53 as a chick on Country Island in 2012.
    Must have lost its C53 band.
    Rebanded on North Brother with PFR L35 in 2017.
    July 15, 2018
    (on Peases
    Island)
    Red L36 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded on North Brother. Seen on Gull Island in 2017.
    July, 2018 Red L45 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded in ????, on North Brother, Nova Scotia.
    July, 2018 Red L76 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded in ????, on North Brother, Nova Scotia.
    June 6, 2018
    Red L93 left leg -
    9822-52914
    Banded in 2017 as an adult on North Brother and received a PathTrack GPS tag.
    Encountered on Gull Island in July 2017.
    Nesting in ROST nest N4 with an unbanded bird.
    June 21, 2018
    July 11, 2018
    Red L94 left leg -
    9999-00010
    Originally banded in 2005 in Mangue Seco, Brazil, with band H70051
    Rebanded on North Brother as an adult in 2017 with leg band L94.
    Note: the Brazilian band was replaced as it was corroded and missing some
    bits of metal and in danger of falling apart.
    June 6, 2018
    June 16, 2018
    July 16, 2018
    Red L95 left leg -
    9822-52916
    Banded on North Brother as an adult in 2017..
    July 15, 2018
    (on Peases
    Island)
    Red L96 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded on North Brother.
    July 4, 2018
    Red L99 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded on North Brother.
    June 21, 2018
    July 11, 2018
    133U left leg -
    1242-49313,
    originally banded in the U.S.A.
    A new bird for Lobster Bay and Canada.
    June 21, 2018 411V left leg -
    1322-10141,
    Banded as a chick on Bird Island,
    Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, in 2009.
    Previously seen on North Brother in 2017.
    July 11, 2018 550E left leg -
    0802-69009
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2005.
    Also seen on North Brother in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017.
    June 21, 2018
    July 11, 2018
    680E left leg -
    0802-69028
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2005.
    Also seen on North Brother in 2012, 2013 and 2017.
    June 16, 2018 805N right leg -
    0802-04960
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2009
    Also seen on North Brother in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
    June 16, 2018 920E left leg -
    942-85185
    Banded as a chick on North Brother July 10, 2006
    Also seen on North Brother in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2015.


    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: ted509@gmail.com © Ted C. D'Eon, 2018