The first stirrings of fall bird migration have reached Presqu'ile Provincial Park this week, but for the most part what is present now is the same as what was present a month ago, albeit rearranged somewhat, so that birds are showing up in new places within the Park, presumably the result of dispersion from nesting territories.
In addition to the WOOD DUCKS in the marsh and the GADWALLS, AMERICAN WIGEONS, MALLARDS, and REDHEADS that congregate on the north shore of Gull Island, there have been five GREEN-WINGED TEAL there for the past few days. COMMON LOONS continue to be found in Presqu'ile Bay, where they have nested in recent years. GREAT EGRETS are most visible as they fly over the Park between their foraging areas to the east and north-east and their nesting grounds on High Bluff Island. An immature BALD EAGLE flew over beach 1 on Monday. A LESSER YELLOWLEGS was on the beach on Sunday and two "peeps? were there today but flew off before they could be identified. The shorebird numbers will likely increase during the rest of the month and may include SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS. Two BONAPARTE'S GULLS in Popham Bay on July 10 were the first in almost two weeks.
An EASTERN PHOEBE near the lighthouse was nowhere near the known nesting territories in the Park. A recently fledged EASTERN KINGBIRD was being fed this evening on the lawn of 186 Bayshore Road. The line-up of swallows of several species on utility wires is a prelude to their eventual departure. An agitated female EASTERN TOWHEE was enticed out of shrubbery this morning. Both male and female ORCHARD ORIOLES have visited local feeders this week.
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.Fred Helleiner