There have been moderately good birding days and very good birding days at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the past week. Birders looking for the mega-rarity that was present last week were rewarded up until early Friday. Subsequent searches have revealed many birds but not the one that was targeted. The field trip to Presqu'ile scheduled for Sunday, September 9 by the Ontario Field Ornithologists promises to offer many migrants.
WOOD DUCKS continue to frequent the marsh but are difficult to see among the lilies and other emergent vegetation. The shores of Popham Bay are full of dabbling ducks these days, especially BLUE-WINGED and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. AMERICAN WIGEONS and NORTHERN PINTAILS have also been there. Farther out in the bay REDHEADS, GREATER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEADS, COMMON GOLDENEYE, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, and HORNED GREBES have also been seen.
After a lull of several days, shorebirds have once again taken the spotlight, with hundreds appearing on the beach, at Owen Point, at Salt Point, and near the lighthouse. Both BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER have been seen. GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS have been at Owen Point yesterday and today. A WHIMBREL flew past the calf pasture on September 3. Two RED KNOTS, a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, several BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS, two STILT SANDPIPERS, up to three BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS have added spice to the collection. The first DUNLINS should soon be appearing. Two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at Owen Point this morning. Among the raptors, a BROAD-WINGED HAWK on September 1 was unusual for Presqu'ile. Also on that date three BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS were vocalizing.
An OLIVE-SIDED and a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER were among several flycatchers seen on September 1 by people looking for the THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD, which had not been seen since the previous day. Contrary to what was in last week's report, another of the latter species had been found in New Brunswick a few years ago. A PHILADELPHIA VIREO was seen on September 1. WARBLING VIREO and MARSH WREN were both in full song in the past two days. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was found on September 1. Among several thrushes seen was an early HERMIT THRUSH. AMERICAN PIPITS have been appearing at Owen Point in small numbers for several days. A good variety of warblers, especially on September 1, revealed none that was unexpected. An early LINCOLN'S SPARROW and two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were seen on September 3. A BALTIMORE ORIOLE was still present on September 1. One or more RED CROSSBILLS were heard overhead on September 1.
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 until after September 10 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.