TERN REPORT - 2021 - Ted C. D'Eon
LOBSTER BAY - SOUTHWEST NOVA SCOTIA


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  • The Brothers as seen from Lower West Pubnico. (2005 Ted D'Eon photo)
    The Brothers as seen from Lower West Pubnico. (2005 Ted D'Eon photo)

    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.


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

    My work on these islands is done in cooperation with Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry (NSDLF). - Ted D'Eon

    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 2021 work with terns of the Lobster Bay area in general, but in particular, with the Roseate Terns (ROST) of Gull Island and The Brothers. The report also includes tern observations from other professionals and university students working on these islands, as well as observations from local residents. - Ted D'Eon

    Late March and early April - Construction of 16 new "wedge shaped" Roseate Tern nesting Shelters. Cedar sides with a plywood roof.

    The reasons for going to the wedge shaped structures? Smaller door opening so the gulls and crows may be less likely to get to the eggs or chicks; wedge shape so the chick may feel more secure snuggled up in the narrow end. It has been used at other Roseate Tern colonies.

    The only cedar boards I could find locally were too narrow so I had to "Gorilla Glue" two together to make them wider. I then cut them to proper lengths for the sides and ran the two sloping sides through a jig I made for my table saw.

    Table saw jig for sloping sides - March-April 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Table saw jig for sloping sides - March-April 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The assembly jig - March-April 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo</b>
    The assembly jig - March-April 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    In the assembly jig, the pieces were brad-nailed together with a nailing gun, and then permanently secured together with stainless steel screws. In case you are wondering, it is worth using stainless steel screws!

    Roseate Tern wedge-shaped nesting shelters - March-April 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Roseate Tern wedge-shaped nesting shelters - March-April 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    16 new ROST wedge-shaped nesting shelters - March-April 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    16 new ROST wedge-shaped nesting shelters - March-April 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    50 ROST nesting shelters ready for North Brother - April 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    50 ROST nesting shelters ready for North Brother - April 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    April 10, 2021 - North Brother and Gull Island.

    We left Abbott's Harbour at 8:30am, and headed out to N Brother to drop off the 500 lb concrete block for use there this summer as a mooring anchor. That went well. We then set up the 50 ROST nesting shelters more or less where we wanted on the island.

    The crew on N Brother; Alix d'Entremont, Henri d'Entremont, Gavin Maclean, and me. We picked up my daughter, Ingrid D'Eon at Abbott's Harbour before continuing to Gull Island.

    Gavin and Henri with anchor block, N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Gavin and Henri with anchor block, N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Henri and me taking a load of ROST shelters ashore - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Henri and me taking a load of ROST shelters ashore - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Alix, Gavin, and Henri moving some of the ROST shelters - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Alix, Gavin, and Henri moving some of the ROST shelters - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Henri and Alix moving some of the ROST shelters - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Henri and Alix moving some of the ROST shelters - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The Western Ridge - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The Western Ridge - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Alix, Gavin, and Henri - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Alix, Gavin, and Henri - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The
    The "hollow" (looking north) - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The south end of the island (looking north) - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The south end of the island (looking north) - N Brother, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother has not changed as much over the winter as I thought it would have. It looked pretty well as it did last spring. There is not much left of all the topsoil that there used to be at the south end; before too long, there won't be any left at all on the island.

    Then, after picking up Ingrid D'Eon at Abbott's Harbour, we headed out to Gull Island, 8km away to the northwest.

    On Gull Island, we dismantled the three plywood blinds. It took longer than I thought it would to get mine done. I'll reassemble it on N Brother after we get it there, as soon as I can.

    The reason the blind was being moved from Gull Island to N Brother? Last year no terns nested on Gull Island; in 2019, a few terns unsuccessfully nested on Gull Island, but no Roseates. Last year, over 700 tern nest on North Brother, including 52 Roseate Tern nests. That's the reason we moved the blind. Ted

    Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Me and Gavin dismantling my plywood blind - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ingrid D'Eon photo
    Me and Gavin dismantling my plywood blind - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ingrid D'Eon photo

    Looking down from my plywood blind - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Looking down from my plywood blind - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Still dismantling the plywood blind - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Still dismantling the plywood blind - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Packaged and ready for transport - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Packaged and ready for transport - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We returned back to Abbott's Harbour around 1:30 pm. It was a good start for the season. It went well!

    A big thanks to the crew!

    The crew: Alix, Gavin, Ingrid, and Henri - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Alix, Gavin, Ingrid, and Henri - Gull Island, April 10, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    April 15, 2021 - Gull Island, Lobster Bay, Nova Scotia.

    Helicopter Day! Pamela Mills of the NS Dept. of Lands and Forestry (NSDLF) arranged for one of their helicopters, piloted by Ardel Smith, to transport us to Gull Island to remove the plywood blinds from the island.

    Crew: Ardel Smith, Pamela Mills and Jolene Laverty (NSDLF), Dr. Shawn Craik (biology professor at Université Sainte-Anne), and me.

    The first cargo net transport was my blind to North Brother; Next transport was the two DLF blinds to the Skipper Fisheries landing zone. Then it was just a matter of getting us back to the mainland. All went well.

    Thank you all for a job well done, and thank you, Skipper Fisheries, Abbott's Harbour, for allowing us to use your property as a helicopter landing zone, and a special thank you to the NS Dept. of Lands and Forestry for letting us use their helicopter and pilot for this project; it was very much appreciated!

    A selfie of me in the helicopter - Gull Island, April 15, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    A selfie of me in the helicopter - Gull Island, April 15, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Our transportation - Gull Island, April 15, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Our transportation - Gull Island, April 15, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The crew: Shawn, Jolene, and Pam - Gull Island, April 15, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Shawn, Jolene, and Pam - Gull Island, April 15, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    April 20, 2021 - Plywood Observation Blind Reconstruction on North Brother. Crew: Gavin Maclean, Missie D'Eon, Zelda D'Eon, and me.

    Except for the fact that I forgot my battery powered drill at home, all went well. My wife, Michelle, drove the drill to the Ledge Harbour wharf where I picked it up and returned to the island to finish our assembly of the blind.

    A great thank you to all the help. It was a great and beautiful day to be on the island!

    North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Construction of the base for the plywood blind - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Missie D'Eon photo
    Construction of the base for the plywood blind - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Missie D'Eon photo

    Construction continues - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Missie D'Eon photo
    Construction continues - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Missie D'Eon photo

    Construction continues - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Missie D'Eon photo
    Construction continues - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Missie D'Eon photo

    Me, posing for a photo - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Missie D'Eon photo
    Me, posing for a photo - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Missie D'Eon photo

    Missie and Zelda checking out the blind - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Missie and Zelda checking out the blind - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Missie and Gavin below the blind - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Missie and Gavin below the blind - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The crew: Gavin, Zelda and Missie - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The crew: Gavin, Zelda and Missie - North Brother, April 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Thank you to all!

    April 22, 2021 - Friday, April 22, the wind blew very hard - gusts to 70 km/h according to Weather Network, but a local sailboat captain reported there were gusts up to 70 knots! The structure survived!

    April 28, 2021 - North Brother: At 9:45am, Gavin Maclean, Orson Deveau (my grandson) and I landed on North Brother, primarily to add more stability to the plywood blind perched on top of the platform. The tide was coming up and would be high at 11:40am.

    When we put the structure together on April 20, we piled rocks on the plywood triangles at each corner so it wouldn't blow over before I had a chance to tie it down with rope attached to ground anchors. It's a good thing we did!

    Shortly after our arrival on North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Shortly after our arrival on North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The tidal pond or hollow was dry when we arrived so we started by adding more rocks to the corners of the base. By the time we were finished with that, sea water started percolating through the beach rocks and filling the hollow to about 50 cm at the deepest. Full moon was on the previous day (April 27) so the high tides were higher than normal.

    The water is rising! North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Gavin Maclean photo
    The water is rising! North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Gavin Maclean photo

    Anchor lines all done - North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Anchor lines all done - North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We managed to get the four anchors done before the water level became a problem. For each anchor, we drove into the ground, 2 feet of re-bar at an angle, attached a rope to it, and then piled large rocks over it so it would be secure.

    All went well, and by the time we were finished, the water level in the pond was to the first rung of the ladder going up to the blind.

