First day of Autumn

At the beginning of the month I ended up completing what was basically a Big Day. This wasn’t my original intention because all I really wanted to do was go to all my usual spots as much as possible before school started up again. Someday I’d like to go birding for 12+ hours like I know some birders do. On this particular day, I went out for a few hours in the morning, kept an eye on my backyard and went out again for another hour in the evening. I ended with 75 species which I was quite pleased with considering where I happen to live.

Highlights for me included; Bay-breasted Warbler (lifer), Long-tailed Duck (first time I had found one in the county), Common Tern (another first for the county, most likely first ever for anyone), Philadelphia Vireo (only second time I’ve ever found one) and a few late Common Nighthawks as well as one late Chimney Swift. A few of these species might not seem that special to the average birder, but if you ever happen to come to this part of New Brunswick, you’d understand that these are all nice sightings for this area.

I was quite pleased to find a couple of Norther Shovelers in Woodstock just a few days ago. It was the first time I have found this species in the county.

Northern Shoveler

Last week I found a Gadwall for just the second time in this area. I could have easily overlooked it, but I happened to see it fly away so the black and white really stood out.


There aren’t a lot of shorebirds to be found in western New Brunswick. I often see Solitary Sandpipers however and have even found up to eight in the same area before.

Solitary Sandpiper

I can’t say I paid much attention to birds when I was young. I do remember having Killdeer around our home a couple of different times though. Their alarm call fascinated me so I still like to see or hear them around.


I have enjoyed hearing Cedar Waxwings fly over my yard the past few months. In the next few weeks they will be moving on, but by November there will be Bohemian Waxwings to take there place.

Cedar  Waxwing

I wanted to mention a few rarities that have been spotted in the province over the past couple of weeks. This might become part of my regular post for each month.

Snowy Owl – Just yesterday it was reported that one has stayed in northern NB for the entire summer!

Yellow-crowned Night Heron – It isn’t often that this species makes an appearance here;

South Polar Skua – A few were found during a Pelgaic trip off of Grand Manan island. This is one of the best spots to go birding in the province! 

My goal for this Fall is try to find 6 more species to beat my record for most species found in a year. There are a few I could see this Winter that would be different, but with Fall migration, now is the time to beat a record with lots of different species stopping on their way through. The competitive side of me would really like for this to happen so I’m hoping to get down to the Bay of Fundy to help increase my chances. If I can accomplish this, this will be the topic of my post next month.

To close I wanted to mention that the Carolina Wren I posted about last month is still in my yard! I didn’t see it for almost two weeks, but I just went outside after supper and there it was helping itself to the suet. It has been a very pleasant surprise that it came to my yard in the first place and a nice bonus that it has stayed so long!

Nathan Staples

About Nathan Staples

I am a public school teacher who has always lived in New Brunswick. My wife and I have three boys who love to watch birds nearly as much as I do. We currently live in the province’s oldest town, Woodstock.

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2 Responses to First day of Autumn

  1. Love your posts and your photos!

  2. gillian harding-russell says:

    beautiful birds and gorgeous photography!