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Birding Report

Although the field trip to Presqu'ile Provincial Park scheduled for last Sunday was postponed for a week because of threatening weather, those birders who came to the Park despite that found some interesting birds, a few of which remained in subsequent days.

Two TRUMPETER SWANS accompanied a small group of MUTE SWANS near the lighthouse yesterday.  Since the marsh froze over earlier in the week, most of the dabbling ducks have disappeared or moved to a patch of open water just outside the Park, but GADWALLS remain in Popham Bay.  REDHEADS remain the most numerous duck species.  A HARLEQUIN DUCK off Gull Tombolo has been a source of attention for those able to find it.  A nearby female SURF SCOTER was a superficially similar bird.  Before the marsh froze over, there was a female HOODED MERGANSER there.  Eleven WILD TURKEYS were again seen this week.  Several HORNED GREBES have been seen in Popham Bay, and a rather late PIED-BILLED GREBE was in Presqu'ile Bay on November 18.  Eight AMERICAN COOTS were at the outer edge of the marsh yesterday.  On Tuesday, three shorebird species were on Gull Tombolo: 5 DUNLINS, a PURPLE SANDPIPER, and a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER.  An ICELAND GULL was also there.  The only GLAUCOUS GULL of the season was seen on November 17.

A RECORD late TURKEY VULTURE flew over on November 19.  A COMMON RAVEN was calling near the lighthouse yesterday.  This is the time of year when BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS can be expected, and a flock was seen just outside the Park recently.  A late AMERICAN PIPIT was at Owen Point on Tuesday.  Both PURPLE FINCHES and PINE SISKINS have visited the feeders at 186 Bayshore Road this week.  A surprisingly late YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was catching insects around the windows of the Visitor Centre yesterday, and it or another one spent much of today at 186 Bayshore Road, where it aggressively defended its preferred peanut feeder against other birds.

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  (now a tombolo) are now able to walk there without special footwear, but under certain conditions such as high winds there may be a few metres of water a few centimetres deep to cross. 

It should also be noted that, because duck hunting is given priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Owen Point, Gull Tombolo, High Bluff Island, 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: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.