    North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Of note is that the water level in the hollow can easily be a metre or more deep in a storm high tide. The washed up seaweed level around the island was about a metre higher up on the beach than the sea level was as we left the island (the tide was just starting to go down) around noon.

    North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Orson, me (Ted), and Gavin - North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Gavin Maclean photo
    Orson, me (Ted), and Gavin - North Brother, April 28, 2021 - Gavin Maclean photo

    We looked around for any terns, but did not see any. In the past, terns have been seen in the area as early as April 26.

    In any case, the island is ready for their arrival!

    As the province of Nova Scotia is in a 2 week lockdown due to increased COVID-19 activity, Dr. Shawn Craik (Professor of Biology, Université Sainte Anne) informed me that this season, his three students will have to wait until May 12 before they can start studying the terns on N Brother. I'm looking forward to hearing from them how the blind is working. No doubt, over the summer they will be spending many hours inside the structure.

    April 29, 2021 - Lobster Bay. THE TERNS HAVE ARRIVED!

    Alix d'Entremont tells me that lobster fishers, Lorne Spinney and Colin Lyons, saw a tern near Gull Island on April 29, 2021!

    May 1, 2021 - On Saturday afternoon, May 1, 2021, I checked out North Brother from Pond Road. No terns, but 3 Herring Gulls on the island proper.

    One was on the brown area of topsoil at the south end of the island; the other two were in the beach cobble at the north end.

    Whoever gets on North Brother next will have to check the island out for gull nests.

    May 3, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont writes:

    "15 terns (likely Commons by flight style and structure) were flying high above Île Ferrée this morning (May 3, 2021). I saw one dive for fish west of the island.

    There was a GBBG on the island, but it didn't stay long. Earlier in the season I was seeing a Canada Goose there, so they likely nested.

    I also checked North Brother briefly and didn't see any terns."

    Thank you Alix.

    May 4, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont reports 24 terns on Île Ferrée this morning. I scoped the island a little later and saw the Canada Goose there as well as the terns. I saw a half a dozen or so at a time on the island so I assume they will be nesting there again this year.

    I also scoped The Brothers; except for a single crow, no birds on North Brother. South Brother, on the other hand, had about 20 Double-crested Cormorants that seemed to be nesting, plus a half dozen gulls, all Herring except for one Great Black-backed.

    May 5, 2021 Morning: Still no terns on N Brother. I could see one Great Cormorant and one D-c Cormorant sitting on a rock in the intertidal zone at the south end of the island.

    South Brother was similar to the previous day but with about 30 D-c Cormorants.

    May 5, 2021 Afternoon:

    Albert d'Entremont told me that this afternoon, he and Bertin D'Eon were at the end of Pond Road (Lower West Pubnico) to see the two Snowy Egrets that were there, when a "tern" flew by! It was going to or coming from the direction of The Brothers! Great to hear! Thank you, Albert.

    May 7, 2021 Morning - Pond Road, Lower West Pubnico.

    This morning, at 7:30am, after being notified by Bertin D'Eon that the terns were back on North Brother, Alix d'Entremont and I were at Pond Road scoping out the island.

    We estimated around 400 terns there, including at least one Roseate Tern!

    It was a beautiful sunny and clear morning and a great treat to see the terns there in such a great number.

    No gulls there to be seen today, but a few Common Eiders hanging around; no doubt a few COEI nests on the island,

    May 7, 2021 Afternoon.

    Alix d'Entremont writes:

    My father and I placed 9 buoys forming a 100 m grid south of wharf # 4 at Dennis Point this morning. This will allow me to do the same observations that I had done in 2020, but this time there will be construction activities occurring at wharf # 4.

    Last I heard, the dredging is scheduled to begin by May 13.

    While we were setting the anchors and buoys, 2 Common Terns were feeding within the grid.

    After finishing our job, we headed to Île Ferrée where 27 Common Terns were on the island or flying above it. We then noticed about 100 terns lifting off a nearby ledge (I believe la Roche à Chicot). I could not pick out anything but Commons from that large group.

    Great work, Alix. Thank you!

    I would expect that the 100 or so terns at "la Roche à Chicot" are likely terns which will be nesting on Île Ferrée or somewhere else nearby, or they could even be some of the terns we saw on North Brother this morning.

    I went again to Pond Rd today at noon. There was not a single tern on N Brother at that time.

    Also of note, "la Roche à Chicot" is not what we locals called that ledge. I lived all my early years (until I got married) seeing that ledge through the kitchen and living room windows. We (and all the locals) always called it "Le Rocher Chicot". I think the historian, Father Clarence d'Entremont, had called it "la Roche à Chicot" in one of his publications and I've also seen it labeled as "la Roche à Chicot" on some maps. I will call it "Le Rocher Chicot".

    At some high tides, the ledge is underwater so I don't expect the terns to even try to nest there.- Ted

    May 8, 2021 This morning, I viewed North Brother from the "Sewer Plant" at the end of Rock Road, Lower West Pubnico.

    The tide was high, and only about 50 terns there. The wind blowing a gale from the east, and it was cold; the air temperature was only 6C.

    North Brother, May 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, May 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    North Brother, May 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    North Brother, May 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    In Pubnico Harbour, Le Rocher Chicot was underwater, and I could see only a few terns at Île Ferrée.

    May 10, 2021 - North Brother, scoped from Pond Rd. A very busy tern colony there this morning at 7:30!

    As many or more terns there today as we saw there on May 7; likely 400 or more, including several Roseate Terns!

    The weather was a cold 7C and windy with a light rain, but still, the colony looked vibrant!

    May 14, 2021 - The first visit of the year to North Brother by Professor, Dr. Shawn Craik (Université Sainte Anne), and two of his students, Luc Bilodeau and Alexis Saulnier.

    Alexis Saulnier writes:

    We sailed to North Brother Island this morning with clear skies and fairly light winds from the west. We estimated about 400 terns were on and around the island, including no more than 6 Roseate Terns and 6 Arctic Terns. Arctic Terns were associating with the ridge area along the NE shore and in one area along the western ridge, notably just west of nest boxes 9 and 12.

    We conducted a quick search of tern nesting habitat and shelters for evidence of nesting activity. Numerous (>30-40) nest scrapes without eggs were noted in the southern and western portions of the islands, and the majority of scrapes, if not all, belonged to Common Terns based on behavioural observations of settling birds.

    Four Roseate Tern boxes had evidence of fresh nest scrapes without eggs. We observed courtship feeding and other courtship behaviour (e.g., wings held down and out from the body) in Common Terns and Arctic Terns, and several instances of copulation in Common Terns. To sum up, considerable evidence of breeding activity was noted, and egg laying should start any day now.

    Photos by Luc Bilodeau:

    Arctic Tern - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Arctic Tern - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Roseate Tern (L40) - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Roseate Tern (L40) - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Roseate Tern (L40) - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Roseate Tern (L40) - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Information we have on above Roseate Tern: Red L40 on left leg - USGS band 9822-51569 on right leg, Female (from head-bill length).

    Banded as an adult on North Brother on June 22, 2015 and observed on Gull Island in 2017, and on North Brother in 2019 and 2020.

    Arctic Tern with Lumpfish - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Arctic Tern with Lumpfish - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern courtship behaviour - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern courtship behaviour - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern with hake? - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern with hake? - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Arctic Tern with American Eel elver? or larval American Herring? - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Arctic Tern with American Eel elver? or larval American Herring? - North Brother, May 14, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Note: I can't remember ever seeing an elver on North Brother before! This is great, Luc! - Ted

    One Great Black-backed Gull was observed loafing on a large rock to the south of the island, however, no gull nests were noted on the island.

    One seemingly depredated Common Eider nest was observed.

    Ted's blind is extremely well placed to observe activity around Roseate Tern nest boxes. Thanks Ted for such a great blind!

    Thank you , Alexis, for the fine report, and to Luc for the photos! - Ted

    May 15, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont writes:

    Ronnie d'Entremont and I were on Bon Portage Island to install equipment for a Herring Gull tracking project. While at the northern tip, we noted a Roseate Tern headed north towards a group of terns at an area named Ball Bar.

    This is a bar extending south from The Ball, which is just south of Goodwin's Island (see nautical chart below). There were approximately 20 Roseates and 8 Common Terns foraging at the tidal rip created by Ball Bar.

