Boots on the trail: Lac Frye Nature Reserve

Lac Frye Nature Reserve, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Lac Frye Nature Reserve, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Bird lovers, feast your eyes on the many feathered friends feeding and nesting around the Lac Frye Nature Reserve’s coastal pond.

Lac Frye is one of six nature reserves protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) on Miscou Island. This 54-hectare nature reserve is located at the tip of the island, at the northernmost point of New Brunswick. The island has been designated as an Important Bird Area — its wetlands and coastlines are a critical stopover point for migratory birds. Its beaches are also used as a nesting ground by endangered piping plovers. Birders can meander along the boardwalk and enjoy the sights from the viewing platform that overlooks a large coastal pond, which is surrounded by a sand barrier beach, salt marsh and forest.

Come fall, Miscou Island’s expansive bogs light up in spectacular shades of red. And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, many species of shorebirds, waterfowl and plants can be spotted here, including the at-risk Gulf of St. Lawrence aster. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get lucky enough to feast your eyes on the hundreds of northern gannets that can be seen just off the coast.

Lac Frye Nature Reserve, NB (Map by Jacques Perrault)

Map by Jacques Perrault; (Photo credit L-R: Andrew Herygers/NCC Staff; Mike Dembeck; Robert McCaw; Robert McCaw)

Species to spot

  • alder flycatcher
  • American goldfinch
  • belted kingfisher
  • common tern
  • common yellowthroat
  • dunlin
  • great blue heron
  • green-winged teal
  • Gulf of St. Lawrence aster
  • least sandpiper
  • northern gannet
  • northern harrier
  • piping plover
  • red-eyed vireo
  • red-winged blackbird
  • semipalmated sandpiper
  • Swainson’s thrush
  • swamp sparrow
  • yellow warbler
  • whimbrel

Visit natureconservancy.ca/lacfrye to learn more.

This story originally appeared in the fall 2023 issue of the Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine. To learn more about how you can receive the magazine, click here.

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