Now that summer has officially arrived, bird migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park may be thought of as having ended. In fact, however, late June marks the overlap between the remnants of the spring migration, some of which is reported below, and the onset of the fall migration, of which there have not yet been any signs.
Among the water birds present at Presqu'ile this week, the three most abundant are Double-crested Cormorants, Canada Geese, and Mute Swans. Several dozen of the latter are seen every day, more than in any recent year. It is high time that control efforts are diverted from native cormorants to non-native swans. Two Wood Ducks appeared in the marsh, and Gadwalls are present in small numbers around Gull Island, where a Northern Pintail has also been seen periodically, most recently on June 21. The flock of Long-tailed Ducks off the Nature Centre has shrunk to nine birds. A Red-breasted Merganser was nearby on June 16. The only non-resident shorebirds seen in the past week are Semipalmated Plovers (four on June 16 and one up to at least June 21), Semipalmated Sandpipers (four on June 18 and one up to at least June 21), and a White-rumped Sandpiper on June 16. Least Sandpipers may be returning within a few days. There were still four Bonaparte's Gulls on the beach on June 16.
Two Yellow-billed Cuckoos at the south-east corner of the calf pasture likely have a nest nearby. Willow Flycatchers are easy to find by their song along the willow-lined Owen Point trail. The commonest of the swallows near the lighthouse is the Purple Martin, which nests in several martin houses nearby. Other swallows have begun lining the wires along Bayshore Road. An Orchard Oriole near the lighthouse on June 21 was the first of that species at that end of the Park since the end of the spring migration.
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.