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Birding Report

There has been less birding activity than usual at Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week, and what reports have reached me suggest that most of the birding has taken place at either the eastern or the western extremities of the peninsula, with few sightings in between and none from Gull Island. A second printing of a book entitledFor the Birds: Recollections and Rambles, by Fred Helleiner, is now available from the author (see below) for $20 plus $2.50 for postage. It is also being sold at the Lighthouse Gift Shop in the Park and at Out on a Limb in Brighton. All profits are being donated to the Friends of Presqu'ile's 25th Anniversary Environmental Fund, which sponsors long-term projects like the eradication of invasive species. This message is authorized by the Ontbirds Coordinator.

A non-birder saw two huge flocks of waterfowl fly past the lighthouse on October 20 the description of which fitted BRANT. A good number of dabbling ducks can be seen in the marsh from the camp office viewing platform. They include plenty of WOOD DUCKS, AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. That is where, two years ago, a long-staying male EURASIAN WIGEON first showed up on October 26. Farther out in the bay, near the lighthouse, several large flocks of GREATER SCAUP have been dodging bullets. Among them were six CANVASBACKS, never common at Presqu'ile in fall, on October 18, a few of which were still there for the next two days. About a dozen REDHEADS have also been with those flocks on most days, and one or two RING-NECKED DUCKS and a few WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS in close proximity. LONG-TAILED DUCKS and BUFFLEHEADS, as well as COMMON LOONS and HORNED GREBES, are in that vicinity almost every day now.

Eight BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and 17 SANDERLINGS were at Owen Point on Tuesday. Someone found a BARRED OWL on Monday. Two MERLINS were near the lighthouse yesterday, and a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was there this afternoon. The most recent EASTERN PHOEBE sighting was on Sunday. A rather late SWAINSON'S THRUSH was reported on October 22. A few observers found a very late BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER and a late NASHVILLE WARBLER at the lighthouse on October 20.
To reach Presqu'ile Provincial Park, follow the signs from Brighton. Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloid that is available at the Park gate. Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be prepared to wade through water that is shin-deep, not taking into account any wave action,.in which there is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery. It should also be noted for safety reasons, because duck hunting is on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, the outer tip of Owen Point (beyond the sign at the edge of the trees), and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days. Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out a rare bird report for species not listed there.

Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to:
Fred Helleiner