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Birding Report

This has been another week of typical early spring birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Some birds continue to arrive somewhat earlier than expected, but no new records were set.

Except for GADWALLS and MALLARDS, most of the dabbling ducks have moved on, but a NORTHERN SHOVELER was seen today. Other ducks have also thinned out considerably, the most interesting one being an early SURF SCOTER. HORNED GREBES are off the day use area and the lighthouse in reasonable numbers, and RED-NECKED GREBES should be showing up there soon. An AMERICAN BITTERN flew over the marsh yesterday. A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK on April 2 and a MERLIN today were the most interesting hawks. Three species of gallinaceous birds appeared in the past week. A male RING-NECKED PHEASANT was on the wooded portion of the marsh boardwalk trail on March 31, a RUFFED GROUSE was heard drumming, and three WILD TURKEYS were seen on April 3. One of the latter flew over Bayshore Road near the government dock, and the other two were in the north-east corner of Jobes' woods, running to and fro across Paxton Drive. Both WILSON'S SNIPE and AMERICAN WOODCOCKS were performing long after sundown on April 1. The first BONAPARTE'S GULL of the season was on April 1. A BARRED OWL was noted on March 30 and one was heard on April 1.

A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was in Jobes' woods. A NORTHERN SHRIKE was still present at the calf pasture today. On April 3, the first PURPLE MARTIN and three BARN SWALLOWS were at the lighthouse. For the third consecutive week, single individuals of HERMIT THRUSH and EASTERN TOWHEE were located. The next new sparrow to arrive is expected to be a FOX SPARROW, already overdue. PINE SISKINS continue to visit local feeders.

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