Persistent unseasonably cool weather at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has slowed the bird migration to a crawl and high lake water levels have inundated several areas that normally provide habitat for migrants. That is not likely to change soon but there is hope that the weather will begin to cooperate.
Both yesterday and today a flock of BRANT flew past, with estimates of 400 and 40 birds, respectively. The most interesting duck is a male SURF SCOTER that has been off the lighthouse for the past three days. Two HORNED GREBES were in the same general area on Sunday and Tuesday. A WHITE-WINGED DOVE that spent three days at Presqu'ile in mid-May 14 years ago serves as a reminder to be alert for surprises at this time of year. The PIPING PLOVER that has been present since April 21 was still being seen yesterday. Four LEAST SANDPIPERS and ten LESSER YELLOWLEGS were on the beach on May 5. GREAT EGRETS continue to be seen, including one perched in a tree at the calf pasture.
Both male and female RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are being seen regularly at the eastern end of the Park. There has been a steady but limited BLUE JAY migration past the lighthouse for several mornings. A COMMON RAVEN was seen this afternoon. A few BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS are being seen near the lighthouse. Every day a few warblers are appearing within a few hundred metres of the lighthouse but the variety (13 species) has not yet built up to expectations. For many visiting birders, the abundance of ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS in the past few days has been a highlight. A late DARK-EYED JUNCO was in that area yesterday. The first SCARLET TANAGER of the season was singing nearby this morning, as were two RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. Both ORCHARD ORIOLES and BALTIMORE ORIOLES have been among the regular birds at the lighthouse and nearby for the past two days.
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.