The reputation that Presqu'ile Provincial Park has for being a migration trap for birds was confirmed on Tuesday, when hundreds of songbirds appeared that had apparently ridden in on the overnight northerly winds, the first in several days. Remnants of that "invasion” are still present. 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.
The most notable change among dabbling ducks since last week has been an increase in the number of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, both in the marsh and along the beach. Out in Popham Bay, REDHEADS and GREATER SCAUP have also increased but remain far offshore, even when hunting is not taking place. Within the last two days singles of SURF and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS have been in Popham Bay and elsewhere off shore. Within the next week, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, BUFFLEHEADS, and COMMON GOLDENEYES should begin to arrive. A RUFFED GROUSE was flushed from beside the lighthouse. There were five sightings of AMERICAN BITTERN in the past two days, probably not all of the same individual. A TURKEY VULTURE was on the beach this morning. The first two AMERICAN COOTS of the season were in the marsh on October 5. Although shorebirds continue to be scarce, nine species plus an AMERICAN WOODCOCK were found in the past week. One AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER standing beside BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS allowed for an easy comparison, even before being flushed by a passing MERLIN. A GREATER YELLOWLEGS was heard at the calf pasture. Two BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were near Owen Point today. Although no owls were reported this week, it seems likely that NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS are hiding somewhere in the Park, this being the month when they pass through.
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are being seen here and there. As many as three BLUE-HEADED VIREOS as well as a RED-EYED VIREO were seen by one observer yesterday. HERMIT THRUSHES were ubiquitous on Tuesday, including one group of fifteen. Three ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were at the lighthouse today. Eleven other warbler species were seen in the past week, including NORTHERN PARULAS on three different days and BAY-BREASTED and BLACKPOLL WARBLERS yesterday and one of the latter today. Two EASTERN TOWHEES were seen this week, as well as SAVANNAH, SWAMP, and FOX SPARROWS.
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, because duck hunting is on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, the outer tip of Owen Point (beyond the sign at the edge of thetrees), and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days. Birders are encouraged to record their observations onthe 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.