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Birding Report

With the exception of shorebirds, of which a good number were still present yesterday, and one or two surprises, the bird life at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has settled into its summer routine.

The BRANT that was reported last week was still present on June 1 and 2, but has apparently not been seen since. Other waterfowl are the same species that normally remain in small numbers all summer, except for two LONG-TAILED DUCKS on June 4 and several RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. For the past three days an adult RED-THROATED LOON showing signs of illness has been patrolling the waterfront between Salt Point and the lighthouse, giving excellent looks to the residents of that stretch of Bayshore Road as it remains within a few metres of shore. COMMON LOONS are also in that area. GREAT EGRETS can be seen on most days. A PEREGRINE FALCON that flew past Owen Point on June 1 was unexpected.

The migrant shorebirds on the beach and on Gull Island on June 6 were four SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, fourteen RUDDY TURNSTONES, about 60 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, two WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, and two DUNLINS.

A SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER that was observed recently with a flag on one leg has been tracked to its banding location in Argentina. Twelve BONAPARTE'S GULLS were still at Owen Point on June 6. The first COMMON TERN egg hatched this week, a record early date. At this time of year local birders are reminded that in mid-June of 1988 a SANDWICH TERN appeared and spent a number of days at Presqu'ile.

BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS have been scarce in the Park this spring, but one was found on June 6 at the entrance to beach 3. There are a few BANK SWALLOWS around the cliffs along the day use area, but in much smaller numbers than in previous years. One reliable place to hear a MOURNING WARBLER is behind the parking lot for the group campground trails. An EASTERN TOWHEE singing from the top of a dead tree was more conspicuous than usual for that species. ORCHARD ORIOLES continue to be seen and heard regularly. A PURPLE FINCH visited a feeder at 186 Bayshore Road on June 3.

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