Only a very few birders, to my knowledge, were checking out the bird life in Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the past week. Hence the report of sightings is necessarily sparse, but what there is reflects the continued arrival of late-season migrants, a number of which will not reach the Park for several weeks yet.
Surprisingly, no one has yet reported any BRANT, which often pass through Presqu'ile in mid-October. Ducks are beginning to show up in numbers and locations where they had not been all fall. In addition to the large flock of GREATER SCAUP in Popham Bay, a small flock has been gathering this week near the lighthouse. Among them yesterday was the first BUFFLEHEAD of the season, three more of which flew past the lighthouse this morning. A SURF SCOTER did much the same thing earlier in the week. A COMMON GOLDENEYE was at Salt Point on October 12, the same day as a RUFFED GROUSE was seen in the Park. There are still some 30+ HORNED GREBES in Popham Bay. A rather early ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was spotted on October 14.
Over 100 shorebirds were counted this morning, an unexpectedly high figure in the context of a year when the fall shorebird migration has left much to be desired. Two-thirds of those were DUNLINS and most of the rest were SANDERLINGS. Six other species, plus an AMERICAN WOODCOCK, seen this week included BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, a rather late SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, two WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, and two BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS (also rather late). The first LITTLE GULL of the season was at Owen Point on October 13.
A BARRED OWL was found, presumably being heard by campers taking advantage of the superb camping weather. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER discovered in the campground on October 10 and 14 was, except for the two species of Picoides woodpeckers, the most uncommon of all the woodpeckers that occur in the Park. Most of the warblers in the past week have been YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, but at least one COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and one BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER were also seen. An EASTERN TOWHEE was found on October 11.
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 not using a boat should be prepared to wade through water that is shin-deep, not taking into account any wave action,.in which there is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery. It should also be noted that, in the interest of safety, because duck hunting is on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, the outer tip of Owen Point (beyond the sign at the edge of thetrees), and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days. Birders areencouraged to record their observations onthe 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.