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Birding Report

The fall bird migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park shows no sign of slowing down, with an especially lively day of passerine movement today. Earlier in the past week some unusual birds have appeared.

There are two places where ducks are most likely to be found these days. In the marsh, best viewed from the south tower of the marsh boardwalk, there are many WOOD DUCKS and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Far out in Popham Bay, likely out of reach of hunters on Gull Island, a raft of REDHEADS and scaup has begun to build up. BLUE-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, and NORTHERN PINTAIL have been seen off Owen Point. Three WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were seen on Sunday. Maximum counts of other divers this week are two COMMON LOONS, seven HORNED GREBES, and two RED-NECKED GREBES. Up to three GREAT EGRETS have been present in the past week, and one was still in the marsh today.

A WILD TURKEY was on Atkins Lane on Sunday. Both COMMON GALLINULES and AMERICAN COOTS have been in the marsh this week. Shorebird numbers are down from earlier in the season, but thirteen species have been recorded this week. Among them were AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, RUDDY TURNSTONE, and WHITE-RUMPED and BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS. The most numerous have been PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, with fifteen present today. There have been repeated sightings of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS in various plumages. The rarest bird in this report is the PARASITIC JAEGER that flew past Owen Point on September 22. The most recent OSPREY sighting was on September 24. AMERICAN KESTRELS, MERLINS, and PEREGRINE FALCONS have all been seen this week. A second sighting of a SHORT-EARED OWL on Gull Island took place on September 20.

There are still a few RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS around. BLUE-HEADED, PHILADELPHIA, and RED-EYED VIREOS have all been seen as recently as today. There were several sightings of COMMON RAVENS, including two at "the fingers”. A remarkable 60 TREE SWALLOWS at Owen Point on September 21 were followed by one on September 25. Among the sixteen warbler species in the Park this week were ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, a late YELLOW WARBLER, CAPE MAY WARBLER, PINE WARBLERS, a late BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, and a record late WILSON'S WARBLER on September 25. An extremely early AMERICAN TREE SPARROW was seen on September 23. There still has not been a report of a NELSON'S SPARROW this year. LINCOLN'S SPARROWS were seen on at least two occasions. A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was on Gull Island on September 20. A rather late ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was found on September 23. A few PINE SISKINS have begun to appear.

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 water that is ankle-deep, not taking into account any wave action,.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. 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:

Fred Helleiner