Thursday, August 6, 2015

Argentia, Newfoundland

I visited Argentia July 10 – 14.  One main reason for coming to this side of the Avalon Peninsula was to visit Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve, which is about 1.5 hours south of Argentia.  I ended up visiting the reserve twice. 

Cape St. Mary’s is known for having very accessible and large seabird colonies.  During breeding season they have 24,000 Northern Gannets, 20,000 Black_legged Kittiwakes and 20,000 Common Murre.   What makes it so great is these birds can all be seen from a very short distance on the cliffs and a sea stack known as Bird Rock. 

The view of the bird covered cliffs on the 1 km walk to the viewing area.  It’s impossible to tell from this distance, but most of the white on the grey rocks are birds.


Someone looking at the top of Bird Rock, covered with Gannets--



Gannets are known for their courtship and their interactions.  They seem to be very loving to their mates, but can be very aggressive toward others. 

nl_argentia_cape_st_marys_affectionateThe next 2 pictures are of the same couple.  Note in the first picture the loving nature.nl_argentia_cape_st_marys_2_gannets_niceIn a second things change.  I don’t know what the poor bird below them did, but the “loving” couple did not like it!  nl_argentia_cape_st_marys_2_gannets_naughty

Another couple (in the middle of the 2 photos below).  I took several pictures of their loving actions toward each other and then they saw me! 


Due to the lines in their faces, it looks like they are angry at me for watching them! 

I tried to catch some good pictures of the Gannets in flight, but it was not easy.  They are close to pelican size, with a wing span up to 6 feet. 


Trying to land can be difficult on the crowded rock.nl_argentia_cape_st_marys__where_too_land

nl_argentia_cape_st_marys_where_do_I_landnl_argentia_cape_st_marys_where_do_I_land_dont use

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