POSTED | August 24, 2018 - Bill Gilmour
Presqu’ile Birding Report for the week of 17th to 23rd Aug 2018
Highlights: EURASIAN WIGEON, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, WHIMBREL, RED KNOT, AND BLACK TERN
Birding started out slowly this week but picked up greatly with the passing of a cold front mid week and continued to peak as of today.
Duck numbers increased this week with a total of 14 species. The best find being a EURASIAN WIGEON seen rafting close to shore on Gull Island. This bird was seen on the 20th and 21st and not since. This bird is still most likely around but higher winds have made it difficult to find. Other duck species include WOOD DUCK, AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, MALLARD, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN -WINGED TEAL, REDHEAD, GREATER SCAUP, LONG-TAILED DUCK, COMMON GOLDENEYE, COMMON AND RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. NORTHERN SHOVELER and HOODED MERGANSER were seen at the Brighton Constructed Wetland.
A YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO was seen briefly as it flew off towards the Calf Pasture. An AMERICAN COOT was crazily seen swimming with a group of CANADA GEESE towards Gull Island on Tuesday.
A total of 16 species of shorebirds touched down on the beaches this week and good numbers of at least 120 birds. 5 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and KILLDEER. A lone WHIMBREL was spotted on the 22nd Aug, RUDDY TURNSTONE, a single RED KNOT was seen on the 22nd and 23rd however it is believed they were two different individuals as one was a moulting adult the other a juvenile. 12-15 SANDERLING, 10-12 BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS, LEAST SANDPIPER of almost all were juveniles, a single WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, 40-50 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, and GREATER AND LESSER YELLOWLEGS. A WILSON’S SNIPE was reported from the Brighton Constructed Wetland and a report of a possible WESTERN SANDPIPER today. This sandpiper flew off before it could be confirmed but will hopefully stick around to be identified tomorrow.
A BLACK TERN was found off Gull Island on the 21st by a well known birder from Ottawa poaching away from home. Of interest were 2 COMMON TERNS on the shoal today between Owen Pt and Gull Island. Many CASPIAN TERNS still remain. Should mention that some GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS are starting to show up mostly first cycle birds and a nice group of 5 BONAPARTE’S GULLS one adult still showing a black head and a couple of juveniles as well.
BALD EAGLES are starting to be reported most days and a NORTHERN HARRIER was seen flying over the marsh on the 22nd Aug. A BROAD-WINGED HAWK was seen flying over 83 Bayshore Rd on the 19th Aug. BARRED OWLS are still the only owl being reported. Today was the first day a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER wasn’t seen and one hopes it didn’t become dinner for a MERLIN that has been patrolling the yard! A PEREGRINE FALCON has been tormenting the shorebirds for the last couple of days around Owen Pt and Gull Island.
Flycatcher numbers have greatly increased this week with many OLIVE-SIDED and a few YELLOW-BELLIED being spotted. Also seen this week were EASTERN-WOOD PEWEE, many LEAST, EASTERN PHEOBE, GREAT CRESTED and EASTERN KINGBIRD which were observed still feeding young at the Calf Pasture. The Calf Pasture is the best location for seeing most of these flycatchers by scanning snags in the field.
COMMON RAVENS have been heard and seen in numerous locations this past week. SWALLOWS continue to become scarce but PURPLE MARTIN, TREE, BANK and BARN SWALLOWS were still seen this week. A pair of CAROLINA WRENS are still being heard and seen at the lighthouse. VEERY and SWAINSON’S were seen at the drip baths at 83 BAYSHORE this week and a WOOD THRUSH in Newcastle Woods. Many more thrushes should be starting to come through now.
18 species of WARBLERS were spotted this week most of which started migrating in on Wednesday and continue until today. OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE,TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, MOURNING, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, AMERICAN REDSTART, CAPE MAY, MAGNOLIA, BAY-BREASTED, BLACKBURNIAN, YELLOW, CHESTNUT-SIDED, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, YELLOW-RUMPED, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and CANADA WARBLER.
SPARROWS for the most part have not migrated in yet but a early juvenile Dark-eyed Junco at 83 Bayshore was a bit of a surprise. A BOBOLINK was heard flying overhead on the 18th Aug.
The increase in birds being reported is in thanks to the increase in birders reporting this week for which I thank you all!
Presqu’ile Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just south of the town of Brighton. It can be reached from either Hwy. 401 or Cty. Rd. 2 and is well signed. A Park map can be found in the information tabloid available at the Park gate. Presqu’ile’s two offshore islands – Gull and High Bluff – support a large multi-species colonial bird nesting area and access is not permitted during the breeding season.