Presqu’ile Bird Report for Week of 15 - 21September 2018
Firrst let me begin by thanking Bill Gilmour for stepping up and doing such a good job with these weekly reports while I was working in James Bay for the past two months. I thought he did such a good job that he should keep doing them but he disagreed. This will be a shorter than usual report since I haven’t yet been birding in the park and really don’t have my “finger on the pulse” yet.
Also note that waterfowl hunting in the Park begins this Saturday which means you cannot go to Owen Pt., the islands, the marsh (boardwalk is open), or Calf Pasture Pt. on Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays even if no one is hunting on those days. This restriction will last until mid December so plan your trip accordingly.
A good selection of the expected ducks was reported. Scarcer species included up to 2 NORTHERN SHOVELER around Gull Is. on 19 Sep, and 10 GADWALL there the next day. GREEN-WINGED TEAL were seen through the week with a high of 35 on 19 Sep. A NORTHERN PINTAIL was in the woodpile marsh on 19 Sep, two REDHEAD and two LONG-TAILED DUCK were seen in Popham Bay on 20 Sep.
RUFFED GROUSE and WILD TURKEY were seen throughout the week including the latter eating wild grape at the Calf Pasture. A RED-NECKED GREBE was seen in Popham Bay on 19 Sep. Some raptor movements were detected just north of the Park gate with up to 50 BROAD-WINGED HAWKS moving west on 19 Sep, along with 2 BALD EAGLE, 1 COOPER’S, 10 SHARP-SHINNED, 1 RED-TAILED, 3 AMERICAN KESTERL and 2 MERLIN. MERLIN and PEREGRINE FALCON have been a regular sight around the beach and islands.
Shorebirds have been seen mostly around Owen Pt. and the islands but are in reduced numbers from previous weeks. No rare species were reported but the “usual suspects” are present including a few BAIRD’S and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS. Four DUNLIN also appeared on 20 Sep.
Nightbirds provided some excitement on 19 Sep when a WHIP-POOR-WILL was flushed from the Bayshore Rd. bridge at Calf Pasture at dusk, then serenaded by a BARRED OWL calling to the south. The expected woodpeckers are being seen with migrant YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and NORTHERN FLICKER picking up in numbers, including 70 of the latter on 20 Sep. Flycatchers were similarly well represented with the highlight being single YELLOW-BELLIED on 17 and 19 Sep.
The two long staying CAROLINA WRENS at the lighthouse area continue to be seen (heard mostly) and one of those, or a third bird makes occasional appearances along Bayshore Rd. Thrushes were prominent this week with all expected species being reported and a sizable mixed species flight being noted on 19 Sep. Similarly a good variety of migrant warblers were seen although no rare species were picked up.
Migrant sparrows are increasing including DARK-EYED JUNCO, which has been seen in small numbers throughout the week. A female INDIGO BUNTING was spotted at Calf Pasture on 20 Sep. A RUSTY BLACKBIRD was seen at Owen Pt. on 19 Sep. A PINE SISKIN was seen on 18 Sep and up to 10 PURPLE FINCH were noted the next day.
Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just south of the town of Brighton. It can be reached from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2 and is well signed. A Park map can be found in the information tabloid available at the Park gate. Presqu’ile’s two offshore islands – Gull and High Bluff – support a large multi-species colonial bird nesting area and access is not permitted during the breeding season.