HIGHLIGHTS: Sandhill Crane, Glaucous Gull, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
OVERVIEW: Lots of expected migrants have been showing up more or less on time but numbers still seem thin. We have yet to see a big southerly air push that would assist migrants on their way. Waterfowl numbers have thinned out considerably now that the ice is gone but species diversity is still good. The islands – closed to the public during nesting season - are busy with nesting gulls, terns, egrets and cormorants. Songbirds are trickling in and some early nesting species like Brown Creeper are singing frequently. So far Pine and Yellow-rumped Warblers have arrived in small numbers, but the next few weeks should see a big increase – both in species diversity and total numbers.
Tundra Swan: A late bird was seen at Owen Pt. on 16 Apr.
Sandhill Crane: One was detected overhead on 15 Apr.
Virginia Rail: The first of year was reported on 21 Apr.
Greater Yellowlegs: One seen on 16 Apr was the first shorebird, other the three expected nesting species which have already arrived (American Woodcock, Wilson’s Snipe and Killdeer).
Glaucous Gull: Two seen on 20 Apr.
Rough-winged Swallow: Two on 15 Apr were the first of year for this increasingly scarce species
Barn Swallow: One on 15 Apr was the first of the year.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: One was seen on 20 Apr.
Brown Thrasher: The first report was of one on 15 Apr.
House Sparrow: This species is never common in Presqu’ile, is frequently absent in winter, and can even vanish for a year or two. Four at one feeder on 15 Apr was the high count.
Pine Siskin: Singles were recorded on 15 Apr and 19 Apr.
Eastern Towhee: The first of year was reported o 19 Apr.
Fox Sparrow: The only report so far was of one on 15 Apr.
White-throated Sparrow: This species winters in small numbers, usually at feeders but their departure dates are often unknown because migrants return before the wintering birds depart clouding the issue. One that wintered at a Bayshore Rd. feeder disappeared on 15 Apr, before migrants had arrived.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located south of Brighton on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is well signed from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2.
Please Note: Gull and High Bluff Island are closed to visitors from 10 March to 10 September. Large numbers of colonial nesting birds breed there and are greatly disturbed when people go into the colonies.
A seasonal or daily permit is required when visiting Presqu’ile. You can purchase a daily vehicle permit online in advance of your visit online or by phone. Ontario Parks recommends you make a reservation during periods of high visitation to guarantee entry. Reserve here: https://reservations.ontarioparks.com or by calling 1-888-668-7275