At this time of the year shorebirds are the focus of most birders visiting the Park and this week it didn’t disappoint producing 16 species of shorebirds! Birders are still best to head to Beach 2 and explore the beach starting from here. A Park employee kindly reported the state of trail leading to Owen Pt. Most of trail is dry as is lookout#1, lookout 2 and 3 under water. As you get to the point the trail lookouts 4 and 5 are covered in gravel but there is an opening as you get out to the point giving you the best view of Gull Island otherwise there is no view yet at any of the lookouts. There is no shorebird habitat at Owen Pt and this is likely to continue for a while yet. For those birders who like to head to Gull Island in the fall, it is going to be a challenge unless water levels really drop in the next month!
Duck species and numbers remain relatively low with WOOD DUCK, MALLARD, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and a summering LONG-TAILED DUCK that appeared to be doing poorly most likely due to botulism. A couple of HOODED MERGANSERS round out the ducks.
After a long absence the first 3 WILD TURKEYS were seen on August 13th.
A total of 3 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS have been reported this week in the Park.This is one shorebird that seems to prefer to forage around Beach 1. A flock of 30 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS have been constant all week. KILLDEER round out the plovers seen this week.
The first 2 SANDERLINGS showed up on Aug 11th and are still being reported. 2 BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS were reported on the 13th and haven’t been seen since. High count of 1OO LEAST SANDPIPERS on the 13th have dwindled to half that today. 2 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, 1 PECTORAL, 55 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, a high of 6 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS on the 13th and not seen since. 2 WILSON’S SNIPE, 3 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, 1 SOLITARY SANDPIPER. 5 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and a high of 18 LESSER YELLOWLEGS.
A local naturalist was out fishing in the marsh on Aug 11th and had a BLACK TERN fly past her canoe. Although this is most likely a migrant the possibility of this tern breeding here needs to be considered.
There was an uptick of songbirds moving on August 11th. One lucky resident had 6 species of warblers moving through the yard. BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE, AMERICAN REDSTART, BLACKBURNIAN, numerous YELLOW WARBLERS and a CANADA WARBLER. Other then the BLUE-WINGED WARBLER which nest not far from the Park all these warblers breed in the Park and are likely moving off breeding areas.
ORCHARD ORIOLE was last reported on August 11th and although there will be a few stragglers most ORCHARD ORIOLES have probably migrated out! We have yet to see any sign of new songbirds moving into the area as of yet.
THANK YOU to all the observers who have forward me or Ebirded their list of bird sightings this week!
Directions: 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 (10 March-10 September).