    Navionics Nautical Chart - Woods Harbour area, Shelburne County, NS
    Navionics Nautical Chart - Woods Harbour area, Shelburne County, NS

    This is the largest group of foraging Roseate Terns that I've ever seen other than at Dennis Point Wharf. My maximum count at Dennis Point was of 21 on July 19, 2020.

    Ronnie was able to photograph a leg band on a Roseate which reads "L93". "L93" was banded as an adult and was fitted with a PathTrack GPS tag on North Brother in 2017, nested on Gull Island in 2018 and nested on North Brother in 2020.

    Ball Bar is about 16 km away from North Brother Island. The tide was rising while we were there at about 10:20 am and the current was going west over the bar. The tide at Wood's Harbour at that time was 2.0 m (slightly higher than half-tide).

    See several attached photos by Ronnie and me. Note that one photo shows a Roseate with a fish in its bill. There is also a photo of "L93".

    Roseate Tern - The Ball Bar tidal rip, May 15, 2021 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern - The Ball Bar tidal rip, May 15, 2021 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern - The Ball Bar tidal rip, May 15, 2021 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern - The Ball Bar tidal rip, May 15, 2021 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern - The Ball Bar tidal rip, May 15, 2021 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern - The Ball Bar tidal rip, May 15, 2021 - Ronnie d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern - The Ball Bar tidal rip, May 15, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern - The Ball Bar tidal rip, May 15, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    It would be great to make more trips to this area in the future to learn more. Alix d'Entremont

    Thank you, Alix and Ronnie.

    May 15, 2021 - 7:00 pm - Alix d'Entremont reports 20 Common Terns feeding just to the south of the Abott's Harbour wharf.

    This is a high number for Abbott's Harbour, even though it's only 3 km from The Brothers.

    May 17, 2021 - South Brother.

    This morning, Gavin Maclean and I visited South Brother to check for gull nests. There were none to be found, and no Common Eider nests either!

    What we found were 29 Double-crested Cormorant nests, most of them, on the east side of the tiny island.

    Cormorant nest and contents:
    empty  - 4 nests
    1 egg  - 6 nests
    2 eggs - 4 nests
    3 eggs - 9 nests
    4 eggs - 6 nests
    

    Cormorant nests, South Brother, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Cormorant nests, South Brother, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Every year there is less and less of South Brother.

    The south end of South Brother, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The south end of South Brother, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Gavin is 6 feet tall

    Gavin at the north end of South Brother, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Gavin at the north end of South Brother, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    We then motored to Gull Island to see if there were any terns around there. We did not go ashore but estimated around 40 at the south end of the island. The Common Eiders were also plentiful, especially along the west side of the island.

    It was difficult to get close enough for proper tern species identification; there were Commons and Arctics although the ratio could not be determined, but no evidence of Roseates.

    We will have to revisit Gull Island soon and actually land on the island. This way we would be able to get a much more accurate count.

    Even though we didn't see any Roseate Terns there, I'm not convinced that there aren't any. Another visit is warranted,

    Also of note: (this happened before we left Abbott's Harbour for South Brother)

    We had a little mishap as we were launching the boat from Abbott's Harbour; the bow line snagged a piece of sharp metal on the trailer and snapped as the boat was sliding off of it. The now unthethered boat was quickly floating away.

    Instantly, Gavin said, "Do you want me to go get it", or something like that, and I think I said "sure". He removed his smartphone and bronchodilator puffer from his pocket and jumped in, fully clothed, into that 8C (46F) water. He swam to it, caught the rope, disappeared underwater once or twice, lost his rubber boots, and swam to shore with the boat.

    Gavin towing boat back to shore, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Gavin towing boat back to shore, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Gavin towing boat back to shore, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Gavin towing boat back to shore, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Gavin towing boat back to shore, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Gavin towing boat back to shore, May 17, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    While I was tying up the boat at the wharf, Gavin walked the half km to his house for a change of clothes, and then he was back to the wharf and we were on out way to South Brother. What a guy!

    Thank you, Gavin Maclean for going well beyond call of duty or expectations! I am pretty sure this wasn't listed in your first mate's job description!

    May 17, 2021 - Visit to North Brother.

    Alexis Saulnier writes:

    Trip report for 17 May 2021

    Crew members : Luc Bilodeau, Alexis Saulnier, and Shawn Craik. Sophie Landry is self-isolating until May 24th

    As we sailed to North Brother this morning with light winds from the south and relatively clear skies, we estimated that the colony had about the same number of terns as our visit on May 14th, that is, between 400-450 individuals.

    Upon our arrival, we observed 4 Roseate Terns roosting on rocks near the water’s edge on the southern side of the island and at least one Roseate flying overhead. One Arctic Tern was seen associating with the NE ridgeline of the island near ROST nest box 21.

    We did not conduct a search of the nest boxes as there was little evidence to support that the terns had begun egg laying.

    Luc set up the portable blind on the northern ridgeline of the island to take photos of the terns returning to the colony with fish. Meanwhile, Shawn and I began observations in the stationary blind. When possible, terns were identified and the direction of the arrival was noted, as was the prey when present. Most observations comprised of Common Terns returning with prey from a northerly direction.

    Arctic Terns (6) were spotted displaying courtship feeding and behaviour on the rocks near water’s edge to the eastern side of the island, near their traditional nesting site.

    Copulation and courtship behaviour were observed amongst Common Terns and Arctic Terns.

    Once we had returned to shore, we noticed two Great-Backed Gulls loafing on large rocks on the southern tip of the North Brother as well as three Double-crested Cormorants.

    Some photos by Luc Bilodeau:

    Common Tern carrying mummichog? - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern carrying mummichog? - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern carrying Sandlance? - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern carrying Sandlance? - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern courtship behaviour - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern courtship behaviour - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Not sure what this Common Tern is carrying - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Not sure what this Common Tern is carrying - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Are those side spines of a stickleback?

    Are those side spines of a stickleback? - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Are those side spines of a stickleback? - North Brother, May 17, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Thank you, Luc, Alexis, and Shawn.

    May 20, 2021 - Visit to North Brother.

    Trip report by Alexis Saulnier:

    Crew members : Luc Bilodeau, Alexis Saulnier, and Shawn Craik. Sophie Landry is self-isolating until May 24th

    We sailed to North Brother Island Thursday morning with fairly light winds from the north-northeast and a cloud covered sky. The colony was estimated at 450-475 (quite possibly up to 500) individuals, of which we noted 12 Arctic Terns and 12 Roseate Terns.

    Egg laying has officially begun. We noted numerous Common Tern nests and confirmed two Arctic Tern nests, one of which was along the northwest ridgeline where we tend to see more Common Tern nests than Arctics. Most Arctic Tern activity, however, is along the N-NE ridge, where this species usually nests on the island.

    We conducted a nest box check which revealed nest scrapes in about 60% of boxes. Roseates are much more tied to nesting habitat now, than earlier in the week (as is the case for COTE and ARTE too); Roseates were standing on or near 6 different boxes. Egg laying in this species should begin soon!

    Two eider nests were noted. One nest with 4 eggs is being incubated (female flushed by our arrival) and one nest is predated.

    Overall, the colony looks great. No sign of gulls or corvids approaching the island during observations from blinds. Much effort is being put into identifying directions in which terns arrive to the island with courtship prey and photographing prey.

    Thank you Alexis, Luc, and Shawn.

    A few photos by Luc Bilodeau:

    Common Tern with Sandlance - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern with Sandlance - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern with Mummichog - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern with Mummichog - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern with Mummichog - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern with Mummichog - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern with shrimp - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern with shrimp - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern with June Bug? - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern with June Bug? - North Brother, May 20, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    It is very strange to see a tern carrying an insect. In 2012, I photographed one eating what could only be a butterfly or moth; I thought that was strange enough! See my photo below.

    Common Tern eating butterfly or moth - N. Brother, July 18, 2012 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Common Tern eating butterfly or moth - N. Brother, July 18, 2012 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The tern actually swallowed it!

    May 20, 2021 - An update to the Nova Scotia Department of Lands & Forestry plywood blinds removed by helicopter from Gull Island on April 15, 2021.

    For those who don't know, the disassembled blinds were taken to my barn/garage for storage until NSDLF could come and get them.

