Slowly but surely the fall bird migration is building up steam at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Except for water birds, shorebirds, and open country birds, finding what is present is a challenge because of the lush foliage.
The dabbling ducks seen this week include WOOD DUCKS, AMERICAN WIGEON, GADWALLS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Only three species of diving ducks have been seen in the past week: REDHEADS, a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER on August 2, and a COMMON GOLDENEYE on August 3 and 7. GREAT EGRETS are still easy to find. Seven shorebird species were seen this week, but the only one not present last week was a LESSER YELLOWLEGS. The 18 BONAPARTE'S GULLS on Gull Island on August 5 were the largest flock so far this fall. A GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL this morning was the first in almost two months.
A ROCK PIGEON in the Park was somewhat unusual. A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO called on the Owen Point trail. Unlike last year, when a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD appeared on August 4, the only ones seen this week were RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS, which have been feeding voraciously at feeders. Both RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER have been at 83 Bayshore Road. Three CLIFF SWALLOWS were in a flock of other swallows on August 2. Again this week a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was found. Among the seven warbler species in the Park this week were a few that were likely newly returned migrants: NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and CANADA WARBLER. ORCHARD ORIOLES have become scarce at Presqu'ile this month, but one was seen on August 4. Both male and female PURPLE FINCH have been seen in the past week.
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. 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.