The clear cool night air and the Perseids Meteor showers in the sky created perfect conditions for a mass exodus of songbirds on Friday the 13th. Songbird's and especially shorebird numbers picked up greatly as the week went on.
Two HORNED GREBES wereobserved from Owen Point on August 15.
A juvenile LEAST BITTERN was seen on August 13 near the main viewing platform at the marsh boardwalk. GREAT BLUE HERONS and GREAT EGRETS are still being seen daily, and a GREEN HERON was seen on August 17 at the old boat ramp located at the bottom of Atkins Lane in the calf pasture. Two BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were seen flying toward High Bluff Island on August 18. The RED-BREASTED MERGANSER seen last week with seven young was down to two ducklings this week, three HOODED MERGANSERS were also seen in the vicinity of Gull Island.
Shorebirding has been great the past week with a high of 15 species being seen on August 18.Most birds are being viewed from Owen Point but the grassy area just north of lookout #1 has produced a WHIMBREL during the past week. BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER and KILLDEER were reported onAugust 19. A single GREATER YELLOWLEGS was seen August 15. LESSER YELLOWLEGS and SPOTTED SANDPIPER seen August 19. The WHIMBREL was last reported on August 18 at the tip of Owen Point. Two RUDDY TURNSTONES, two juvenile RED KNOTS and eleven SANDERLING were seen August 19. Two PECTORAL SANDPIPERS were last reported August 18. There are at least nineteen BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS with one adult amongst them, forty plus SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, fifty plus LEAST SANDPIPERS, four juvenile SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, and three juvenile BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS.
Raptors seen this week were a second year BALD EAGLE circling Gull Island on August 18 and over the marsh on August 19. COOPER'S HAWKS are being seen daily with a high count of two at the calf pasture. OSPREY are also being seen daily, the marsh lookout and Salt Point are good places to look. A PEREGRINE FALCON successfully scattered and caught one unidentified shorebird on August 18. A MERLIN also cruised Owen point on August 18.
Four species of gull were seen in the park the past week BONAPARTE'S GULL, RINGED-BILLED GULL, HERRING GULL and GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. The last reported COMMON TERN was on August 15 at Owen Point and CASPIAN TERNS are still fairly common at the same location.
Two OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were seen from the main park road. Trees with dead branches on either side of the road are good places to look for these birds on your way into the park. If this fails check the calf pasture. Other flycatchers seen this week were EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, LEAST FLYCATCHER, EASTERN PHOEBE, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER and EASTERN KINGBIRDS.
The CAROLINA WREN is still being seen in the vicinity of 83 Bayshore Rd and the last BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER wasreported from the same location on August 13. A LINCOLN'S SPARROW was seen in the vicinity of the lighthouse on August 19. A lone ORCHARD ORIOLE seen on August 19 at the lighthouse andmay be one of the last of its kind seen as most ORCHARD ORIOLES departed on August 13. A PURPLE FINCH is visiting the feeders at 83 Bayshore Rd most days.
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.