    To make sure all the pieces were there, I took on the task to see if I could reassemble them.

    The blind which was upright on Gull Island was not too difficult to put back together. However, the one which was toppled over into the muddy pond on September 7, 2019, by Hurrivane Dorian was a bit more complicated. There was 15 cm of mud inside and had to be disassembled piece by piece! Except for the top, there were no panels anymore; the plywood had been unscrewed from the frames and most of the frames had also been taken apart. It was like a jigsaw puzzle to put back together, and I wasn't sure all the pieces were there! It was mostly a game of matching screw holes with the frames and plywood.

    Anyway, I did get them both reassembled! Only one small piece of 2x2 was missing and it was easily replaced.

    The most damaged blind reassembled - Middle West Pubnico, May 20, 2021 - Shirleen Atkinson photo
    The most damaged blind reassembled - Middle West Pubnico, May 20, 2021 - Shirleen Atkinson photo

    After the reconstruction, I took them apart for storage in my barn, ready for pickup.

    Due to rusting, a lot of the hardware on the blinds will have to be replaced. I did my best with WD-40 and RustCheck spray.

    The two NSDLF blinds stacked together for storage - Middle West Pubnico, May 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The two NSDLF blinds stacked together for storage - Middle West Pubnico, May 20, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    May 21, 2021 - Roseates still at Ball Bar! (just off of Wood's Harbour). Alix d'Entremont first observed Roseate Terns there with Ronnie d'Entremont on May 15, 2021.

    Alix writes:

    Bertin d'Eon and I visited Ball Bar twice this morning on our way to and from Bon Portage Island where we were deploying a base station for a Herring Gull tracking project:

    7:52 am -- Wood's Harbour Tide at 2.3 m and falling. Tide rip flowing moderately strong towards the east. Thick fog. Three Roseates, 6 Commons and 1 Arctic feeding at the rip.

    10:30 am -- Wood's Harbour Tide at 0.9 m and falling. Tide rip minimal towards the east. Thick fog. One Roseate roosting on a rock.

    We also found 3 Roseates at John's Island. Two at the southern end of the island were headed south or southeast at 11:00 am and one just south of the bar northeast of the island was headed south at 11:20 am.

    Alix Arthur d'Entremont

    Thank you Alix and Bertin. It's great to know this appears to be a good foraging place for the Roseates.

    May 24, 2021 - Lobster Bay Tern Search - Alix d'Entremont writes:

    Bertin d'Eon and I left from Abbott's Harbour this morning and checked a number islands from Gull Island to Pinch Gut for terns and below is a list of locations were terns were seen:

    Gull Island: 5 Commons and 2 Actics. 2 Commons may have been showing some interest in landing in the rocks on the western side of the pond.

    Western Bar Island: 2 Commons flying around above the island and around it. No breeding evidence noted.

    Pinch Gut Island: 2 Commons flying around near the island. No breeding evidence noted.

    Whitehead Island: 4 Commons, 1 Arctic and 1 Roseate feeding 250-500 m south of the island.

    Also of note were large Double-crested Cormorant colonies on 3 islands. East Money Island had an estimated 210 adults on nests, Gooseberry (the one south of Wilson Island) had 340, and Little Fish had 70.

    I hadn't checked all these islands in a long time and was quite surprised to see so many cormorants.

    I've uploaded photos of the colonies on eBird. See this checklist for photos of Gooseberry Island: (see https://ebird.org/checklist/S88901793)

    Always great work, Alix and Bertin! - Ted

    Some of the nesting D-c Cormorants on Gooseberry Island, May 24, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Some of the nesting D-c Cormorants on Gooseberry Island, May 24, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    May 26, 2021 - Île Ferrée, Pubnico Harbour.

    Retired lobster fisherman and longtime friend of mine, David Surette, reports a quick visit to Île Ferrée today and finding 24 tern nests containing 37 eggs. There was also one gull nest containing 3 eggs, and 2 depredated tern eggs.

    David also noted that the vegetation on the island was greatly diminished from his visits there on previous years.

    I asked him about the Canada Goose we thought might have been nesting there, and that perhaps the goose/geese had cleaned up on the vegetation? He said there were no geese on the island at the time, but there was an old nest of "something" but it was empty.

    I am sure there are more nests to come. There were 277 tern nest there in 2020, and 176 in 2019; a lot of nests for this tiny island!

    May 28, 2021 - Visit to North Brother.

    Trip report by Sophie Landry:

    Crew members : Luc Bilodeau, Alexis Saulnier, Sophie Landry and Shawn Craik.

    We sailed to North Brother this morning with light wind from the North and relatively clear skies. We estimated that the colony had at least 550 terns.

    We conducted a nest box check which revealed one or two Roseate Tern eggs in 31 of the 50 boxes. Of the remaining boxes 9 had nest scrapes. We also confirmed a Roseate Tern nest next to box number 27. We marked and confirmed 16 more Common Tern nests and 5 more Arctic Tern nests as part of our efforts to monitor clutch sizes and reproductive success of all three species.

    There were some signs of limited egg predation (e.g., 2-3 broken eggs). The high spring tides this week did not appear to flood most nesting habitat, although we noted a few COTE eggs that were lying on the wrack line

    Three eider nests were visited. The nest from May 20th was still active with 4 eggs being incubated. One nest had 7 eggs being incubated, suggesting it was parasitized by another female (females usually lay about 4 eggs in their nest). Both females were flushed by our arrival. The third nest, containing three eggs, is either abandoned or yet to be incubated

    The colony seemed agitated today. Birds flushed from the island every 30 seconds to 3 minutes. We saw a Peregrine Falcon fly near the colony and was mobbed by terns on 2 occasions, which may have played a part in tern agitation. This behaviour made it difficult to observe terns returning with prey. Hopefully the Peregrine Falcon will move along.

    Thank you Sophie.

    A few photos by Luc Bilodeau:

    Common Tern nest containing 5 eggs - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern nest containing 5 eggs - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    The eggs certainly laid by more than one tern

    Sophie, Alexis, and Shawn - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Sophie, Alexis, and Shawn - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Roseate Tern with sandlance - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Roseate Tern with sandlance - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern carrying 2 sandlance - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern carrying 2 sandlance - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo

    Common Tern carrying ? - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Common Tern carrying ? - North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Luc Bilodeau photo
    Could it be American Silverside?
    Looks too skinny for herring?; certainly not long enough for sandlance.

    A terrible, cropped iPhone photo of North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    A terrible, cropped iPhone photo of North Brother, May 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    from 1 km away - 30 minutes after high tide.
    It gives an idea of the lay of the island when the tide is high.

    Making landfall in Lower West Pubnico, May 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Making landfall in Lower West Pubnico, May 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    It had breezed up quite a bit!

    Alexis, Sophie, Luc, and Shawn, in Lower West Pubnico, May 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Alexis, Sophie, Luc, and Shawn, in Lower West Pubnico, May 28, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Job well done!

    June 3, 2021 - Île Ferrée - Abandoned

    Alix d'Entremont writes:

    It appears Île Ferrée has been abandoned, or partly so, by the Common Terns. I check the island on most days from the mainland at Pont du Marais. The observations below are from the Pont du Marais except the June 2 visit to the island itself.

    May 28: Estimated 50 Common Terns on or near the island.
    May 29: Only 10 Common Terns on or above the island. Much lower numbers than previous counts.
    June 1: No terns on or near the island.
    June 2: Three nests with single cold eggs. Many broken eggs (20 or so). 10 Common Terns 
    flying around near the island.
    June 3: 4 Common Terns on the island and 3 in the air.
    

    Below are 7 images taken on June 2:

    Image 1: Owl pellet? - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Image 1: Owl pellet? - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Image 2: broken tern eggs - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Image 2: broken tern eggs - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Possible fox predation?

    Image 3: Whole, but cold, tern egg - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Image 3: Whole, but cold, tern egg - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Image 4: Crab and bivalve parts - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Image 4: Crab and bivalve parts - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    likely from the gulls

    Image 5: bones/shells - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Image 5: bones/shells - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Image 6: Probably the Canada Goose nest - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Image 6: Probably the Canada Goose nest - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    The eggshells are white.

