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Birding report July 17

The most interesting day of the week at Presqu'ile Provincial Park was on Monday, when several unusual ducks were spotted and a pocket of small birds had gathered at the lighthouse, where signs of migration often take place. 

GADWALLS are regularly seen along the north shore of Gull Island, but an estimated 15 individuals, more than usual, were there on Monday.  With them were two AMERICAN WIGEONS, and a NORTHERN PINTAIL was there today.  Further out in Popham Bay on Monday were three REDHEADS and a group of four WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, which are seldom seen at Presqu'ile In summer.  Six LONG-TAILED DUCKS off the lighthouse and a COMMON MERGANSER near Gull Island on the same day completed a day that was noteworthy for diving ducks.  On Tuesday, a LEAST BITTERN was in the marsh and a GREEN HERON was perched above the bird sightings board, waiting to be added to the list of sightings.  The only GREAT EGRET  sighting was of a bird flying across Presqu'ile Bay.  A small group of LEAST SANDPIPERS has been on the "natural beach” north of Owen Point, about six today.  Four "largish” shorebirds that flew by in the rain on Tuesday could not be identified to species.  Other shorebirds should soon be gracing the Presqu'ile beaches.  Four AMERICAN WOODCOCKS behind the Park office were likely a family group. Two BONAPARTE'S GULLS were on the beach yesterday.  

A pair of RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS was at 83 Bayshore Road.  The PURPLE MARTIN colony near the lighthouse has swollen to over 40 birds.  While none of the birds that had gathered near the lighthouse on Monday were definitely newly arrived migrants, the presence of several where they had not been all summer suggests the beginning of dispersal, if not actual migration.  Among others in that group were WARBLING VIREO, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, and AMERICAN REDSTART.   Up to half a dozen ORCHARD ORIOLES have been visiting the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road, and a pair of PURPLE FINCHES was there on one day.  

Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.