The cool weather of the past week has delayed the bird migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park by a week or two later than normal, as it has done throughout most of southern Ontario. However, a moderation in temperature today has brought a number of new birds and promises to bring in a lot more in the next few days. Expect flycatchers, more vireos, gnatcatchers, and lots of warblers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and orioles.
Red-throated Loons and Horned Grebes can still be found in Popham Bay with the help of a spotting scope whenever viewing conditions permit. Today was one of those days, when six of the former and five of the latter were seen. Two male Northern Shovelers were also there today.
Two new shorebird species arrived on May 5: a Spotted Sandpiper at the lighthouse and an early Sanderling on Gull Island. There were also several hundred Bonaparte's Gulls off Owen Point. It is worth scanning that flock for other species such as Little Gulls.
On May 1 a Barred Owl was calling in Jobes' Woods in the middle of the day.
Among the new arrivals today were Blue-headed Vireos, Black-and-white Warblers, and a Northern Waterthrush. A late American Tree Sparrow was at a feeder on May 2 and 3. A Bobolink at the calf pasture on May 5 and two Rusty Blackbirds at the lighthouse on April 29 were the only ones of those species reported so far this spring. A few Purple Finches are visiting a feeder where none has been for almost two weeks.
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.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.