    Image 7: Common Eider nest - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Image 7: Common Eider nest - Île Ferrée, June 2, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Also, the number of terns that I observed at Dennis Point declined after May 27. During my hour of observations on June 1 there were no terns at all. This suggests that much of the traffic near Dennis Point was likely from Île Ferrée.

    Of the terns that I've seen in Pubnico Harbour so far this year, very few are diving. They are dipping – likely catching small pieces of fish from the processing plants.

    It seems the prey fish (Atlantic Herring) aren't present around Dennis Point yet.

    Thanks Alix. Sad news indeed. Ted

    Julie Mcknight (Species at Risk Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service) questions whether this predation could have been caused by a fox getting to the island. She says "could a fox get out there? the “rip” (upper left side of Image 2) in the first egg looks like what canids do to eggs if they don’t take them whole." Alix says he recently (3-6 months ago) saw a fox on on Grande Île, which is very close to Île Ferrée. Alix is sure a fox could get there; I agree.

    June 3, 2021 - Trip report for June 2 & 3 2021 by Sophie Landry

    Crew members : Luc Bilodeau, Alexis Saulnier, Sophie Landry and Shawn Craik.

    We travelled to north brother both on June 2nd and 3rd to observe tern nests and feeding. Throughout the day on Wednesday [June 2] the weather was mild with clear skies and light winds from the south. Thursday morning winds from the south were stronger and the sky was overcast. We estimated about 600 terns.

    We conducted a nest box check on the 2nd from which we can report 35 ROST nests in nest boxes and 7 ROST nests outside of the boxes, including 2 nests on the southern end of the island. We continued to monitor a sample of COTE and ARTE nests (noting clutch size) to measure reproductive success.

    Five eider nests were noted, including one with 10 eggs! The females were flushed by our arrival, but all four nests visited had been incubated (the fifth was observed from the blind and is yet to be visited).

    The terns’ behaviour was more aggressive during our nest checks; a more usual behaviour than our last visit on May 28th. We observed terns returning with prey and noticed the majority coming from the south. We found that feeding activity was higher in the morning especially for ARTE and COTE. We made efforts to identify the prey brought back to the colony; the most common being sandlance.

    Thank you Luc, Alexis, Sophie, and Shawn.

    June 6, 2021 - North Brother

    Alix d'Entremont writes:

    Kathleen MacAulay and I were on North Brother Island from about 8:20 am until 11:20 am. We checked all the nest boxes and the staked Roseate nests outside of boxes. We documented individual Roseates entering boxes and took photos of terns carrying food (see photos below).

    Common Tern carrying sandlance - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern carrying sandlance - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern carrying herring - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern carrying herring - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern carrying ? - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern carrying ? - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Arctic Tern carrying hake ? - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Arctic Tern carrying hake ? - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern carrying herring ? - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern carrying herring ? - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern carrying herring ? - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern carrying herring ? - North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    We were able to locate the staked Roseate nests that were outside of boxes at 51 and 52 but couldn't find 53 and 54. The single egg in box 49 didn't look like a Roseate egg (see below).

    The single egg in box 49 didn't look like a Roseate egg<BR>North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    The single egg in box 49 didn't look like a Roseate egg
    North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo


    Note from Ted: In the past, I have seen eggs similar to this in ROST shelters. I am pretty sure they produced ROST chicks. Perhaps they were hybrids; I don't know?

    I have often said that with ROST and COTE eggs; there are some which are unmistakably ROST, some which are unmistakably COTE, and some for which you have to see who's incubating them or wait for the chick.

    I guess we'll have to wait and see!


    The Roseate incubating the nest between boxes 11 and 13 has a red bill-base, 5 retained outer primaries from the pre-alternate moult, and the egg doesn't look like that of a Roseate. Roseates tend to hold on to fewer outer primaries during the pre-alternate moult than Commons. The retention of 5 does occur but is not as common as 3 or 4. It might be a hybrid (see below)..

    Possible ROST hybrid, North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Possible ROST hybrid, North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    The table below provides the number of Roseate eggs in the boxes and the 2 staked nests.

    the number of Roseate eggs in the boxes and the 2 staked nests, North Brother - June 6, 2021
    the number of Roseate eggs in the boxes and the 2 staked nests, North Brother - June 6, 2021

    There were also some nests outside of boxes that we thought were likely Roseate nests, but some will have to be confirmed.

    1. Behind box 30
    2. In front of box 32
    3. In front of box 16 (unbanded ROST incubating nest)
    4. Between 11 and 13 (ROST with red bill-base incubating)
    5. In front of box 28 (unbanded ROST incubating nest)
    6. Right of box 27 (ROST incubating nest)
    7. Right of box 20 (ROST B95 incubating nest)
    

    The table below is of the Roseates that were confirmed to either be incubating a staked nest or entering a box. (w/o = without) represents an unbanded bird.

    Roseates that were confirmed to either be incubating a staked nest or entering a box, North Brother - June 6, 2021
    Roseates that were confirmed to either be incubating a staked nest or entering a box, North Brother - June 6, 2021

    Roseate Terns mating on North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Terns mating on North Brother, June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    June 6, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont texted me that "Terns are back at Île Ferrée."

    From the Pont-du-Marais, he could see least 75 birds, but he was certain there were more on the island that he just couldn't see!

    It's wonderful to see the return of the terns on Île Ferrée!

    June 6, 2021 - This evening, David Surette phoned me that this afternoon, he rowed from the shore below his house to Île Ferrée and found 25 tern nests there - 5 with 2 eggs and 20 containing only one. He also told me one tern flying overhead was carrying a fish.

    He said there were only 2 eggs left in the Common Eider nest and that the eggs were cold.

    It is a pleasant surprise that only 3 days ago, all tern nests had been depredated, and today, already 25 new nests!

    Something going on there! Nice to see! I hope that this time the terns are successful.

    June 7, 2021 - Report from Shawn Craik.

    1) 05:30 to 06:45: I conducted the first trial of acoustic fish monitoring along Alix’s buoy system south of Dennis Point Wharf. This is done via a portable acoustic sounder attached to a small kayak. The idea is to paddle parallel to the shore along transects at the 100 m, 200 m, and 300 m distance markers. Schools of fish seen directly at the surface of the water are to noted (because we’ve learned that it is possible to kayak over schools of herring without them scattering) and acoustic signals that potentially represent a school of fish are positioned.

    During yesterday’s sampling, no school of fish was observed visually at the surface and only two soundings may have reflected a school of forage fish, both at depths inaccessible to diving terns. These observations help provide some explanation as to why Alix is only seeing terns ‘dip’ for food at the site and why so few birds with fish are returning to NBI from an easterly direction. Perhaps the large schools of herring have yet to return to the Dennis Point area.

    2) 08:00 to 09:50: Sophie, Alix, and I conducted a first at-sea trial for foraging Roseates south of the North Brother colony. The survey route is roughly circular and encompasses islands and tidal rips between the Ball to the south and John’s Island to the north. The route was designed to include areas in which Roseate Terns have been observed foraging via either direct observations or indirectly through Pratte et al.’s (2021) telemetry work. One Roseate was observed flying south over the tidal rip near the Ball. The bird did not dive into the water but made several swooping movements which may have reflected an interest in something below the water's surface.

    A small colony of COTE and ARTE was observed at the south of Goodwin’s Island. One ROST was loafing near the colony but not in nesting habitat. This is Alix’s first observation of breeding terns at this site. Neat!

    3) 12h00 to 14h30: Sophie and I conducted blindwork on NBI for two hours. As would be expected during incubation, few fish were brought back to the colony (1 from each of the north and west and 2 from each of the east and south), however, these data are important if we are to fully understand diet throughout the breeding season and they are consistent with other work that there is limited tern foraging right now at Dennis Point.

    Wow! Now, that's what I call "A Full Day's Work"! Lots of information here to peruse over. The acoustic fish monitoring system is new to me and great to learn about. Thank you Alix d'Entremont, Sophie Landry, and Shawn Craik. - Ted

    June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont and Shawn Craik did a foraging survey from Ball Bar to John's Island this morning.

    They report 10 ROST were feeding at Ball Bar. See the photos below of Commons and Roseates at Ball Bar with prey fish.

    The question is, "What species are they feeding on?" At this point, we are not sure. The main contenders I think, would be silverside, smelt, or capelin, but I wouldn't know which?

