The continuing heat wave has discouraged most birders from spending time at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, but those who have spent time here this week have not been disappointed. Not only is it relatively cooler near Lake Ontario but also a few fall migrant shorebirds are trickling in.
The lone Red-necked Grebe in Popham Bay can almost always be found not very far offshore between Owen Point and the beach to the north. Four members of the heron family have been seen in the Park this week: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, and Black-crowned Night-Heron
. In addition to the usual ducks off Gull Island, four Hooded Mergansers were found just north of Owen Point on July 14.
Two species of raptors were seen recently near the lighthouse: Northern Harrier and Merlin. Juveniles of both Sora and Virginia Rails have been very cooperative in the marsh behind Owen Point. A Common Moorhen was also present in the main marsh.
The best place for finding shorebirds at present is the algae beds along the shore between Owen Point and High Bluff campground. Least Sandpipers are there every day, and five Lesser Yellowlegs were there on July 14. A Baird's Sandpiper was there on July 9. The next cool front should bring in many more.
Apart from a singing Winter Wren near the Nature Centre and Orchard Orioles visiting the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road, there are no noteworthy songbirds to report.
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.