Thursday, June 09, 2022

Visit to Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick - Part 4

 "I believe in birds. I believe in their beauty, in their wisdom. I love the way they take me out of myself and enable me to live anew."

Julia Zarankin

15 May, 2022
Baker Shore B&B - Cove Head Lighthouse - Bubbling Springs Trail - Farmland Trail - Baker Shore B&B

     By now you are well aware that breakfast at Baker Shore is an event - more than just food, it is a memorable start to the day.

     Darrell made banana crepes for the first time, and announced that we were guinea pigs. How fortunate!

     They tasted as fabulous as they look.
     While we were having breakfast a fox trundled up the road. We had seen it a couple of times and were always struck by the colour of its pelage. This is a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), but three colour morphs are found on Prince Edward Island, red, cross and silver, with a rare melanistic form that is black, in addition. There is apparently some gradation in the red to silver range, because the fox (or foxes) we saw were a delicate gold, akin to the colour of a Golden Retriever.

     To our surprise and delight, Lynne and Darrell presented us with this beautiful little picture in appreciation of the fact that we were their first return visitors. 

     We were very touched.
     It now hangs in our kitchen, where the colours match perfectly.

     We had decided to return to Prince Edward Island National Park to redo the Bubbling Springs Trail while also covering the Farmland Trail. We stopped several times along the coast, where there was much of interest.
     A juvenile Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) occupied the same spot for quite a while, just resting as far as we could tell.

     There seemed to have been a general arrival of Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) and Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) overnight, and we saw large concentrations of birds foraging along the shoreline and in coastal marshes.

     In one location we figured we had around forty Lesser Yellowlegs with Greater Yellowlegs in smaller numbers.

     It was a delight to see them

     Gadwall (Mareca strepera) was equally at home dabbling in the marshes.

     American Black Duck (Anas rubipres) was very common.

     When we saw this American Crow (Corvus brachyrynchos) we concluded that it was gathering nesting material, but now that I look at the picture I am not quite sure. Has it captured a frog do you think?

      American Herring Gulls (Larus smithsonianus) and Great Black-backed Gulls (Larus marinus) were the most common gulls we saw, and both are represented in these flocks of juvenile birds. I am sure you will have fun picking them out!

     Dunes are fragile ecosystems and it is encouraging to see that steps are being taken to protect them.

     For me, and I am quite sure for many others, part of the experience of a maritime environment, is the abundance of gulls, and their raucous cries as they wheel in the sky above, or claim the beach as their own. It is one of the foremost reasons I am attracted to the coast.

     Long before the first hominid walked upright on the African savannah gulls had gained mastery of the sky and the water. And so it continues today.
     The Farmland and Bubbling Springs trails held the promise of a pleasant hike, with plenty of birds along the way. 

     We set off in high spirits, happy to be doing what we enjoy most.
     I am sure this Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) was completely indifferent to our presence.

     Detached as we try to be, it's hard to look at a chipmunk and not conclude that it's cute!
     I have commented before on the shallow root systems of many trees found on the Island, and here are a couple of classic cases of wind toss; trees are uprooted and topple over.

     These downed trees form desirable habitat for Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis) and we heard them frequently, and caught a fleeting glimpse of one, as it taunted us for an instant, and disappeared into the tangle of branches and scrub, lost to human vision.
     American Red Squirrel (Tamiascurius hudsonicus) is equally at home in this tangled habitat, and is not averse to using an exposed log as its dining room.

     A Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) was not as evasive as a Winter Wren.

     Miriam has a great way of capturing a view.

     Black-and-White Warblers (Mniotilta varia) were quite easy to find, often foraging for insects in the lichen, and this individual permitted us to get some decent pictures.

     Who could believe that black-and-white could look so good?

     Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) are fine looking birds in their own way, but are never going to challenge Black-and-White Warblers on the beauty charts.

     We spotted a Belted Kingfisher (Megacyrle alcyon) on the far side of the pond.

     There were many trees with this curious growth. I think of this situation as a burl, and probably that's what it is. I have never seen them even approaching this size, however.

     It was rare to walk even a minute or two without hearing and/or seeing a Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia).

