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Birding Report

The heat wave of the past few days has not been conducive to good bird finding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Nevertheless one can almost always find something of interest, especially now that the fall migration has, albeit minimally, reached Presqu'ile.

Almost100 MUTE SWANS were in Popham Bay this morning, as well as "good" numbers elsewhere around the peninsula. When, if ever, the authorities will follow the lead of neighbouring jurisdictions and undertake control measures against that alien invasive before the situation is irretrievable remains to be seen. The WOOD DUCKS in the innermost part of the marsh are becoming increasingly difficult to spot among the lily pads. Two AMERICAN WIGEONS, four REDHEADS, a male scaup, and a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER are the other ducks of interest in the past week. GREAT EGRETS are greatly outnumbering both GREAT BLUE HERONS and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, both of which are also present in the Park.

A TURKEY VULTURE flew over the Park this morning and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK was near the lighthouse yesterday. The only new shorebirds were two LEAST SANDPIPERS on July 3 and 4, one of which was still present today. BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS have been known to arrive in July, and there is a growing mat of algae at Owen Point to attract them. About 130 CASPIAN TERNS and a few COMMON TERNS are loafing off Owen Point on most mornings.

Swallows and their young are lining up on hydro wires and elsewhere.

CAROLINA WRENS were found at two locations in the Park this week, the first to have made their presence known since the spring. On Tuesday a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was in one of the campgrounds. PINE SISKINS continue to show up at feeders on Bayshore Road.

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