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Birding Report

Although temperatures in early July at Presqu'ile Provincial Park are typically five or more Celsius degrees cooler than in nearby Brighton, only the most dedicated birders would venture out during the current heat wave, especially since this is normally a very quiet time of year for finding unusual birds, notwithstanding the recent astounding report of an albatross not far away. It doesn't pay to stay home when such surprises lurk.

The past few weeks have seen a remarkable number and variety of ducks along the north shore of Gull Island and nearby. Most recently, a NORTHERN PINTAIL, two GREEN-WINGED TEAL, eight REDHEADS, a scaup, a COMMON GOLDENEYE, and two RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS have been there. One of the benefits of seeking out those ducks is the likelihood of also seeing GREAT EGRETS and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, both of which are normally visible on High Bluff and Sebastopol Islands, respectively.

The best viewing point at present, lookout #3 on the Owen Point trail, is also the best vantage point for finding the returning shorebirds, of which four LEAST SANDPIPERS on July 4 were an example. The most recent BONAPARTE'S GULL sighting was near the lighthouse on July 2.

A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was near the lighthouse on July 2. Two COMMON RAVENS were near Owen Point on July 4. A CAROLINA WREN continues to appear sporadically at 83 Bayshore Road, eschewing the food provided at the feeders there. A warbler seen at that address raised suspicions that it might have been a juvenile HOODED WARBLER, a species that has long been a likely candidate for breeding at Presqu'ile. ORCHARD ORIOLES continue to be seen regularly, though not as vocal as before.

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