The mix of birds at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has changed very little in the past week, as expected in late June/early July. Nevertheless, the exceptional variety for which the Park is noted and the potential for something out of the ordinary justify the effort to spend a day birding at Presqu'ile, even in mid-summer.
A few WOOD DUCKS continue to be seen in the marsh. The COMMON LOON that flew past the lighthouse was likely not one of the family that made the marsh their home this spring. With a scope GREAT EGRETS can be observed on their nests on High Bluff Island. A BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON flew past the lighthouse one evening. Four OSPREYS were circling overhead on June 28. A COMMON GALLINULE in the marsh was one of very few seen at Presqu'ile this year. The first of the fall migrant shorebirds will likely be arriving this month, if not in the next week. An adult AMERICAN WOODCOCK escorted three young ones across a busy road, with the encouragement/assistance of the Park Naturalist. On Monday and Wednesday, an immature GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was at Owen Point. Again this week, a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was near the Owen Point trail parking lot.
A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was at 83 Bayshore Road. Seeing two PILEATED WOODPECKERS one morning this week was a bit unusual, though the birds are known to be present all year. Likewise, a MERLIN that was seen on Sunday was not totally unexpected since that species breeds in the Park. In the not-quite-sure category was a briefly glimpsed and not re-located bird that gave the observer the impression that it might have been a WESTERN KINGBIRD. Birders should be on the lookout in the west portion of the calf pasture. A BROWN CREEPER that was heard in Newcastle woods was an example of a species that is not often found in southern Ontario in summer. ORCHARD ORIOLES are most reliably seen at 83 Bayshore Road and in the calf pasture. A PURPLE FINCH was at 83 Bayshore Road and from one to four PINE SISKINS have been daily visitors to the feeders at 186 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.