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Renowned naturalist and birder Greg Stroud is returning home to Newfoundland to lead a bird-themed Newfoundland Adventure excursion in July 2018. Greg’s friends and folks interested in a birding vacation featuring puffins, shearwaters, thick-billed murres, northern gannets, kittiwakes, terns, and a great assortment of woodland and coastal land birds are encouraged to pre-register by dropping us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Greg to experience some of the world’s most dramatic seabird colonies in high season. The world’s largest gathering of humpback whales and a distinctive diversity of coastal and forest wildlife add to the adventure.
Our Sundays are a day of arrival. Look for Greg or one of the Wildland crew at the airport. Many guests enjoy taking some time to check out the walking routes and historic plaques near our well-situated downtown hotel. The downtown St. John’s restaurant scene has become world-famous. If you want to arrange that special evening meal in one or more of the famous restaurants on Monday, Friday, or Saturday nights you may need to make a reservation several weeks in advance. There are lots of reasonably priced dining options in the St. John’s downtown that don’t require reservations. Usually we have an informal meeting in the hotel lobby at 7:00 p.m. but the plan for today is to reach St. John’s and to be ready to depart the hotel at 0830 on Monday Morning.
Today we visit North America’s largest puffin colony. Greg and our ship’s crew will show you breeding common murres, thick-billed murres, northern fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes, the world’s biggest sea gull, and folks with sharp eyes or powerful lenses will likely get some seabird chick photos too. After a delicious local lunch, Greg will work with the weather to take in some of our coastal trails and villages looking for warblers….and whales and shearwaters from the coastal headlands.
Today we say farewell to St. John’s and travel the Irish Loop passing through numerous scenic communities while Greg shares local tales of the Mayflower’s first New World port call and Titanic’s last messages. The route features nesting arctic terns, pelagic seabird watching from the land (yes….we can do that here), delicious beach vegetation, and (usually) humpback whales lungefeeding less than a stone’s throw from the beach. Moose and caribou and Northern harriers are other likely sightings today.
You will always remember your time with Greg at the continent’s third largest gannet colony. Roger Tory Peterson made this site the subject for chapter one of his early Wild America classic and since that time it has been widely recognized as one of our planet’s most dramatic marine wonders. Before this 20th century recognition by the world’s nature-loving community, our famous cape had been celebrated locally in myth and song for centuries. We travel there after breakfast because it is the wonderfully accessible breeding ground for tens of thousands of seabirds including the world’s most southerly thick-billed murres. We get great views of gannets, kittiwakes, and murres with their eggs and/or chicks. In season — usually mid-July — we sometimes enjoy some of the world’s finest land-based whale watching as the high seacliffs allow us to watch the whales cavort around their northern coastal feeding grounds. After lunch we explore Placentia, the first outpost of New France. We also show off our secret orchid patch and look for moose. The evening’s destination is the Trinity/Bonavista/Port Union area. Our route to the coast features a moose and black bear hunt (with cameras only). Some years we enjoy a 90 per cent or higher success rate at finding moose over the week, but bears are much more elusive. These hunts are always fun!
This morning we go to sea again to enjoy more of the ocean’s wonders as we look for bald eagles and watch for whales. In 2007, Wildland Tours discovered that sperm whales are consistently found during the summer in a portion of Trinity Bay and we will look out for them and other whale species. In early July 2015 all three jaegars made our trip lists on this zodiac adventure and we have our fingers crossed for this 2017 excursion. Our afternoon will feature more of what makes this area so special — trails, moose, osprey, songbirds, dramatic vistas, orchids, shore-birds, and numerous small museums and interpretation centres. Greg grew up in this region and we will look to the wind, the weather, and his suggestions for our afternoon and evening. One of Greg’s goals is to find Willow Ptarmigan, grey-cheeked thrush, boreal chickadee, spruce grouse and some other distinctive boreal birds during his time in the region.
Today Greg leads us through the trails and towns of the historic Bonavista/Trinity region. Songbirds, shorebirds, and more whales usually add to the day’s photographic wonders. Call in at nearby coastal settlements to learn more about Newfoundland’s unique cultures and flavours before returning to St. John’s for the evening. Enjoy Friday and Saturday night out on the town in North America’s first city. Greg and our St. John’s crew will provide lots of suggestions about local theatre, entertainment, fine dining, and culture. Enjoy!
Today we start at North America’s most easterly point, and further explore the trails, museums, birding sites, and attractions of historic St. John’s. Cape Spear is considered the “vagrant” capital of Canada….local birders often come equipped with a Field Guide to the Birds of Europe. While we cannot promise a bird for your record books, you will be able to state that you stood at the beginning of North America…or the end….depending upon your point of view. We also try to fit in another dramatic wildlife watching boat trip to look for more puffins and whales. Tonight we say farewell to Greg and our driver and prepare for a Saturday Night in the old harbour city. When Black Beard walked the downtown streets over 200 years ago, he had the bartenders mix gun powder with his rum. That beverage isn’t on any recent menu but there will be music, fresh seafood, and lots of choices for your leisure time this evening.
Included: Accommodations in fine quality local hotels; Greg Stroud as our experienced naturalist host; all breakfasts and lunches; all admissions; ground and boat transportation; airport pick-up and drop-off. This is a comfortable vacation featuring the exclusive and informed hosting that goes with our smaller group sizes (maximum 18 guests).
Not Included: Transportation to and/or from Newfoundland. You are on your own for evening meals and there are many delicious choices available. Physical Requirements: You need to be able to enjoy an hour of slow-to-moderate paced walking over uneven trails and paths to fully participate in this vacation experience.
Other: Meals are a highlight and feature Newfoundland specialties such as bakeapple tarts and partridgeberry pies. We will meet you at the airport. The order of planned events may be changed to accommodate the weather or other unavoidable circumstances….or to accommodate unexpected wildlife or rare bird sightings.
Terms and Conditions: *These are the per person prices. 15 per cent Canada/Newfoundland Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is not included. Non Canadians receive a FCTIP tax credit on their invoice from us and thus actually pay only 7.5% HST.