We moved on to Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve to view the Gannets and hopefully a few new-to-us birds, as well.
What a fantastic place with wide sweeping, mesmerizing views. We saw our first Newfoundland whale spout while walking the trail.
The terrain down by St. Mary's Ecological Reserve was different than any other we'd seen on island. When we sort through our shots we'll show you more but it reminded us a lot of Wyoming (minus the ocean, of course).
Do you see the two light blue eggs in the above photo? Do you see how there is not an actual 'nest'? They just lay the egg on the rock shelf and that's it. The pear shape does its best to keep the egg from falling off the cliff by making it roll in a circle when knocked. However, as we witness in just our short time, countless Murre eggs are lost to crows, eagles and other predators which have an easier time grabbing them since they aren't on a nest and under a parent.
You may have noticed that some of the Common Murres have a
cool pair of white sunglasses. Apparently, this is more common
in the birds that breed further north. The visitor center statistic
said 1 in 5 have this cool feature. They are called 'Bridled'.
Thick Billed Murre.
He was so far away that our point and shoots were really struggling. This is the best shot we got. The bill is obviously thicker than the common but also it has a white line down the bill which the commons do not. There are other differences in body and head shape, etc. but you get the gist. New Bird!
We made two walks out to the bird watching areas. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. The lighting was different each time. We didn't find the Thick-billed Murre until the afternoon and the Razorbill only showed himself in the morning. So, it was worth the double trip. Meadow Voles were running in and out of their holes and the wind even quieted somewhat (although the temperatures did not significantly alter their course and remained quite freezing).