Bird diversity is starting to peak at this time of year with species of ducks, shorebirds, hawks, woodpeckers, flycatchers and warbler families all represented in good numbers. Sparrows soon to follow.
This makes it a very good time to join the ever popular OFO Presqu’ile outing lead by Ian Shanahan on Saturda September 14th. Meet up at 8:00 am in the Lighthouse Parking lot. Word to the wise make sure to have cash to pay for daily permit in case pay kiosk is not available. It’s unlikely gate attendee will be there by 8:00.
Duck species are starting to build with 10 species reported this week. WOOD DUCK, AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, REDHEAD, LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD and COMMON MERGANSER.
A RED-NECKED GREBE was spotted on Aug 9th rafting out in Popham Bay.
Both the species and number of shorebirds dropped this week but the 25th species of this fall migration made its way to beach 2. A JUVENILE LONG-BILLED DOWITHCER put in a brief appearance on Sept 9th. other shorebirds seen this week were SEMIPALMATED PLOVER 37 still present today, KILLDEER, RED KNOT 2, STILT SANDPIPER 1, the most numerous shorebird of the week with 38 remaining as of today SANDERLING, DUNLIN, BAIRD’S, LEAST, PECTORAL, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, SPOTTED and both GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. Habitat is still excellent for incoming shorebirds with good feeding areas from beach 1 to Owen Pt. Hopefully the next weather front coming in will drop some birds for the OFO outing on Saturday!
A nice total of 40 TURKEY VULTURES were soaring over Owen Pt on Sept 7th. A first year BALD EAGLE have been reported a number of times this week mostly from beach or perched in trees on High Bluff Island. Fall hawk migration is starting to ramp up with NORTHERN HARRIER, SHARP-SHINNED, COOPER’S, and RED-TAILED HAWK being reported this week with numbers sure to pick up! BARRED OWL was again the only owl reported this week.
The RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS being seen since early May in a residential yard have seemed to move on. The last RED-HEADED WOODPECKER seen was an adult on Sept 8th early in the morning and left shortly after much to the dismay of three birders one visiting from Tasmania looking to add it to his life list. RED-BELLIED, YELLOW-BELLIED, DOWNY, HAIRY, NORTHERN FLICKER and PILEATED WOODPECKER were also reported this week.
Three falcon species were reported this week. The first AMERICAN KESTREL of the fall, MERLINS and a PEREGRINE Falcon can be seen chasing down shorebirds on the beaches. Young MERLINS can also be found feeding on dragonflies often in the Calf Pasture.
OLIVE -SIDED FLYCATCHER was spotted along Paxton near Calf Pasture on Sept 11th, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, YELLOW-BELLIED, WILLOW, LEAST, EASTERN PHOEBE, GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER and one of the few remaining EASTERN KINGBIRDS. The only swallow reported this week was a BANK SWALLOW Sept 7th. MARSH WRENS are still being heard from Marsh Boardwalk. AN AMERICAN PIPIT SEPT 12TH on beach 3
Both species diversity and number of warblers are continuing to build and will peak shortly in the Park with 23 species reported this week. OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND WHITE, TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, MOURNING, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, AMERICAN REDSTART, CAPE MAY, NORTHERN PARULA, MAGNOLIA, BAY-BREASTED, BLACKBURNIAN, YELLOW, CHESTNUT-SIDED, BLACKPOLL, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, PALM, PINE, YELLOW-RUMPED, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, CANADA and WILSON’S.
The first SCARLET TANAGER of the fall was reported Sept 8th.
A Park employee ventured out to GULL Island on Sept 10th and reported depths of 3 feet in some places. Make sure you check wind conditions before venturing out as wave action can pick up quickly increasing depth and footing issues. There is a good sized pond on Gull Island which bodes well for attracting shorebirds! From now to September 26th Gull Island is open to birders everyday, Waterfowl hunt begins Sept 27th according to Friends of Presqu’ile website once this happens access to Gull Island is only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
THANK YOU to all the observers who have forward me or Ebirded their list of bird sightings this week!
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just south of the town of Brighton. It can be reached from either Hwy. 401, or Cty. Rd. 2 and is well signed. A Park map can be found in the information tabloid available at the Park gate. Presqu’ile’s two offshore islands – Gull and High Bluff – support a large multi-species colonial bird nesting area and access is not permitted during the breeding season (10 March-10 September).