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“Bird Rock - a Highlight of our Trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve

Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
Lears Cove Road | St. Bride's, Newfoundland and Labrador A0B 2Z0, Canada
709 635-4520
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Activities: Hiking, Birdwatching
Attraction details
Mesa, AZ
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Bird Rock - a Highlight of our Trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

I am an amateur birder and the visit to Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve, commonly called "Bird Rock", was one of those life experiences I will never forget. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in July of 2012. My friend and co-traveler is not a birder, but she was also blown away by this experience. We got there in the evening for our first visit, after the visitor center had closed, but walked out to Bird Rock, and were mesmerized by the thousands and thousands of large white beautiful birds (gannetts) calling and soaring in the sky. The gannetts are in the pelican family, with six-foot wing spans, and were beautiful to watch. We went back the next morning so we could get a "tour" - the ranger walked out to Bird Rock and stood there with us, and talked to us about what we were seeing. He pointed out the kittywake chicks and other chicks that we had not seen the night before. We were told that we were there at the right time of year - mid-July. The marine fog layer was off shore and did not interfere with our views. There are seven different species of birds nesting here, for a total of 150,000 birds. Amazing!

Visited July 2012
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74 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Amazing - if you are into that kind of thing.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

About a three hour drive from St. John's, this site is amazing if you appreciate some great scenery and the coastal birds. When you get there they have a smaller interpretive centre with some great information on the area and why it is important to to the birds that call it home. There is about a 1km walk to the edge where all of the birds are. It smells a lot like birds and dead fish, but lets be honest, that should be expected. The site is free to see, and worth it. Small children and people who are more action oriented may find this boring as there is nothing very interactive or anything to see other than the hike, birds and coastal sights.

If you are hungry, when you are leaving the gravel road that brings you back to the highway, if you turn left there is a small eatery that serves standard menu items for the location. The service is great and I recommend it as they have something for everyone.

Visited August 2012
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Exeter, New Hampshire
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“It's the Cliffs of Moher with birds!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

Take the hike from the visitor center to the gannet colony. The view of the cliffs is truly breathtaking. I felt it rivaled the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. The gannet colony was a unique experience. The interpretive ranger was very knowledgeable and friendly. Don't forget your camera! For more photos and information on nearby attractions, you can read my blog about the trip here: http://ontherocktrip.blogspot.com/

Visited August 2012
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Mississauga, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Worth the drive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

Approximately at least 2 hour drive from downtown St. Johns. But it's worth the drive. Of all the tourist places I've seen in NewFoundland, this place is the best.

When I visited this place, it was sunny. You have to walk to the nesting place of the birds and just before we saw that place, the area was fogged up, you'll hear the cry of the birds and you'll smell fish in the air.. then as we continued to walk, the fog cleared and we saw it. Amazing and I don't think I'll ever see a place like that again.

Visited September 2011
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Pleasant Plains, Illinois
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Breathtaking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Be prepared for a drive to get out here. It isn't really close to anything and will take you about 3 hours from St John's. However, the drive alone is gorgeous and the destination is well worth the trip. Try to plan for a sunny day, if possible. Fog can be unpredictable, but it does tend to be an issue out here on the cape and will make your trip a lot less worth while (in my opinion). Once you arrive at the visitor centre, have a look around before you hit the trail. From here, you have a short walk along absolutely stunning sea cliffs out to the main sanctuary rock area. You will know it when you see it (and smell it!). I can spend hours sitting at the edge, simply admiring the birds. If you're lucky, you'll get to see lots of babies in their nests. Again, its a long drive from pretty much anyplace, but well worth it for an unforgettable wildlife experience.

Visited August 2012
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