Thursday, July 19, 2012

Western Newfoundland

 Our six hour voyage on the Atlantic Vision Ferry from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland with sunny, calm waters was an enjoyable pelagic bird filled trip.  We added Manx and Greater Shearwaters to our life list along with N. Fulmars, Sooty Shearwaters, Wilson's and Leach's Storm Petrels.  A number of dolphins and whales added to our wildlife observations.

We found Newfoundland's landscape to be amazingly diverse.  The harbor's barren rock with it's wind stunted evergreens gave way to sharp mountain peaks, boreal forests, interspersed with extensive bogs, rivers and ponds.  It's unique coastline, rock formations, large estuaries, quaint fishing villages nestled in each cove provided a local flavor and historical perspective along the Viking Trail.
 We stopped at many provincial parks along the route, this one with beautiful arches and waves splashing into the openings.  The openings stood about 15 feet and twenty five at the top.  Another park we stayed at was called "Blow Me Down Park"  and we experienced it's namesake of strong gusting winds.
 Our mountaintop vantage point on Onion Cape gave us views of Labrador's coast in the background, massive icebergs being carried south by the ocean's currents, and the historic place (L'Anse aux Meadows) where Lief Erickson landed over 1,000 years ago.  From here we also saw over 20 Humpback Whales entertained us with pectoral fin slaps, fluke waves, and full breaches with water flying everywhere.
This is a close-up of the above iceberg which was over 200 feet tall as you can see it dwarfs the village in the above picture.  From this harbor in St. Anthony's we also had a very close encounter with a minke whale, (hard to get a picture of).  At least icebergs don't move fast or disappear under the water.

The generous number of "Moose Crossing" signs posted along the highway kept us ever vigilant. We did see 17 moose along the Viking Trail from the ferry landing to the northern most tip of Newfoundland.  Birds of note included nesting Blackpoll Warblers, Fox Sparrow, Com. Redpolls, Pine & Evening Grosbeaks, Gray Jays, Boreal Chickadees, Black-backed Woodpeckers and Piping Plovers.

Greetings to all from the far north.
Ty & Ida Baumann

No comments:

Post a Comment