New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

Immature Bald EagleMary MajkaSwamp Sparrow Lunenburg Harbor Humpback Whale Humpback WhaleHopewell Rocks

July 14-July 24, 2007

Our Route, Planning

We flew on Air Canada from San Francisco via Toronto to Saint John, New Brunswick.  I made reservations on a ferry from Digby, Nova Scotia to Saint John, and also reserved our hotels before we departed SF.  We rented a car at the Saint John airport.  We drove from St John to Hopewell, on the Bay of Fundy, and stayed in a B&B for several days while exploring the area and visiting friends.  Then we continued to Nova Scotia, where we stayed in Lunenburg and in Digby.


We had a very special chance to talk with Mary Majka and David Christie on this trip, thanks to our friend Jerry, who had set up the meeting. Mary is famous in the province for her conservation efforts, both in terms of natural history and historical sites.  She is the primary force behind saving the area around Mary's Point, (Shepody NWLR, NB), in the mid 1970's. This stretch of mudflats is the primary feeding area of the Semipalmated Sandpiper, which migrates from the east arctic to James Bay, and then 1500 km further to the Maritimes (in late July to mid August), where they feed on Mud Shrimp.  Then they complete their migration to Surinam, a 4000 km journey that takes about 50 hours.

The Bay of Fundy has huge tides, over 30 feet.  Our B&B at Hopewell Rocks (Innisfree) was very close to the bay, and had a beautiful woods, full of warblers and vireos.  A walk along the Caribou Plains Trail in Fundy NP yielded a lifer Yellow-bellied Flycatcher for Hanno, and White-winged Crossbills, lifers for us both.

Rain and fog occasionally interfered with our birding efforts, especially at Lunenburg, where we had hoped to try for seabirds on a pelagic trip out of the harbor.  As an alternative, we stopped at West Pubnico, on the west coast of Nova Scotia, to see Roseate Terns. At Digby, we joined a whale-watching trip that offered Greater Shearwater, Atlantic Puffin and both Humpbacked and Minke Whales.


“Birding Sites of Nova Scotia” by Blake Maybank, Nimbus Publishing, 2005 – difficult to use, but many locations.

Places to stay, or to eat

Innisfree B&B, 4270 Route 114, Hopewell Cape, NB E4H 3P4  506-734-3510 owned by Alan and Elaine Demaline.  Excellent, clean, charming owners and great breakfasts.  Highly recommended.

Smuggler’s Cove Inn, 139 Montague St, Lunenburg NS B0J 2C0, telephone 902-634-7500.  Clean and comfortable hotel on main street, convenient to restaurants and harbor.

Admiral Digby Inn, 441 Shore Road, Digby, NS B0V-1A0, telephone 902-245-2531.  Very convenient to ferry,  Comfortable and recommended  (separate cabin).