Birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has been hot and cold during the past week. Saturday was one of the exceptionally "hot” days, with a steady movement of passerines. On other days, it has been a matter of stumbling upon small flocks with long intervals between.
A TRUMPETER SWAN appeared at the lighthouse on September 6, shortly after the week's report had been sent. There is still a good mixture of ducks, including WOOD DUCKS, AMERICAN WIGEONS, REDHEADS, LESSER SCAUP, and COMMON MERGANSER. A HORNED GREBE was in Popham Bay. The first GREAT EGRET in two weeks was in the marsh on September 11. RUFFED GROUSE, up to five at a time, have been feeding on berries near the lighthouse. A family of five COMMON GALLINULES was in the marsh this morning. The shorebird numbers have dwindled. Among others seen in the past week were BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SOLITARY SANDPIPER, RED KNOT, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, STILT SANDPIPER, and BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER. For the second consecutive day, a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen on September 7. The most common raptors this week have been MERLINS, with up to five being seen on a single day. Together with the odd PEREGRINE FALCON, they are keeping the shorebirds alert. A BARRED OWL was noted on September 12.
A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was in the campground on September 9. There are still a few flycatchers of several species, including a rather late EASTERN KINGBIRD on September 11. Five vireo species have been found in the past week, including a YELLOW-THROATED VIREO on September 7, the first BLUE-HEADED VIREOS of the season on September 10, and several PHILADELPHIA VIREOS. The first HORNED LARK of the season was on the beach on September 11. A few RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS have already appeared. The highlight of the many warblers that were present on September 9 was a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER at the lighthouse. SAVANNAH SPARROW, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, and DARK-EYED JUNCO were forerunners of the large sparrow influx that can be expected soon. The first LAPLAND LONGSPURS should also be arriving soon. A PINE SISKIN on September 9 was the first in over two months.
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. Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be prepared to wade through shin-deep water in which there is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery.. Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out a rare bird report for species not listed there.
Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to: FHELLEINER@TRENTU.CA.