A few more fall migrants have arrived at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Most land birds have gone silent, which makes it more difficult to find them, but the numbers of water birds have increased dramatically with the addition of this year's young. The last copy of For the Birds - Recollections and Rambles has been sold, but a copy may be found in the Brighton Public Library. The author wishes to thank all those who bought a copy and thus supported the environmental fund of The Friends of Presqu'ile.
A BLUE-WINGED TEAL, a species that has not been in the Park for many weeks, landed in the marsh. A male SCAUP was with a flock of REDHEADS in Popham Bay. Again this week, a LEAST BITTERN was seen. Just outside the Park gate a GREAT EGRET was seen, the first in almost a month. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK was seen on three different days and a MERLIN on one day.
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS were on the beach on two consecutive days. On one of those days there were also three SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and six KILLDEER, the most of that species since the spring. Other shorebirds included 13 SANDERLINGS, a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, and a LEAST SANDPIPER. Formerly common in the marsh, BLACK TERNS have been rare at Presqu'ile for several decades, but one was flying around the marsh on Tuesday.
Single BARRED OWLS were encountered on three different days. The first two COMMON NIGHTHAWKS migrated overhead on August 8. There was also a migrant CHIMNEY SWIFT on that day and on August 12. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are regular at 83 Bayshore Road. The presence of a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER on August 13 suggests that OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS might also be in the Park, since they pass through at about the same time. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER appeared on three consecutive days. Among the warblers seen this week that were probably migrants were a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, two MOURNING WARBLERS, and a CAPE MAY WARBLER. Two EASTERN TOWHEES were seen yesterday, and a PURPLE FINCH on Sunday.
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 at this time of year 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.