With a very few exceptions, the only birds found at Presqu'ile Provincial Park these days are the expected breeding birds, which have been present for the past many weeks. Nevertheless, the solstice is behind us, and there are historical records of early fall migrants at Presqu'ile in the first few days of July, notably SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, which are among the first shorebirds to return in the fall and which might find an ideal habitat in the algae build-up where the edge of the beach used to be.
One pair of MUTE SWANS has successfully fledged a cygnet in the marsh despite record high water levels. While very few ducks have been reported in the past week, unusual sightings of unmated individuals in summer are not unheard of. In that category are an AMERICAN WIGEON this week a few kilometres outside the Park and a EURASIAN WIGEON that lingered from June 23 to July 1 seven years ago. Both COMMON GALLINULE and AMERICAN COOT have been seen in the marsh this week. An AMERICAN WOODCOCK was on the main entrance road on Tuesday. BONAPARTE'S GULLS have been staying surprisingly late this year, with at least two dozen on the "beach" on Sunday and two near the lighthouse yesterday. Near the lighthouse on Tuesday was an adult COMMON LOON closely followed for several hours by a second of that species whose plumage, behaviour, and perhaps size suggested that it might have been a young bird fledged this year, despite what seems to be a very early date. GREAT EGRETS are being seen regularly, and a GREEN HERON and a few BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS have also been seen.
While passerine birds are ubiquitous in summer at Presqu'ile, none of those reported this week can be considered sufficiently unusual to merit mention.
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.