Steller's Sea Eagle photo by Al Caughey in Newfoundland
Nova Scotia & Newfoundland
Seabirds, Culture & Amazing Food
June 25-July 8, 2024
14 days 8 participants, 6 openings From $4,900
For two years, a Steller's Sea Eagle has roamed the Newfoundland coast. In 2023, the bird began building a nest. We'll spot this otherwise elusive bird if she's still there in 2024.
This trip is a nature lover's dream. From ancient forests to jaw-dropping vistas. We'll begin in rural Nova Scotia, where "Warbler Alley" will start the trip off with an explosion of color and song. History buffs have a chance to visit a re-enacted town (1849) in Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia. Your journey then heads north for two days at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which offers amazing coast views, plus a well-constructed boardwalk through a typical bog.
We'll arrive in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, in plenty of time to board our ferry, which will arrive in Argentia at around 10 the next morning, including a 30-minute time change.
Our journey takes us north to view Atlantic Puffins from land, a rare treat indeed. Not far from the Puffin Colony, we'll board a small boat to tour the waters around Trinity Newfoundland, for it is here the Steller's Sea Eagle has roosted the last two years.
Next, it's a trip south, where Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve beckons. You'll stand but 30 yards from the second-largest Northern Gannett colonies in North America. The birds could not care less about our presence, as the 500-foot drop-off separating us from the gannets, Razorbills, Common Mure, and Black-legged Kittiwake is deterrent enough.
The history of this area is astonishing, and we'll hope for a fogless morning at Cape Race Lighthouse, where they received the first distress signal from The Titanic.
Saint Vincent's Beach is an amazing opportunity to see humpback whales surprisingly closely from shore. There are often shearwaters joining in the feeding frenzy, and Northern Gannet may show off by plunge diving. All the birds and whales are after the same target, a small sardine-like fish called a capelin.
Trepassey is our sole one-night stay, but the following morning we're off to Bay Bull's, where we'll visit North America's largest Atlantic Puffin colony. Hundreds of thousands of birds zip overhead. On land, we'll look for Razobrills, Northern Fullmar. and we'll see tens of thousands of Common Murre, Black-legged Kittiwake, and Atlantic Puffin.
The last two nights are enjoyed in St. John's. Ponds here provide some unusual sightings like Tufted Duck, Pink-footed Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, and much more. Signal Hill is always a relished historic highlight. Our last stop is Cape Spear, where we can stand on North America's easternmost point.
Call Lead-Guide Steve "Esh" Eshbaugh today at 406.570.2428 with trip questions.
Cost: $4,700 ($800 Deposit)
Single Supplement: $900
Final Payment Due: March 25
Deposit refundable till 3/35, minus a $200 processing fee
Trip costs may fluctuate due to foreign currency rates.
Participants must be able to hike 2 miles per day over uneven terrain.
Your fee includes
All trip materials, including detailed daily itinerary, list of what to bring, recommended field guides and pre-trip reading materials, and checklist of likely birds & and other wildlife.
All services of the leaders and guides.
All transportation upon arrival to the destination city.
All accommodations during tour dates.
All entrance fees to museums, parks, etc.
All meals (except alcoholic beverages)
Note: Tour costs, itineraries, and dates are subject to change. Prices may be affected by international currency exchange rates or necessary itinerary changes.
We offset all trip impacts by purchasing carbon offsets to reduce our global footprint
Great Shearwater photo by tour participant David Ewer
Northern Gannet photo by tour participant Mo Henning
ITINERARY AT A GLANCE
June 25: Your flight must arrive in Halifax by tonight.
June 26: Drive the Nova Scotia coastline, making our way to Sherbrooke.
June 27: An early morning beckons, as we head to Waternish Road to see what warblers are flitting about. On a busy day, 20 different warbler species are possible.
June 28: We depart Sherbrooke for Antigonish Landing, where Nelson's Sparrows are common. This area can also provide rarities like Black-headed Gull. We'll also bird Pomquet Beach, hoping to spot a nesting Piping Plover.
After lunch, we'll arrive in Chetticamp in Cape Breton and adjacent to the national park.
June 29: We'll spend the day exploring Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Moose are a common sight, and with luck, we'll add a Bicknell's Thrush to our list. Jack Pine Trail is a beautiful hike through the park's forest and gives a brief look at the ocean.
June 30: After a leisurely start to the day, we'll head over to Port Morien. This picturesque point is also excellent for birding. At around 4:00, we'll board our ferry which will take us over 400 miles to Newfoundland.
July 1: Canada Day! Our ferry lands at about 10 in the morning. Our driver will take us north to Bonavista. We hope to spot Atlantic Puffin here. Overnight in Bonavista
July 2: Early morning birding for seabirds from the port side of the ferry. You arrive in Newfoundland around 10 a.m. and drive to Bonavista to look for seabirds. Overnight in Bonavista
July 3: An early wake-up greatly enhances the chances of seeing puffins from shore, as close as 10 yards away. The highlight of the day is the boat trip we'll take out of Trinity. Whales are a common sight here, but our target is one of the largest of all raptors, the Steller's Sea Eagle. Overnight in St. Bride's
July 4: This morning you'll transfer to Cape St. Mary's, home to North America's second-largest Northern Gannet colony. The spectacular rocks also provide nesting habitat for many species of seabirds. Overnight in St. Bride's.
July 5: We depart St. Brides with picnic lunches. About two hours later we'll arrive at St. Vincent's Beach, where humpback whales feed very close to shore. This is a "must-see" spectacle, even for the seasoned whale-watcher. Our stop this afternoon will be the quaint town of Trepassey. Overnight in St. John's.
July 6Ñ This morning we'll head out to Witless Bay Reserve. The scenery in this area is jaw-dropping, and birds like Atlantic Puffin, Great and Sooty Shearwater, and an occasional Jaegert occasionally zip by. After lunch, we'll arrive in Bay Bulls for a boat trip out to Gull Island, the largest breeding colony of Atlantic Puffins in North America. Overnight in St. John's
July 7: Today is our last full day in Newfoundland. We'll visit local ponds which sometimes yield rarities like Pink-footed Goose, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, and many more. You'll also stand on the northeasternmost point of the North American continent. The Memorial Univeristy botanical garden is another great stop, both for birds and wonderful plantings. Overnight in St. John's.
July 8: You'll be transported to the airport for your flight home!
Atlantic puffin photo by tour participant Frank Toller