Although birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park still bears all the earmarks of summer birding, a few species returning after an absence of several weeks serve to remind us that the fall migration will soon be in full swing.
Common Loons (near the lighthouse), Great Egrets (on the beach), and a Turkey Vulture (resting on Paxton Drive), while not rare at this time of year, are still worth mentioning as visitors are not likely to encounter them without a certain amount of luck.
Gadwalls, American Wigeons, and Redheads are among the ducks most likely to be found around Gull Island, but on July 3 there were also two female Common Mergansers at Owen Point.
There have been several Osprey sightings in the past week between the calf pasture and the lighthouse, and a Northern Harrier was also at the calf pasture on July 4.
Lesser Yellowlegs (up to four) and Least Sandpipers (up to six) have been present since July 6 along the beach north of Owen Point. From now on, each successive cool front is likely to bring more shorebirds to that part of the Park. By this time last year, there had already been sightings of Greater Yellowlegs and Stilt Sandpipers. A Bonaparte's Gull on the beach on July 5 will soon be joined by more of its conspecifics.
On the morning of July 2, a Red-headed Woodpecker was tracked as it moved westward on the peninsula past 83 Bayshore Road and the calf pasture.
Although at least seven species of warblers were reported at Presqu'ile during the past week, it is unlikely that any of them are fall migrants. However, their presence underscores the variety of bird life to be found in the various habitats in the Park. The calf pasture is the only part of the peninsula where grassland birds can be expected during the breeding season, but an unexpected Eastern Meadowlark appeared this week on a lawn near the lighthouse. Orchard Orioles are known to be present at Presqu'ile every summer; this year the most reliable place to find them is the feeders at 83 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.