This month’s guest speaker at the Fundy Gardeners meeting is Jim Wilson whose enthusiasm on birding is always evident. But when he starts to talk about birding in New Brunswick his eyes just light up. “New Brunswick is like the eye of the needle,” says Jim, “so much gets funneled in here because of its biodiversity, weather patterns and the jet stream.” Still, if New Brunswick in general is special for Jim, the Bay of Fundy is the jewel in the crown.
“There is so much diversity in the bay” Jim explains. “Grand Manan and the nearby islands have more rare birds than anywhere else. It’s a crossroads.” In fact, Jim and his long-time friend, Cecil Johnston, even discovered a Siberian Stonechat on Grand Manan - the first official sighting in North America. Quite a trip for a small bird - quite a lot of excitement for two keen birders.
Jim’s not one to keep his enthusiasm or his knowledge to himself either, and with more than 200 books on birds and a lifetime of experience, that’s a lot of knowledge. As a board member of Nature NB, the provincial umbrella organization for 12 nature clubs scattered around the province, he has given many talks and leads outings whenever he can. “I’ve mentored a lot of people,” says Jim. “I love to show someone a new bird for the first time. It’s a simple childish delight and it’s free. Nothing beats it.”