     The walking was very easy.

     The Spring Azure complex of butterflies has been the subject of much taxonomic discussion in recent years. Whether the definitive classification of all the species has yet been achieved I am not sure, but I believe that the following species is now accepted as Northern Spring Azure (Celastrina lucia).

     There is no controversy surrounding Cabbage White (Pieris rapae).

     We were as enchanted with the bubbling springs as we had been the previous day.

     Fungi are both fascinating and beautiful - and difficult to identify!

     We were quite taken with Methuselah's Beard Lichen (Usnea longissima) and Miriam was especially delighted to have Methuselah pose with it!

     Reflection in a lake is always a pleasing sight.

      Friendly Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) were never far away.

       A final glance at Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris) was a lovely way to leave the trails.

     We went to Brothers 2 for dinner; I forget what we had, but I know we both enjoyed it.
     As was our normal practice we sat on the veranda afterwards and, very fitting for our final time there, a hummingbird came to visit. Darrell's reputation as a hummingbird whisperer is intact! 

Baker Shore B&B - Blacks Harbour - Grand Manan, NB

     We had always had breakfast at 08h:00, but Darrell and Lynne kindly agreed to serve us at 07h:00 since we had to drive to Blacks Harbour, NB to catch the ferry to Grand Manan. We had ample time but there is always the possibility of delays so better to be early than miss the boat - literally!
     The day always starts better on a good breakfast and Lynne and Darrell delivered as only they can.

     We were sorry to say goodbye to our genial hosts who have become friends, with the firm promise, "See you next year!'
     The journey to Blacks Harbour was uneventful and we arrived with time to spare. We were assigned our place in line for the ferry and were happy to wait until it was time to board.

     As we eased away from the dock a Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle) swam ahead of us.

     Visibility was quite poor, and birds were few.

     Several birders stationed themselves on deck and we joined them, but between the gloom, the wind and the cold many of us made it back inside. We each had a bowl of fish chowder, which was both excellent and reasonable, and very welcome after being aloft for a while.

     The crossing from Blacks Harbour to Grand Manan takes about an hour and a half.
     We had booked a week at a B&B called Birds and Blooms, operated by Lorraine MacNeill. A few days before leaving home Lorraine had called to say that she would unexpectedly be away in Alberta, but if we wished to use the house we were welcome to do so.

     It was a lovely, spacious house and we were happy with this arrangement.
     In fact we were glad that we had the run of the house to ourselves. There were four rooms to be rented to guests, with only one small bathroom to be shared by everyone. What it might have been like if eight birders had all been trying to get ready in the morning, each one waiting to get into the bathroom, I can't imagine.

     There was not a lot of room for suitcases and other personal items, so since we were the only occupants we left ours out on the landing.

     We understood that Lorraine would not be there to prepare breakfast, but we had thought she might have left items, like muffins for example, in the freezer, but such was not to be the case, nor had she refunded any part of the price.
     The solarium was where we spent most of our time when we were "at home."

     I found it odd, creepy almost,  that there were bibles everywhere, and books for biblical study, and religious slogans and messages throughout.
     We were unable to find the WIFI code; fortunately we had Lorraine's mobile phone number and called her. She didn't know it, and had to call someone else, but she called us back and soon we were connected.
     We paid a visit to the local grocery store and bought cheese and Cesar salad for dinner, milk for coffee and cereal, and yogurt, and cold turkey slices and bagels for lunch the next day.
      Thank goodness we had use of the kitchen.

     There were feeders right outside the solarium and there was steady traffic, the most enchanting species from our standpoint being Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus). There will be pictures later.
     The bed was not especially comfortable, although not terrible. Beneath the mattress cover there was foam rubber, rather resembling an egg carton. Most nights, having been out all day, we slept soundly, however.
     Our adventures on Grand Manan were about to begin.
David M. Gascoigne,
David M. Gascoigne,

I'm a life long birder. My interests are birds, nature, reading, books, outdoors, travel, food and wine.


  1. Hi David.

    I enjoyed all the beauty you show.
    Delicious banana pancakes.
    What a special light fox.
    Beautiful the Butterflies, Ducks and Vogeks.
    Funny the Squirrel.
    Beautiful black and white bird.

