We awoke to a light drizzle in St. John's this morning, and after a quick breakfast were picked by Jared. The drive to Cape St. Mary's takes about 2.5 hours, and provides some beautiful views. As we left St. John's the highway took us through a stretch of Boreal forest dominated by white and black spruce, balsam first, and tamarack and dotted with small lakes. We passed Hawk Hills, the highest point on the Avalon Peninsula at 310 m. We also saw areas scraped clean by glaciers, which left behind fields of erratic, scanned upland bogs for signs of birds or caribou, enjoyed panoramic views out over Harricott Bay, and of course marvelled at the eastern hyper-oceanic barrens where Cape St Mary's is located.
We stopped around half way to the reserve for a short break and walk along the Salmon River near St. Catherine 's. After crossing a picaresque concrete bridge, we took a short stroll down a forested gravel path which gave us some fantastic views of Boreal songbirds.
|Salmon River, St. Catherine's, NL|
Among the highlights was a pair of Boreal Chickadees that hung out in plain view for a while on their way to feed their young. Boreal Chickadees are residents of the Boreal forest, and are highly dependent on black spruce for nesting sites. Preserving Canada's Boreal forest from coast to coast is very important for the continued survival of this endearing species and many others.
|Eastern hyper-oceanic barrens|
|Cape St. Mary's Interpretive Center|
|Northern Gannet colony on Bird Rock|