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Birding Report
Presqu’ile Birding Report for 24th to 30th August 2018
 
Highlights: YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, STILT SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, WILSON’S PHALAROPE
 
Once again the birding in the Park started slowly for passerines but picked up quite nicely for shorebirds. Shorebirds put on a good show for observers up close to really go over the finer points of plumage and moult when Peregrines and Merlins weren’t putting them up. Lots of songbirds came in with the cold front starting late Wednesday night but most of the shorebirds seemed to migrate out!
 
14 species of waterfowl were reported this week and the majority of these being seen from Owen Pt. The lingering LONG-TAILED DUCK not looking too well and NORTHERN PINTAIL were good finds. WILD TURKEYS  are being seen most days near Calf pasture.
 
A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was seen briefly at 83 Bayshore on the 25th and a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO on the 24th flying across road were reported this week. 3 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were spotted flying towards Calf Pasture on the 28th. Sightings of RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are picking up and the Presqu’ile Bio Team were amazed to see roughly 15 birds flying around on High Bluff Islands on the 27th Aug. 3 AMERICAN COOTS were seen swimming in the marsh.
 
The highlight of the week were the shorebirds. For people who enjoy looking at shorebirds there is no better place to observe shorebirds migrating in a natural setting then at Presqu’ile. Variety is good and you can study the finer details of moult and plumages at very close range. This week for a couple of days all 5 peeps could be observed and studied which resulted in one lucky tour leader from Ottawa to pick out his lifer WESTERN SANDPIPER! 15 species of shorebirds were seen including BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER the first 3 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS of the year on 27th Aug, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, KILLDEER, RUDDY TURNSTONE,  2 RED KNOT both juveniles, the first STILT SANDPIPER also a juvenile on the 29th, SANDERLING, an amazing 37 juvenile BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS, LEAST SANDPIPER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, LESSER YELLOWLEGS and the first of the season WILSON’S PHALAROPE on the 29th. A WILSON’S SNIPE was also reported from the Brighton Constructed Wetland.
 
With the called for north winds today a couple of local birders sat for a couple of hours at THE BIRDHOUSE STORE located just before the Park entrance and were not disappointed. 9 TURKEY VULTURES, 3 NORTHERN HARRIERS, 2 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 3 BALD EAGLES, 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS AND 3 AMERICAN KESTRELS. There were a number of birds unidentified as well. PEREGRINE FALCONS AND MERLINS were chasing shorebirds for most of the week at Owen Pt and a BROAD-WINGED was seen on Paxton near the paved trail.
 
The RED-HEADED WOODPECKER with a juvenile in tow was seen in the cottonwood from 83 Bayshore on the 28th easing fears it had been picked off by a predator! 7 FLYCATCHER species were reported this week including a couple of OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS today and a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER was reported a couple of times this week. The first PHILADELPHIA VIREOS of the fall were reported on the 25th and 29th. a few WARBLING and many RED-EYED VIREOS were also seen. A few TREE and BARN SWALLOWS are still being seen but a CLIFF SWALLOW seen from Owen Pt was a nice find on the 25h Aug.
 
CAROLINA WRENS are still being seen at the Lighthouse. A BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was seen at Owen Pt today. THRUSHES are very slowly starting to arrive with VEERY, SWAINSON’S AND WOOD THRUSHES being reported this week. A Surprising 3 PINE SISKINS were seen flying past Owen PT on the 27th and another 3 in a mixed flock with goldfinches were spotted while watching hawks today.
 
The north winds last night brought a small fallout of warblers and other songbirds. With those winds continuing overnight another fallout is likely tomorrow!
 
20 Species of WARBLERS were reported this week including the first NORTHERN PARULAS of the fall. NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE, TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, MOURNING, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, AMERICAN REDSTART, CAPE MAY, MAGNOLIA, BAY-BREASTED, BLACKBURNIAN, YELLOW, CHESTNUT-SIDED, BLACK- THROATED BLUE, PINE, YELLOW-RUMPED, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, CANADA, and WILSON’S.
 
The first of the migrant WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS showed up this week as well as another DARK-EYED JUNCO on the lawn of the long time author of this report who’s time and effort I always appreciated and appreciate even more right now lol!
 
Thanks again to those who take the time to report their sightings!
 
Bill Gilmour
 
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.