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Birding Report

There is, as is usual at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in June, a long list of birds seen in the past week, almost all of which are regular summer residents. Except for a few stragglers, the spring migration is over, and henceforth most sightings will be of birds that are here for the summer.

Both LESSER SCAUP and BUFFLEHEAD were still in Presqu'ile Bay on June 5, but appear to have moved on since then. A surprising group of eight COMMON GOLDENEYES was off Sebastopol Island on that date. A COMMON MERGANSER and nine other mergansers that were either that or RED-BREASTED MERGANSER were seen on June 4. A GREEN HERON was seen on June 4 and another on June 7.

An OSPREY was at Salt Point today. Both VIRGINIA RAIL and SORA were in the marsh. Among the remaining shorebirds, a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and a WHIMBREL were on the beach on June 3. Twenty RED KNOTS flew past Owen Point on June 4, and two were still on the beach today. Several WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS and DUNLINS have been on the beach all week.

Again this week, an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was flushed from the Owen Point trail. A BONAPARTE'S GULL was still on the beach on June 3 and three GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at Owen Point today. Twice this week, a "white-winged" gull, either an ICELAND or a GLAUCOUS GULL was seen, once in Presqu'ile Bay and once on the beach. It was in mid-June some years ago that a SANDWICH TERN showed up at Presqu'ile. That is not likely to be repeated this year if ever, but it indicates that even after the migration is over there can still be surprises for those birders persistent enough to continue looking.

A YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO posed for some excellent views on June 7.

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS have been seen on most days. The remnants of a BLUE JAY migration occurred on June 8, when five of them flew over the lighthouse before moving on. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was found on at least one day in the past week, as was a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD. MOURNING WARBLERS have been vocal all week. ORCHARD ORIOLES can be found with little difficulty.

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.

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Fred Helleiner