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New habitat protected for World Shorebirds Day 2017

NCC celebrated World Shorebirds Day by doing what it does best, conserving land.

On Sept 6 Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) announced the protection of an additional 13 hectares (32 acres) of critical migratory stopover habitat at NCC’s Johnson’s Mills Shorebird Reserve.  The reserve is located in the Shepody Bay section of the Bay of Fundy Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network Site (WHSRN). This good news for shorebirds was announced at a celebration hosted by staff and volunteers at NCC’s rustic interpretive centre.  The event was attended by over 40 friends and partners from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada– a joyous occasion complete with a BBQ.

Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Shorebird Interpretive Centre Photo: B. Coates

Speakers at the event included NCC’s conservation representative Denise Roy, Deputy Mayor of the Village of Dorchester Robert Hickman, local MLA Bernard LeBlanc and acting director for Canadian Wildlife Service – Atlantic Region (ECCC), Garry Donaldson and myself. The celebration also commemorated the 30th anniversary of Shepody Bay’s WHSRN designation, and NCC gratefully accepted a certificate presented by Donaldson from WHSRN’s director Robert Clay.

Road sign posted at Johnson’s Mills, designed with help from Laura Chamberlin, WHSRN executive office.

A much quieter part of our World Shorebirds Day celebration was the 4th annual global count, conducted simultaneously by observers at all three of the most important roosting beaches in Shepody Bay: Mary’s Point, Hopewell Rocks, and Johnson’s Mills. The result of our high tide observations were shared with the world via ebird.

NCC’s World Shorebirds Day event also coincided with closing day for the Johnson’s Mills interpretive centre. Most of the celebration took place on the observation deck, overlooking a blanket of thousands of roosting Semipalmated Sandpipers and the highest tides in the world.  On display inside was the “Connecting People through Shorebirds” friendship quilt.  The quilt was provided by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and will travel across North America to inspire people to help shorebirds.  It was a great season and we hope the birds that we helped survive will find “space to roost” at the Wia Wia Nature Reserve in Surinam and elsewhere in South America. We look forward to celebrating World Shorebirds Day again next year, perhaps at the Minas Basin section of the Bay of Fundy WHSRN site.  Now, we must get back to what we do best, land conservation.

Roosting Semipalmated Sandpipers.

Local Artist, C. Settle & B. Estabrook with Friendship Quilt.

Peeps & Good Tides.

Kerry Lee Morris-Cormier Shorebird Interpretive Centre/ Centre d’interprétation des oiseaux de rivage Nature Conservancy of Canada | Conservation de la Nature Canada 2724 Route 935 Johnson’s Mills, NB T: 902.694.9159 506.379.6347 |

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