Very little has changed since last week in the bird life at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Nevertheless, one or two sightings have got people wondering whether the spring migration will ever end. Meanwhile, as the nights get longer (have you noticed?), birders begin to anticipate early fall migrants.
On June 18 single females of COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen. The presence of COMMON LOONS in Presqu'ile Bay suggests that, again this year, they may be breeding there, as they have in recent years. GREAT EGRETS continue on their nests on High Bluff Island. If those volunteers who will soon be guarding the PIPING PLOVERS on three-hour shifts train their spotting scopes on the west end of that island, they should be able to spot several of the egrets. Three TURKEY VULTURES were on the beach yesterday. The OSPREYS nesting on the Salt Point lighthouse have two rapidly growing young. The BROAD-WINGED HAWK seen yesterday, while the first sighting in over a month, was a reminder that the species may actually be nesting in the Park. A COMMON GALLINULE was in the woodpile marsh again this morning.
Arrangements are being made for volunteers to guard the nesting PIPING PLOVERS on beach 2, in anticipation of the imminent hatching of the eggs. Two exceptionally late shorebird sightings were of a RUDDY TURNSTONE on June 20 and a SANDERLING on June 21. Well over 100 CASPIAN TERNS are gathered daily at Owen Point. Old-timers who were birding Owen Point 28 years ago and recall the SANDWICH TERN that hung out there at this time of year are on the lookout for a LEAST TERN that was seen this week at Darlington Provincial Park and was last seen flying towards the east, i.e., towards Presqu'ile.
An AMERICAN KESTREL was at the calf pasture on the weekend. A WILLOW FLYCATCHER was found on Saturday. COMMON RAVENS were spotted on three different days. Birders with keen ears may be able to find the two BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS that were near Jobes' woods on Saturday. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and INDIGO BUNTING are both regular summer birds in the Park and were both seen in the past week.
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.