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Birding Report

Keeping birders on their toes in this traditionally slack period of the year at Presqu'ile Provincial Park were several sightings of waterfowl that are not normally regarded as summer birds.

Among the fifty or so MUTE SWANS in Popham Bay these days were two TRUMPETER SWANS for the past two days, both of them showing no identification tags and showing signs of youth: buffiness around the head and neck. Old folks, both cygneous and human, tend to be white around the head. A GREATER SCAUP and a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, both males, were in Popham Bay on July 7. Two COMMON GOLDENEYES were also there on that day and one today. They or two different birds of that species were at Salt Point yesterday. A COMMON MERGANSER and a pair of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were in Popham Bay yesterday, and the latter were still present today.
 
COMMON LOONS, as many as three a day, are being seen in various places, but no young ones have yet been reported, unlike the past two years. A LEAST BITTERN put on a show in the marsh just over a week ago. For the first time in a few years, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS appear to have been successful in producing young on Sebastopol Island.

There have been over 30 KILLDEER on the beach for the past few days.

The only sightings of migrant shorebirds were three GREATER YELLOWLEGS and three unidentifiable "peeps" on July 8, as well as an anonymous indication on the bird sightings board that a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER had been reported on June 30 and July 1, which would be an exceptionally early date for a fall migrant. A WILSON'S SNIPE was still winnowing on July 9.

A YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO was at the lighthouse on July 3. BARRED OWLS have been heard recently behind 83 Bayshore Road, where a COMMON NIGHTHAWK was also seen late in June. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS visit a feeder there regularly. ORCHARD ORIOLES have been feeding young this week. For the first time since December, PINE SISKINS have stopped visiting local feeders. Have they finally left or are they busy elsewhere in the Park attending to family duties?

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