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Birding Report

Presqu’ile Bird Report for 28 Jun – 4 July 2019

HIGHLIGHTS: COMMON GOLDENEYE, BLACKPOLL WARBLER

There wasn’t much coverage this week and the heat made birding less productive.  As in the past few weeks, most observations pertain to nesting birds and the many young that are fledging now.

Uncommon waterfowl (for this time of year) include an AMERICAN BLACK DUCK and an unidentified SCAUP on 28 Jun, a COMMON MERGANSER most of the week and three COMMON GOLDENEYE on 4 Jul, all off the beach.  Only one RED-BREASTED MERGANSER was seen this week, on 4 Jul.

PIED-BILLED GREBES have become more vocal in the past week, and several broods were reported.  AMERICAN BITTERNS are still calling periodically but LEAST BITTERNS have largely become silent but can still be seen in flight occasionally if you scan the marsh long enough. A SORA was calling from Salt Pt., an unusual location, on 30 Jun.  A family party of VIRGINIA RAILS was seen by the gate on 4 Jul.

No migrant (southbound) shorebirds have been reported yet but a WILSON’S SNIPE was displaying over the Park Store on the somewhat late date of 4 Jul.  On 30 Jun two barely flying young SPOTTED SANDPIPERS were seen at Beach 2.  A BONAPARTE’S GULL was seen at Salt Pt. on 1 Jul along with 25 COMMON TERN, including a first-summer individual. The first fledged RING-BILLED GULLS from the breeding colonies on Gull and High Bluff Island were seen on the mainland on 4 Jul.

A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was singing near the Lighthouse on 4 Jul.  A few RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS continue to visit Bayshore RD. feeders. Six migrant (?) BLUE JAYS were seen flying off Presqu’ile Pt. toward Prince Edward County on 2 Jul.  Most surprising was a very late singing BLACKPOLL WARBLER on 28 Jun.  Finally, a flock of 175 blackbirds (likely Red-wings) were seen flying into the marsh at dusk on 28 Jun signaling the start of post-breeding roosting and fall migration!

I will be returning to the James Bay coast to work on migrant shorebirds for the next two months but Bill Gilmour has kindly agreed to take over the report while I’m gone.  Please pass on your sightings to him at tbki2012@gmail.com for inclusion in the report.

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).