It comes as no surprise, given recent weather, that the fall bird
migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has largely stalled. It is
equally unsurprising that most birders are waiting for more auspicious
(derivation: /auspex/ = bird-watcher) conditions before visiting the Park.
At least one TRUMPETER SWAN was again present this week in Popham Bay.
Among the ducks off Gull Island the following have been seen this week:
NORTHERN PINTAIL, up to five GREEN-WINGED TEAL, up to eight REDHEADS,
GREATER SCAUP, LONG-TAILED DUCK. A RED-NECKED GREBE was also there this
morning, a day earlier than the previous early fall date. The recent
revision to the taxonomic order in which birds are listed places RUFOUS
HUMMINGBIRD immediately before the rails. Since early August is the
time when at least two Ontario records of this western vagrant have
occurred, including one at Presqu'ile four years ago, it is worth
drawing to the attention of birders that not all hummingbirds should be
assumed to be RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS (and that even those common
ones are related to rails!). A COMMON GALLINULE continues to be seen in
the woodpile marsh.
Most of the attention this week has been focussed on shorebirds, which
made a sudden appearance on Saturday and have been present in growing
numbers since then. BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS (up to seven) are in various
plumages, some still in full breeding plumage. Only two of the young
PIPING PLOVERS were seen yesterday, and today all three were seen but
only briefly. Between Owen Point and Gull Island, several dozen
sandpipers have been feeding on the algae flats, including a
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER on Saturday and today, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER this
morning, and two SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS on Monday. Two SOLITARY
SANDPIPERS also flew over on that day. Two GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 13
LESSER YELLOWLEGS appeared on Saturday. A few BONAPARTE'S GULLS are
being seen from time to time. The GREAT EGRETS are still sitting in the
trees on High Bluff Island, and a GREEN HERON was in the woodpile marsh.
A BALD EAGLE on Monday, a COOPER'S HAWK on Saturday, and three MERLINS
on Tuesday were of interest. On both Monday and Tuesday, single COMMON
RAVENS were seen in the Park. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was seen on
Tuesday. A few migrant warblers have appeared, including NASHVILLE
WARBLER and MAGNOLIA WARBLER, which are not known as summer birds at
Presqu'ile, and BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, which
may have migrated in from points north. A juvenile EASTERN TOWHEE was
certainly of local origin.
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. There is also a restricted area at beach 2 and beach 3, where the public
is being directed away from the area frequented by young Piping Plovers.
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.