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Birding Report Traditionally, February is a slow month for birding, and conditions at Presqu段le Provincial Park this week have borne that out.  With the ice cover in Presqu段le Bay varying from day to day and even by the hour when the wind direction changes, the chance of seeing water birds has varied accordingly.  

There were still a few CANVASBACKS and REDHEADS at the beginning of the week but when the bay froze over they disappeared.  A male RING-NECKED DUCK was also present on Saturday and Sunday.  WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS have been present every day except yesterday, even when there was only a tiny patch of open water available.  The two RED-NECKED GREBES reported last week remained on Friday, increased to three on Saturday, dwindled to one on Sunday, and then disappeared altogether.  Recent reports of HORNED GREBES elsewhere in Ontario suggest that one or more of those might also be appearing at Presqu段le.  

Both adult and immature BALD EAGLES have been frequenting Presqu段le Bay this week, even when it was frozen over.  On Saturday a RED-TAILED HAWK was at Gull Island.  A SNOWY OWL on the ice of Presqu段le Bay was having none of the two COMMON RAVENS that seemed inclined to bother it.   

The male RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER at 186 Bayshore Road has not been seen for three days.  Two NORTHERN SHRIKES were seen in the Park, one on Gull Island and the other near the beach 2 access road.  AMERICAN ROBINS and CEDAR WAXWINGS continue to hang around in the general vicinity of the calf pasture.  Today was only the second time this year that the SONG SPARROW at 186 Bayshore Road has not been seen.  The WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continues to appear at 85 and 90 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. Visitors to Gull Island should exercise extreme caution. The entire approach to the island may be covered with glare ice, and footing is likely dangerous.

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.  

Fred Helleiner