POSTED | August 2, 2018 - Bill Gilmour
Presqu’ile Bird Report for the week of 27th July to 2nd August 2018
Highlights: YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, CAROLINA WREN, HOODED WARBLER
This week shorebird migration slowed down with no new species arriving on the beaches. The beaches look very good with algae forming south of beach 3 and the next weather front should bring in some new birds. Songbirds on the other hand have picked up with quite a few new arrivals. One wonders if fires up north are moving birds south sooner?
The first RUFFED GROUSE in awhile were seen on trails July 30th and Aug 2nd. Both CUCKOOS were seen in the Park this week. The YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO was spotted on the 27th and 28th on Paxton Rd between the bend and the north end of the paved Newcastle trail. The BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was photographed nicely on the 30th exact location not known.
VIRGINIA RAILS and COMMON GALLINULES along with both AMERICAN AND LEAST BITTERNS are still being reported from the Marsh Boardwalk this week. The same mix of SHOREBIRDS that have been reported all week mostly from Beach 3 south to Owen Pt include SEMIPALMATED PLOVER with a high of 9 birds on the 1st, KILLDEER, SANDERLING high count of 15 birds on the 2nd, LEAST SANDPIPER high of 3 on the 1st, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER a high of 21 birds again on the 1st. WILSON’S SNIPE and SPOTTED SANDPIPER.
RAPTORS in the Park include NORTHERN HARRIER seen a couple of times once at the Calf Pasture on the 30th and on Salt Pt today. COOPER’S HAWK has been reported a few days this week. Most sightings again off Paxton. A photographed immature BROAD-WINGED HAWK on the 31st in the Newcastle Woods area is rare at this time in the Park. RED-TAILED HAWKS were also reported twice this week. The only OWL reported again this week was a BARRED OWL north of Stonehedge Cottage calling on July 30th. MERLINS have been seen most days this week perched in a Cottonwood near the north end of the paved Newcastle trail and Salt Pt.
Presqu’ile always good for WOODPECKERS had 7 species this week with YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS being reported this week most likely some of the very few breeding birds offspring. The others are RED-HEADED WOODPECKER being seen all week from 83 Bayshore Rd. This bird sporadicly comes into the yard in search of peanuts. Although RED-HEADED’S breed here last year no young have been seen as of yet this year. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, DOWNY, HAIRY, NORTHERN FLICKER AND PILEATED WOODPECKERS have all been reported.
Seven species of FLYCATCHERS were reported. EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE can still be heard in most wooded areas. A YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER heard and seen on Paxton on the 28th. WILLOW FLYCATCHERS a couple of days this week along the Owen Pt trail. LEAST FLYCATCHER mostly heard along Paxton, EASTERN PHOEBE, GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER still being heard from woodlots and EASTERN KINGBIRDS seen all week in numerous locations some still with young in tow.
The pair of CAROLINA WRENS are still being seen and at times heard at the Lighthouse. The male was singing up high in a tree and the female was down low giving a chatter call! Anyone who can enlighten me on breeding behaviour and whether this is some sort of courtship ritual please email me privately. BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER appeared at 83 Bayshore on the 29th and 30th. Family groups of HOUSE, PURPLE and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES can be seen flying around feeders in residential areas in Park.
A total of 13 WARBLER species were spotted in Park this week the best being a female HOODED WARBLER that enjoyed the bird bath’s at 83 Bayshore Rd briefly. Most warblers came in on the 28th and stayed a few days before possibly moving on include NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE, TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, AMERICAN REDSTART, numerous CAPE MAY, BLACKBURNIAN, YELLOW WARBLER which have really thinned out last couple of days, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, PINE and a lone YELLOW-RUMPED. Most of these warblers were seen by walking a loop from Lighthouse up Paxton to paved part of Newcastle Trail the south on paved trail. If you take the second cross-country ski trail on the left it brings you back out just north of Lighthouse on Paxton. A great way to locate both resident and migrating songbirds.
The first SCARLET TANAGER of the fall was at the Calf Pasture on the 29th and another at 83 Bayshore on the 1st. Also at 83 Bayshore the first ORCHARD ORIOLE in almost 10 days appeared briefly on July 1st.
Thanks to the Park Staff and all others who reported their findings!
Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just south of the town of Brighton. It can be reached from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2 and is well signed. A Park map can be found in the information tabloid available at the Park gate. Presqu’ile’s two offshore islands – Gull and High Bluff – support a large multi-species colonial bird nesting area and access is not permitted during the breeding season.