Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Farewell to Nova Scotia

Farewell to Nova Scotia
And your sea bound coast
Let your mountains dark and dreary be
When I am far away on the
Briney oceans tossed
Will you ever heave a sigh
Or a wish for me

The sun is setting in the west
The birds are singing from every tree
All nature seems inclinded to rest
But still there will be
No rest for me

                The Irish Rovers

As we board the Holiday Island ferry headed to Prince Edward Island, and we watch the beautiful coast of Nova Scotia recede into the distance, it feels almost surreal. We've walked across our second province!

During the 52 days we spent on Cape Breton Island and mainland Nova Scotia we identified and recorded 92 bird species, bringing the total number of bird species we've logged on our cross Canada hike to 127. We visited three Important Bird Areas on mainland Nova Scotia, and came within 20 km of four others on Cape Breton Island.

We also admired tall coastal cliffs, walked 'mountains,' enjoyed waterfalls, traversed rivers, discovered skerlie, and listened to Celtic music on Cape Breton Island. We enjoyed the rolling hills, rustic agricultural landscapes, sandy beaches, tidal marshes, and wetlands of Nova Scotia.

In this province we visited seven National Historic Sites, one National Park, six provincial parks, two UNESCO sites, seven museums, and two wildlife parks. We walked ten gorgeous Trailway systems, found six Great Trail Treasure boxes, and saw the world's largest fiddle and the world's biggest mastodon. The Great Trail also took us to several of Nova Scotia's Treasured Wetlands, Heritage Rivers, Wilderness Areas, and Nature Reserves. We visited a world famous surfing beach and the world's largest open pit Gypsum mine, experienced the Tidal Bore and watched the world's highest tides coming in on the Bay of Fundy, stood at a point that was halfway between the equator and the north pole, and at another spot where one foot was on rock originating in Africa and the other on rock from North America. To top it off we survived post-tropical storm Erin and post-tropical cyclone Dorian. This was one amazing province, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing it and sharing our experiences.


As we continue on to Prince Edward Island, we'd like to thank Parks Canada for giving us the opportunity to do two presentations in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and to Robert, Miranda, and very especially Kirsti for making it happen. We'd also like to thank the Musquodoboit Trailways Association for hosting a talk, and Susan, Mary, and John for helping and hosting us in Musquodoboit Harbour. Thank you to Holly, Michael and the Cole Harbour Trailways Association for hosting our talk and bird walk in Cole Harbour. We'd also like to thank Soren and the Blomidon Naturalist Group for organizing the talk at Acadia University, and Soren and Pia for hosting us in Wolfville. Thank you also to Katie, Shar, and Richard for organizing the bird talk and walk in Annapolis Royal, and to Jane for organizing the talk in Keji that was cancelled due to Dorian. Thank you to Haley for giving us the opportunity to present at Mountain Equipment Co-op in Halifax, and finally thank you to Laura from Bird Studies Canada for putting us in contact with all the fantastic groups we met along the way. Thank you to all the enthusiastic people who attended our talks, and to everyone you helped us along the way.

Thank you Nova Scotia - it has been a pleasure!


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