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Birding Report

A typical mid-April week of birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has been marked by the return of one species after another. The level of song (for those who can hear it) makes birding relatively easy and certainly adds to the pleasure of wandering the roads and trails of the Park.

A TRUMPETER SWAN appeared for two consecutive days in the marsh opposite the bird sightings board. The resident MUTE SWAN made every effort to chase it off its territory (aquitory?). Any lesser species of waterfowl would have no chance of breeding anywhere near that invasive bird. What agency will finally undertake a cull? A good variety of other waterfowl remains in the area, but the numbers are down, especially, in recent days, RING-NECKED DUCKS (only a couple of dozen left) and COMMON GOLDENEYES, both of which were much more plentiful a week ago. Two female HOODED MERGANSERS were in Popham Bay, a location that remains productive of RED-THROATED LOONS (a flock of eight today). HORNED and RED-NECKED GREBES were plentiful this week off the day use area, with a maximum of 16 of the former today and 23 of the latter on April 12. On most days, one or more GREAT EGRETS can be seen, either in the marsh or flying to or from High Bluff Island. BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS are due to appear on Sebastopol Island. A GREAT HORNED OWL was heard near the group campground.

A BANK SWALLOW on April 10 was early. PURPLE MARTINS returned on April 14. In the past, most of the few TUFTED TITMOUSE sightings at Presqu'ile have been in mid-April. The lighthouse area is a likely location. HERMIT THRUSHES, PINE WARBLERS, CHIPPING SPARROWS, and singles of WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and RUSTY BLACKBIRD are among the spring migrants observed in the Park this week.

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