Birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in November can be disappointing after the peak of bird migration in the preceding two or three months, but sightings in the past week suggest that there is still plenty to see.
A noisy flock of 130 BRANT flew in from the north on Sunday. Yesterday morning a NORTHERN SHOVELER was in the marsh opposite the campground office, and this morning a NORTHERN PINTAIL was there, along with a variety of other dabbling ducks. There were two different SURF SCOTER sightings this week, and two different RUFFED GROUSE sightings by one observer on Monday. The WILD TURKEY family at the calf pasture was out on the road yesterday morning. RED-NECKED GREBES were seen on two different days, with six seen on Sunday by two observers. Outside the Park gate but perhaps within the Park boundary was a late COMMON GALLINULE on November 1. Shorebirds continue to be seen, mostly around Gull Island: a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER on Sunday and today; 41 DUNLINS on Sunday; two WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS on Sunday: a GREATER YELLOWLEGS in the woodpile marsh today. This is the date when one RED PHALAROPE (or perhaps two) showed up last year. This is also the month when the much anticipated influx of PURPLE SANDPIPERS usually occurs, attracting numerous birders to Presqu'ile, which is noted for that species. An adult LITTLE GULL and an immature LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL were among dozens of other gulls of commoner species taking advantage of a massive flock of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS on Sunday. That flock has been moving around Popham Bay and was still present today to the north of the Park boundary. Also seen on Sunday were up to four RED-THROATED LOONS, and one was seen again yesterday. Although DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS are being seen daily mostly in ones and twos, a flock of about 400 was in Presqu'ile Bay on Friday, after most of that species had been assumed to have left.
A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was an interesting find. A BARRED OWL was seen on Tuesday, and a SHORT-EARED OWL was on Gull Island today. Among the resident woodpeckers seen this week were a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and a few PILEATED WOODPECKERS. MERLINS were seen at least twice. There was a rather late EASTERN PHOEBE on Sunday. A COMMON RAVEN was seen twice on Tuesday. The CAROLINA WREN behind the woodpile marsh was singing again yesterday. A few YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS are lingering, with one as recently as today.
Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloid that is available at the Park gate. Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be prepared to wade through water that is ankle-deep, not taking into account any wave action,.in which thereis often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and
It should also be noted that, because duck hunting is given priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Owen Point, Gull Island,High Bluff Island, and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days.
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.