With only a vestige of the spring bird migration still passing through Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week, the opportunities for finding birds have become much more predictable. Summer bird activity in the Park is fairly static in that most birds remain within a fairly narrowly defined territory for extended periods of time. Birds that are found in one area are less likely to have moved on in subsequent days than during migration.
Great Egrets are foraging regularly along the beach, with as many as four being seen there at once. Hundreds of Canada Geese, probably moult migrants, are also there now. On June 10, two late Brant were seen on Sebastopol Island, from which they were flushed by a passing canoe. They then landed on Gull Island and were still feeding there when the observer left the scene. The continuing presence of pairs of Gadwalls and Redheads around Gull Island may indicate that they are breeding there.
An Osprey flew over the marsh on June 4. Yet another observation of a Sandhill Crane over the causeway leading into the Park reinforces the likelihood that the birds are wandering from a nesting site nearby. The nearest known breeding area is the Murray Marsh. Late last week, migrant shorebirds of several species were still present in modest numbers, but by June 8 a shorebird survey revealed only four Ruddy Turnstones. Also on that date, 60 or more Bonaparte's Gulls and one Little Gull were on beach 1. It is not too late for rare birds to appear along the beach. Last year an American Avocet was there on June 8, and the period from June 14 - 25 was when a Sandwich Tern lingered there in 1988.
A Chimney Swift passing over the lighthouse area on June 4 may have been a late migrant, as the species is not known to nest at Presqu'ile. The status (migrant or breeding) of a Red-headed Woodpecker seen flying past the picnic area on June 7 is also questionable. The same may be true of a Magnolia Warbler that appears to be occupying a territory in the Park.
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.