In the almost total absence of migrating birds and with most birders choosing not to go out in the oppressive heat of the past week, it is not surprising that few noteworthy bird observations were made at Presqu'ile Provincial Park.
Common Loons are present in small numbers, with a high count of four birds feeding together on June 12. Since they are scarce in many other parts of Ontario, the likelihood of finding Great Egrets on any given summer day at Presqu'ile can make a visit to the Park worthwhile. Among the usual ducks off Gull Island (Gadwalls, American Wigeons, Redheads, etc.), there has been an American Black Duck, a male scaup, probably a Greater Scaup, as recently as June 14, and a Common Merganser on June 10. Perhaps because of the paucity of birders and the cessation of the daily shorebird surveys of the past month, there have been no recent reports of the Piping Plover that was present from May 21 onward. The only remnants of the spring shorebird migration recently were a Ruddy Turnstone on June 13, 30 Semipalmated Sandpipers on June 10, and a Dunlin on June 16. From henceforth, it will be difficult to differentiate shorebird sightings between spring and fall migrants. A Black Tern over Presqu'ile Bay on the morning of June 10 was the only member of that species found at Presqu'ile this year.
A Red-bellied Woodpecker was detected in the east end of the Park on two consecutive days, June 12 and 13. Clear evidence that this species is breeding in the Park would be most welcome. The continued presence of at least one Golden-crowned Kinglet near the Nature Centre suggests that that species is breeding nearby. The same can be said of both Nashville
and Blackburnian Warblers, but the Blackpoll Warbler heard on June 12 was almost certainly a late migrant. Orchard Orioles are still frequenting 85 Bayshore Road and may be nesting in the lilacs across the road.
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.