    Beautiful part of the journey David..

    Greetings from Patricia.

  2. Le premier logement avec les bons petits déjeuners a dû bien vous manquer. C'est un très joli cadeau le cadre. Belles observations, les arbres et les lichens aussi sont sympas, les lichens ont toujours de jolies couleurs. Bonne journée

  3. I'm totally fan of Lynne and Darrell.

  4. Once again, your adventures lead you to see the best birds and other views. I think I would have just stayed the whole time at Lnn and Darrel's paradise, and watched birds on the TV. Sorry the second place was disapointing, although it looks great on the photos. BIG hugs, Valerie

  5. Maravillas de la Naturaleza, las que hoy nos has mostrado.
    Buenos alimentos has tenido, para reponer fuerzas.

  6. Hari OM
    Well, there is no doubting the standard at Baker Shore set the bar high for accomodation! What a change to find on Grand Manan. Still, I look forward to reading what delights the island offered you outside those somewhat unsettling walls! YAM xx

  7. Lynne and Darrell are exceptional hosts - and have recognised the two of you as exceptional guests. I am sure that your friendship will be long lasting.
    And thank you (so very much) for sharing the marvels of this trip.

  8. Your B/B experiences have been quite an adventure which have now rekindled similar ones which we visited whilst travelling around Nova Scotia - thank goodness that you met Lynne and Darrell.
    We stayed at a very quaint B/B near Digby Neck with hopes of being able to catch two small car ferries to Brier Island and go whale watching. My brother, his wife and ourselves had already begun breakfast when we were joined by another couple. The old lady owner returned, looked at the muffins on the table, and exclaimed "who has eaten Mary's blueberry muffin" the guilty person was me! It was a Sunday, and she was shocked that we would even consider catching an early morning ferry without attending the church first.

    1. Oh, you muffin stealer, you! We plan to check out Digby/Brier Island next year and Lynne has said she will help us with a B&B by using her connections.

  9. Espectacular reportaje sobre la Isla del Príncipe Eduardo, si pudiese me iría ahora mismo a ese maravilloso lugar. He disfrutado mucho con las fotos y leyéndote, gracias por compartir David. Un fuerte abrazo desde el norte de España.

  10. The breakfast table was so beautiful made. It must have been so nice to stay there.
    The colors in your kitchen are great, David. I'm very fond of mint green. Beautiful photo of the Blue Jay!
    Hugs and kisses, Marit

    1. If you happen to check back here, Marit, please look in your spam folder. I left a comment this morning, then followed up with a comment to tell you that it had disappeared. Now the second one has disappeared too! Hugs and kisses, David

    2. How strange, David. I will look after it.

  11. ...your trip certainly was fabulous. We miss travelling, I hope that we will feel comfortable soon.

    1. Better to avoid airports right now, though. There seems to be chaos the world over.

  12. Hello David,
    Beautiful photos from your trip. I love the views of the beach, gulls, dunes and lighthouse.
    Awesome captures of the Black & White Warbler. Your breakfast looks yummy. Baker Shore B&B looks and sounds fabulous. Take care, enjoy your day!

  13. Thanks for a fabulous reprise of your visit. I feel as though I were there.

  14. David you visit the most amazing places and then share with us through your gorgeous photos. I am so impressed with this place. The yellow legged bird is my favorite today. Thank you and have a lovely day.

  15. I’ve never seen the Yellowlegs this time of year until this year. The Black and White Warbler is a new one for me. I am looking in all the wrong places!

    1. There were at least three Black-and-white Warblers, Marie, plus American Redstart, Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Black-throated Green Warbler. There may well have been a Blackpoll Warbler too, but it flew before I was able to positively ID it.

  16. What a disappointment the second "B not B" turned out to be. I had to look at a map to see where Grand Manan Island was and where you got the ferry from. Looking forward to next installment.

