The word "static” is perhaps the most appropriate adjective to describe the bird life at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the past week. While very few of the sightings represent late spring migrants, the variety of summer birds remains impressive.
Close to 500 CANADA GEESE are congregated on the beach, an unusually high number. Unusual duck sightings for this time of year were 18 LONG-TAILED DUCKS on June 15, a COMMON GOLDENEYE on June 19, and a COMMON MERGANSER on June 15. In addition to the five COMMON LOONS that one observer counted, there was also an adult with two chicks in Presqu'ile Bay. This morning five newly hatched PIED-BILLED GREBE fledglings were being fed by two adults. GREAT EGRETS are spending more time foraging away from their nests on High Bluff Island and are therefore more likely to be seen on any given outing. A TURKEY VULTURE near the lighthouse on June 19 was unusual in summer. The only non-resident shorebirds seen in the past week were a LESSER YELLOWLEGS on June 14 and a RUDDY TURNSTONE with an injured leg on June 19. A few BONAPARTE'S GULLS have been consistently present on the beach. A GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was lounging on Owen Point for the past two days.
A ROCK PIGEON was out of place near the Park store. A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was present on at least three of the past seven days. An ALDER FLYCATCHER was still at the lighthouse on June 14. Several interesting warblers were among those regularly summering at Presqu'ile. A BLUE-WINGED WARBLER was heard but could not be re-located. A record late NORTHERN PARULA was found on June 18, and a late BLACKPOLL WARBLER was present on June 14. A BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER was singing in the same location as the one reported last week. PINE WARBLERS are still singing in at least two locations. This is the date on which, a few years ago, a singing PRAIRIE WARBLER was discovered, a species that might again appear this late in the season. ORCHARD ORIOLES continue to frequent several parts of the Park.
A new book entitledFor the Birds: Recollections and Rambles, by Fred Helleiner, is available from the author (see below) for $20 plus $2.50 for postage. It is also being sold at the Lighthouse Gift Shop in the Park and at Lighthouse Books in Brighton. 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.