Until today, when an overnight north wind brought in a wave of migrants to Presqu'ile Provincial Park, birding has been slow for many days, reflecting the unseasonably warm temperatures that have not been conducive to migration. A second printing of a book entitledFor the Birds: Recollections and Rambles, by Fred Helleiner, is now 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 Out on a Limb in Brighton. All profits are being 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.
There has been little change in the duck population since last week, with the best variety, including WOOD DUCKS, occurring in the marsh and visible from the camp office viewing platform. HORNED GREBES are still present in good numbers in Popham Bay. Along the causeway leading into the Park, a GREAT EGRET has been seen as recently as yesterday. About a dozen species of shorebirds have been seen this week on Gull Island and at Owen Point, the most numerous being SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. A SPOTTED SANDPIPER on October 1 was rather late. At least one GREATER YELLOWLEGS was calling in the marsh this afternoon. A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was on Gull Island on October 1. A SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER on September 28 could not be relocated minutes after it was reported. AMERICAN WOODCOCKS were seen on September 27 and October 3. More BONAPARTE'S GULLS are appearing each day this month, so LITTLE GULLS may also be showing up. The latest CASPIAN TERN was seen on September 27, and three COMMON TERNS at Owen Point today were the first since August 23. A BARRED OWL was seen in Jobes' woods today.
The latest RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD was on September 30. An EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE on September 28 was late. A few BLUE-HEADED and RED-EYED VIREOS were present in the past week, and one PHILADELPHIA VIREO on October 1 was also seen. A vocal COMMON RAVEN flew over this morning. Two HORNED LARKS were on Gull Island on Tuesday. A SWAINSON'S THRUSH and a great many HERMIT THRUSHES were among the newly arrived birds today. A WOOD THRUSH was seen on September 29. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS have been abundant, but most others have thinned out or left. Notably late sightings were TENNESSEE WARBLER and MOURNING WARBLER on September 27, a YELLOW WARBLER on October 1, and WILSON'S WARBLERS on September 27 and 28. The first FOX SPARROW of the season appeared this morning, as well as two more LINCOLN'S SPARROWS. The first COMMON GRACKLES in many weeks were at 83 Bayshore Road on two days this week.
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. Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be prepared to wade through water that is shin-deep, not taking into account any wave action,.in which there is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery. It should also be noted that in the interest of safety, because duck hunting on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, the outer tip of Owen Point (beyond the sign at the edge of the trees), and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days . 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.