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South Shore - East Queens Co. Sector (NS024)

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South Shore - East Queens Co. Sector (NS024)

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Latitude 44.207°N
Longitude 64.440°W
Altitude 0 - 5m
Area 49.01km²

Site Description

This site encompasses sections of the southern coast of south-central Nova Scotia between the towns of Bridgewater and Liverpool. The site covers Cap Bay, Crescent, Green Bay, Broad Cove, Cherry Hill and Beach Meadows beaches, which are favoured sites for Piping Plovers. Some of these sandy beaches back onto tidal lagoons, which are dry at low tide. Rocky coastlines with steep headlands are located between the beaches, but most of these areas provide little shelter for wintering birds. These headlands enclose some small, and one large bay. The climate is maritime, and the tides range from 3 to 5 m.

Birds

This site supports significant numbers of breeding Piping Plovers, which are globally vulnerable and nationally endangered. In 1996, six birds, or just over 1% of the estimated Atlantic Canada population (estimated at 422 adults) were recorded at this site. In 1991, 14 birds, or about 3% of the estimated Atlantic Canada population at that time, were found on this stretch of the south shore.

During fall migration, thousands of shorebirds visit this piece of coastline. Maritimes Shorebird Survey (MSS) volunteers have surveyed Crescent Beach and Cherry Hill Beach since 1975. Volunteers count shorebirds every second weekend during the period of southward migration from late July to late October. MSS fall counts recorded a three-year average (1994,1996,1997) of 2,199 Semipalmated Plovers, which is more than 1% of this species global population. An average of 68 Willets (1994-1997) were recorded by fall MSS counts and 619 Sanderlings were recorded in 1980.

In the spring and fall, thousands of migrating waterfowl visit this site, but the numbers do not reach the national significance threshold of 10,000 birds. The occasional Harlequin Duck from the nationally endangered eastern population winters here.

Conservation Issues

Piping Plovers and other shorebirds are monitored at a minimum of three beaches at this site. Birding is also a frequent activity. In some areas, summer homes are beginning to encroach on Piping Plover habitat. The nearby beaches attract people who may in turn, inadvertently diminish the plovers breeding success.

IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status
Semipalmated Plover
Number Year Season
1,3602012Summer
1,3002011Fall
1,3002008Fall
1,150 - 1,2502006Fall
2,8502002Fall
1,150 - 1,3502001Fall
1,7001999Fall
2,199 - 2,7001996Fall
1,3501994Fall
Black-headed Gull
Number Year Season
302003Winter
82001Winter
42001Fall
501999Winter
41998Winter
Dovekie
Number Year Season
552004Winter
122000Winter
131999Winter
101994Winter
91991Winter
101990Winter
Purple Sandpiper
Number Year Season
3002000Winter
Piping Plover
Number Year Season
72017Fall
4 - 62016Summer
4 - 52016Spring
4 - 62015Spring
42014Fall
7 - 122014Summer
62013Fall
62013Summer
7 - 92010Fall
6 - 142010Summer
122009Spring
10 - 282008Summer
4 - 62008Spring
7 - 102007Summer
4 - 112007Spring
7 - 112006Summer
42006Spring
42005Fall
9 - 142005Summer
4 - 92004Summer
42004Spring
5 - 102003Summer
51998Summer
61996Summer
61992Summer
141991Summer
5 - 111990Fall
71990Summer
Savannah Sparrow
Number Year Season
25 - 302017Summer
252017Spring
182016Summer
22 - 352015Summer
302008Fall
252005Fall