Despite the heat and humidity of the past week, several birders found interesting birds at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, and the varied habitat there guarantees that birds of different ecosystems can usually be found.
Common Loons, up to three on any given day, were seen on four different days. The Red-necked Grebe that had been present in Popham Bay for almost a week was last seen on June 25. An American Bittern was in the small marsh near Owen Point on June 25. The previously reported three male scaup (probably Greater Scaup) were still off Sebastopol Island on June 27. Two Red-breasted Mergansers were off Owen Point on June 25.
Ospreys were present on June 26 and 28. Both Sora and Virginia Rails were found near Owen Point on June 25.
This is the time of year when the spring and fall shorebird migrations overlap. The Black-bellied Plover on June 25 was in spring plumage, but the Lesser Yellowlegs on June 27 was almost certainly a southbound bird. The Semipalmated Sandpiper reported on June 26 could have been either. Least Sandpipers are likely to be the next fall arrival.
A surprising discovery of an Iceland Gull on the beach on June 25 was unexpected in summer. A Black Tern was at the calf pasture on June 28.
A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was again found at the calf pasture recently. This year for the first time that species is outnumbering its commoner cousin at Presqu'ile. A Yellow-rumped Warbler was one of only a few summering warblers seen in the Park lately. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak was at the lighthouse from June 23 -25.
One of the most productive areas in the Park recently has been the calf pasture, where there are several Field Sparrows and Orchard Orioles as well as at least one Clay-colored Sparrow. Another Orchard Oriole was near Owen Point on June 27.
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.