  17. It is hard to go from a fantastic place to one that isn't quite as good. That's happened to us before, and it feels like a bigger let down than it is. I would be a little put off by the religious bits too. Maybe it was a good thing the owner was off to Alberta. I haven't been to Grand Manan, but I have been up along the US/Canada coast near there. It's really pretty. I'm trying to guess what birds you might be looking for, if anything special. I don't know if there are puffins on Grand Manan, but I do know they are found on Little Machias Island nearby. Hmm. Can't wait for the next installment. hugs-Erika

    1. There are puffins on Grand Manan, Erika, but we were a little early for them.

  18. Happy Thursday. Its always lovely visiting your blog. I luv birds.


  19. Excellent post and photos, David. Lynne and Darrell are getting such wonderful exposure through your blog. Great for them, they sound like the best hosts around.

    1. They deserve it, Bill - good people, hard working.

  20. Nada mejor que empezar con un buen desayuno. Así se cogen fuerzas para el día.Un gustazo leerte siempre. Porque conocemos especies que no vemos por donde vivimos. La playa estaba bien concurrida .
    Buen jueves David.
    Un abrazo

  21. Earlier I never saw Gadvalls, they were rare. Now it seems they are here to stay. Just two but still. It is good as everyeone else seem to be gone. :(

  22. The usual fabulous pictures. Thanks for another tout around PEI.

  23. Haha, Methuselah! Love it :)
    I've been enjoying your trip descriptions - you certainly had an incredible and diverse journey. Mxx

  24. Loved seeing what you both saw, the photos are good, enjoyed each and everyone along with the words.

  25. Hi David - great to see ... I get hungry when your tease us with your platters ... delightful photos always - and yes Methuselah ... fun to see - I loved that lichen. The burrs - reminded me of Hatley Castle Park, Vancouver Island with its oaks and burrs - enormous too. The Dunsmuirs - coal kings - Robert Dunsmuir being the patriarch - fascinating history of that part of the world. Thanks as always for enticing us to visit - I'd love to - cheers Hilary

  26. Looks like I might be able to comment! I do think the crow caught a frog. :) Love seeing all the critters and areas you visit, as always. :)

  27. What lovely breakfasts - and what a pity the second B&B was less satisfactory. I am very much enjoying reading about your travels.

  28. I have enjoyed this beautiful blog.
    What beautiful birds and the fox also beautiful to see.
    What a beautiful work of art you received!
    What a beautiful wooden house you stayed.


  29. Such a lovely breakfast to start off the day. Wonderful sightings of fox, birds, chipmunks and others. As always, very interesting post.

  30. I too, like Miriam's photo of the view through the window! And the Black and White Warbler is a stunning little bird, as are Miriam's pictures. I hope to visit these beautiful trails you have described.

  31. Your first B & B in this post must have been a joy. First the crepes, then the lovely art the owners gave you. Sadly, that same thing can't be said at Lorraine's. I doubt I would want to stay there again. However, it looks like you found some incredible birds along the way.

  32. I love that print and the quote. What a lovely, thoughtful gift! I must say that the second house is lovely. Too bad about the lack of food. But, 1 bathroom? I don't think so. LOL. I love that Bluejay. Gorgeous color! Gigi Hawaii

    1. The house was in fact very nice, in need of a little maintenance here and there, but certainly very pleasant. However, it was not too much to expect that, having paid the full tariff for a bed and breakfast, that food might have been provided to prepare ourselves, and the WIFI code could have been left for us. If we had not been able to contact the owner, we would have been out of touch for a week. In a way it is rather like going into a restaurant and being told to bring your own food, but feel free to use the kitchen to cook it yourself, and then clean up afterwards, and at the end having to pay the full price for a meal from the menu, served at the table.

  33. Venía a darte las gracias por el amable comentaro que has dejado en mi blog, y veo que el que dejé ayer no ha salido.
    Ayer te comentémás o menos esto. No hay nada mejor que coger fuerzas con un buen almuerzo para pasar un día estupendo con amigos y si se está haciendo lo que más gusta disfrutar de la naturaleza mejor.
    También te daba las gracias por enseñarnos especies que nunca vemos donde vivimos y así las vamos conociendo.
    Gracia de nuevo David. Que paséis un buen fin de semana.
    Espero que el comentario no se vuelva a perder.

