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Birding Report

Persistent northerly winds have delayed the arrival of many late April birds at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Nevertheless, birders have been taking advantage of pleasant, if not ideal, birding conditions and have been rewarded with a good selection of birds, reflecting the diversity of habitats in the Park. The change in the wind that is predicted for tonight and tomorrow may bring in a wave of migrants that have been stalled for days.

One of Presqu'ile's specialty birds, the RED-THROATED LOON, can usually be found in Popham Bay throughout April, but by the end of the month their numbers diminish. Seven were there on April 24, but no more than two were seen on any day since. GREAT EGRETS are also easier to find at Presqu'ile than at many other locations in southern Ontario. Look for them in the marsh or flying to and from High Bluff Island. With a scope they can be seen on their nests on that island. A very late ICELAND GULL was present on April 24 and 27, most recently on the eastern tip of Gull Island. COMMON TERNS have been seen there and at the lighthouse this week.

Normally by this date RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS have put in an appearance in the eastern end of the peninsula, but none has yet been reported.

Among several new arrivals on April 29 was a BLUE-HEADED VIREO. On three consecutive days this week, a COMMON RAVEN was observed, leading to speculation that it might be breeding in the Park. HOUSE WRENS, a WOOD THRUSH, and several species of warblers returned within the past two days. Among the latter were NASHVILLE, YELLOW, and PALM WARBLERS.

A COMMON YELLOWTHROAT was heard on the record early date of April 25, but could not be located visually. Both VESPER and SAVANNAH SPARROWS have been seen in the past week at the calf pasture. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS have thinned out since last week, but two were still present this morning at the lighthouse.

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