    Common Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern carrying silverside? or smelt? - Ball Bar, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Alix also writes that "It seems likely that these Roseates are taking a break from foraging at Ball Bar. The northern portions of the bar and tide rip are only about 0.5 km away from the Goodwin's Island tern colony, so it seems to be an appropriate place to rest".

    Roseate and Common Terns on Goodwon's Island, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate and Common Terns on Goodwin's Island, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Probable first year Common Tern at far left! Not often seen!

    Roseate Tern with 2 metal bands on Goodwin's Island near the tern colony, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern with 2 metal bands on Goodwin's Island near the tern colony, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Alix and Shawn also found ROST L36 loafing near the water line with 4 other Roseates on Goodwin's Island near the new tern colony.

    Roseate Tern L36 on Goodwin's Island near the tern colony, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern L36 on Goodwin's Island near the tern colony, June 11, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    June 11, 2021 - Today on North Brother, Sophie Landry, Alexis Saulnier, Luc Bilodeau, and Shawn Craik conducted the official tern nest count,

    Sophie writes, "Our grand total was 893 nests, of which 46 are ROST (37 in nest boxes and 9 outside of the boxes)."

    This is a new record for North Brother! The previous highest number was in 2001, when there were 817 tern nests on North Brother and 63 on South Brother, for a total of 880. This is fantastic!

    Sophie Landry charted the nests statistics. (See below)

    Tern Nest Statistics - North Brother, June 11, 2021 - Sophie Landry
    Tern Nest Statistics - North Brother, June 11, 2021 - Sophie Landry

    Tern Nests Numbers on The Brothers - 1990 to 2021
      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
    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
      N. Brother S. Brother totals
    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
    June 9, 2014 731 0 731
    June 12, 2015 722 0 722
    June 11, 2016 661 0 661
    June 12, 2017 165 0 165
    June 16, 2018 074 0 074
    June 7, 2019 200 0 200
    June 14, 2020 713 0 713
    June 11, 2021 893 0 893
           
           

    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.

    Not only were there 893 tern nests on the island, but the chicks had started hatching! (See below)

    A newly hatched Arctic Tern in its nest - North Brother, June 11, 2021 - Shawn Craik photo
    A newly hatched Arctic Tern in its nest - North Brother, June 11, 2021 - Shawn Craik photo

    June 13, 2021 - This morning, Alix d'Entremont and Bertin d'Eon were doing tern nest surveys at Cape Sable, Shelburne County when they "came upon three Roseate Terns loafing on the beach near the water line near a colony of Arctic Terns. One had a federal band on the right leg and a blue band on the left. I believe the field readable code is "NK5"." See below:

    Roseate Tern NK5 - Cape Sable, Shelburne County, NS, June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern NK5 - Cape Sable, Shelburne County, NS, June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Enlarged area from above photo - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Enlarged area from above photo - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Alix emailed photos of this bird to Dr. Jeffrey Spendelow, Research Wildlife Biologist with the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland.

    He answered back that the "Blue NK5 was put on a ROST chick at Great Gull Island, New York in 2018", and that it's "another example of a young bird from NY apparently recruiting to the Canadian population!"

    Thanks, Alix and Jeff. Such a great find! Now, will we see it again, but this time on North Brother?

    June 13, 2021 - Evening - Alix d'Entremont reports that "Herring have arrived at Dennis Point. Two ROST are feeding north of wharf #1 with 15 Commons." This is what the local fishermen are calling them, but are they really herring?

    Some photos below:

    Common Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern with fish - Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Alix d'Entremont took a very good photo of the schooling fish. See below.

    Forage fish at Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Forage fish at Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Enlarged area from above photo - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Enlarged area from above photo - Alix d'Entremont photo
    To me, they certainly look like Rainbow Smelt.
    We'll wait the see what the experts say.

    We are all quite certain these are not herring.

    Alix sent the photos to Sebastián Pardo, Megan Boucher, to see what they thought they might be. They have a lot of experience with forage fish.

    The most probable contenders are Atlantic Silverside, Atlantic Argentine, Capelin, and Rainbow Smelt.

    See below: (Images taken from W. B Scott and M. G. Scott, "ATLANTIC FISHES OF CANADA", 1988.)

    Atlantic Silverside - Scott & Scott image
    Atlantic Silverside - Scott & Scott image

    Atlantic Argentine - Scott & Scott image
    Atlantic Argentine - Scott & Scott image

    Capelin - Scott & Scott image
    Capelin - Scott & Scott image

    Capelin - Scott & Scott image

    Atlantic Herring - Scott & Scott image
    Atlantic Herring - Scott & Scott image

    June 16, 2021 - More photos from the foraging terns at Dennis Point.

    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Common Tern with fish, Dennis Point - June 13, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    June 17 and 18, 2021 - North Brother report by Sophie Landry.

    Team members: Luc Bilodeau, Alexis Saulnier, Sophie Landry and Shawn Craik

    Roseate chicks have begun to hatch on North Brother! On Thursday, we tagged 5 ROST chicks in nest boxes 3 (two chicks), 21 (one chick), 27 (two chicks).

    Nest watches for banded chicks began on Thursday afternoon. The goal is to determine rates at which prey are delivered to chicks and chick diet. We also continued observations of terns returning with prey from all 4 cardinal directions.

    On Thursday (June 17), most terns returned from the North (around Abbott’s Harbour) and the East (possibly Dennis Point). The most common prey seemed to be hake or herring.

    On Friday (June 18), most terns returned from the North and the South-West, mostly with herring.

    We also continued to monitor our marked samples of COTE and ARTE nests to measure clutch size and reproductive success.

    Thank you, Sophie, Alexis, Luc, and Shawn.

    June 18, 2021 - In an email to Alix d'Entremont, Sebastián Pardo writes, "After that second set of photos I'm leaning towards Altantic silversides: the silvery line can be seen quite well, plus the shape of the face and position of the dorsal also seem right for silverside." Thank you Sebastián.

    Of course, there may likely be more than one species involved. This also has to be considered.

    June 18, 2021 - Evening. Alix d'Entremont and Kathleen MacAulay motored to Île Ferrée. They counted 94 tern nests there! This certainly was a pleasant surprise!

    So, now almost 1000 tern nests between North Brother and Île Ferrée! Wow!

    June 19, 2021 - Afternoon. Ronnie d'Entremont tells me there are about 300 terns feeding and foraging at Dennis Point, with lots of Roseates in the group!

    Shawn Craik with his students managed to net a few specimens from the billions of mystery fish being fed upon in Pubnico Harbour by the terns, cormorants and prey fish! I don't have a photo of them to show you, but they looked like the fish in the photo below; a photo of a juvenile herring I found on Wikipedia. (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herring)

    Photo of juvenile Herring from Wikipedia by Uwe Kils

    Atlantic Herring - Scott & Scott image
    Adult Atlantic Herring - Scott & Scott image

    See also When does a fish become a fish? from World Ocean Review, copied below:

    "The annual reproduction of fish is quite different from that of mammals. After they have hatched from the egg, fish pass through a larval stage. The larvae of many fish species spend this time in shallow waters away from the parent stock. In a manner of speaking, they live in a different world. At this stage, their numbers can reduce significantly because they are a food source for many other marine fauna. Many can die due to poor environmental conditions. Most fish larvae become juvenile fish in the first year. In fishery biological terms, however, they are only considered offspring or included in stock numbers when they join the parent stock and are large enough to land in fishermen’s nets: in other words when they can be counted. These juvenile fish are known as recruits."

    When does a fish become a fish? - World Ocean Review

    I've discussed this with Shawn Craik and it appears we agree, that more than likely our mystery fish are nothing more exotic than very young/juvenile Atlantic Herring. Juveniles which have not yet acquired the characteristic look of the adult herring.

    June 20, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont and Kathleen MacAulay surveyed the Tusket islands for tern nests. Alix writes, "There are very few colonies there this year. We only counted nests on Half Bald Island where the breeding terns are mostly Arctics. We found a total of 22 nests.

    Given that there are at least 893 nests on North Brother Island, 94 on Île Ferrée, 48 on Mud and 44 on Flat, the local tern population as a whole appears to be doing well." Thanks, Alix and Kathleen.

    June 29, 2021 - A visit to Goodwin's Island by Alix d'Entremont, Kathleen MacAulay, and Bertin d'Eon.

