On Thursday June 2 we headed off to the Codroy Valley and Port aux Basques for another part of the Feather and Folk Nature Festival. The Codroy Valley is well known as the "best place in the province to see the most variety of birds in the highest densities" especially at this time of year according to Parks Canada "bird person" Darroch Whitaker who was there to give tours and answer questions. We left Corner Brook with a few second thoughts since the weather forecast which was not great-drizzle and showers for the next 3 days. And that is what we got when we arrived at the Wetland Interpretation Centre in the Codroy Valley where there were several people dropping in so see what other people were seeing. There were birders from St John's and Ontario and occasionally the drizzle would let up enough to put up a scope to check out the estuary for birds. Hoping that the next day would bring better weather we headed to Port aux Basques and checked into the very comfortable St. Christopher's Hotel (http://www.stchrishotel.com/)where we had a very good meal of fresh cod. Then we headed to a conference room which had been transformed into an art gallery and concert hall and enjoyed the music of fiddlers and folk singers from the local area. The main star was Sherman Downey ,who is from the Codroy Valley, and has played at the Olympics in Vancouver and has had ECMA's nominations as well. The goal of the evening was to raise money for the Folk Arts Council which is just getting going in this area. Lets hope this it flourishes since this area has some very good talent.
Friday was cool and overcast in Port aux Basques but just minutes after we headed for the Codroy Valley the skies cleared up and it was sunny and warm for the rest of the day. There were school groups going through the Wetland Interpretation Centre with guided walks on the Wetland Trail. We saw lots of ducks and a blue heron in the Estuary in front of the centre and there seemed to be birds everywhere as we explored the various side roads in the area. We also ran into Dave Brown (a guide with a group of birders from St John's) who reported that he had seen a Black billed Cuckoo, which is very rarely seen in the province. When you have a day like this you can see why the birds like this area so much. With its mix of forest, farms, wetlands and coastal dunes, the variety of habitats is amazing. There are still a couple more days left of the festival so check out www.springfest.ca for more information. Who knows what you will see!