For those who like to tick off birds on their lists, there has been a bit of an uptick in sightings at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the last week. However, those expecting masses of shorebirds as in previous years were ticked off by their almost total absence. Perhaps birders are avoiding the Park because of the publicity this summer about the prevalence of ticks, of which there have already been too many in the first few lines of this report.
One of the CANADA GEESE on the beach has white on the head reminiscent of a BARNACLE GOOSE but should not be mistaken for that species. The only ducks of interest in the past week were nine WOOD DUCKS, four GREEN-WINGED TEAL, thirty REDHEADS, and three HOODED MERGANSERS. A RUFFED GROUSE flew across the road. A COMMON LOON flew past the lighthouse today. Two early HORNED GREBES and an early RED-NECKED GREBE were in Popham Bay on August 7. GREAT EGRETS remain perched in their nesting trees on High Bluff Island. TURKEY VULTURES, OSPREYS, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK were all seen this week. Typically, visitors to the beach and Owen Point are seeing fewer than half a dozen shorebirds, and sometimes none at all. SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS are the most frequently seen. There was a third-hand report of a SOLITARY SANDPIPER. A LESSER YELLOWLEGS flew over the marsh. On August 6 there were two WHIMBRELS flying to and fro, whose presence was not made known in time for last week's report. On two subsequent occasions there were sightings of single birds at a distance that may have been that species. Both SEMIPALMATED and LEAST SANDPIPERS have also been seen but no more than one of the former and two or three of the latter. Two adult GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS were on the beach on August 11. A BARRED OWL was seen on Tuesday evening.
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS were again present at 83 Bayshore Road, and a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER was there this afternoon. There were two COMMON RAVEN sightings on the weekend. On Saturday three observers found four BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS and one was at the lighthouse on Tuesday. On calm nights from now on it may be possible to hear migrating SWAINSON'S or GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHES overhead. Warblers have begun to migrate through the Park. They are gathering in small pockets, along with BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. One may search all day without finding any, and then suddenly encounter a group of a dozen or more. Among others that have been seen this week are NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES, and BLACK-AND-WHITE, MOURNING, BLACKBURNIAN, CHESTNUT-SIDED, PINE, YELLOW-RUMPED, and CANADA WARBLERS. A FIELD SPARROW and two PURPLE FINCHES round out this week's ticks.
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.