Since Presqu'ile Provincial Park remains closed to the public, the only bird sightings worth reporting are those few that have been made on the private lands at Presqu'ile adjacent to the Park and those few that have been made inside the Park by authorized Park personnel. While most songbirds remain within their breeding territories at this time of year, there is some indication that post-breeding dispersal of a few birds may have begun, as individuals show up in parts of the Presqu'ile peninsula where they have not been seen for weeks.
High water may have hindered MUTE SWAN breeding but about fifty individuals could be seen in Presqu'ile Bay yesterday. BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS were heard in two widely separated locations on Tuesday and Wednesday. A female HOODED MERGANSER was observed flying over the northern end of the marsh, where a WILSON'S SNIPE was also heard winnowing. A few BONAPARTE'S GULLS have been lingering at the north end of the beach, where they can be observed from outside the Park. The same five Ardeid species mentioned in last week's report were also observed this week, viz. AMERICAN BITTERN, LEAST BITTERN, GREAT BLUE HERON, GREAT EGRET, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON. Although the OSPREYS that built a new nest on the Salt Point Lighthouse again this year have been paying infrequent visits to the nest in the past week, the frequent presence of gulls on the nest raises the possibility that the Ospreys' breeding attempt may have failed. Other hawks seen this week were a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and two MERLINS. A male YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was feeding on a birch tree at 186 Bayshore Road, well away from where the species has been in recent weeks. HOUSE SPARROWS, until recently a rare bird at Presqu'ile appear to have raised a family of young for the second consecutive year.
To reach Presqu'ile Provincial Park after the Park re-opens, 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 Park is restricted until further notice, and access to the offshore islands is restricted at this time of year to prevent disturbance to the colonial nesting birds there. Once the Park re-opens, 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.