A Nunavut Adventure
by Nate Swick
Mark Maftei writes in depth about his time working in Nunavut in the May 2012 issue of Birding.
Well, the past year has gone by in a total blur, and the last week has been interesting to say the least - a spur of the moment decision to move a boat across the country coincided quite nicely with the spring migration. I started last week seawatching in Newfoundland, and crossed the Maritimes and Quebec while enjoying the rapidly springing spring , I staged a full-scale assault on Point Pelee, a stop for shorebirds in Saskatchewan a few days later, and ultimately a quick pelagic off the west coast of Vancouver Island before heading back up to Nunavut at the end of the month.
The birding has been amazing, as spring migration always is just about anywhere in North America, but I find myself getting more and more excited to head back up north again. I guess zugunruhe affects humans too! Although I have literally seen more species of birds in the last 20 minutes from the deck on which I am writing this than I expect to see all summer long, the chance to be part of the ins and outs of a breeding season in a High Arctic seabird colony is an opportunity I will never pass up. Not only are the birds amazing, but the overall experience is truly unique. Great people, great times, and of course, all the unexpected surprises a three month long Arctic safari will deliver! Here are some highlights from last year!