Semipalmated sandpiper, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by NCC)

Semipalmated sandpiper, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by NCC)

NCC supporters enjoy a successful Shorebirds and Sangria at Sunset event at Johnson’s Mills

Semipalmated plover, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Semipalmated plover, Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

On August 16,  Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff, along with almost 50 guests and donors, came out to the annual Shorebirds and Sangria at Sunset event at Johnson’s Mills, New Brunswick. 
Guests gathered at the Johnson’s Mills Interpretative Centre to celebrate and recognize the donors who have contributed to both conserving land at Johnson’s Mills, which is a critical stopover site for shorebirds, as well as well as the Interpretive Centre.

“The event was fantastic. The weather was exceptional, it was a great way to thank our donors and supporters who have contributed to this project since we started our work at Johnson’s Mills,” said NCC regional vice-president, John Foley. “Even though the birds did not roost directly in front of the viewing deck, they did make several flybys, which, combined with the glare of the sun, made for exceptional viewing.”

This conservation area is a renowned feeding ground on the Upper Bay of Fundy and is a major resting stop for the semipalmated sandpiper as they migrate from the Arctic to South America. Their survival depends on the protection of these mudflats and the corresponding roosting areas. During migration, flocks of tens of thousands of shorebirds can be spotted along NCC’s lands in Johnson’s Mills. Upwards of 30 per cent of the global population of semipalmated sandpipers pass through the Bay of Fundy while on their southern migration.

Long-time NCC volunteer Bruce Coates has seen the positive impact that NCC and the community have had over the years.

“I have been going to Johnson’s Mills to observe the shorebird migration for quite a number of years. During that time, the NCC facility there has grown from almost nothing to the significant infrastructure that it is today,” said Coates.

Coates said the contributions made by donors have played a pivotal role in the advancements at Johnson’s Mills.

“Recently, every year has seen improvements to the Interpretation Centre to make it more visitor friendly, environmentally friendly and most importantly, more friendly for the birds. The acquisition of additional adjacent properties by NCC bodes well for keeping the location in its natural state and friendly not only for the shorebirds, but for many wildlife species,” Coates added.

The Johnson’s Mills Interpretive Centre is open until September 6. To view tide times and for more information, please visit http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/where-we-work/new-brunswick/featured-projects/johnsons_mills.html.

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