A TRUMPETER SWAN with the K29 wing tag was spotted again on May 2. With an increase in boat traffic, the number of ducks remaining has dwindled, but a few of the more interesting species that were still around in the first week of the month were GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL, REDHEAD, GREATER SCAUP, COMMON GOLDENEYE, and a reported RUDDY DUCK. In addition to the few RED-THROATED LOONS that have been in the traditional location far out in Popham Bay, another individual was in the inner part of Presqu'ile Bay on May 4, perhaps the same individual that has been seen sporadically since March 11. What appears to have been a GREAT CORMORANT, a species never confirmed at Presqu'ile, was seen on May 4, about an hour later than a confirmed sighting of that species flying west from Prince Edward Point. A LEAST BITTERN was in the marsh on May 2, tying the previous earliest record date. While GREAT EGRETS are a fairly common nesting bird at Presqu'ile, the much rarer SNOWY EGRETS have also been seen in previous years during the month of May. The first GREEN HERON of the season was seen today.
The YELLOW RAIL reported last week was heard again on May 2 and a SORA was in the marsh on May 5. A SANDHILL CRANE flew over on May 1. The favourable shorebird habitat at Owen Point and on the beach has attracted both GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, up to 11 LEAST SANDPIPERS, and two DUNLINS. Two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were present on May 4. BARRED OWLS were both seen and heard. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was near the lighthouse yesterday, and RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are there almost every morning. MERLINS were seen on two different days. The BLUE JAY migration over the lighthouse was first noted on May 3 and will undoubtedly become more evident as the month progresses. Two COMMON RAVENS were seen on May 3. BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS were near the lighthouse on May 5 and 7. The songs of both GOLDEN-WINGED and BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS were heard but neither species could be located to confirm which species was singing which song, a problem when both species are known to sing the songs of the other. Among the other nineteen warbler species in the Park this week were a reported ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and CAPE MAY WARBLERS, NORTHERN PARULAS, and a record early WILSON'S WARBLER. A brightly coloured SAVANNAH SPARROW was at Owen Point. A few LINCOLN'S SPARROWS have been seen. Most of the DARK-EYED JUNCOES have left but two were seen yesterday. The first SCARLET TANAGER was seen today. Beginning on May 3, several ORCHARD ORIOLES have been seen and heard every day, with BALTIMORE ORIOLES arriving in numbers on the following day. PURPLE FINCHES and PINE SISKINS have been regular patrons of the feeders at 83 Bayshore Road.
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 from March 10 onward to prevent disturbance to the colonial nesting birds there.
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.