As one would expect in late May, the birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has yielded a combination of summer residents and late migrants, which together provided a count of well over 100 species, including at least 111 on one day.
There was still a BRANT at Owen Point this morning. The male RING-NECKED DUCK and female BUFFLEHEAD are still keeping each other company in Presqu'ile Bay. A few WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were seen earlier in the week. A female COMMON GOLDENEYE was near the lighthouse yesterday. A WILD TURKEY was flushed on the Owen Point trail on Sunday. Two OSPREYS have been building a nest on top of the Salt Point lighthouse and a third one was circling nearby. A BALD EAGLE was seen on May 25. Four birders on a "big day” found a SORA.
While most of the spring migration is winding down, the shorebird migration is going full tilt and will likely continue to entertain birders for at least another week. A significant WHIMBREL migration took place on May 24, the traditional date for that event, and two were still present yesterday. Although a few RUDDY TURNSTONES have been moving through and a small flock of RED KNOTS stopped on the beach on May 27, more of both species will likely appear in the next few days. There have also been a few SANDERLINGS, with more expected. A sudden influx of many SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS this morning was the largest number by far seen this spring. A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER and a SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER were also of interest. AMERICAN WOODCOCKS have been seen or heard in good numbers (six in one day). A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on May 27 and 28 was on the late side.
A ROCK PIGEON sighting was unusual within the Park. Two BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS were present on May 27, one of which was photographed. A good variety of flycatchers has been in the Park this week, including OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS on May 25 and 30. One observer saw four PHILADELPHIA VIREOS at the lighthouse on May 24, including three in one tree. The BLUE JAY migration over the lighthouse apparently peaked on May 26 but is still continuing every day in reduced numbers. Among the hundred or more swallows that gathered on the cold mornings of May 24 and 25 were a few CLIFF SWALLOWS. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was seen on May 27. A late RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was seen on May 27. The NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD discovered over a week ago was last seen on May 24. None of the 19 warbler species recorded in the past week was unexpected. The timing is right for a CONNECTICUT WARBLER to show up in the next few days. A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and a very late SAVANNAH SPARROW (May 24) were of interest. A DARK-EYED JUNCO on May 27 was also late. One can almost always find one or more ORCHARD ORIOLES. PINE SISKINS continue to visit feeders.
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. Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out a rare bird report for species not listed there.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.