Cape St. Mary’s Encore

Cape St. Mary's, Newfoundland

At Cape St. Mary’s, Newfoundland, August 2013.

I’m back at the Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve in my mind.  This photo shows Northern Gannets and Kittiwakes on tiered rock.  The expanse of ocean, rock and huge numbers of birds created exuberance in many of us there.  Indeed, while setting out for Bird Rock, we came upon 2 people from England returning from the walk.  We talked for a few minutes, as people often do in natural settings. The man told us that he is a volcano watcher and has been to see some fantastic volcanoes. Nevertheless, he said, what he had just witnessed at the Cape had been the greatest natural experience of his life.  Later, I would have the same feelings.

Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve, Newfoundland

Cape St. Mary's

The sheep at Cape St. Mary’s, on the way to Bird Rock, August 2013

In August we went to the Ecological Reserve at Cape St. Mary’s in Newfoundland. This was the most intense and positive experience of nature I have ever had.  It shocks me to even be able to narrow down all the wonderful experiences in nature that I have had, but there it is. It was an extremely windy day, as I gather it usually is. Fog is also very common here. We saw it dissipating over the water as we walked over the barren’s grass, past grazing sheep, near orange stakes that guided us and kept us from venturing too close to the cliffs.

Cape St. Mary's

Northern Gannets at Bird Rock, Cape St. Mary’s, Newfoundland, August 2013

Cape St. Mary's

Bird Rock with nesting gannets, Cape St. Mary’s, August 2013

This reserve is known for its spectacular views of seabirds who nest on Bird Rock, 10 – 20 metres from the viewing area which is the edge of a cliff.  The majority of the birds we saw were northern gannets, but we also saw black-legged kittiwakes and other visitors saw murres.  There are over 50,000 birds nesting at the reserve–an amazing sight as they flew with grace near us or sat on the rocks with their young.

Cape St. Mary's

Northern Gannet, Cape St. Mary’s, August 2013

Cape St. Mary's

Northern Gannet, Cape St. Mary’s, Newfoundland, Canada, August 2013

The entire site is beautiful in a haunting way, what with the fog, 100 metre high cliffs descending to the ocean, the lighthouse in the distance and fog horn sounding.  I also enjoyed the nearly level walk to Bird Rock with grass and low lying plants stretching out before us. It reminded me a bit of the prairies.

Cape St. Mary's

Looking back at the Interpretive Centre and Light House, Cape St. Mary’s, August 2013