Until today birders have been hard pressed this week to find a productive location in Presqu'ile Provincial Park where birds are not hiding from the heat. Although not many birders have visited Gull Island, that seems to be one area which has yielded good results. Today there have been pockets of sparrows and warblers in various parts of the Park on a hit-and-miss basis, as is often the case during migration.
Now that the waterfowl hunt is in progress, some of the dabbling ducks are beginning to congregate in the inner part of the marsh, where they can be viewed from the south end of the marsh boardwalk or from the camp office viewing platform. Yesterday an ailing WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was at the edge of the beach. A KING RAIL was heard in the Presqu’ile Bay wetland complex this week, but the exact location is being withheld to ensure that this endangered species is not bothered. Among the dwindling numbers of shorebirds on the beach and on Gull Island, there have been AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, and an unconfirmed anonymous report of a WILLET. GREAT EGRETS continue to roost at the calf pasture, with eight there yesterday. A GREEN HERON was seen flying over the marsh. A PEREGRINE FALCON was seen on Sunday.
A rather late EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE was still present today, but most of the remaining flycatchers are EASTERN PHOEBES. On this date 31 years ago a SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER showed up and stayed for a few days. Various thrushes and warblers are now in the Park, and the vanguard of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, and DARK-EYED JUNCOES has arrived.
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. Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be prepared to wade through water that is almost a metre deep, not taking into account any wave action,.in which there is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery. It should also be noted that, because duck hunting is given priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, Owen Point, and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days. 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.