A flurry of what appeared to be fall migrants last weekend was the only break in the normal pattern of summer birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park.
Great Egrets are being seen almost every day, but a Green Heron near the Park store on July 27 was the first in quite some time. Two Turkey Vultures were soaring over High Bluff Island on July 23. On the preceding day there were two American Black Ducks on Gull Island and three Green-winged Teal on the beach north of Owen Point, the first in over a month. A Lesser Scaup at the calf pasture on July 24 was also unexpected. A Sharp-shinned Hawk on July 23 was following a trajectory that fall migrants of that species commonly follow.
Most of the shorebirds being seen are on the north shore of Gull Island, barely visible from the mainland, but a few are also appearing along the beach north of Owen Point. Two Semipalmated Plovers on July 27 and a Lesser Yellowlegs last week were the first of the season. There was an unconfirmed second-hand report of two Baird's Sandpipers, and a description of a small flock of shorebirds that appeared to be dowitchers. Before long there should be Pectoral Sandpipers among the other shorebirds.
A Black-billed Cuckoo was calling at the lighthouse on July 24. Other birds appearing there recently may have just drifted towards the point from elsewhere in the Park or they may be genuine fall migrants. Among them were a probable Least Flycatcher and an adult Chestnut-sided Warbler on July 23, and a juvenile of the latter species on the following day. A Nashville Warbler was seen at 83 Bayshore Road on July 23. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak was at the lighthouse on July 26. Orchard Orioles were seen at three places along 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.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.