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Birding Report June 26

June 26/2014

Even at the nadir between the spring and fall bird migrations at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, there are still birds appearing that are not normally seen outside the migration periods.  For those who are bored by seeing the same species day after day, these surprises provide some relief.  Another event of interest to Park visitors, whether birders or not, was incorrectly advertised in last week's report.  The correct information is as follows:  A presentation on the COMMON TERN research that has been carried out for several years on Gull Island will take place at the Park amphitheatre at 8 p.m. on June 28.  Everyone is welcome, but there is an entry fee to the Park.   

A few WOOD DUCKS are visible every day from the viewing platform opposite the campground office, where numbers will continue to build up in the weeks ahead.  An AMERICAN BLACK DUCK was on the beach on June 21.  An immature BALD EAGLE flew over the beach two days later.  Two shorebird species that would normally be in the Arctic at this time of year showed up on the beach this past week, a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER on June 21 and a DUNLIN on June 25.  The latter was even more unusual by virtue of its partially albino plumage.  As the Park employee who discovered that largely white bird facetiously stated, "[Dunlins] are now perfectly adapted to the white zebra mussel covered beaches that make up our new invasive species rich shorelines... species adaptation in action... better than the peppered moths of Europe:  An immature GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was an unusual find at this season. 

Two birders heard a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO on June 21 almost a kilometre apart.  RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are still appearing at 83 Bayshore Road.  A YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was at 182 Bayshore Road on June 21.  For the second consecutive week, a MERLIN was at 83 Bayshore Road.  Last year on June 18 a record late date was set for NORTHERN PARULA.  This year the same observer eclipsed that record by hearing one on June 21.  Could it be that the species breeds at Presqu'ile?  ORCHARD ORIOLES are a Presqu'ile specialty that can be found in several parts of the Park.  For the second consecutive week, PURPLE FINCHES have appeared at 83 Bayshore Road.