This report is primarily based on sightings gleaned from eBird, and those reported directly to me. I would be grateful to hear of any interesting sightings. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your observations are very much appreciated. If you are reporting something rare, please provide some details (exact location, ID features noted) or photographs if possible. Finally in order to try and keep the database as accurate as possible, eBird accounts submitted under false names or pseudonyms will not be used unless I know who the actual observer is.
Red-throated Loon, Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Northern Mockingbird, Golden-winged Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Evening Grosbeak
Until Wednesday the woods have been eerily silent with many expected species either absent or present in just ones and twos, however warmer weather on 13 May led to a big increase in species diversity and, although numbers picked up, most arrivals likely over-flew the lakeshore and went straight to breeding territories further north. Migration is now in full swing and should be quite fun for the next few weeks.
Blue-winged Teal: 3 birds were at Gull Is. on 7 May.
Ring-necked Duck: 4 birds, likely the last of spring, remained until 7 May.
Long-tailed Duck: Birds remain offshore and visible on calm days, with the high count being 875 seen from Chatterton Pt. on 8 May.
Red-throated Loon: A bird in breeding plumage was seen off Owen Pt. on 7 May.
Horned Grebe: A single, possibly the last of spring, was seen on 7 May.
Least Bittern: The first of year was seen from Presqu’ile Parkway on 10 May.
Semipalmated Plover: One on 13 May was the first of the year.
Pectoral Sandpiper: One at Owen Pt. on 9 May was notable since this species is rather rare in spring here. Most northbound migrants are found further west.
Lesser Yellowlegs: One was seen on 7 May.
Broad-winged Hawk: One was seen on 11 May, which is actually rather rare in spring along the lakeshore, even though they are fairly common breeders north of Hwy 401.
Lesser Black-backed Gull: A first summer and second summer bird were seen on rocks off Gull Is. on 7 May.
Red-headed Woodpecker: The first of year was seen on 8 May and it, or another was seen the next day in the same place they nested the past two years.
Peregrine Falcon: Two adults were seen perched in trees on High Bluff Is. on 7 May, and one was there the next day.
Eastern Bluebird: One on 11 May is a late migrant since none breed in the park.
Northern Mockingbird: One was photographed on the Owen Pt. trail on 9 May.
Golden-winged Warbler: Single males were observed on 11 (AK) and 13 May.
Hooded Warbler: A singing male of this beautiful southern overshoot spent the morning of 13 May at the Group Campground.
Prairie Warbler: One of these rare but annual visitors was found on 13 May.
Dark-eyed Junco: A late bird was seen on 13 May.
Red Crossbill: Seen throughout the week, mostly in the conifer plantations near the junction of Paxton Dr. and Atkins Lane with a very impressive high count of 60 on 7 May (MR,MF). As of yet there has been no suggestion of breeding but observers are encouraged to keep an eye out.
White-winged Crossbill: Two were seen at the “Y” junction, where the one-way loop begins, on 7 May.
Evening Grosbeak: Birds were seen throughout the week in small numbers with a high of 8 on 13 May. Presumably these are northbound birds returning from a large flight this fall.
Please Note: Gull and High Bluff Island is closed to visitation between 10 March and 10 September to protect the thousands of colonial birds that nest on the islands.