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Birding Report

 Although November is typically a slow month for birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, this year it has started with a bang,
including a number of unexpected finds. The Ontario Field Ornithologists outing that visits Presqu'ile on the second Sunday of November might turn up even more, perhaps including the first SNOWY OWLS of the season, as was the case last year. 

For the past three days, a SNOW GOOSE (white phase) has been consorting with CANADA GEESE on the beach and in the woodpile
marsh. Singles of TRUMPETER SWAN and TUNDRA SWAN were sighted. For the past three days, GADWALLS have been with the other dabbling ducks in the marsh. A LESSER SCAUP was one of very few identified this fall at Presqu'ile. Up to six SURF SCOTERS have been in Popham Bay and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS are present every day in various places. RED-THROATED LOONS were in Popham Bay on November 4 and 5. A RED-NECKED GREBE was near the lighthouse on November 1. A BALD EAGLE soared over the
Park on November 3. Both COOPER'S HAWK and NORTHERN GOSHAWK were seen this week, and today four raptor species on High Bluff Island included a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. Among the six shorebird species present in the past few days were two BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, and one each of WHITE-RUMPED, PECTORAL, and PURPLE SANDPIPER, the latter putting in only a brief appearance at Owen Point on Tuesday. In addition to those six, AMERICAN WOODCOCKS were found on November 3, 6, and 7. A BARRED OWL was flushed on November 5.

Single RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS have been regular visitors to the feeders at 83 and 186 Bayshore Road. A late NORTHERN
FLICKER was found on November 4. The first NORTHERN SHRIKE of the season was at the calf pasture on Sunday. Unquestionably, the highlight of the week was a very late, rare WHITE-EYED VIREO that was discovered on the record late date of November 3, and that, typical of the species, eluded several birders who attempted to re-locate it. Five EASTERN BLUEBIRDS and four HERMIT THRUSHES were also present on that date. 25 AMERICAN PIPITS and a LAPLAND LONGSPUR were on the beach on the following day. SNOW BUNTINGS have been seen from time to time, including 20-30 on Gull Island today. There was a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER at 83 Bayshore Road yesterday and an EASTERN TOWHEE there on Sunday. Other sparrows this week were AMERICAN TREE, SONG, SWAMP, WHITE-THROATED, and WHITE-CROWNED, as well as numerous DARK-EYED JUNCOES. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, COMMON GRACKLES, and BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS have been at 83 Bayshore Road. A PURPLE FINCH on November 3 was the only one at Presqu'ile for several weeks.

A second printing of a book entitled
For 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 25th Anniversary Environmental Fund, which sponsors long-term projects like the eradication of invasive species.
This message is authorized by the Ontbirds Coordinator.

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 that, because of safety reasons, duck hunting  Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, Owen Point, 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