Presqu’ile's beaches continue to produce good shorebird opportunities for birders with the 19th species of southbound shorebirds reported this week. Passerine migration has started slowly but this week produced 8 species of flycatcher and 15 species of warblers. Although 15 species of warblers were reported individual numbers remain quite low. The number of both species and numbers of warblers will continue to increase the next few weeks. These are the best weeks to visit the Park. September 14th OFO will be having an outing in the Park led by an amazing ( soon to be local ) birder. I believe this is a week later than usual so just a heads up!
BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS were reported a couple of occasions this week and one lucky observer had a greedy look at a juvenile out in the open not wanting to move a feather with a MERLIN perched nearby.
COMMON NIGHTHAWKS have started migrating through with 3 birds close to Calf Pasture on Aug 25th. The Constructed Wetland continues to be a good spot for CHIMNEY SWIFT as a total of 18 birds were seen on Aug 24th.
Shorebird species and numbers fluctuate greatly during the migration period and patience is required due to the fact that shorebirds are moving between good feeding areas on the beach and both Gull and High Bluff Island. All it takes is a falcon to move birds from one of these feeding areas to another. Today there were no shorebirds on the beach first thing but small flocks could be seen from a distance on Gull Island. Possibly where the 19th species of this southbound shorebird migration period a WESTERN SANDPIPER was resting and foraging until seen later on the beach today. This bird was first reported on Aug 28th and seen again today.
Other shorebirds seen this week were BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER 2, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER 20, KILLDEER 2. WHIMBREL 1 on the 26th. WHIMBREL were reported last week and this is quite possibly a bird seeking refuge on one of the islands and could very well be seen again. SANDERLING 7, BAIRD’S 1, LEAST SANDPIPER 8, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER 2, PECTORAL SANDPIPER 1, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER 30, WILSON’S SNIPE 2, SPOTTED SANDPIPER 2, SOLITARY SANDPIPER 1, GREATER YELLOWLEGS 3 and 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS.
A couple of GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL have joined the regular 3 species of gull today on beach 1. TURKEY VULTURES , BALD EAGLE, NORTHERN HARRIER, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, and BROAD-WINGED HAWK were reported in the Park this week with BARRED OWL being the only owl reported. Both MERLIN and PEREGRINE were spotted numerous times this week.
8 species of flycatcher were seen this week led by the ever popular OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER most birders come to find at Presqu'ile and Calf Pasture remains to be the best place to look. EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, and the first YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS were reported another crowd pleaser, WILLOW FLYCATCHER, LEAST FLYCATCHER, EASTERN PHOEBE, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER and lastly EASTERN KINGBIRD.EASTERN KINGBIRDS could still be seen feeding young birds along the first picnic area a great location to find this species.
The first southbound PHILADELPHIA VIREOS were reported this week on the 23rd. The first sign of thrush migration also took place this week with both VEERY and SWAINSON’S THRUSH visiting a residential backyard on AUG 25TH. GRAY CATBIRDS and BROWN THRASHERS were reported and to complete the trio a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was reported just outside the Park near the Whistling Duck Restaurant on AUG 28TH.
15 species of warbler were reported this week greatly increasing diversity of warblers this migration period. Although a good species count actual individual numbers remain low but this should change once we get a good cold front!
OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE,TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, MOURNING WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, AMERICAN REDSTART, CAPE MAY WARBLERS and one bird is still continuing to nectar on hummingbird feeders in a residential backyard.MAGNOLIA, BLACKBURNIAN, YELLOW still the most numerous, CHESTNUT-SIDED, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and WILSON’S WARBLER.
Although warblers can be found anywhere in the Park some of the best places to find warblers are the Lighthouse first thing in the morning, Paxton Rd from the Lighthouse to and including the Calf Pasture. The Fingers area can also be good on windy days and is worth a look.
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).