Presqu'ile Provincial Park, like much of southern Ontario, has been
experiencing relentless hot weather, but that has not deterred a number
of birders from seeking out birds that would otherwise be unwatched.
What they are finding includes several species normally seen either as
single birds or in pairs that are now showing up in aggregations that,
in some cases, are in double digits, which are assumed to be family
groups including recently fledged young birds. Readers who are
accustomed to listings of birds in a particular (taxonomic) order will
have to become familiar with a recently changed sequence that is
Three species of swans were off Sebastopol Island this morning: the
ubiquitous MUTE SWANS plus single individuals of TRUMPETER SWAN and
TUNDRA SWAN (rare in summer). Among the less common ducks seen this
week in the Owen Point/Gull Island area were AMERICAN BLACK DUCK,
NORTHERN SHOVELER, two GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and two GREATER SCAUP, as well
as a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER near the lighthouse. A banded ROCK PIGEON was
in a campground on Sunday. This morning a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was
calling at the beach 2 parking lot. A COMMON GALLINULE with nine very
young chicks was in the woodpile marssh on Sunday.
The algae mats favoured by shorebirds have begun to develop at and north
of Owen Point, and a few shorebirds have returned from the north,
including an early BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER on Tuesday and Wednesday and an
early SEMIPALMATED PLOVER on Sunday. There is likely still time to see
the PIPING PLOVERS that nested on the beach last month before the three
young ones exercise their newly developing flight skills to leave for
greener pastures. An AMERICAN WOODCOCK flushed from the Owen Point
trail. A LESSER YELLOWLEGS was on the beach on Sunday. Single
BONAPARTE'S GULLS have been at Owen Point and at the lighthouse.
A few COMMON LOONS have been flying about, as was a juvenile AMERICAN
BITTERN with stubby wings. As many as eleven GREAT EGRETS were visible
today on High Bluff Island. A GREEN HERON flew across the outer part of
Presqu'ile Bay towards the lighthouse. Among the egrets there was also
a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON. An immature BALD EAGLE was at Owen Point
today, and two GREAT HORNED OWLS were seen from the marsh.
Two observers saw a pair of PILEATED WOODPECKERS flying over the calf
pasture yesterday and another observer saw three today, including an
adult feeding a fully grown young one near the beach 2 parking area.
Three MERLINS were at the calf pasture on Sunday, and one today. It is
usually difficult or impossible to differentiate between newly arrived
fall migrants and birds that have summered nearby, but the OLIVE-SIDED
FLYCATCHER that showed up on July 31 seven years ago was clearly one of
the former and remains a reminder that flycatchers and other land birds
could be on the move with the next cool front. On the other hand, a
group of five GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS seen today was undoubtedly a
locally raised family group. The forty BANK SWALLOWS out over the lake,
the four BROWN CREEPERS seen together, and the four FIELD SPARROWS
including a fledged juvenile were also likely in that category.
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
at this time of year to prevent disturbance to the colonial nesting
There is also a restricted area at beach 2, where the public is being
directed away from the Piping Plover fledglings.
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: fhellei...@trentu.ca.
186 Bayshore Road
If visiting, access via Presqu'ile Provincial Park
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