With increasing numbers of birders making their way to Presqu'ile Provincial Park, there has been a concomitant increase in the number of interesting birds being seen. A new book entitledFor the Birds: Recollections and Rambles, by Fred Helleiner, is available from the author (see below) for $20 plus $2.50 for postage. It is also being sold at the Lighthouse Gift Shop in the Park and at Out on a Limb and Lighthouse Books in Brighton. All profits will be donated to the Friends of Presqu'ile's 25th Anniversary Environmental Fund, which sponsors long-term projects like the eradication of invasive species. This message is authorized by the Ontbirds Coordinator.
NORTHERN SHOVELERS and GREEN-WINGED TEAL were among the dabbling ducks in Popham Bay this week. WOOD DUCKS were both in the marsh and along the causeway leading into the Park. A report of an immature CANVASBACK seen from the government dock on August 26 represents a record early date. Other diving ducks were six unidentified SCAUP, a LONG-TAILED DUCK, and a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. GREAT EGRETS are still being seen in small numbers. A GREEN HERON and a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON were also seen. SHARP-SHINNED, COOPER'S, and RED-TAILED HAWKS were present this week.
Three COMMON GALLINULES were along the causeway outside the Park gate. Single BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS can often be found on the beach or on Gull Island. Twelve species of shorebirds in the past week included a SOLITARY SANDPIPER, two GREATER YELLOWLEGS, a RUDDY TURNSTONE, a SANDERLING, a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, and a STILT SANDPIPER. This is the time of year when BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS can be expected. Both adult and immature GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS have been on the beach, but COMMON TERNS have apparently left.
A BARRED OWL was noted on August 23. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS continue to appear at 83 Bayshore Road, and one was at the calf pasture. Several MERLINS have been seen. Six OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were seen in the past week, most recently on Tuesday. Both YELLOW-BELLIED and ''TRAILL'S” FLYCATCHER were found on August 23. One year ago today, a THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD was discovered at Presqu'ile. Given that and the appearance of two WESTERN KINGBIRDS this week elsewhere in southern Ontario, the time is ripe for vagrant flycatchers from the west and south-west. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was near the lighthouse. Although 13 warbler species were seen this past week, they were all species that were to be expected.
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.