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Birding Report

The combined effects of decent weather, the presence of a fairly rare bird, and the Waterfowl Viewing weekend have brought birders to Presqu'ile Provincial Park in droves.  Some have been lucky in finding the rare duck, and everyone has managed to see plenty of waterfowl as well as the first of the spring land bird migrants.

Two Tundra Swans appeared on March 22.  The male Eurasian Wigeon that first appeared in Presqu'ile Bay last week was easily seen throughout March 20 and 21, to the delight of visitors to the Waterfowl Viewing festival, and again briefly on March 23, but has remained out of sight, if present at all, since then.  The first Blue-winged Teal of the season was at Owen Point on March 26.
 
The most reliable place to look for White-winged Scoters is just to the west of the Salt Point lighthouse, where six individuals have been consistently present.  Red-throated Loons have been seen in Popham Bay on three of the last four days, with two or three individuals present on March 26.  All of them have been at a distance requiring a scope.  Horned and Red-necked Grebes should be appearing there soon. 
 
One observer reported a Double-crested Cormorant flying past the crowd of watchers at the calf pasture.  A single bird of that species was seen overhead on March 23, a day earlier than the previous early date for Presqu'ile.  At least four Great Blue Herons are on their nests on High Bluff Island and can be seen from the mainland with a scope.

A few visitors to the festival on March 22 were entertained by a Bald Eagle that flew past the calf pasture viewing platform.  Two Sharp-shinned Hawks and one very large but unidentified accipiter were also seen on that date.  American Coots, usually half a dozen or more, are now regular at the outer edge of the marsh, where they can be seen from Bayshore Road.  If there are any early shorebirds other than Killdeer in the next few days, the most likely candidate would be a Greater Yellowlegs.  A performing American Woodcock was heard from 83 Bayshore Road and another bird was observed at close range beside the entrance road to the Owen Point trail.  The first Caspian Terns will likely appear any day now.

A Northern Flicker near the lighthouse was seen on three days leading up to March 22.  The most recent sighting of the Northern Shrike that has spent the winter at the calf pasture and at the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road was on March 21.  Two Brown Creepers were seen on March 22.  An Eastern Towhee was at 83 Bayshore Road on March 21 and 22, and the roadsides will soon be hopping with other /emberizids/.  A Hoary Redpoll was reported on March 21.

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.

Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.