Bird Watching

The Municipality of Barrington is home to the best birding destinations in Eastern Canada.

coastal birdwatchingDaniel's Head (South Side) Beach and The Hawk beach, named after a ship that was wrecked there, is one of the prime birding destinations in Shelburne County, and possibly the best birding site in Eastern Canada, accessible by foot. Both sites have been designated Important Bird Areas. Situated across a short channel from "The Hawk" at the southern tip of Cape Sable Island lies Cape Sable itself, a three-mile-long sand island crowned with Nova Scotia’s tallest lighthouse.

Cape Sable Island

The Cape Sable Island area features an unparalleled diversity of birds, especially during spring and fall migration. Hawks, warblers, sea ducks, even falcons and owls are regulars, and numerous rare and accidental sightings make this location exceptional. And there is great pelagic birding as well - shearwaters, jaegars, dovekies, fulmars, petrels and even puffins are seen on a regular basis, in some instances, in large numbers.

Check out Mark Dennis' E-Book - Cape Sable Island: A Birding Site Guide


lighhouseThe picnic area near the lighthouse at Baccaro Point is a spectacular setting for watching the large rafts of eiders, scoters, old squaws and even brants that gather in Barrington Bay. The foghorn can be loud, so be wary.

Just 3 kilometres up the road is Crows Neck Beach. Sandwiched between the ocean on one side, a salt marsh on the other, and ending in a small wooded headland, the area provides a variety of habitats.


heronThe next peninsula to the east called Blanche ends in a complex system of beach walls, gravel spits, islands, wooded headlands and ponds. Once again, the great variety of habitat makes for some terrific birding in scenic surroundings. And like many birding destinations in Shelburne County, the location is crowned by a lighthouse, in this case, on a set of islands called "The Salvages".

Bon Portage Island

birdBon Portage Island is also a popular birding destination. Bon Portage is located just off of the fishing village of Shag Harbour. Black-Crowned Night-Heron nest here as well as the Leach’s Storm Petrel. Many other species have been seen here, especially from August to October. A visit to the island can be arranged through local fishermen or with the Nova Scotia Bird Society, which organizes several trips to the island each year.

blue jay owl

All Photos courtesy of Marsha Bateman except the first one.

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