    Alix writes:

    "There were 74 nests plus 20 chicks that we were unable to assign to a nest. The colony is made up of mostly Common Terns with a few Arctics.

    There were five Roseate Terns that were observed roosting on the shore and nearby rocks. None were seen carrying food. One or two did land among the terns at the colony. We did not see any eggs or chicks that looked like those of Roseates.

    We also checked Ball Bar three times (8:09 am, 10:00 am, and 11:50 am). There were no Roseates during any of the visits and there were only a few Common and Arctic Terns during the first two visits. The rip was strong at 11:50 am and there were no terns at all."

    Alix was able to photograph 3 Roseate Tern plastic field readable (PFR) bands from the ROST on Goodwin's Island.

    BA1 – Male (sexed by blood) banded in 2018 on Gull Island
    BL1 – banded in 2019 at North Brother
    LL0 - banded in 2018 as a chick by Shawn Craik on Gull Island. USGS (Left) = 9822-53219
    

    Roseate Tern LL0, Goodwin's Island - June 29, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern LL0, Goodwin's Island - June 29, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Great work!

    June 30, 2021 - Shawn Craik tells me the tern colony on North Brother is doing wonderfully! There is very little tern chick mortality and food is plentiful. It seems Pubnico Harbour is full of immature herring with the terns arriving from the east, and a lot of food is also coming from the north, from the direction of Abbott's Harbour.

    July 6, 2021 - North Brother and Pubnico Harbour update by Shawn Craik:

    "Here's a brief update on what we have seen on North Brother and Dennis Point over the last couple of weeks.

    Nest monitoring

    Nesting and hatching success of all three species of terns are high. We are following chick survival from a sample of Roseate nests, and so far indications are that survival through the first two weeks post-hatch is high. We did note yesterday a number of perished young Common Tern chicks, possibly due to the rain and cool temperatures over the weekend. Many of these birds were in very damp stands of raddish. Still, there were large numbers of young terns seen running around the island yesterday, many of which will fledge in the next week or so.

    Foraging ecology

    The majority of fish being brought back to the island is coming from northern (Abbotts Harbour direction) and eastern (Pubnico Harbour) directions, and this has been noted since the first herring were spotted in Pubnico Harbour in mid-June. We are sending photos of fish collected from Dennis Point to DFO biologists to help confirm that these fish are herring and not similarly-looking species (ex. Gaspereau). Feedback to date indicates herring.

    Roseate Terns are returning to the island with fish from the north and east and often with herring, and the species currently represents a large fraction of birds coming from the south. Roseates coming from the south are often carrying sandlance.

    GoPro cameras have proven extremely useful in conducting feeding watches. Although battery life is restricted to about an hour, fish classification rate from these cameras is superior to that of traditional feeding watches when parents feed chicks inside the box.

    Dennis Point is one of the ROST foraging hot spots right now. Up to at least 8-10 ROST can be observed near the wharf at a given time. Observations conducted by Alix and the Sainte-Anne team up to three times a day are standardized and will hopefully help us understand correlates of tern abundance at this site (e.g., time of day, tide, climate, visibility). Also, we are collecting data on foraging success to get a sense of how 'productive' this site is relative to other areas across the species' breeding distribution, including the NE United States."

    Great report, Shawn! Thank you very much.  Ted

    July 8, 2021 - North Brother. Today is a special day! We will be collecting tern chick feces for analysis for DNA by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This will identify what species if fish the chicks are being fed. Today, we will be getting samples from Common and Arctic Tern chicks. Roseate Tern chicks will have their turn on another day.

    The Université Sainte-Anne team (Shawn Craik, Alexis Saulnier, Sophie Landry, and Luc Bilodeau) is in charge of the collection. I have come to the island with my son, Nigel D'Eon, his wife, Missie, their two children, Zelda and Edmund, and my daughter's son, Orson Deveau. Over the years, Nigel has been with me well over 100 times doing "tern work" on The Brothers. Last year, Orson assisted with the banding of Roseate Tern chicks on this island; Zelda, at 7 years old, has already been on a tern nest count. Missie was on this island a couple of times already this year helping to get the plywood blind together.

    I wanted to bring Orson and Zelda here to give them a better understanding of what I used to do, all these years ago at the tern colony, and to expose them to some first hand science; something they would never learn in school.

    Nigel, Missie, Edmund, Zelda, and Orson - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Nigel, Missie, Edmund, Zelda, and Orson - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The collection process involved getting the tern chick to defecate on a clean piece of aluminum foil, and then to place some of the more solid parts of the excrement into a vial of preserving solution.

    We collected around 20 feces samples for analysis, about half Common Tern and half Arctic Tern.

    Alexis and Luc starting the process - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Alexis and Luc starting the process - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The collection - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    The collection - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Shawn, Nigel, Sophie, Alexis, Luc, and Orson - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Shawn, Nigel, Sophie, Alexis, Luc, and Orson - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Note: Nigel and Orson are each holding a tern chick over the foil.

    Orson collecting the the bigger bits - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    It was great to see Orson actually doing science in the field!

    One of the ways to distinguish a Common Tern chick from an Arctic Tern chick is to measure the length of the tarsus (the part of a bird's leg between the ankle and the toes). It's noticeably shorter on the Arctic Tern than on the Common. The chick's plumage is also a bit different but sometimes difficult to tell. The tarsus measurement helps the accuracy of identification.

    Tarsal measuring with Shawn and Alexis - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Tarsal measuring with Shawn and Alexis - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Tarsal measuring with Orson and Shawn - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Tarsal measuring with Orson and Shawn - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Orson taking COTE chick back to where we found it - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Orson taking COTE chick back to where we found it - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Orson placing COTE chick back to where we found it - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Orson placing COTE chick back to where we found it - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Note how much the vegetation has grown since placement of the blind in April - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Note how much the vegetation has grown since placement of the blind in April - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Not all eggs hatched yet; here, an Arctic tern's nest - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Not all eggs hatched yet; here, an Arctic tern's nest - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Orson, Zelda, Missie, Edmund, Nigel, and Ted - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Shawn Craik photo
    Orson, Zelda, Missie, Edmund, Nigel, and me (Ted) - North Brother, July 8, 2021 - Shawn Craik photo

    July 22, 2021 - Dennis Point. Alix d'Entremont reports "an adult ROST (Y70) was feeding an unbanded HY (Hatch Year). I also got photos of a banded HY (Z42)".

    HY Roseate Tern Z42, Dennis Point - July 22, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    HY Roseate Tern Z42, Dennis Point - July 22, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern Y70 feeding chick, Dennis Point - July 22, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern Y70 feeding chick, Dennis Point - July 22, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    July 24, 2021 - Rock Road, Lower West Pubnico. I met with the "gang" (Shawn Craik, Alexis Saulnier, Sophie Landry, Luc Bilodeau) here, headed out for North Brother this beautiful morning. Today, they had the pleasure of having Julie McKnight (Species at Risk Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service, Dartmouth, NS) accompany them. It was wonderful to see her again after a long COVID-restrictions absence. Julie is the chair of the Roseate Tern Recovery Team and has been working with the tern colony on North Brother for many, many years. Today, she brought with her a 2 person Zodiac she was trying out; as far as I know, it worked perfectly.

    Julie, Sophie, Alexis, Shawn, and Luc - July 24, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Julie, Sophie, Alexis, Shawn, and Luc - July 24, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Heading out to North Brother - July 24, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Heading out to North Brother - July 24, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    Heading out to North Brother - July 24, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo
    Heading out to North Brother - July 24, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    The gang banded a few more Roseate Tern chicks and collected a few more samples of tern feces for DNA analysis of their diet.

    A bit of local humour is this sign at the "sewer plant" where the road continues to the shore. I thought I should share.

    Sign near the end of Rock Road, Lower West Pubnico - July 24, 2021 - Ted D'Eon photo

    As in many communities, outlying or remote areas are all too often used for garbage dumping and littering. There is less of it done now than in the past but it's still not completely stopped. Our community has free garbage pickup every 2 weeks and twice a year, they will pick up large items like hot water tanks and sofas; there is no need to dump anything by the shore.

    Years ago, a very well local restaurant owner and entrepreneur, had a rowdy person come to his restaurant. He told him in no uncertain terms, "Next time you come here, go somewhere else!". It's a line that the older generation in West Pubnico all know where it's from. It puts a smile on my face every time I see this sign.

