The St George’s River Estuary provides important spring and fall staging habitat for a variety of species of waterfowl and shorebirds.
Stephenville Crossing lies in the St. Georges Estuary with several large bodies of water such as Harrys River, Southwest Brook, and Bottom Brook, running into the area behind the town. There are also small brooks and ponds such as Nardini’s Pond running into the Estuary. These areas are very nutrient rich feeding grounds for the resident and migratory bird population.
Spring staging occurs as waterfowl are completing their long northern migration from their wintering grounds. They stop at sites like this to feed, thus replenishing their energy reserves. From these areas most of the birds move inland to the breeding grounds where they will nest and rear their young.
In the fall waterfowl will gather in these feeding areas once again to build up their energy reserves in preparation for the return migration to their wintering grounds. The Osprey is also a common sight at the estuary feeding on the plentiful fish that it can take from the shallow waters.
Nardine’s Pond is a shallow brackish pond located south of the Gut Bridge. It plays host to numerous waterfowl throughout the year.
In the summer American Wigeon use it for brood rearing and male Scaup congregate there to molt.
Large numbers of Canada Geese and Common Goldeneye have been seen feeding on its extensive beds of pondweed as well as in the nearby St. Georges River.
Harrys River, Bottom Brook, and Southwest Brook, all feed into St. Georges River and are a feeding ground for numerous species of common and rare birds, as well as being known for their rich bounty of salmon. Sea and pond trout can also be found in these rivers. A license is needed to fish and it is fly fishing only durning regulated seasons. Wildlife such as beaver, fox, moose, bear, mink, otters, weasels, chipmonks, and squirrels, are also in residence in these areas.