Wednesday, July 30, 2008

East Coast Trip June 2008: Peggys Cove

After Aaron and I left Fundy National Park, it was off to Nova Scotia! We left the province of New Brunswick and headed down to Halifax and then turned southwest towards Peggys Cove.
Peggys Cove is one of the most photographed locations in all of North America. This small fishing community of approximately 50 citizens is located on a rugged coastline overlooking St. Margarets Bay. The landscape surrounding Peggys Cove is barren with nearby bogs and scattered large rocks of 400 million year old Devonian granite that was left over after the last glacier receded.

When we neared Peggys Cove we felt like we were on another planet. The light coloured granite scattered about the land looked like a giant carelessly left these massive rocks, similar in how a kid with too many toys litters a room.

A very large parking lot and a visitor centre met us at the coast. This was the tourist trap area of Peggys Cove. I got out of the car, binoculars grasped in my hands. I wasn't interested in collectible spoons or postcards, and I saw a large white bird in the distance over the bay heading in our general direction. An adult Northern Gannet! My first life bird for the trip!! I frantically grabbed my scope and walked up the rock coastline and scanned the open waters of Margaret's Bay that leads out to the Atlantic Ocean. Northern Gannets of ever plumage flew by. Herring Gulls, and Black-backed Gulls also soared above the open water. I decided to scan the ocean itself hoping to catch a glimpse of something else. Common Eiders rode the waves while other Eiders slept on a granite island nearby. Soon enough I noticed a group of dark birds effortlessly gliding just above the waves. Some would land on the surface while others kept flying. One bird turned so I can see the underside of its long wings displaying whitish linings. Sooty Shearwaters!! Lifer number 2!

After my fill of gannets, gulls, shearwaters and eiders it was on the road again. Next stop is Cape Sable Island, the only location in Canada where American Oystercatchers breed!


  1. Sounds like an exciting trip! I finally got my life Gannet at Hamilton last fall. It was unexpected and just by coincidence that we arrived when one was flying around!

  2. Did you get to see the Northern Gannets diving? I think it's one of my favourite birds to watch. Brown Pelicans also do spectacular dives (and are beautiful when they fly really low over the waves of the ocean). I want to go to the ocean again!!!