Text & images by Janet Wallace
The mudflats at Mary’s Point are filled with visitors every summer. Millions of shorebirds arrive at the Upper Bay of Fundy from late July to early September. In their layover in the midst of their annual journey from the Canadian Arctic to South America, semipalmated sandpipers refuel by consuming invertebrates, particularly ‘mud shrimp’ (Corophium volutator). The flocks of tens of thousands of birds attract its own visitors—humans who come to watch the spectacle and peregrine falcons which come to prey upon the shorebirds. And spectacular it is, with thousands of birds wind their way through the sky, twisting and twirling as though the massive flock is one entity.
If you miss the sight of the flocks, you can get a sense of the magnitude of this phenomenon by watching the videos and seeing the pictures at the new Shorebird Discovery Centre at 415 Mary’s Point Road, Harvey. The centre provides an opportunity to learn more about the birds and in late July and August, there will be interpretative programs for children and adults. The Shorebird Discovery Centre was developed with funding from the federal Connecting Canadians to Nature Initiative. The Centre is part of the Shepody National Wildlife Area, which encompasses the Germantown Marsh, Mary’s Point, and New Horton sections that are situated on and adjacent to Chignecto and Shepody Bays.
For more information, see www.connectingalbertcounty.org/environment/the-pipers-are-coming-the-pipers-are-coming, www.connectingalbertcounty.org/wellness/shorebirds-of-fundy ,