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Birding Report

As expected, this has not been a particularly exciting week for birding in Presqu'ile Provincial Park, but a few unexpected birds have shown up and the spring shorebird migration still has not let up.

In addition to the ducks that have been present all spring on the north shore of Gull Island, there have been from one to six GREEN-WINGED TEAL at Owen Point on four of the past six days. One of the scaup that have been in that area since late May was identified as a GREATER SCAUP.

Three COMMON GOLDENEYES on June 13 and one female on June 17 were also in that area. A pair of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS has been there since June 7, but only the male could be found today. A tight group of four COMMON LOONS was off the calf pasture on June 15. A family of young PIED-BILLED GREBES has been easily visible in the woodpile marsh. The latest sighting of the HORNED GREBE in Popham Bay was on June 11. The regular heron-like birds at Presqu'ile these days are AMERICAN BITTERNS, GREAT BLUE HERONS, GREAT EGRETS, and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS. LEAST BITTERNS and GREEN HERONS are probably also present but have not been seen recently.

An OSPREY on June 14 and an immature BALD EAGLE at the calf pasture on the following day were the first of those species in the Park for some time. A WILD TURKEY, probably the same bird that keeps re-appearing, was in the day use area on June 14. Ten species of shorebirds, with numbers in the low 40's, have made frequent trips to Owen Point worthwhile for birders. Among others, there were two different BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, three SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, a late (or perhaps early fall) GREATER YELLOWLEGS on June 17, two RUDDY TURNSTONES, a SANDERLING, about 30 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, three WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, and four DUNLINS. Apologies to birders who were alerted to the presence of a WESTERN SANDPIPER today, which turned out to be a mis-identification.

Half a dozen BONAPARTE'S GULLS in various plumages are frequenting the area between Salt Point and the lighthouse. An immature GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was at Owen Point on June 15. A BARRED OWL was calling behind 83 Bayshore Road on June 15.

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS were found this week in two different areas, neither of them near the nest in Jobes' Woods. COMMON RAVENS continue to be seen regularly, sometimes two at a time. An EASTERN BLUEBIRD sitting atop a bird feeder on June 16 was a surprise. On the previous day a VEERY was spotted near the nature centre, where none has been evident in recent weeks. One has to wonder why no one has found a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD in the Park this year, given that family groups have been present in recent years. A second ORCHARD ORIOLE nest has been located perhaps a mere 150 metres from the one that was discovered earlier and which is still active. Occasional PURPLE FINCHES have appeared in the past fortnight, including one young bird.

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