There is almost nothing left of the spring bird migration at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. That said, the variety of breeding birds in the Park provides plenty of scope for finding interesting birds, some of which, including some of this week's sightings, are uncommon in most other parts of southern Ontario.
A wing-tagged TRUMPETER SWAN was in Popham Bay on May 31. Among the ducks seen this week whose breeding status at Presqu'ile is "uncommon" or "rare" are AMERICAN WIGEON and NORTHERN SHOVELER. REDHEADS and a single COMMON GOLDENEYE were also seen. The nest of a COMMON LOON in the Park may be the first ever. A LEAST BITTERN flew past the marsh boardwalk yesterday. On High Bluff Island there are a few GREAT EGRETS that can be seen from certain points on the mainland, presumably on their nests. OSPREY and MERLIN have both been seen this week, and a PEREGRINE FALCON on June 1 was a rather late record. A COMMON GALLINULE was seen in the marsh. Only five species of migrant shorebirds were noted in the past week, and in small and decreasing numbers. Nevertheless, sightings of late shorebirds often continue well into June, including two records of AMERICAN AVOCETS. A BONAPARTE'S GULL and a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL on June 2 were late. A second ARCTIC TERN sighting was reported without any details being provided.
The first BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO of the year was spotted yesterday, but as yet there have been no reports of YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO. Four CHIMNEY SWIFTS flew over Owen Point. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are regular visitors at 83 Bayshore Road. Single OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were seen on two consecutive days, less than a kilometre apart, - perhaps the same bird. On June 1, a record late date was established for BLUE-HEADED VIREO. The two GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS are indicative of the diversity of summer birds at Presqu'ile. Over a 5-year period, this species was confirmed to be breeding at only six locations farther south in Ontario. Likewise among warblers, only ten locations farther south in Ontario had breeding NASHVILLE WARBLERS in that same period, yet one was at Presqu'ile this week. Another warbler that was only heard this week was either a BLUE-WINGED or a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER. There was an anonymous report of a HOODED WARBLER on May 31, but no details were provided. Not unexpected this late in the season were the BLACKPOLL and WILSON'S WARBLERS found this week. The CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS continue in the calf pasture and may well be nesting there. ORCHARD ORIOLES are a Presqu'ile specialty and can be seen almost every day. The PURPLE FINCH on June 1 was also perhaps a breeding bird.
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 from March 10 onward 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.