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Birding Report

Presqu’ile Bird Report for 10-16 May 2019

HIGHLIGHTS: AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, CATTLE EGRET, SANDHILL CRANE, PIPING PLOVER, BLACK TERN, NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, EVENING GROSBEAK

It’s been a great week of birding at Presqu’ile with a big surge in songbirds, especially warblers.  There were also several exciting rarities that were enjoyed by many.  Rubber boots are essential for birding the mostly flooded beach and some trails.

I apologize for the brevity of this report – I have not had time to fully research ebird and other sources for reports this week and I’m sure I’ve missed some worthy sightings.

A few RED-THROATED LOONS are still being seen off the beach on calm days.  AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS were a spectacular sight for many.  Two flew over the beach on 12 May and were picked up by several parties.  Later the same day four were seen, again by multiple parties.  Then on 15 May three were seen, and reported again the next day.  They are moving around quite a bit between Gull Island and Presqu’ile Bay.  The continuing CATTLE EGRET spent all week on Huff Rd., just NW of the Park gate.  A SANDHILL CRANE was seen by many flying over the beach on 11 May.

The banded PIPING PLOVER that was reported last week is the same bird that was here in the first week of May.  It is number 135 but it is very hard to read.  It remained on Beach 1-2 until 12 May.  A number of shorebirds arrived this week, although none in any number.  Arriving species include BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SOLITARY SANDPIPER, RUDDY TURNSTONE, SANDERLING, LEAST SANDPIPER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER.

A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was spotted on Gull Is. from the tip of Owen Pt on May 10.  A BLACK TERN was feeding with COMMON TERNS in Presqu’ile Bay on 16 May.  This once common nesting species is now not even an annual visitor. Two WHIP-POOR-WILLS were seen feeding silently in the woods at night on 11 May.  Several RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were seen this week.

A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was seen by the gate on 10 May, then it or another set up shop eating suet at a Bayshore Rd feeder from 11-15 May. Warblers arrived in numbers with most expected species reported.  No major rarities or southern overshoots have been reported yet but there were several GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS reported and even more BLUE-WINGED.  At least four ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were reliably reported this week which is more than we get most springs.  Seven late RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were noted on 10 May.  A small number of PINE SISKINS continue at feeders along Bayshore Rd and a very unexpected male EVENING GROSBEAK spent most of 15 May at a feeder.

Finally two rare birds – a WHITE-EYED VIREO and WESTERN TANAGER (which would be a new park bird) were reported but I do not have any first hand details or information.  If anyone does, please send along the details – thanks.

Needless to say we local birders would love to hear promptly of any rarities that visitors find so if you see something rare, please feel free to call or text my cell (613-243-4161) or Bill Gilmour’s cell (613-475-4219) and we will get the word out to the local birding community. Thanks.

Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just south of the town of Brighton.  It can be reached from either Hwy. 401, or Cty. Rd. 2 and is well signed.  A Park map can be found in the information tabloid available at the Park gate.  Presqu’ile’s two offshore islands – Gull and High Bluff – support a large multi-species colonial bird nesting area and access is not permitted during the breeding season (10 March-10 September).