    July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont reports:

    Bertin d'Eon and I checked the southern half of Hawk Channel and Hawk Inlet at Cape Sable this morning for staging Roseate Terns. The fog was thick most of the time with some brief moments of good visibility.

    Adult Roseates were going back and forth through Hawk Inlet. At least 7 adults were seen going east without fish. One adult was seen headed west carrying a fish. The fog was thick while we were at Hawk Inlet, so we could certainly have missed some birds. A total of 20 adults and 11 HYs were on the stone/gravel/sand beach here (43.400916, -65.631300) near the COTE/ARTE colony, exactly where they were on August 2, 2020. I counted the ROST several times by binoculars and always ended up with 11 HYs. The number of adults fluctuated, likely as they were going back and forth to catch fish. There was one adult ROST that was diving for fish near the wharf at the end of Fish Plant Rd, here (43.411500, -65.627570).

    I've attached a set of photos of banded birds and adults carrying prey (what I believe is Sandlance). Most PFR codes are clearly readable, but some are not. It would be nice if someone else could have a look through to check the codes.

    Adults with clearly readable codes
    Adult White on Red L96 Left Leg (loafing at Goodwin's Island in 2021)
    Adult White on Red B95 Right Leg (incubating on North Brother in 2021)
    Adult White on Red L95 Left Leg
    Adult Black on Yellow T83 Left Leg (banded as a chick Jun 24, 2016 on Egg Rock, Maine and paired with L76 on North Brother in 2021)

    Adults with poorly readable codes (please check)
    Adult White on Red L40? Left Leg
    Adult White on Red L56? Left Leg
    Adult White on Red L78? Right Leg
    Adult White on Red Z04? Right Leg

    HYs with clearly readable codes
    HY White on Red Z43 Right Leg
    HY White on Red Z45 Right Leg
    HY White on Red Z51 Right Leg
    HY White on Red Z62 Right Leg

    On August 2, 2017 (eBird) there were 8 ROST (including at least 1 HY) at Cape Sable, and on August 2, 2020 (eBird) there were 20 ROST (including at least 5 HYs) at Cape Sable. I intend on checking Cape Sable again in early August to see if the ROST are still present.

    Wow, Alix and Bertin! lots of great info here! Thanks for sharing.

    Some of Alix's photos from July 25, 2021.

    HY Roseate Tern Z62, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    HY Roseate Tern Z62, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern T83, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern T83, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    HY Roseate Tern Z43, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    HY Roseate Tern Z43, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    HY Roseate Tern Z45, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    HY Roseate Tern Z45, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern with both metal bands, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern with both metal bands, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern with sandlance, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern with sandlance, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern with sandlance, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern with sandlance, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    Roseate Tern with many sandlance, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    Roseate Tern with many sandlance, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    I wonder how it caught the last fish without losing them all!
    It's amazing what they can do!

    HY Roseate Tern struggling with 2 sandlance, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo
    HY Roseate Tern struggling with 2 sandlance, Cape Sable - July 25, 2021 - Alix d'Entremont photo

    July 26, 2021 - Jeffrey A. Spendelow writes from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, "Yesterday I saw my first Hatch Year (HY) from Nova Scotia - Z50, and today I saw Z39"!

    Thanks, Jeff! It's wonderful to hear some of "our" birds are already on Cape Cod; hopefully, more of them soon!



    Field-readable Roseate Tern leg bands - North Brother (unless listed otherwise) - 2021. (See below)

    Resighted and new leg bands on Roseate Terns from North Brother in 2021
    June 6, 2021
    Red B04 ? leg -
    1172-79304, Sex unknown
    Banded on North Brother as a chick on July 20, 2011
    Seen on Gull Island, Nova Scotia, in 2017.
    Also seen on North Brother in 2020.
    June 6, 2021 Red B71 left leg -
    9822-51506, Male (by copulation)
    Hybrid ROST/COTE Banded on North Brother
    Paired with L33 on North Brother in 2021.
    Seen on North Brother in 2017 and 2020.
    July 25, 2021
    Cape Sable
    Red B95 right leg -
    9822-51530, Sex unknown
    Banded on North Brother as a chick July 11, 2014.
    Observed on Gull Island in 2018, and on North Brother in 2019 and 2020.
    June 29, 2021
    Goodwin's Island
    Red BA1 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Male (sexed by blood)
    Banded on Gull Island in 2018
    June 29, 2021
    Goodwin's Island
    Red BL1 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded on North Brother in 2019
    June 6, 2021
    Red L05 left leg -
    0802-04917, Sex unknown
    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, 2017 and 2019,
    on Gull Island in 2017, and on the Bear Point Thrums in 2018.
    June 6, 2021
    Red L13 right leg -
    9822-51547, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on North Brother, Nova Scotia on July 10, 2015.
    Seen on Peases Island in 2018, and on North Brother in 2019.
    Paired with L87 on North Brother in 2020.
    June 6, 2021
    Red L33 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded on North Brother.
    Seen on Gull Island in 2017.
    This bird is missing a foot (2021)
    No mention of a missing foot in 2017.
    Paired with B71 on North Brother in 2021.
    June 11, 2021
    Goodwin's Island
    July 26, 2021
    Cape Cod
    Red L36 left leg -
    9822-51567, Male (from head-bill length)(
    Banded on North Brother as an adult on June 22, 2015. Seen on
    Gull Island in 2017, on Peases Island in 2018, and on NB in 2019 and 2020.
    May 14, 2021
    Red L40 left leg -
    9822-51569, Female (from head-bill length)
    Banded as an adult on North Brother on June 22, 2015.
    Seen on Gull Island in 2017, and on North Brother in 2019 and 2020.
    June 6, 2021
    Red L47 right leg -
    9822-51573, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on North Brother, Nova Scotia. on July 5, 2016
    Seen on North Brother in 2019 and 2020.
    June 6, 2021
    Red L76 right leg -
    9822-51600, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick in 2016, on North Brother, Nova Scotia.
    Observed on Gull Island in 2018, and on N Brother in 2019 and 2020.
    Paired with T83 on North Brother in 2021.
    May 15, 2021
    The Ball tidal rip
    June 6, 2021
    on North Brother
    Red L93 left leg -
    9822-52914, Sex unknown
    Banded as an adult on North Brother on June 15, 2017
    and received a PathTrack GPS tag.
    Encountered on Gull Island in 2017 and 2018.
    Nesting on Gull Island in 2018 with an unbanded bird.
    Seen on North Brother in 2019 and 2020.
    July 25, 2021
    Cape Sable
    Red L95 left leg -
    9822-52916, Sex unknown
    Banded on North Brother as an adult on June 15, 2017.
    Observed on Gull Island in 2018, and on NB in 2019 and 2020.
    July 25, 2021
    Cape Sable
    Red L96 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx
    Banded on North Brother.
    Seen on Peases Island in 2018.
    June 29, 2021
    Goodwin's Island
    Red LL0 right leg -
    9822-53219, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on Gull Island in 2018
    July 22, 2021
    Dennis Point
    Red Y70 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded on Country Island
    July 26, 2021
    Cape Cod
    Red Z39 ? leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2021
    July 22, 2021
    Dennis Point
    Red Z42 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2021
    July 25, 2021
    Cape Sable
    Red Z43 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2021
    July 25, 2021
    Cape Sable
    Red Z45 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2021
    July 25, 2021
    Cape Cod
    Red Z50 ? leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2021
    July 25, 2021
    Cape Sable
    Red Z51 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2021
    July 25, 2021
    Cape Sable
    Red Z62 right leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on North Brother in 2021
    June 13, 2021
    Cape Sable
    Blue NK5 left leg -
    xxxx-xxxxx, Sex unknown
    Banded as a ROST chick at Great Gull Island, New York in 2018.
    Seen on Cape Sable, Shelburne County, NS in 2021.
    June 6, 2021
    July 25, 2021
    Cape Sable
    Yellow T83 left leg -
    1332-72783, Sex unknown
    Banded as a chick on Eastern Egg Rock, Maine, on June 24, 2016.
    Seen on North Brother in 2019 and 2020.
    Paired with L76 on North Brother in 2021.


    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, 2021