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Birding Report

Presqu'ile Provincial Park continues to attract birds and birders from far and wide. Both have begun to concentrate on the numerous bird feeders in and around the Park. Away from those feeders, finding birds is more of a challenge, though the open areas along and over the water are fairly productive.

The BRANT that has been frequenting the shores of Popham Bay was still present on November 1, and a good-sized flock flew past Salt Point on that date. Also on that date, TUNDRA SWANS put in their first appearance of the fall. A good variety of ducks is present, including NORTHERN SHOVELERS, a SURF SCOTER, and a HOODED MERGANSER. Until the past two decades, KING EIDERS appeared regularly at Presqu'ile in November. Although they are now rare, the likelihood of finding one seems greater at this season than during the rest of the year. COMMON LOONS and HORNED GREBES are scattered among the other water birds on all sides of the peninsula. The most recent DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT sighting.was on November 2. Two TURKEY VULTURES were seen on October 31. Other hawks included MERLINS on that day and the next. The two WILD TURKEYS that have caught the eye of many people lately have been seen twice on the shore of Salt Point, a rather surprising location.

Both SEMIPALMATED PLOVER and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER were found on the late date of November 1. GREATER YELLOWLEGS were still foraging in the marsh on November 1. As recently as November 3, there were still WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS at Owen Point and the offshore islands. For many casual observers and photographers, the highlight of the past week has been the opportunity to see BARRED OWLS at close range. These birds were seen every day for the past week at various locations along Paxton Drive and on Lighthouse Lane, often referred to erroneously as "grey owls" by the uninitiated.

Two different RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS have visited the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road. An EASTERN PHOEBE was still present on November 1.

NORTHERN SHRIKES have been at three different locations in the Park, from Gull Island to the lighthouse area. A CAROLINA WREN has made frequent appearances at 83 Bayshore Road, and shows signs of staying for the winter. The most recent YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER sighting was on November 2. FOX SPARROWS were found at two different locations this week. Two LAPLAND LONGSPURS were on the beach on November 2. PINE SISKINS have appeared at different locations this week.

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 shin-deep water in which there is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery. It should also be noted that, because duck hunting is given priority on 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 until December 20. 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.

Fred Helleiner