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Birding Report

Presqu’ile Bird Report for 5-11 Oct 2018

Highlights this week include JAEGER SP., CAROLINA WREN, LECONTE’S SPARROW

Waterfowl remain well represented with most puddle ducks still present - mostly in the marsh, and increasing numbers of diving ducks.  SURF SCOTERS have been regular all week off the lighthouse peaking at 9 on 10 Oct. Several SURF and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS have been seen off the beach as well. WILD TURKEY is once again being seen more regularly in the Calf Pasture area.  PIED-BILLED GREBES can be seen near the edges of the marsh on most days.  RED-NECKED GREBES were reported several times with one at Calf Pasture on 6 Oct and two off the beach on 7 Oct.  HORNED GREBES can be seen in calm conditions in some numbers off the beach/islands with a high count of 95 on 9 Oct.

The only herons reported this week were GREAT BLUE HERON and GREAT EGRET, a single of which was seen on 7 and 8 Oct from the causeway.  Hawk movements are being noted just north of the park on days with northerly winds but only small numbers of the expected species have been seen in the park.  Eight species of shorebirds were reported this week, most from Gull Is.  These included a GREATER YELLOWLEGS on 9 Oct., 12 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER on 11 Oct, two KILLDEER  (often scarce in the park at this time of year) on 9 Oct, a BAIRD’S SANDPIPER on 9 Oct, a LEAST SANDPIPER on 11 Oct, and a maximum of 20 SANDERLING on 11 Oct (FH).

A sub-adult JAEGER was seen briefly from Gull Is. on 9 Oct but could not be identified to species.  Gulls are still moistly restricted to the three regular species HERRING, RING-BILLED AND GREAT BLACK-BACKED but a single BONAPARTE’S GULL on 10 Oct livened things up a bit.

A HORNED LARK was on the beach on 7 Oct.   Several observers commented on seeing flocks of up to 35 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES migrating in atypical habitats such as Gull Is. and the beach, suggesting a movement is afoot. A single HOUSE WREN was seen just outside the gate on 8 Oct.  The long staying CAROLINA WREN was again seen/heard around the lighthouse area on 7, 8 and 10 Oct.  Four EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were on the wires just outside the gate on 11 Oct. A somewhat late SWAINSON’S THRUSH was seen on 9 Oct.  Single BROWN THRASHERS were seen on 6 and 8 Oct.  Warblers have thinned out considerably but at least 6 species were seen, the most unusual of which was a late NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH on 8 Oct. 

Sparrows are well represented this week with many migrants passing through.  The only rare sparrow was a LE CONTE’S SPARROW seen briefly just outside the gate on 8 Oct  - it has not been relocated despite subsequent searches. A late BOBOLINK flew over the marsh calling on 8 Oct.  PINE SISKINS are increasing with a maximum of 23 on 8 Oct.

Note that fall waterfowl hunting in now occurring in the Park which means park users 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.

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.