The chief attraction for birders visiting Presqu'ile Provincial Park at this time of year, apart from its wealth and variety of breeding birds, is the possibility of finding returning shorebirds, of which the vanguard has already arrived.
There is still a good variety of ducks around Gull Island, including, this week, GADWALLS, AMERICAN WIGEONS, a NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEALS, REDHEADS, a scaup (probably GREATER SCAUP), COMMON GOLDENEYE, and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. Two COMMON LOONS flew over Popham Bay on July 13. A LEAST BITTERN was at the marsh boardwalk this morning.
GREAT EGRETS and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS are easy to find on the offshore islands with a scope. Single OSPREYS were over Presqu'ile Bay on three consecutive days. A SOLITARY SANDPIPER was on the beach on July 13. The highlight of the week was a WILLET that sat at Owen Point on July 12 before flying off. A SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER flew past Owen Point with three LESSER YELLOWLEGS on July 13. Both LEAST and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS were present today. Since STILT SANDPIPERS are rare in spring at Presqu'ile, birders seeking their first of the year are anticipating the arrival of that species soon.
A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was near the group campground parking lot on July 12. A COMMON RAVEN was calling near Owen Point today. A CAROLINA WREN continues to make sporadic appearances at 83 Bayshore Road. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was at 186 Bayshore Road today. Both PINE and BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS were found on July 12, as well as an EASTERN TOWHEE and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. ORCHARD ORIOLES are present and singing on most days at 186 Bayshore Road.
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.