OVERVIEW: It was another exciting week at Presqu’ile with the tail end of shorebird migration passing through as well as the last vestiges of songbird migration. Nesting is well underway for most species and some have already fledged young.
Green-winged Teal: A male was still present in the Gull Is. puddle duck flock on 3 Jun.
American Wigeon: A male was in the mixed puddle duck flock on 29 May.
American Black Duck: This species has been very rare in summer for the past few decades so it is interesting that 2 were still around the islands on 29 May.
Northern Pintail: a male was at Gull Is. on 2 Jun.
Northern Shoveler: 3 were seen on 2 Jun.
Redhead: a single male was seen on 29 and 30 May.
Hooded Merganser: A female with 5 young at the Woodpile Marsh on 1 Jun provides a great breeding confirmation.
Red-breasted Merganser: Numbers have dropped considerably with only 6 seen on 2 Jun from Owen Pt. (the only diving ducks seen) on a glass calm morning.
Common Loon: Four first summer birds were feeding far out on the lake on 2 Jun.
Bald Eagle: Singles were seen on 28 May and 30 May.
Black-bellied Plover: Present through the week in variable numbers with a big peak of 81 on 29 May.
American Golden Plover: For the second time this spring a brilliant Golden Plover was found, this time on 30 May and remaining until the next day. This species is rare in spring anywhere east of extreme south-western Ontario.
Piping Plover: A banded bird – different than the one a few weeks ago – was seen on 1 Jun.
Whimbrel: This species continued through the week in smaller numbers with a high of 9 on 30 May. Two lucky observers saw 3 birds resting on Owen Pt. at 6 pm on 29 May, one of which had a transmitter on its back and a readable flag band. It turns out that “EJ2” was banded in South Carolina on 11 May and was tracked daily in that area until 1 am on 28 May. Photos taken clearly show the band to confirm this exciting re-sighting!
Ruddy Turnstone: Seen through the week with a high of 23 on 29 May.
Red Knot: 10 on 29 May and 5 on 1 Jun were the only reports.
White-rumped Sandpiper: So far the only bird this spring was a single on 2 Jun.
Short-billed Dowitcher: Two bright birds of the hendersoni race were on Gull Is. on 29 May.
Wilson’s Phalarope: One was seen on 2 Jun.
Bonaparte’s Gull: A flock of first summer birds continues around the islands, peaking at 31 on 31 May.
Little Gull: A first summer bird was briefly on Owen Pt. on 2 Jun. Based on plumage this is not the same bird that has been in Cobourg Harbour west of the Park.
Lesser Black-backed Gull: A first summer bird was on the shoals off Owen Pt. on 29 May.
Great Black-backed Gull: This species is now rare in summer; a first summer was on the shoals off Owen Pt. on 29 May.
Rock Pigeon: Four flying up the beach on 2 Jun were likely homing pigeons. They are otherwise a rarely seen bird in the Park.
Chimney Swift: One or two reported through the period with a high of 5 foraging with swallows on 28 May – the day it snowed!
Red-headed Woodpecker: Three seen together on 2 Jun is likely the nesting pair plus an interloper.
Peregrine Falcon: A pale sub-adult bird was chasing shorebirds on 31 May.
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher: One seen on 1 Jun might be the last of spring.
Bank Swallow: Swallows seem to be in real trouble based on numbers seen around here. 12 on 28 May struggling to find food over the lake in the cold represent the high count so far this year.
Barn Swallow: Sadly 18 seen on 28 May also represents a high count.
Gray-cheeked Thrush: One was singing along the Owen Pt. trail on 2 Jun.
Blackburnian Warbler: Small numbers of territorial birds are in their usual haunts in hemlock stands and conifer plantations but a migrant female was seen near the beach on 2 Jun.
Blackpoll Warbler: One on 2 Jun may prove to be the last of spring.
Wilson’s Warbler: A female on the Owen Pt. trail on 3 Jun may be the last of spring.
Clay-colored Sparrow: One was heard singing in the Calf Pasture field on 30 May.
Eastern Towhee: A few pairs are normally located in the Calf Pasture field but a male singing at the Beach 2 parking lot was a surprise on 3 Jun.
Please Note: Access to Gull and High Bluff Island is closed to visitation between 10 March and 10 September to protect the thousands of colonial birds that nest on the islands.
Directions: Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located south of Brighton on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is well signed from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2.