I have heard that it is something of an unwritten rule that if you haven't seen a Dovekie then you aren't really a Newfoundland birder. Well, I waited a long time for that event. Maybe I have now crossed the track into the land of real birders.
It was on November 4, 2011 when another birder and I took a jaunt to Renews to see the Western Kingbird, a new life bird for me. That was successful and we had time to spare so we went to Bear Cove Point Road where we connected with yet another birder from Goulds. We birded the road together and on the way in we didn't have much luck. When we reached the lighthouse, we heard but didn't see many birds. Then, while peering off the point into the waters, Catherine Barrett spotted the Dovekie. In moments I had my binoculars on it and was pretty excited. At last.... my first Dovekie! Thanks Catherine.
This is the smallest auk and is only about 7 to 9" long. It is pretty easy to identify because of its size and it appears to have no neck. This one is now in its winter plumage and was all alone. Like most sea birds it is very difficult to get a picture because of the distance. Nevertheless, I did walk away with record shots of this great little bird.
That brought my total for the day to two "life" birds. An unexpected sighting such as this is always a thrill!