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Birding Report

Only a few hard-core birders have visited Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the past week, but some of their findings are of sufficient interest to generate more visits despite what is generally regarded as a slow time of year.

TUNDRA SWANS were still moving through the Park in small numbers from Sunday till Tuesday.  There are still large numbers of diving ducks, among which were two CANVASBACKS on Sunday and SURF SCOTER, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, and BLACK SCOTER.  Two groups of WILD TURKEYS were seen on Tuesday (three birds and seven birds) and another three birds today, all three groups being fairly widely separated.  A RED-NECKED GREBE was near the lighthouse on Tuesday.  The following five shorebird species have been present this week:  a late BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER on Sunday; SANDERLINGS as recently as today; DUNLINS by far the most numerous species; WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, one on Sunday and three today; a late PECTORAL SANDPIPER on Tuesday, nine days earlier than the record late date.  A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was on Owen Point on Tuesday, and at least three RED-THROATED LOONS were in Popham Bay on the same day.  NORTHERN GANNETS show up irregularly on Lake Ontario in November, including the only two fall records from Presqu'ile. 

Most TURKEY VULTURES have departed, but one was still present today.  A NORTHERN HARRIER has been patrolling the offshore islands.  The first SNOWY OWL of the season was on Gull Island on Tuesday.  RED-BELLIED and PILEATED WOODPECKERS and COMMON RAVENS  are no longer considered uncommon in the Park; all three were seen this week, including three of the latter over High Bluff Island.  A flock of 13 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS flew over on Tuesday.  SNOW BUNTINGS are on Gull Island most of the time, with 65 there on Sunday.  It seems likely that the three WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS seen this morning may stay for the winter, and possibly the 30 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and five COMMON GRACKLES that have also been lingering.  What is less likely is that the male BALTIMORE ORIOLE first discovered almost two weeks ago will also survive.  It was rediscovered on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  If it stays for another four days, it will tie the record late date for Presqu'ile established four years ago.