Birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park comes to almost a complete halt in July, at least as far as visiting birders are concerned, and even local birders are much less active. The latter are tempted to take for granted the exceptional variety of birds that are in the Park all summer, some 60 species of which were identified in the past week with almost no effort.
A good place to look for Common Loons that are summering here is in the vicinity of the calf pasture cove. Pied-billed Grebes have fledged their young, and it is easy to spot as many as 20 of that species in a day. Among the birds not often seen elsewhere in eastern Ontario that are taken for granted here are Great Egrets, which are almost a daily sighting. The first American Black Duck in several weeks was at Gull Island on July 11. A Red-breasted Merganser was there on the preceding day. Three Least Sandpipers were at Owen Point on July 7, but a continuation of the shorebird migration for which Presqu'ile is noted will have to await the next cold front. A Bonaparte's Gull was at Owen Point on July 13.
A Rock Pigeon flying over the calf pasture was an unusual sighting in the Park. Pileated Woodpeckers are year-round residents of Presqu'ile, but they have been difficult to find since the spring, when they were much more vocal. One was calling after the rain ended on July 12. Eastern Kingbirds are now plentiful, probably a sign that they are beginning to drift southward. Purple Martin numbers have been augmented by the young that were raised in martin houses at 38 and 192 Bayshore Road. The most reliable place to find Indigo Buntings is just west of the junction of Paxton Drive and Atkins Lane.
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.