Pending a shift in the recent weather patterns, there has been relatively little bird migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the past week. There are still plenty of migrants and other birds around, but what one sees on any given day is much the same as on previous days.
As an example, two TRUMPETER SWANS have been loitering around Sebastopol Island for well over a month and are still there today. Technically the waterfowl hunt is in progress, but there are fewer ducks than one would expect at this date. Six WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS on October 2 were the first of the fall. A RUFFED GROUSE was seen on Friday near the Park store and another was flushed on the Owen Point trail today. Two RED-NECKED GREBES were in Popham Bay on Monday and today. Eleven shorebird species have been seen in the past week, including BAIRD'S, WHITE-RUMPED, and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. The previously reported LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was still present on October 2. Two rather late CASPIAN TERNS were on the beach on Tuesday and today. An AMERICAN BITTERN and two GREEN HERONS have been in the woodpile marsh, and a third GREEN HERON flew over near the Park entrance. A count of 55 TURKEY VULTURES on Tuesday was the highest so far this season. An OSPREY on Sunday was rather late. Two BALD EAGLES were circling over the north end of the Park on that day. A BARRED OWL was near the nature centre on two consecutive days. NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS should soon be showing up. There have been sightings of both RED-BELLIED and PILEATED WOODPECKERS. Twice this week, a PEREGRINE FALCON frequented the offshore islands.
An EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE on October 6 and a PHILADELPHIA VIREO on October 4 were on the late side. COMMON RAVENS have become almost daily sightings. BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES have been migrating through the Park all week. Most GRAY CATBIRDS have left but one was at the calf pasture this week. A LAPLAND LONGSPUR photographed on Gull Island this morning represented the first of that species this fall. At least ten warbler species were seen in the past week, including three ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS. Among the hundreds of sparrows in the Park this week, the following are of particular interest: EASTERN TOWHEE in two locations; eight SAVANNAH SPARROWS; a NELSON'S SPARROW singing on Gull Island; two LINCOLN'S SPARROWS on two different days. SCARLET TANAGERS were seen on October 2 and 3.
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 ankle-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 given priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Owen Point, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days.
Birders are encouraged torecord their observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out arare bird report for species not listed there.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.