  34. So many gorgeous birds, David, and I appreciate how you identify them and other living things! I used to roll down those dunes when I was a little girl. Now I'm more environmentally evolved. Have a good weekend!

  35. Birds and Blooms must have come as a bit of a shock after Baker Shore, David. I can imagine the chaos there might have been if she'd given the same permission to other couples to use the place at the same time as you while she was away.

    How handsome is that Black-and-White Warbler!

    Take good care - - - Richard

  36. Beautiful photographs from your trip.
    Lynne and Darrell are exceptional.

    All the best Jan

  37. You found far more than beautiful birds. You found beautiful friends in Lynne and Darrell. The second place, though, does sound rather unsatisfactory, especially with no food in the fridge and no refund!

  38. The B&B with Lynne as Darrell as hosts seems to be a total gems. Being guinea pigs for such delicious looking crepes is certainly nice. It looks like every morning you got a different kind of breakfast. I'm sorry that the second place was more disappointing; it looks nice but sounds a bit odd. But oh! those photos of the birds! They are excellent and I truly enjoy them. I agree with your feelings about the beach - what would it be without the gulls? While I have trouble telling them apart (maybe I should try more), I always enjoy their cries, flight patterns and sassyness. The trails you walked look lovely - something I would love to walk along as well. Maybe one day. Thank you for taking us along.

  39. David - another fine post of your ongoing adventure. Especially liked the fox and the Black and White Warbler - spectacular plumage, indeed!

  40. Hi David,
    The quality of a B&B can differ a lot as you have noticed. What a brilliant start you had! A pity that you had to make a step backwards with the second one. Nature on the other hand hasn't disappointed you , looking at the pictures. Anyway, it is always a pleasure to travel and see other environments compared with surroundings at home.
    Greetings, Kees

  41. Hello David,

    I am sure it feels great to be able to travel again, you picked a pretty place to visit. The first B&B sounds wonderful, with delicious breakfast. Awesome collection of birds, butterflies and flowers. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  42. The wonderful breakfasts at your first B&B are an incredible contrast to the second place, where you were given nothing whatsoever for your money! You lead one to the conclusion that renting a B&B is very unpredictible!

    But the birds all look good.

    best... mae at

  43. So much to take in from banana crepes to golden fox to black and white-and-white warblers to King Fishers to Spring Azure Butterflies and Burls and, and, and ... so wonderful to travel with you David. I not only learn, I enjoy ... Thank you for the tour :)

    Andrea @ From the Sol

  44. How nice to have the art as a gift and reminder of your visit. And I love the photo Miriam took of the view through the window. Of course you saw some neat birds like the black and white warbler. But before I end...I LOVE your Welcome with the profile pic! Very nice!

  45. I especially liked the quotation included in the gift you received: "The bird who dares to fall is the bird who learns to fly." I was intrigued by the dunes, too, and pleased to see that care is being taken to preserve them. They are such delicate structures, and easily destroyed. On the other hand, I've been watching some here that were hurricane-damaged two years ago rebuilding themselves. As soon as I have more photos, I'll be doing a post.

  46. What a beautiful account of your trip.
    Delicious the pancakes in the second photo.
    Beautiful this fox and also beautiful birds that you do not see here in the Netherlands.
    In short, I have enjoyed your blog again.
    Greetings Irma

  47. Love the gift you got and cherish!
    Oh, and the ocean pics! And Peanut´s Cousins.
    Thank you, your post made me smile (and a bit hungry).

  48. Dear Methus... uh, David ;-)!
    I imagine it wasn't easy trading the delicious breakfast at Baker Shore for Bed & No Breakfast at Birds and Blooms. Today I learned a new English term from you - at first I wondered why you are guinea pigs, until I had your text translated and found out that it is also the word for "Versuchskaninchen" ... (that's what we call it in German... Versuch = experiment; Kaninchen = rabbit). Your animal sightings were amazing again - and YES, chipmunks ARE cute! :-D I also really like the black and white wood warbler - a handsome guy! And I also think the crow got an unlucky frog. The picture Lynne and Darrell gave you goes really well with your kitchen decor. Now I'm curious if it was worth leaving the B&B of the two and traveling on to Grand Manan!
    Have a good new week!
    (Antique ;-)) Traude

  49. The banana pancakes look delicious!....and your pictures are very poetic to me. In particular, I like the one that it is a "window to the nature". It was good that you could handle the second B&B. Not always we have what we expect; however, we have to deal with challenges!........Abrazotes, Marcela

  50. Wow, so many fine critters! Thanks for sharing.

  51. A most enjoyable post, David.

    The banana pancakes look amazing!

