At Presqu'ile Provincial Park the fall bird migration is now unquestionably under way. That makes birding in the Park more interesting than it has been in recent weeks, when only resident birds could be found.
Among the ducks gathered on the flooded beach, GADWALLS, AMERICAN WIGEONS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, a BLUE-WINGED TEAL, and GREEN-WINGED TEALS have been found there with some regularity. An ailing female WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was on the algae-covered shore on July 8. An adult COMMON GALLINULE and three small unattended chicks nearby were seen on July 7. The arrival of some two dozen shorebirds of six species, excluding the resident ones, has fulfilled the predictions that birders have been expressing, i.e., that the flooding of the beach and the accompanying build-up of algae would provide excellent shorebird habitat (without the noxious element of sewage lagoons). Two days ago there were two GREATER YELLOWLEGS and one LESSER YELLOWLEGS. Yesterday those numbers had increased to about 6 and 15, respectively, along with a SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER and a SOLITARY SANDPIPER, all of which were at the south end of beach 3. A second SOLITARY SANDPIPER was photographed on a flooded section of lawn in the day use area. Today, all of those species and the summering ones were still on the flooded beach, as well as two LEAST SANDPIPERS and a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. Rounding out the sandpiper family was an AMERICAN WOODCOCK at the Park gate on Tuesday. Several dozen BONAPARTE'S GULLS are also feeding along the beaches nearby, raising hopes that some other small gull species may join them. Again this week, a LEAST BITTERN and a number of GREAT EGRETS have been seen.
One or two OSPREYS have been making infrequent visits to their nest at Salt Point, perhaps with the intention of attempting a second brood after the apparent failure of the first attempt this year. A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was at 83 Bayshore Road on Saturday. A COMMON RAVEN was being chased by blackbirds. Among warblers known to be present in summer but not often reported were two species found this week: OVENBIRD and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH.
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.