Since there has been only a trickle of migrating birds at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in recent days, albeit with one rarity included, this report is being fleshed out with mention of a new book, as noted below.
Although GADWALLS and REDHEADS are regular ducks off Owen Point, the presence of an AMERICAN WIGEON there on June 9 was unexpected. The long-staying male RING-NECKED DUCK in Presqu'ile Bay was also present on that day. A RUFFED GROUSE was heard drumming this week, which seems late for that behaviour. GREAT EGRETS, the subject of a quiz question on last night's Jeopardy television show, can often be seen foraging along the natural beach north of Owen Point. An OSPREY'S nest on the lighthouse off Salt Point is being visited irregularly by two of that species.
Eight species of migrant shorebirds have been on the beach in the past week. High counts include two BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS on June 9, three SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS on June 11, fifteen SANDERLINGS on June 9, two SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS on June 9, and singles of PIPING PLOVER (June 7), RUDDY TURNSTONE (June 9 and 10), WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (June 10), and DUNLIN (June 10 and 11). Perhaps the shorebird migration is not yet finished: AMERICAN AVOCET is a species that has been seen as late as June 23 in a previous year. The presence of up to 19 BONAPARTE'S GULLS on the beach this week was unexpected.
A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was observed at close range yesterday. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are no longer as vocal as they were earlier in spring, but at least one continues to visit a feeder at 83 Bayshore Road. An ALDER FLYCATCHER was calling at the lighthouse as recently as June 7, perhaps a late migrant. Two WILLOW FLYCATCHERS were calling from the back beach on June 10. A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was on High Bluff Island on June 8. It is not known whether a BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER on June 7 was a late migrant or one that might be breeding in the Park, the habitat where it was found being suitable. Efforts to naturalize the habitat of the calf pasture may be paying off, as a BOBOLINK was found there on June 8, which may be too late for a migrant en route to somewhere else.
A new book entitled For the Birds: Recollections and Rambles, by Fred Helleiner, is available from the author (see below) for $20 plus $2.50 for postage. All profits will be donated to the Friends of Presqu'ile's 25th Anniversary Environmental Fund, which sponsors long-term projects like the eradication of invasive species. This message is authorized by the Ontbirds Coordinator.
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.