    Happy Monday!

  52. Siempre deseando ver tus reportajes, me encantan. Esperando el siguiente. Un abrazo para los dos.

  53. Enjoying getting a taste of PEI through your eyes, Looking forward to reading about this next part of your adventure.

  54. Oh, I see. I read part 5 first and so didn't understand that you had decamped from PEI. I thought the breakfast on part 5 was skimpy compared to what you had been getting. Now I know why. I too find it a bit creepy when people have so much religious stuff on display in their houses. I really enjoyed the pictures of the coast with the pale sky, water and sand and the gulls. Do you get pelicans up there? As for the crow, if not a frog perhaps a cricket.

  55. I am delighted with your photos. I admire beautiful birds and animals. I guess it was a great, unforgettable trip. The breakfasts were appetizing and served beautiful.
    Thank you very much for letting me see it all!
    Have a nice weekend:)

  56. LOL @ Old Methuslah posing there, that was great! The art piece that Lynne and Darrell gave you is so lovely! That was very nice. Those breakfasts are divine! You take beautiful photos of the birds David and Miriam! I have never been to Grand Manan, looking forward to the next post! Black's Harbour is only about 2 hours drive from here, we should plan an overnight mini vacation. I remember all of the foxes on P.E.I., they were so beautiful to see!

  57. Hi David, What a great journey and nice place to be! The pancakes , look delicious!.
    I have searched on google the name Julia Zarankin. because of the beatyful inspiring text at the top of your post., Again beautiful encounters and nice images!
    Give my regards tot Miriam

  58. A lovely quote by Julia Zarankin. I can relate.

    Interesting information on the foxes of Prince Edward Island. I didn't know their colours could vary.

    What a lovely gift to receive from Lynne and Darrell. Perfect for birders.

    It's wonderful to see the bird life in plentiful numbers there. It's hard to tell what the crow has in its beak but I can see where it might be a frog or nesting material. I like to think it's the latter.

    Oh yes, I adore gulls! Always a joy to see them when we visit the beach. Do they have pelicans on Prince Edward Island? I do love pelicans.

    The Black and White Warblers are quite stunning. The Blue Jay is beautiful! All the bird pictures are beautiful!

    Nice shot of the Belted Kingfisher. We have the Sacred Kingfisher in these parts. Did you know that the Kookaburra is part of the Kingfisher family?

    Good to hear that a Hummingbird did make an appearance.

    Agreed — chipmunks are very cute! We don't get them here sadly but we do have Sugar Gliders (tiny possums) which are also very cute.

    How nice that you were still able to stay at Birds and Blooms B&B. How chaotic the morning mayhem would have been if other birders were staying there too. Lucky that you had the place to yourselves.

    The house looked really nice, especially the solarium. All the religious paraphernalia a bit too much for me. I guess Lorraine is deeply religious.

    Those eggshell mattress toppers are supposed to be better for air-flow and easing pressure points. My ex used to swear by them. I don't use them myself.

    I'm looking forward to reading Part 5 of your trip...

  59. There are no pelicans on PEI, Serena - unfortunately. And yes, I did know that a Laughing Kookaburra, and the other kookaburras are kingfishers. Laughing Kookaburra is in fact the world's largest kingfisher. Sacred Kingfisher was the first Australian Kingfisher I ever saw, in the ACT.

  60. hello David
    what would be worse, bad beds or bad food? I would vote for bad beds because in this case we hadn't slept a good night... nice amount on your part
    Greetings Frank


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We acknowledge that the land on which we are situated are the lands traditionally used by the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral People. We also acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws, and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today. We are all treaty people with a responsibility to honour all our relations.