After the oppressive heat of the preceding week, both birds and birders became more active again at Presqu'ile Provincial Park during the past week, with a good deal of bird song taking place, as well as a certain amount of dispersal within the Park of birds that had remained on their breeding territories for a number of weeks.
There was only one Common Loon sighted recently, but a Red-necked Grebe, first noted on June 19 in Popham Bay, was still present on June 23. According to Birds of Presqu'ile Provincial Park
(1993), this is the first summer occurrence of that species at Presqu'ile. Within the past two days, three species of heron have flown past the lighthouse: Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, and Black-crowned Night-Heron
A Northern Shoveler was off Gull Island on June 23. After an absence of over six weeks, Green-winged Teals re-appeared on the south end of the beach on June 20 and have gradually been increasing in number since then, reaching seven birds on June 23. Offshore in that area, up to three male scaup have been present on any given day. Two observers independently regarded them as probably Greater Scaup.
An Osprey at the lighthouse on June 19 and a pair of Barred Owls in Jobes' Woods in broad daylight on June 18 were the only raptors seen in the Park during the past week. A Sora was heard near Owen Point on June 19.
The tail end of the spring shorebird migration was represented by a Ruddy Turnstone on June 20, a Red Knot from June 19 - 22 (probably a record late date), three White-rumped Sandpipers, and Dunlins on several dates from June 19 - 23. A Bonaparte's Gull on beach 1 on June 23 was the first there since late May.
Yellow-billed Cuckoos were found in three widely separated places in the eastern half of the peninsula from June 18 - 20. Two Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers
were seen along the path south of the beach 3 parking lot, where another had been seen a few weeks ago. Unquestionably, the highlight of the week was a male Prairie Warbler found singing in the eastern portion of the calf pasture on June 20, the first summer record for Presqu'ile. Although the solstice was not to arrive until the following day, it seems more likely that this is a summering bird than a spring migrant and there is a high probability that it is still in the area, which has habitat that is typical for the species. Birders who are able to hear and recognize its high-pitched song might profitably search the area south of 46 Bayshore Road, where the bird was first discovered. In the same general area, at least one of the following birds was also seen this week: Eastern Towhee, Clay-colored Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Orchard Oriole. The latter was also seen near the Owen Point trail parking lot on June 21. Two Pine Siskins, normally a winter bird, spent June 18-19 at the feeders at 186 and 191 Bayshore Road, and one was still there on June 20.
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.