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Birding Report

Migration was rather slow at Presqu'ile Provincial Park for much of the past week, but that changed dramatically on Tuesday and even more so today. The woods were/are full of warblers and other passerines.

Typically, the waterfowl migration has pretty well ceased, but one species, BRANT, can be expected to show up by the hundreds next week.

The four NORTHERN PINTAILS off Gull Island may soon move on, along with the RING-NECKED DUCKS still in Presqu'ile Bay. For some reason, no one has reported seeing any BLUE-WINGED TEAL in the Park this spring. There were still six RED-THROATED LOONS in Popham Bay yesterday, and HORNED GREBES remain in small numbers offshore. A report of a male and female EARED GREBE at the calf pasture on April 29 needs to be documented with a rare bird report. A LEAST BITTERN on the marsh boardwalk on May 1 supersedes the previous earliest date by one day. As many as twelve GREAT EGRETS were counted on High Bluff Island with a scope from the mainland, but undoubtedly there are many more.

A BALD EAGLE was reported on April 28. There have been several sightings of COOPER'S HAWK and one of a MERLIN. SPOTTED SANDPIPERS and an AMERICAN WOODCOCK in broad daylight, both on May 1, are the only notable shorebirds of the week. Not noted in last week's report were two LITTLE GULLS on April 26. Small numbers of COMMON TERNS have been around since last week. A BARRED OWL was heard last night and this morning.

The first RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD appeared just as this report was about to be written at dusk. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS have become commonplace at Presqu'ile, with three being seen on one day. Among the newly returned insectivores are several each of LEAST and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER and BLUE-HEADED and WARBLING VIREO. HOUSE WRENS and MARSH WRENS are back in full force. Several BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS have been seen. There have been two sightings of VEERIES, and WOOD THRUSHES have also been heard. GRAY CATBIRDS and a CEDAR WAXWING are the first of those species in quite some time. It is unnecessary to enumerate the eighteen warbler species in the Park in the past two days. A BLUE-WINGED WARBLER was seen today, and the songs of that species and of GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER were heard but the latter was not included in the total species count because those species are known to hybridize and to interchange their songs. Others of interest because they are a bit on the early side are NORTHERN PARULA, CHESTNUT-SIDED, MAGNOLIA, CAPE MAY, BLACKBURNIAN, and AMERICAN REDSTART. SCARLET TANAGERS seen on May 1 were also early. A report of an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW on that date is remarkably late. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS are increasing day by day, with one report of twenty today. A BOBOLINK and 25 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS today were of interest. The first two ORCHARD ORIOLES showed up on May 1. There are still a few PINE SISKINS coming to feeders, as well as two HOUSE SPARROWS, never common at Presqu'ile.

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. Access to the offshore islands is restricted at this time of year to prevent disturbance to the colonial nesting birds there. 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.



Fred Helleiner