NeilyWorld  Birding Annapolis Valley - Port George - Cottage Cove


PORT GEORGE - COTTAGE COVE

Spring: **  Summer: *  Fall: **  Winter: ****

        Directions to this Site: If you are coming from the east (say Halifax), take exit 18A from Highway 101 and turn right or north on Victoria Road. Travel 1.0 km NNW to Spa Springs Road (Highway 362) and turn left or WSW on it. Follow Spa Springs Road 1.1 km to the T-junction at Gates Mountain Road (aka Commercial Street, Middleton) and turn right or NNW onto it. Follow Gates Mountain Road 3.3 km to Shore Road East and turn left or WSW on it. Proceed 2.1 km west, to the community of Port George. The shoreline can be viewed from the road from here to Cottage Cove, 1.8 km to the southwest.
        If you are coming from the west (say Yarmouth), take exit 19 from Highway 101. Turn left or NNW onto Elliot Road and proceed 1.5 km to Clarence Road. Turn right or ENE on Clarence Road and go 2.4 km to the Mount Hanley Road. Turn left or NNW on it and drive 4.6 km to Shore Road East. Turn right or northwest onto it and drive 300 metres to Cottage Cove. The shoreline can be viewed from the road from here to Port George, 1.8 km to the northeast.
Location Map of the Port George - Cottage Cove area
Location Map of the Port George - Cottage Cove area
         Site Description and Birding Information: The Port George to Cottage Cove shoreline is one of the few sections of the Fundy shore where the road parallels the shoreline close enough to facilitate birding for any distance, in this case nearly 2 kilometres. On the left, as you approach the shore from the Cottage Cove end, is the old wharf. You can get off the road here and view both directions from the wharf from the shelter of your vehicle or walk out along the wharf to get a closer look at the water (assuming you are careful and it is maintained - it has been upgraded since this picture). A spotting scope will be useful here.
Cottage Cove wharf on Nov. 28, 2018 - Larry Neily
Cottage Cove wharf on Nov. 28, 2018 - Larry Neily
Cottage Cove looking northeast from the wharf - Larry Neily
Cottage Cove looking northeast from the wharf - Larry Neily
         Just 200 metres beyond the road entrance to the wharf is the western entry to the tiny Cottage Cove Provincial Picnic Park. The east end of this park is an ideal spot for viewing the entire shoreline toward Port George. Just off the park is the local seal haulup, a rocky outcrop exposed when the tide goes out (you can see one in the last photo - at the end of the rainbow). The tides are important to note here as there is as much as a ten metre difference between high and low tides. At low tide the water is much, much farther away than at high tide. Viewing opportunities are limited along the roadway toward Port George. Of course, you can pull off to the side as much as possible and stop briefly to scan. Just be aware of the dangers posed by occasional traffic. There are, however, a few spots where you can get off the road completely, some even appear to be public areas.
Harlequin Ducks at Port George - Dec. 20, 2012 - Larry Neil
Harlequin Ducks at Port George - Dec. 20, 2012 - Larry Neil
Purple Sandpiper at Port George on Dec. 5, 2017 - Larry Neily
Purple Sandpiper at Port George on Dec. 5, 2017 - Larry Neily

         The main attraction here birdwise is the presence of winter specialties such as Purple Sandpipers and Harlequin Ducks, both seen annually in small flocks. The Purple Sandpipers can be found anywhere along the shoreline, but are hard to find until they fly. If you walk along the shore, you often do not see them until they flush (sometimes only a few feet away). The Harlequin Ducks are almost always seen near the shore, diving in the breaking waves, usually near a fresh water outflow. They are usually found toward the Port George end of the shore strip discussed here, but sometimes near the wharf. Among nmany other seabirds, alcids are often seen, sometimes just offshore. As you can see from the photo caption, Razorbills are sometimes present in summer.
Thick-billed Murre at Port George on Jan. 18, 2019 - Larry Neily
Thick-billed Murre at Port George on Jan. 18, 2019 - Larry Neily
Common Murre at Port George on Sep, 2, 2017 - Larry Neily
Common Murre at Port George on Sep, 2, 2017 - Larry Neily
Razorbill at Port George on Jul, 7, 2022 - Larry Neily
Razorbill at Port George on Jul, 7, 2022 - Larry Neily
         Many other water birds can be found offshore, sometimes quite close like the Harlequins, but often beyond binocular range into spotting scope territory. Common and Red-throated Loons, Horned and Red-necked Grebes, Long-tailed Duck, Common Eider, White-winged and Surf Scoters and Red-breasted Merganser are all regular in winter. Less common are Black Scoter and occasional alcids, most likely of which is the Razorbill, though any other East Coast alcid is possible. Gulls, which are often found loafing on the shore or water, run almost entirely to Herring and Great Black-backed, with Ring-bills beginning to appear occasionally in more recent years, and more rarely Lesser Black-backed and Iceland. Double-crested Cormorants are seen regularly in the spring, summer and fall, while Great Cormorant is a fairly rare winter visitor, often roosting on the rocks at the NE end of the visible shore. Watch for Common Ravens and Bald Eagles flying over.

Return to Birding Annapolis County's Annapolis County Birding Site Map.

Return to NeilyWorld NeilyWorld.


Copyright 2000 - 2023     Larry E. Neily
Last update:  Dec. 16, 2022