The past week at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has seen many species of birds returning on schedule as well as a few interesting reports that unfortunately lack any adequate written or photographic documentation of their alleged identities. The Park provides rare bird reporting forms for this purpose, but few are submitted.
From May 7 - 9, Red-throated Loons were still present in Popham Bay, 6 and 5 on the first two of those days, respectively, including some that were closer to shore than had been the case through much of April. At least three flocks of Brant rested in the waters off Presqu'ile and on Sebastopol Island on May 8 and 9, the largest flock numbering about 80 birds. More can be expected in the next week or two. There was a report of a Trumpeter Swan. No others of that species have been seen anywhere in the area for many months. Two Northern Pintails were in Popham Bay on May 5. On May 7, five White-winged Scoters and on May 8 one Surf Scoter were also in Popham Bay.
Turkey Vultures were seen in the Park on several days. An Osprey was at the lighthouse on May 6. After almost a week with only three or four species of shorebirds (including small numbers of Semipalmated Plovers) and barely half a dozen individuals on any given day, there was a minor influx on May 11, including a Ruddy Turnstone, about 8 Least Sandpipers, and about 30 Dunlins. A report of a Willet seen flying away in the marsh was unusual, as was another report of a Purple Sandpiper.
A Red-headed Woodpecker was at the lighthouse on May 8, and a Red-bellied Woodpecker has been in that area for over a week. A rather late Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been lingering nearby. A few Eastern Kingbirds and Great Crested Flycatchers have been present for several days, but as yet no Eastern Wood-Pewees
. A Yellow-throated Vireo appeared on May 9, and several Red-eyed Vireos on the following day. Philadelphia Vireos can be expected any day now. The only Cliff Swallow of the season was at Owen Point on May 11. An Eastern Bluebird was seen on May 5. Cedar Waxwings can often be seen migrating overhead at the lighthouse in late May, but a small flock was already doing that on May 10.
Among the 21 species of warblers found in the Park in the past week, the highlights were a Blue-winged Warbler and two Golden-winged Warblers on May 9, a very early Orange-crowned Warbler on May 5, Northern Parulas on May 8 and 10, four Palm Warblers on May 6, a Bay-breasted Warbler on May 11, a Cerulean Warbler on May 10, and three American Redstarts on May 11.
Scarlet Tanagers first appeared on May 9 and have been seen on each subsequent day. Clay-colored Sparrows appear to be back on territory in the calf pasture. A late Dark-eyed Junco was seen on May 7. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have been exceptionally numerous in recent days. Indigo Buntings and Orchard Orioles are appearing daily at the lighthouse and elsewhere. Two male House Sparrows stopped briefly at a feeder on May 8 and another was seen at a different feeder on the next day.
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.