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Birding Report

A rare duck has appeared (or re-appeared) at Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week, and every day brings sightings of newly arrived spring migrants. Southerly winds are in the forecast for the next week, so we can expect some record early arrivals.

Two WOOD DUCKS were in a wet spot this morning. A pair of NORTHERN SHOVELERS was in the marsh on March 28 and on the shore of Gull Island on the next day. The only dabbling duck that has not yet returned is BLUE-WINGED TEAL. On Monday a group of visiting birders found two male and a female BARROW'S GOLDENEYES. A birder making a subsequent search for these rarities on the same day found one of the males mid-way between the locations where the two were spotted. None has been found since then. One is tempted to speculate that the male which disappeared from the lighthouse area in February was lurking in the neighbourhood undetected for almost five weeks, but another more likely scenario is that these sightings are part of a regular spring movement through the area. In early April a few years ago, one spent several days in the same general area. The first RED-THROATED LOON of the season was spotted far out in Popham Bay on March 28. By March 31, there were five, and today there were seven. A COMMON LOON was in Presqu'ile Bay today in the same territory which a pair has occupied for at least the past two summers. DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS and GREAT BLUE HERONS can be seen on their nests on High Bluff Island from the mainland. GREAT EGRETS should be arriving within the next few days.

Three ROCK PIGEONS flying past the lighthouse were an unusual sight. A BELTED KINGFISHER, a NORTHERN FLICKER, and a few EASTERN PHOEBES were among this week's new arrivals. On at least five of the past nine days a COMMON RAVEN has been seen in the Park. The CAROLINA WREN that has been visiting Bayshore Road feeders periodically was seen again on March 28.

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.

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Fred Helleiner