The mid-July birding doldrums appear to have hit Presqu'ile Provincial Park, though some of that may be attributed to the absence of birders actively searching. Migrating shorebirds are the only exception to the general inactivity.
The most recent sighting of the Red-necked Grebe that was present in Popham Bay for almost a month was on July 16. On any given day, either a juvenile Sora or a juvenile Virginia Rail can usually be seen in the marsh behind Owen Point. Nine species of shorebirds have been seen in the past week at Owen Point or on the adjacent beaches. An early Semipalmated Plover was there from July 14 to 16. Both Greater
and Lesser Yellowlegs were present on July 15. The highlight of the week, however, was a Willet that spent a few hours at Owen Point on July 15, one of very few fall records for the Park. Anyone who would like to view Caspian Terns can find about 100 of them, including juveniles, on the gravel bar off Owen Point.
Recently there has been a bit of dispersal of songbirds away from their summer territories, with individuals showing up where they have not been seen for weeks. Even apparent migratory behaviour of two Blue Jays was noted as they flew over the trees towards the lighthouse before turning around and returning in the opposite direction. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak has been frequenting the trees behind 191 Bayshore Road for the past two days. Orchard Orioles were seen feeding two young birds beside the woodpile marsh. Although it is still a bit early, if the prolonged heat wave breaks, there may be some migrant warblers or other songbirds trickling in before too long.
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.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.