Fledged young birds of various kinds are all over Presqu'ile Provincial Park these days, and the families are dispersing after raising their broods. The result is that birds are showing up in places where they have not been seen for weeks.
Among the ducks seen in the past week have been four Wood Ducks in the marsh, six Gadwalls, an American Wigeon, and four Green-winged Teal near Owen Point, and six Redheads, six Lesser Scaup, and two Common Goldeneyes in Popham Bay off Gull Island, the latter on the very late date of June 25. Five Common Loons were in Presqu'ile Bay on June 26. Great Egrets are appearing almost every day, and Black-crowned Night-Herons
were seen twice this week, as were Turkey Vultures. An Osprey flew past the calf pasture, perhaps one of the birds from the nest on the other side of the bay, from which the young appear to have fledged.
Shorebird migration at this time of year becomes confusing, as northbound and southbound birds can both be found, despite the suggestion in last week's report that none of the former were left. Yet as recently as June 23 a Semipalmated Plover, four Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a White-rumped Sandpiper were still near Owen Point and a Dunlin was still there on June 22 and 28. Nine Semipalmated Sandpipers had been there on June 22 and one was on the gravel bar off Owen Point on June 28. All of the foregoing were presumed to be northbound migrants, but the Lesser Yellowlegs that was at Owen Point on June 26 was almost certainly the first of the southbound migrants. Perhaps Least Sandpipers will return within the next week, as they did last year. Nine Bonaparte's Gulls at Owen Point on June 23 were the first there in almost a month, but have not been seen since. Do they wander aimlessly at this time of year?
Least Flycatchers have been around the lighthouse for some time but are now beginning to move a bit farther afield. A Carolina Wren was singing on June 27 south of the dumping station, not far from the area where one was heard frequently in late April and May. At least three Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers
were at 186 Bayshore Road on June 28, perhaps a family group originating from the nest on Paxton Drive, about 400 metres away. A Veery and a Scarlet Tanager heard in Jobes' woods are probably summer residents. In contrast, the origin of a female Purple Finch at 191 Bayshore Road on June 28 is more of a mystery.
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.