The oppressive heat that has prevailed for much of the past week has curtailed birding activity in Presqu'ile Provincial Park, but does not seem to have affected the birds themselves, many of which are now beginning to move around more and show up in places where they had not been seen all summer.
Two Common Loons swam past the lighthouse on July 15. Great Egrets and Black-crowned Night-Herons
fly to and from the offshore islands on a regular basis, and can sometimes be seen elsewhere in the Park. An American Bittern was seen on July 17. On two consecutive days, a Turkey Vulture was soaring near the Park entrance. A Canada Goose startled two home-owners on Bayshore Road by sitting for at least 20 minutes on a part of their roof that was almost completely surrounded by trees. A Red-breasted Merganser was on Gull Island on July 20, along with the other regular ducks.
Shorebirds have begun to trickle in on their southbound migration. On July 18, on Gull Island there were a Ruddy Turnstone, a Sanderling, and three others that were too far to identify, perhaps Semipalmated Sandpipers. Five Bonaparte's Gulls were on the beach on July 20. Both Caspian Terns and Common Terns have fledged young which sit with their elders off Owen Point.
For the second week in a row, a Rock Pigeon appeared in the Park, something that happens only a few times a year. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was seen at 83 Bayshore Road. Pileated Woodpeckers have been more evident this week, with one report of two birds and another of five birds near the campground parking lot. About 30 Purple Martins are frequenting the east end of Bayshore Road. Two or three Northern Mockingbirds seen near the maintenance yard of the Park included one young bird, fairly good evidence that the species bred at Presqu'ile this year for the first time in over four decades. A young Veery was also likely the product of a nest in the Park. An Orchard Oriole near the lighthouse on July 16 was the first in that part of the Park in several weeks.
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.