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Birding Report

Canadian culture dictates that the end of July marks the mid-point of summer, but at Presqu'ile Provincial Park that point passed a few weeks ago in terms of bird activity. Most birds have dispersed from their summer territories and are wandering to other parts of the Park. Others are newly arriving from points outside the Park.

An AMERICAN WIGEON and a male SCAUP were detected on Gull Island on July 25. A WHITE-WINGED SCOTER swam near the lighthouse on July 29. A female LONG-TAILED DUCK, perhaps somewhat disoriented if not ill, was close to shore along the beach on July 28 and again on July 29, when it was seized by a HERRING GULL that attempted for several minutes to drown the duck before finally being forced to release it from its beak.
 
A male and three female COMMON MERGANSERS were at Owen Point in the past few days. An AMERICAN BITTERN was there on July 30 and may well re-appear there because of the abundance of leopard frogs. As many as eight AMERICAN EGRETS have been counted on one day. OSPREYS have become almost a daily sighting over Presqu'ile Bay and elsewhere.
 
Among the eight species of shorebirds on the beach in the past week were a single SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS, a WHIMBREL that stayed briefly on beach 1 on July 28 before being flushed by beach-raking equipment, and eight SANDERLINGS. BONAPARTE'S GULLS are patrolling the waters of Presqu'ile Bay these days and sometimes appearing on the beach. Two possible BLACK TERNS noticed on July 20 would be the first this year.

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS were found in three different parts of Presqu'ile this week. Six species of flycatchers in the Park this week included both WILLOW FLYCATCHER and LEAST FLYCATCHER. Within the next few weeks we can expect OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS to make a brief appearance. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was seen on July 28. A NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, perhaps an early migrant, was at Owen Point on July 27.

WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS have been appearing regularly at the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road, as have ORCHARD ORIOLES.

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