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Finally, the last evidence of spring bird migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has come and gone, the days are getting shorter, and the hiatus before the fall migration begins has set in. The result is that, while birds are plentiful in numbers and variety, very little changes from one day to the next and one can predict what will be seen on any given day, even to knowing where individual birds are, even when they are silent or otherwise not in evidence.

WOOD DUCKS, GADWALLS, MALLARDS, and REDHEADS are the only ducks seen on a regular basis, but two AMERICAN WIGEONS were on the beach on June 18.

COMMON LOONS are also present, with three seen on two different days.

Both AMERICAN and LEAST BITTERNS were found this week. Hawks are less predictable, but OSPREYS, a NORTHERN HARRIER, and SHARP-SHINNED and COOPER'S HAWKS have all been seen in the past week. Gallinaceous birds remain in hiding much of the time, but both RUFFED GROUSE and two WILD TURKEYS have been seen, the latter (a male and female) being the first pair seen for several months. A WILSON'S SNIPE was still winnowing today, and again an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was on the Owen Point trail.

Among the soon-to-be-expected southbound shorebirds, LEAST SANDPIPERS are probable, though UPLAND SANDPIPERS, while rare in the Park, are also a possibility. Today six BONAPARTE'S GULLS, an adult and five immatures, were on the beach and a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was near the lighthouse. A ROCK PIGEON spent part of a day near the lighthouse. A BARRED OWL made its presence known once this past week.

The best place to find a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER this summer is 83 Bayshore Road, unlike last year, when a nest was located. That is also where PURPLE FINCHES are being seen regularly. For some reason, the BANK SWALLOW colony in the Park appears to have been abandoned.

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