More birders have been visiting Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week in anticipation of seeing fall migrants, and most have not been disappointed.
This is not yet waterfowl season, but a few of note in recent days are an AMERICAN WIGEON, a NORTHERN PINTAIL, three GREEN-WINGED TEAL, a few REDHEADS, about ten WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, and a LONG-TAILED DUCK. A COMMON LOON was off the lighthouse. GREAT EGRETS can still be seen on High Bluff Island, where they nested. A NORTHERN HARRIER flew in from across Presqu'ile Bay one morning.
This morning an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER was on the beach before flying off. Other migrant shorebirds have included several SANDERLINGS and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. It is not too early to be on the lookout for RED-NECKED PHALAROPES or BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, both of which show up at Presqu'ile almost every year.
Yesterday someone saw a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, and someone else saw a GREAT HORNED OWL. Two each of PILEATED WOODPECKER and MERLIN were seen by a lucky observer. An ALDER FLYCATCHER reported on August 18 must have been calling for it to be specifically identified, though calling at that late date would be unusual. A report of a BLUE-HEADED VIREO on August 18 would be a record early date if confirmed. A COMMON RAVEN flew by on August 17. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was at the lighthouse on Tuesday. Among the 14 warbler species seen this week were TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, MAGNOLIA, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, YELLOW-RUMPED, CANADA, and WILSON'S. Another that was glimpsed briefly might have been a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS are also showing up among migrant birds.
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.