In contrast to the preceding two weeks, birdinghas been very active at Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week. Birdershave been here almost every day and have turned up some interesting
If you count the two SNOW GEESE that have spent much of today on the outskirts of Brighton (a few kilometres from Presqu'ile), there have been three species of geese seen this week, with BRANT in the Park on three different days: one on Sunday, 60 on Monday, and two on Tuesday.
A single swan identified as a TRUMPETER SWAN was in Popham Bay before it flew off. Four TUNDRA SWANS, the first of the season, appeared on Sunday. A wide variety of ducks, including some large flocks, made birding by scope a big attraction this week. Among others, there has been a NORTHERN SHOVELER in the marsh on two consecutive days, a single CANVASBACK in Presqu'ile Bay with GREATER SCAUP on Tuesday, a small flock of RING-NECKED DUCKS in the marsh on Sunday and Monday, SURF, WHITE-WINGED, and BLACK SCOTERS, and a RUDDY DUCK in the marsh on Sunday (the only one this fall). At least three RED-THROATED LOONS were in Popham Bay on Tuesday. A GREAT BLUE HERON was still in the marsh on Tuesday. Two ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS hunting over High Bluff Island on Sunday were the first of the season.
Although the shorebird season, such as it was, has begun to wind down, there have been one or two days this week with sightings of up to five species: eight BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SANDERLINGS, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, and numerous DUNLINS. The main attraction for birders at Presqu'ile in November is PURPLE SANDPIPERS, the first of which should be showing up soon. In Jobes' woods, one observer watched a BARRED OWL a mere seven feet off the ground for a good half hour. Single RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS have been seen several times near the lighthouse. A MERLIN was spotted on Sunday. As recently as Monday, an EASTERN PHOEBE has been frequenting the calf pasture. HORNED LARKS have been at Owen Point. A very late BARN SWALLOW was patrolling the lawns around 186-190 Bayshore Road for much of the afternoon on October 26. A WINTER WREN in full song surprised two birders. Two flocks of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were in the Park on Sunday, as well as countless HERMIT THRUSHES. One estimate was 40-50 birds by one observer. Three
AMERICAN PIPITS were on Gull Island on Tuesday. A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was present on Sunday. SNOW BUNTINGS first appeared on Sunday, and by Tuesday 29 were counted. The only warblers seen this week were an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER on October 27. AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS were found on October 28.
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. Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be prepared to wade through water that is shin-deep, not taking into account any wave action,.in which there is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery. It should also be noted that for safety reasons, because duck hunting is on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, Owen Point, and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days. 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: